Geoff Nuttall Named Artistic Director of the Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series

First Violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet to Succeed Longtime Artistic Director Charles Wadsworth

Nigel Redden, Spoleto Festival USA General Director, announced Sunday night that Geoff Nuttall has been named the incoming Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Artistic Director for Chamber Music. Nuttall, who was named associate artistic director of the chamber music series in 2008, will assume leadership from longtime artistic director Charles Wadsworth beginning with the 2010 festival.

“Charles has been a friend and mentor to me for many years and I’m sad he’s leaving. At the same time I am excited about this opportunity, especially with Dock Street Theatre reopening next year. I feel like I’ve been given keys to a Ferrari.” - Geoff Nuttall

Nuttall first performed at Spoleto Festival USA in 1995 with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, which he co-founded 20 years ago. As first violinist of this world-renowned foursome, Nuttall has performed over 1,800 concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia . He is on the faculty at Stanford University, and makes his home in California with his wife, violinist Livia Sohn, and their young son Jack.

“I’ve known Geoff and the St. Lawrence String Quartet for 18 years and I respect him as one of the most committed, sensitive and dedicated artists in the world today. I feel completely happy that Spoleto’s chamber music series—which I love so much—could not be in better hands.” - Charles Wadsworth

Wadsworth has been a beloved festival favorite as pianist and host of the twice-daily chamber music concerts, a role he began 50 years ago at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto , Italy . His innovative programming, inclusion of major soloists, and wide range of repertoire inspired a new generation of virtuoso musicians to perform chamber music. He has introduced generations of audiences to chamber music with his folksy and informal style, and has been credited with transforming chamber music into a popular art form.

Festival General Director Nigel Redden made the announcement Sunday during a Spoleto Festival USA tribute concert in honor of Wadsworth . “Over the years Geoff has become an important part of the festival,” Redden said. “He is thoroughly dedicated to maintaining the artistic quality of the chamber music series, and we look forward to many years of working with him.”

The 2009 Spoleto Festival USA and the twice-daily chamber music series continues through June 7. Nuttall and the St. Lawrence String Quartet are among the musicians performing. Tickets may be purchased online at www.spoletousa.org, by phone at (843) 579-3100, or at the Spoleto Festival USA Box Office at Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun Street.

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