Martin Beaver

Violin and Chamber Music Faculty
Violin and Chamber Music Faculty

First violin of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet and internationally recognized violinist

Mr. Beaver was first violin of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet from June 2002 until its final concert in July 2013. As such, he appeared to critical and public acclaim on the major stages of the world, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Sydney Opera House.

As a member of the Tokyo String Quartet, Mr. Beaver was privileged to perform on the 1727 Stradivarius violin from the “Paganini Quartet” set of instruments, on generous loan to the quartet from the Nippon Music Foundation. Recordings of the Tokyo String Quartet during his tenure notably include the complete Beethoven quartets on the Harmonia Mundi label.

Mr. Beaver is a regular guest at prominent festivals in North America and abroad. Among these are the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, and Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

Mr. Beaver’s discography includes concertos, sonatas, and chamber music on the Harmonia Mundi, Biddulph, Naim Audio, René Gailly, Musica Viva, SM5000, and Naxos labels. His recorded repertoire ranges from Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms to the music of living composers Alexina Louie and Joan Tower.

Following his early studies with Claude Letourneau and Carlisle Wilson, Mr. Beaver was a pupil of Victor Danchenko, Josef Gingold, and Henryk Szeryng. He is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, the 1990 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and the 1991 Montreal International Music Competition. Subsequently, he has served on the juries of major international competitions, including the 2009 Queen Elisabeth and 2010 Montreal competitions, the 2014 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, and the 2015 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Beaver has been the grateful recipient of generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, including arts grants for his studies at Indiana University, career development grants, and the 1993 Virginia Parker Prize. In 1998, through the kindness of an anonymous donor, the Canada Council awarded Mr. Beaver the use of the 1729 “ex-Heath” Guarneri del Gesù violin for a four-year period.

A devoted educator, Mr. Beaver has conducted master classes throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has held teaching positions at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of British Columbia, and the Peabody Conservatory. More recently, he served on the faculty of New York University and as artist-in-residence at the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded its highest honor, the Sanford Medal. He joined the faculty of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in 2013 as Professor of Violin and served as Co-Director of String Chamber Music Studies from 2013–2018.

Mr. Beaver is proud to be a founding member of the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Clive Greensmith. Mr. Beaver plays a 1789 Nicola Bergonzi violin.