Nancy Oliveros is the founding second violinist of the celebrated Artaria String Quartet, with whom she concertizes, records, and teaches the art of chamber music. Artaria, winner in 2004 of a coveted McKnight Foundation Artist Award, is the recipient of numerous grant awards by the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and Midori in support of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation in individual and community education. In Minnesota, Artaria is known as its “foremost teaching and performing string quartet”, serves as Minnesota Public Radio’s Artists-In-Residence, and has been featured on Twin Cities Public Television as a “Minnesota Original”.
As a member of Artaria, Oliveros has performed to critical acclaim at many renowned halls and concert series in the United States and abroad including the Schubert Club in Saint Paul, Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Dame Myra Hess in Chicago, Alexander Schneider Concerts in New York City, Festival L’Epau in France, and the Banff Center in Canada. She has had the privilege of collaborating with such eminent quartet players as Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri), Raphael Hillyer (Juilliard), and Paul Katz (Cleveland), and was mentored by the beloved Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet, Walter Levine of the La Salle, and Alexander Schneider of the Budapest Quartet. She records for Centaur records with the Artaria String Quartet and with her long time piano collaborator, Mary Ellen Haupert.
Oliveros earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance at the Florida State University serving as a teaching assistant and student of Karen Clarke, Ruth Posselt, and Gerardo Ribeiro. At Boston University, she was an assistant to legendary violinist Roman Totenberg and served as concertmaster of the orchestras while on a post-graduate fellowship. Her students are national prizewinners, perform on National Public Radio’s celebrated “From the Top”, and enjoy careers as professional chamber musicians in notable ensembles. Oliveros gratefully owns and plays on a beautiful Neapolitan violin by Tomaso Eberle, made in 1781. She is married to Artaria’s founding first violinist, Ray Shows, with whom she has two wonderful sons.