Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, violin Philip Setzer, violin Lawrence Dutton, viola Paul Watkins, cello

Friday, April 14, 2023 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

This is your chance to catch one of the world’s great musical ensembles on its final tour. The Emerson String Quartet has maintained its place as a universally acclaimed and unflaggingly popular quartet for more than 40 years. In addition to definitive interpretations, these four artists infuse their performances with emotional impact and personality. “With musicians like this, there must be some hope for humanity” (The Times of London).


PURCELL (arr. BRITTEN): Chacony in G Minor
HAYDN: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 33, No. 5, Hob. III: 41
MOZART: String Quartet in D Minor, K. 421
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2


DVOŘÁK: Cypresses, B. 152—7. Andante con moto

Performance Sponsors

Bruce and Carolyn Lowenthal, Sponsors

Artist Information

Performer Biography

The Emerson String Quartet will have its final season of concerts in 2022–23, disbanding after more than four decades as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles. The Quartet has made more than 30 acclaimed recordings, and has been honored with nine Grammys®, three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” award. As part of their larger mission to keep the string quartet form alive and relevant, they have commissioned and premiered works from some of today’s most esteemed composers.

In its final season, the Quartet will give farewell performances worldwide including San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, Vienna’s Musikverein, Prague’s Rudolfinum, London’s Southbank Centre, and more, before coming home to New York City for its final series with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, in a trio of programs entitled Emerson Dimensions where the Quartet will perform some of its most storied repertoire. They will give several performances of André Previn’s Penelope with Renée Fleming and Uma Thurman, including at the Los Angeles Opera, and they will appear at Carnegie Hall with Evgeny Kissin to perform the Dvořák Quintet. Their final performance will take place in October 2023 in New York City and will be filmed for a planned documentary by filmmaker Tristan Cook.

The Quartet’s extensive discography includes the complete string quartets of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bartók, Webern, and Shostakovich, as well as multi-CD sets of the major works of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Dvořák. In its final season, the Quartet will record Schoenberg’s Second Quartet with Barbara Hannigan for release in 2023, with the sessions video documented by Mathieu Amalric for a short film. Deutsche Grammophon will also reissue its box set of the Emerson Complete Recordings on the label, with two new additions.

Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternate in the first violin position. The Quartet, which takes its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, balances busy performing careers with a commitment to teaching, and serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. In 2013, cellist Paul Watkins—a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician—joined the original members of the Quartet to form today’s group.

In January of 2015, the Quartet received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field.

Artist Video

Emerson String Quartet performs Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110