June 13, 2017
DALLAS (SMU) – Award-winning violinist Aaron Boyd, a member of the acclaimed Escher String Quartet, has been named director of chamber music and professor of practice in violin in the Division of Music at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, beginning with the fall 2017 semester.
“After a comprehensive national search for a chamber music director, the Division of Music is happy to welcome Aaron Boyd to our faculty,” said David Mancini, director of the Meadows Division of Music. “During the past two years, Aaron has worked with many of our students and faculty as a member of the renowned Escher String Quartet and, this past year, as interim associate director of chamber music. Aaron’s experience and artistry make him an excellent choice to oversee a vibrant program that touches practically all of our students and also engages a large number of our faculty.”
As director of chamber music, Boyd will oversee all student chamber ensembles and direct the end-of-semester chamber music honors concerts each fall and spring. As professor of practice in violin, he will teach advanced undergraduate and graduate violin students. In addition, he will oversee the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence program at Meadows, a two-year chamber music fellowship designed to foster the professional development of a young, up-and-coming ensemble. He will mentor the 2017 winners, the Julius Quartet, helping the group members plan artistic and pedagogical goals to further their careers.
Boyd enjoys an international career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, recording artist, lecturer and teacher. Since making his New York recital debut in 1998, he has given concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and Asia and has performed with such prominent artists as Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, Anner Bylsma, Cho-Liang Lin, Jerome Lowenthal and Wu Han, as well as with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Emerson, Tokyo and Orion quartets. His numerous summer festival engagements include the Music@Menlo, La Jolla Summerfest, Caramoor, Marlboro and Tanglewood festivals. In addition, he has led numerous ensembles as a concertmaster, including the Kansas City and Tucson symphonies.
Boyd joined the renowned Escher String Quartet in 2012. The group received a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2015 Martin E. Segal Prize from Lincoln Center. All members of the group, as well as the quartet itself, serve as artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Boyd has also been a prizewinner in the Ecoles D’art Americaines de Fontainebleau, Tuesday Musical Society and Pittsburgh Concert Society competitions and was awarded a proclamation by the City of Pittsburgh for his musical accomplishments.
A passionate advocate for new music, Boyd has been involved in numerous commissions and premieres in concert and on record, and has worked with legendary composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter and Charles Wuorinen. Boyd founded the Zukofsky Quartet (quartet-in-residence, Bargemusic), which remains the only ensemble to have played all of Milton Babbitt's notoriously difficult string quartets. A musician of wide stylistic interests, Boyd has played and recorded in collaboration with jazz legends Dick Hyman and Paquito D’Rivera, cabaret singer Badomi DeCesare, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has appeared as mandolin soloist with flutist Paula Robison. As a recording artist, he can be heard on the BIS, Music@Menlo Live, Naxos, Tzadik, North/South and Innova labels. Boyd has been broadcast in concert by NPR, WQXR (New York) and WQED (Pittsburgh), and was profiled by Arizona Public Television.
Born in Pittsburgh, Boyd began his studies with Samuel LaRocca and Eugene Phillips and graduated from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Sally Thomas and coached extensively with Paul Zukofsky and cellist Harvey Shapiro. He later served on the violin faculties of Columbia University and the University of Arizona. Now a resident of Dallas, he plays on a Matteo Goffriller violin made in Venice in 1700 and a Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin made in Brooklyn in 2002.
SMU Meadows School of the Arts