Praised by Strad magazine as having “lyricism that stood out…a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines,” violist MILENA PAJARO-VAN DE STADT has established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed in recitals and chamber-music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, which was described in Strad as being “fleet and energetic…powerful and focused”.
Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt was the founding violist of the Dover Quartet, and played in the group from 2008-2022. During her time in the group, the Dover Quartet was the First Prize-winner and recipient of every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2013, and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Her numerous awards also include First Prize of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the the Sphinx Competition and the Tokyo International Viola Competition. While in the Dover Quartet, Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt was on the faculty at The Curtis Institute of Music and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and a part of the Quartet in Residence of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the newly formed piano quartet, “Espressivo!” alongside esteemed colleagues Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, and Anna Polonsky.
A violin student of Sergiu Schwartz and Melissa Pierson-Barrett for several years, she began studying viola with Michael Klotz at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2005. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Roberto Diaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She then received her Master’s Degree in String Quartet with the Dover Quartet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, as a student of James Dunham.