Grammy-nominated string quartet to play in Port Townsend

Posted 4/5/23

Four world-class string musicians gracing a local, Port Townsend stage.

Does it get any better than that?

The Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet is headed to the Quimper Peninsula with an April …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Grammy-nominated string quartet to play in Port Townsend


Four world-class string musicians gracing a local, Port Townsend stage.

Does it get any better than that?

The Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet is headed to the Quimper Peninsula with an April concert at Fort Worden’s Wheeler Theater as part of Centrum’s Chamber Music Series.

Set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, the quartet will play a selection of classical string tunes including Quartet for Strings by Amy Beach, String Quartet No. 1 by George Walker, and Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major by Antonin Dvorák.

Camden Shaw, the Dover Quartet cellist and one of four founding members, recalled the group’s formation and the long path to success.


For Shaw, learning the cello came at a young age as he learned the ropes within his musical family.

“I started playing cello when my family wanted to play as a string quartet,” he said. “It worked out well, and I was very happy to play cello.”

“I had no choice in the matter,” he joked.

The young virtuoso only continued to improve, eventually attending one of America’s most prestigious musical establishments: the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

First meeting in the Curtis Institute as students, the Dover Quartet was formed in 2008 after founding members and violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee were in need of a violist and cellist.

“Their lower strings [players] ended up graduating, and they were left bottomless,” Shaw said.

With Shaw and violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt joining the crew, the quartet’s sound was truly captivating and immediate.

“It was sort of instantly a different level than any of us had experienced before,” Shaw said.

The rest is history, as the talented foursome released three albums, received a Grammy nomination in 2019, and earned high praise from the likes of the Chicago Tribune, Strings Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and others.

The group even had a full-length documentary, “Strings Attached,” released in 2020 by director Bruce Broder. The film followed the quartet on and off the stage.

“It was a strange experience for sure and I’m really glad we did it,” Shaw said. “After a certain number of years, I’ll be grateful to have that period of life captured on film.”


Between dive bars, packed clubs, and Carnegie Hall, the Dover Quartet has seen it all. But Shaw is especially excited to perform on the Quimper Peninsula.

“We loved playing there last summer. It’s a place, personally with me, that goes way back,” Shaw said. “My sister lives there, and I come from a sailing family … I always feel very very happy and at home when I’m there.”

Beyond the venue and getting to tour the town, Shaw expressed admiration for the wide range of artists in all types of lanes.

“The amount of artists and people so passionate about life, the appreciation for art is really high and that means a lot,” he said.

“And I’m looking forward to a beer at Pourhouse,” he added.


As someone who’s performed in more venues than he can count, Shaw shared some of his most memorable musical settings.

“Some of my favorite experiences have been in places that are really different,” he said.

Recalling a unique outdoor concert in a garden, Shaw discussed a perfectly timed moment as Mother Nature acted as the band’s honorary fifth member.

“There was a magical moment, during a ghostly moment in a piece we were playing, this icy wind blew by with the elements combining,” he said.

Beyond the noteworthy, smaller venues he’s graced, there’s nothing quite like playing in Carnegie Hall.

Like a football player competing in the Super Bowl or an actor attending the Oscars, Shaw felt the significance and history of the venue while playing there.

“Carnegie Hall, a place like that has a sense of importance and a responsibility to the history of it and the power it holds,” he said. “It brings a lot out of you in a different way.”


Following a decade or so of success, the quartet players have found a way to return to their roots and share sage advise, tips, and know-how for young virtuosos at the Curtis Institute. In 2020, the quartet was appointed to the faculty of the institute as an ensemble-in-residence.

“It is such an honor, truly, and one of my favorite things we’re doing now is working with young musicians there,” Shaw said. “It’s such a privilege.”

To learn more about the Dover Quartet, visit

Tickets are $40 and $45, and it is free to attend for youth below the age of 18. To purchase tickets, go to

The Centrum Chamber Music Series continues through the summer. To learn more, go to