Media Release 23 October 2014
9-time Grammy winners EMERSON STRING QUARTET to perform at the National Concert Hall in International Concert Series 2014/2015"The Emerson String Quartet . . . has an easy virtuosity, precise sense of ensemble, rhythmic vigor, and rich polished tone." —Washington Post
On Monday 17 November 2014, the National Concert Hall welcomes one of the most consistently exciting chamber ensembles of our time – The Emerson String Quartet - to perform works by Haydn, Ravel and Beethoven as part of the International Concert Series 2014/2015.
Towering over American chamber music this renowned chamber ensemble can boast more than 30 acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year’ and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. In short, The Emerson String Quartet stands apart in the history of string quartets with an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades.
Simon Taylor, CEO of the National Concert Hall said: ‘The Emerson is one of the great string quartets performing today. Following its first appearance in Ireland two years ago with Sir James Galway it is a great pleasure to be welcoming it back to the National Concert Hall, particularly with such an outstanding programme of Haydn, Ravel and one Beethoven’s late masterpieces, an apex not just of the chamber music repertoire but of all musical history.’
For their welcome return to Dublin, the Emerson String Quartet, made up of violinists, Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, and violist Lawrence Dutton will be joined by current cellist Paul Watkins who joined the ensemble in its 37th season, succeeding David Finckel.
His arrival has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. The reconfigured group has been greeted with impressive accolades. “One of the characteristics of the Emerson Quartet is that its players (the violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer and the violist Lawrence Dutton in addition, now, to Mr. Watkins) all have the ability and the instruments to produce a sweet and glossy sound — but do so sparingly. Instead, they establish a chromatic scale of timbres that range from dry and tart over clean and zesty all the way to lustrous and singing. Listening to them pass tiny rhythmic motifs around the group, I was struck by how evenly calibrated these timbres were.” The New York Times
Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets formed with two violinists alternating in the first chair position. In 2002, the Quartet began to stand for most of its concerts, with the cellist seated on a riser. The Emerson Quartet took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. In January of 2015, the Quartet will receive the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honour, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field. Previous recipients of this award include Rudolf Serkin, Felix Galimir, Josef Gingold, Chick Corea, Dr. Billy Taylor, the Guarneri String Quartet, Ruth Felt, Judith Sherman, Marian McPartland, and the American Brass Quintet
The International Concert Series at the National Concert Hall is supported by The Irish Times as print media partner.
The Emerson String Quartet demonstrates in words and music their unique democratic nature in how they develop programs, rehearse and explore options for interpretation. They also demonstrate a clear love for ensemble playing and the value each member brings to the music and the group. In the end, they all agree: "The music is the boss."
EMERSON STRING QUARTET AT THE NATIONAL CONCERT HALL
17 NOVEMBER 2014, 8PM
Haydn String Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 33 “The Joke”
Ravel String Quartet in F major
Beethoven String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat major, Op.130 with Grosse Fugue Op. 133
Tickets: €30, €40, €45, €50 (Choir Balcony €25)
National Concert Hall Box Office Tel: 01 417 00 00 or www.nch.ie
For further information please contact Sinead Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager, The National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 417 0057/ 087 1775334