Caroline Stinson, cello
Cellist Caroline Stinson is a native of Canada and has made her career across North America and Europe as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician in traditional, 20th century, and contemporary repertoire. Cellist of the internationally acclaimed Ciompi String Quartet and Associate Professor at Duke University in North Carolina, Ms. Stinson’s concert invitations include Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden Series, Bargemusic and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, Boston’s Gardner Museum, Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian; the Koelner Philharmonie, Lucerne Festival and Cité de la Musique in Europe, and the Centennial and Winspear Centers in Canada.
An active recitalist and chamber musician, Caroline is invited regularly as guest and has appeared at the Rencontres d’été Strasbourg, France; Rudersdal Sommerkoncerter, Denmark; and Manchester Music and Newburyport and Caramoore Music Festivals in the USA. Since joining the Ciompi Quartet in 2018, she has performed with the group across the US and in Taiwan and Italy. She has given solo recitals in New York City presented by the League of Composers and in Denmark. In 2022 she will tour Lithuania with pianist Gabrielius Alekna, performing Dialogues with Beethoven, including a premiere by Žibuoklė Martinaityte.
Together with her husband Andrew Waggoner, Caroline is co-artistic director of the Weekend of Chamber Music, a summer music festival of concerts and events in the Southern Catskill Mountain Region of New York State. Now in their 9th year as directors and the festival’s 30th, WCM hosts multiple events over three weeks, featuring a composer-in-residence and a select group of artists performing vivid, intimate concerts in rural spaces and unusual village sites across multiple counties. WCM also brings in graduate fellows in composition and performance to collaborate on new works and present as part of the festival itself.
Caroline’s close work with composers has been essential in building her understanding and communication of new music, and she is privileged to have worked closely with Bill Bolcom, Pierre Boulez, John Corigliano, George Crumb, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Harold Meltzer, Shulamit Ran, Steven Stucky, Joan Tower, Andrew Waggoner and Anna Weesner; Peter Eötvös in Germany, and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen in Denmark, among many others. At the composer’s recommendation, she performed Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “YTA III” for solo cello at Scandinavia House in New York, and performed Elliot Carter’s Triple Duo on two continents and for Swiss Radio with Pierre Boulez conducting, working with the composer on multiple occasions. Caroline has commissioned cello concerti, solo cello works and pieces with electronics, and chamber music, premiering dozens of works over a decade with the Lark Quartet and Open End Ensemble (a new music and improvisation group), and performing and touring with the Bang On a Can All-Stars, ISCM League of Composers, the Cassatt Quartet, CELLO, Continuum of New York City, and Accroche Note of France.
Ms. Stinson has an extensive chamber music discography of almost two dozen CDs, including three recordings on Bridge Records with the Lark Quartet, featured and praised on the BBC, in Gramophone Magazine, WQXR, and in the New York Times. She released her solo recording on Albany Records linking European masters to multiple generations of American composers in 2011. In radio, her performances have been broadcast on Swiss Radio, Performance Today in the USA, and on CBC Radio Canada.
Caroline was a student of Tanya Prochazka in Edmonton and earned degrees with honours from the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Cleveland Institute of Music under Alan Harris, and the Hochschule für Musik Köln (First Prize) as a student of Maria Kliegel. She completed her Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick. While living in Germany, she took courses with Natalia Gutman, Frans Helmerson, Boris Pergamenschikow, Siegfried Palm, and Janos Starker. She is the recipient of the J.B.C. Watkins Prize in Music from the Canada Council, first prize in the Hohnen Foundation Cello Competition of Germany, and the American Music Award from the Seventeen/GM National Concerto Competition in the United States. She has been awarded prizes, grants, and scholarships from the Alberta Heritage Fund, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Winspear Fund, the Anne Burrows Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts, and fellowships from the Aspen, Lucerne, Verbier, and Sarasota Festivals.