Martin Beaver (born 10 November 1967) is a Canadian violinist best known as first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet. Beaver joined the Tokyo String Quartet as its first violinist in 2002 and remained until they disbanded in 2013. As a part of the Tokyo String Quartet, he played the Paganini-Comte Cozio di Salabue violin (circa 1727) on loan from the Nippon Foundation, part of the Paganini Quartet collection of instruments made by Antonio Stradivari. Beaver is known for his technical agility, versatility, warm tone, and prodigious memory for the violin repertoire. He currently performs on a violin made by the luthier Nicola Bergonzi. Now on faculty at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, he remains active in both chamber music and as a soloist, and established the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Clive Greensmith.
Martin Beaver was born in Winnipeg, and raised in Hamilton, Canada. His early violin teachers include Claude Letourneau and Carlisle Wilson. Subsequently, he studied violin with Victor Danchenko at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Henryk Szeryng at the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, and Josef Gingold at Indiana University.
- Sanford Medal from Yale University 2013
- Canada Council's Virginia P. Moore Award for most promising young Canadian classical artist in 1993
- Top prizes at the 1990 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the 1991 Montreal International Music Competition, and 1993 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium
Beaver has previously taught at The Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of British Columbia, Hillfield Strathallan College the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University, the Steinhardt School of New York University, and has been the Artist in Residence at the Yale School of Music. As of Fall 2013, Beaver joined the faculty at The Colburn School as co-director of the String Chamber Music Studies Program and Professor of violin.
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