Having celebrated 33 years with the internationally celebrated St. Lawrence String Quartet, Lesley Robertson (viola) is proud to make her life at Stanford University where along with her St Lawrence colleagues she directs the chamber music at the Department of Music. Ms. Robertson teaches viola, coaches chamber music, and also spearheads the SLSQ's Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford and the SLSQ's annual Chamber Music Seminar. A graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, Ms. Robertson also holds a degree from the University of British Columbia where she studied with her mentor, Gerald Stanick. A founding member of the SLSQ, Ms. Robertson tours regularly, performing 100+ concerts worldwide per season (in Berlin, Florence, London, Paris, New York, Toronto, among others) but also nurtures close ties to the Stanford community performing in various classes, dormitories, laboratories, hospitals, and in Stanford's glorious Bing Concert Hall. She participated in the Marlboro Festival for several years and and toured with Musicians from Marlboro before co-founding the SLSQ. She has served on the jury of several international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and the Concours de Genève. Summer music festivals include Spoleto Festival USA, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Banff Festival, Festival of the Sound, Santa Fe Chamber Music, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Bravo Vail, Music@Menlo and more. Robertson plays on a viola (1992) made by fellow Canadian John Newton and a bow (2016) by Francois Malo.

Academic Appointments

  • Artist in Residence, Music

Administrative Appointments

  • St. Lawrence String Quartet, Viola, St. Lawrence String Quartet (1989 - Present)
  • Visiting Artist in Residence, Arizona State University -Tempe. School of Music (2017 - 2018)
  • Faculty of Music ,Visiting Artist in Residence, University of Toronto (1992 - Present)
  • Artist-in-Residence, Stanford University (1998 - Present)
  • Visiting Artist In Residence, Arizona State University -Tempe. School of Music (2004 - 2005)
  • Visiting Artist in Residence, Arizona State University -Tempe. School of Music (2007 - 2008)
  • Visiting Artist in Residence, Arizona State University -Tempe. School of Music (2011 - 2012)
  • Teaching, Hartt School of Music Music (Graduate String Quartet in Residence) (1990 - 1992)
  • Teaching, The Juilliard School (Graduate String Quartet in Residence) (1992 - 1994)
  • Teaching, Yale University (Graduate String Quartet in Residence) (1994 - 1996)
  • Teaching, The Curtis Institute (Masterclass) (2011 - 2011)
  • Teaching, The New World Symphony (2013 - 2013)

Honors & Awards

  • Grammy nomination, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) (2001)
  • Grammy nomination, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) (2006)
  • Juno Award, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) (1999)
  • German critic’s award, The German Record Critics' Association (2000)
  • Banff International String Quartet Competition – First Prize, The Banff Centre (1992)
  • Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition –Second Prize, Chamber Music Australia (1991)
  • Glory of Mozart Chamber Music Competition – Second Prize, Nicholas Goldschmidt (1991)
  • Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition First Prize, Eckhardt-Gramatté Committee (1988)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Juror, London International String Quartet Competition (2015 - 2015)
  • Juror, Banff International String Quartet Competition Centre (2007 - 2007)
  • Juror, Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (2011 - 2011)
  • Juror, Irving Klein International String Competition (2011 - 2011)
  • Juror, San Francisco Conservatory Concerto Competition (2012 - 2012)
  • Juror, Northern California Viola Association Competition (2013 - 2013)

Professional Education

  • Certificate, String Quartet The Yale School, Music (1996)
  • Certificate, String Quartet The Juilliard School (1994)
  • Certificate, String Quartet The Hartt School, Music (1992)
  • Diploma, Mount Royal College, Music (1983)
  • Bachelor of Music, The University of British Columbia, Music (1986)
  • Diploma, The Curtis Institute of Music, Music (1987)
  • Master, The Juilliard School, Music (1990)


  • SLSQ Chamber Music Seminar, Stanford University (6/15/1999 - Present)

    A 10-day intensive program on the Stanford campus designed for those with a serious ongoing interest in chamber music -- follows a rigorous schedule of study and performance in a uniquely supportive environment, blending advanced students destined for careers in performance with passionate adult musicians


    Stanford University Braun Music Center

  • Emerging String Quartet Program, Stanford University

    The ESQP is a workshop focused on community outreach for young professional musicians, in which emerging ensembles are invited to Stanford for a residency of one to two weeks. During the residency, the musicians receive coaching from the SLSQ and experience an intense schedule performing both on- and off- campus for a variety of schools, community groups and Silicon Valley businesses. The musicians, already highly accomplished presenters and performers, are provided rare opportunities to interact with the audiences to develop both their skills as performers and as community builders.


    Stanford University Braun Music Center

2023-24 Courses