He will join the center right away in a consulting capacity, and will step into the full-time position in September 2006.
Shiffman co-founded the St. Lawrence Quartet in 1989. Since then the ensemble has become one of Canada's premiere chamber ensembles and has won such awards as a Juno, a Grammy nomination, and the German Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. The ensemble has been in residence at Stanford University since 1998.
Both Shiffman and the quartet are dedicated to performing works by living composers; Shiffman has been involved in over 150 premiere performances. With the quartet, he developed a collaboration with Pilobolus Dance Theatre and an outreach program at Stanford.
Geoff Nutall, the quartet's first violinist, said in a statement, "While one never likes to go through such dramatic change, I can think of no better fit than Barry moving on to our favorite place, the Banff Centre. Barry and I were inspired by our joint experiences at Banff to create the quartet, and the St. Lawrence will undoubtedly return to the Centre for more projects and collaborations."
Shiffman pronounced himself "overjoyed," and noted that "The spirit of support and respect given to artists at the [Banff Centre] is without equal anywhere I have seen."