Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt
Praised by The Strad magazine for having a “lyricism that stood out . . . a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines,” Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt has established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she’s performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, which The Strad described as “fleet and energetic . . . powerful and focused.”
Pajaro-van de Stadt was the founding violist of the Dover Quartet, and she played in the group from 2008 to 2022. During her time in the group, the Dover Quartet was the first-prize winner and recipient of every special award at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition and the winner of the gold medal and grand prize at the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Her numerous awards also include first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and Sphinx Competition. While in the Dover Quartet, Pajaro-van de Stadt was on the faculties of the Curtis School of Music and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and she was a part of the quartet-in-residence at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
A violin student of Sergiu Schwartz and Melissa Pierson-Barrett for several years, Pajaro-van de Stadt began studying viola with Michael Klotz at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2005. She graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Roberto Díaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale, and then received her master’s degree in string quartet performance with the Dover Quartet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as a student of James Dunham.