The Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, violin; Philip Setzer, violin; Lawrence Dutton, viola; David Finckel, cello
Quartet-in-residence at Stony Brook University since 2002 and dubbed "America’s greatest quartet" by Time magazine, the Emerson String Quartet recently celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a nine-concert "Perspectives" series in Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, featuring a complete Beethoven quartet cycle in context with other works.
Since its inception 30 years ago at the Juilliard School, the Quartet has accrued a distinguished record of educational accomplishment, through teaching appointments at the Hartt School, the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops in New York and Israel, the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshops, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and now, this premier workshop in Stony Brook for serious pre-professional string quartets, inaugurated in 2004 and occurring biennially.
The Emerson String Quartet also coaches chamber music, gives master classes, provides instrumental instruction, and performs several concerts during the year at Stony Brook's Staller Center for the Arts. Established quartets who have trained with the Emerson Quartet include the Artemus, Avalon, Calder, Escher, Miró, Pacifica, St. Lawrence, and Ying Quartets.
Renowned for its insightful performances, dynamic artistry, and technical mastery, the Emerson String Quartet has amassed a remarkable list of accomplishments, including more than 30 recordings over 20 years on the exclusive Deutsche Grammophon label, eight Grammy Awards including two for Best Classical Album, three Gramophone Awards and sold-out performances including the complete cycles of Beethoven, Bartók and Shostakovich quartets in the musical capitals of the world. Lauded internationally as masters of traditional and contemporary repertoire, the group has collaborated for three decades with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Barbara Bonney, Yefim Bronfman, Misha Dichter, Leon Fleisher, the Guarneri String Quartet, Thomas Hampson, Lynn Harrell, Barbara Hendricks, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Paul McCartney, Menahem Pressler, David Shifrin, Richard Stoltzman, and the late Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, and Oscar Shumsky.
The 2007-2008 season comprises over 80 worldwide engagements, with a particular focus on Europe. The quartet will appear at the festivals of Gstaad, Salzburg, Schwarzenberg, Merano, Ascona, Copenhagen, Cologne, and Stockholm, returning to Europe throughout the season for a three-concert series at London's Wigmore Hall, another three-concert series at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, a two-concert series at Vienna's Konzerthaus, its first appearance at Cité de la Musique in Paris and a pair of concerts at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, with additional concerts in Spain, Austria, France, the UK, Germany and Italy.
The quartet's North American tours include stops in San Francisco, Stanford, Portland, Dallas, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver, Scottsdale, Savannah, and Houston. The Emerson continues its residency at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, now in its 28th sold-out season, and appears in New York with cellist Colin Carr, pianist Gilbert Kalish, violist Paul Neubauer, and clarinetist David Shifrin for Lincoln Center's Great Performers and with pianist Yefim Bronfman at Carnegie Hall.
The Emerson's artistic activity has also included such recent initiatives as The Noise of Time, a ground-breaking theater collaboration with Simon McBurney’s Complicité based on Shostakovich’s 15th Quartet, and the launch of their own ESQ podcasts.