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Violist Steps Down from VC Artist Dover Quartet

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt has decided to leave the string quartet to pursue other musical interests as of August 2022


Violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt will depart from VC Artist Dover Quartet at the end of its summer season. A new violist for the string quartet is yet to be announced. 

Milena has played with the Dover Quartet since its inception in 2008 at the Curtis Institute of Music (CIM), where the quartet was recently named its Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence.

She has appeared as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and Sphinx Chamber Orchestra; performed internationally, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall; and has served on the juries of the Sphinx Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Her many accolades include first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Sphinx Competition. Additionally, Milena holds a teaching position at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and joined the CIM faculty in 2020. 

“It is bittersweet that our time making music with our dear friend and colleague is coming to an end, but we are excited for the new ventures ahead of her,” the quartet posted on Facebook. “Please join us in wishing Milena all the best!”

“So proud of everything we’ve accomplished together in the Dover Quartet!” Milena wrote on Facebook. “And super excited for the next phase of my musical life!”

Milena began her music studies on violin, learning with Sergiu Schwartz and Melissa Pierson-Barrett. She later started viola studies with Michael Klotz in 2005. A graduate of CIM and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Milena’s mentors have included Roberto Díaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, Joseph de Pasquale, and James Dunham, with whom she studied for her master’s degree in string quartet performance as a Dover Quartet member. 



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