Praised as “dazzling” (The New York Times), “expert and versatile” (The New Yorker), and “a fearless and inquisitive violinist” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Owen Dalby leads a rich musical life as a soloist, chamber musician, new and early music expert, orchestral concertmaster, and educator. As a member of the St Lawrence String Quartet, Owen is Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University. With the SLSQ, recent and upcoming projects include tours of all the major chamber series in North America and Europe, as well as solo debuts with the LA Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the NHK Philharmonic (Tokyo) in John Adams’s Absolute Jest for string quartet and orchestra. As one of today’s most active classical ensembles , Owen performs with the SLSQ around 75 concerts each year and is spearheading a major new release of Haydn string quartets (Opus 20) on vinyl LP, CD, streaming, and HD video.
Prior to joining the SLSQ , Owen lived for a decade in New York City where he was a co-founder of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and was also the concertmaster of Novus NY, the contemporary music orchestra of Trinity Wall Street. He made his Lincoln Center debut in 2010 with Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and that same year gave the world premiere of Look Around You, a one-man double concerto by Timo Andres for solo violin and viola, with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
In 2010 he completed a three-year tenure with Ensemble Connect (formerly known as Ensemble ACJW), a fellowship of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School that seeks to link a performer's life with advanced training in education and community engagement. In addition to co-directing the chamber music program and maintaining a violin studio at Stanford, Owen has taught music to students of the Choir Academy of Harlem, PS 14Q in Queens, and PS 112 in Brooklyn, and in masterclasses in Mexico, Iceland, at Princeton University, Skidmore College, and the University of South Carolina, among many other places.
Owen is regularly invited to perform chamber music at festivals from Hamburg to Honolulu, and from Iceland to Mumbai. His many chamber music collaborators have included Stephen Prutmsan, Inon Barnatan, the Danish String Quartet, Daniel Hope, Christian Tetzlaff, Dawn Upshaw, the Persian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, and Simon Rattle.
Owen received early training with Anne Crowden at the Crowden School and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University where he studied with Syoko Aki. With his wife, violist Meena Bhasin, Owen is co-Artistic Director of Noe Valley Chamber Music, a neighborhood series in San Francisco, where they make their home with their baby daughter, Leila.
Owen performs on the “Fetzer” Stradivarius made in Cremona in 1694 and a Sam Zygmuntowicz violin made in Brooklyn in 2006, both on generous extended loan.