Nigel Redden, Spoleto Festival USA General Director, announced tonight that Geoff Nuttall has been named the incoming Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Artistic Director for Chamber Music. Nuttall, who became associate artistic director of the festival chamber music series in 2008, will assume leadership from longtime artistic director Charles Wadsworth beginning with the 2010 festival.
Nuttall says he finds the appointment bittersweet: “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.”
Nuttall first performed at the festival 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 faculty at Stanford University, and makes his home in California with his wife, violinist Livia Sohn, and their young son Jack.
Regarding the announcement, Wadsworth said: “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. …Spoleto’s chamber music series–which I love so much–could not be in better hands.”
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.
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,” said Redden. “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.”