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For Immediate Release

September 29, 2014

Williamstown, MA—The Dover Quartet, featuring violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw, presents the premiere performances of three string quartets by local composer Stephen Danker on Sunday, October 12 at 3 pm. The free concert, presented by the Clark Art Institute, will be held at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall at Williams College, 54 Chapin Hall Drive, Williamstown.

The Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, becoming one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The New Yorker recently dubbed them “the young American string quartet of the moment,” and The Strad raved that the Quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretive maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.” In 2013–14, the Quartet became the first ever Quartet-in-Residence for the renowned Curtis Institute of Music.

The musicians will perform Dankner’s String Quartets Nos. 14, 16, and 17, all written in 2013. Quartet No. 14, the most classical of the three, is a powerful piece in four movements, including a slow movement Dankner calls a testament to the late Williams College professor Irwin Shainman, who taught music at Williams College for forty years. Quartet No. 16 combines jazz and pop in seven brief movements, and Quartet No. 17 is an experimental, pensive piece.

Composer Stephen Dankner, a resident of Williamstown, Massachusetts, received his doctor of musical arts degree in composition from the Juilliard School in 1971. He has released seven CD recordings. He was commissioned by the Nürnberg Symphoniker to compose a work for their sixtieth anniversary season in 2006 and received five commissions from the Albany Symphony, 2004–09. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, where Dankner was the composer-in-residence from 2004–07, has given premiere performances of six of his nine symphonies. He has held fellowship residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, A Studio in the Woods, and the Millay Colony.

Violinist Joel Link is a top prize winner of numerous competitions including the Johansen International Competition in Washington, D.C. and the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in England. Link has been featured in The Strad magazine and has appeared on numerous radio shows, including NPR’s “From the Top.” A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he studied with renowned violinists Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank, and served as the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster for the 2009–10 season. He has received both the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal from the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

Bryan Lee has performed as a solo violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Delaware, Lansdowne, and Temple University Symphony Orchestras, among others. He was awarded the Bronze Medal at the 2005 Stulberg International String Competition and won second prize at the 2004 Kingsville International Young Performers Competition. He has served as associate concertmaster of both Symphony in C and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and as a substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Lee is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Pamela Frank and Victor Danchenko.

Violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, praised by The Strad magazine as having “lyricism that stood out...a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines,” has established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe. She won First Prize of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Sphinx Competition. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and received her master's degree in string quartet at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.

Cellist Camden Shaw has captivated audiences across the United States and Europe, and his playing has been described as “wonderfully rich” (Kansas City Star) and “dynamic and brave” (Stereo Times). He has collaborated in chamber music with such renowned artists as Daniel Hope, Leon Fleischer, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and maintains an active career as a soloist. Highlights from recent years include a performance of the Beethoven Triple concerto with the highly-acclaimed Artosphere Festival Orchestra, where Shaw also holds the principal chair, and the release of his solo album by the audiophile label Unipheye Music. Shaw graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2010, where he studied with Peter Wiley.


The Clark Art Institute is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

The Clark opened its expanded facilities on July 4, 2014, unveiling new and enhanced spaces that accommodate the continued growth of the Institute’s programs. Included in this final stage of the project are the new 42,600-square-foot Clark Center designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, expansion and renovation of the original Museum Building and the ongoing renovation of the Manton Research Center by Selldorf Architects, and a sweeping redesign of the grounds by Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture. The first phase of the campus expansion project was completed in 2008 with the opening of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, a striking conservation and exhibitions facility also designed by Tadao Ando.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Opening season hours: Galleries open daily from July 4 through October 13, 2014, 10 am to 5 pm. From October 14, 2014 through June 30, 2015: Galleries open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 through October 31, 2014 and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.

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