Performance Monday, January 7, 2013 | 8 PM

Emerson String Quartet
Yefim Bronfman

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Please note that this performance by the Emerson String Quartet with pianist Yefim Bronfman was originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 6 and was postponed due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Sandy. Tickets for the November 6 performance will be honored for this concert.

After 35 years together, the Emerson String Quartet keeps getting better. In 2008, it was a special guest on a program led by Yefim Bronfman, joining the pianist for a “precise, searing” account of Shostakovich; on this program, they team up for Brahms’s Piano Quintet, a work filled with youthful volatility.


  • Emerson String Quartet
    ·· Eugene Drucker, Violin
    ·· Philip Setzer, Violin
    ·· Lawrence Dutton, Viola
    ·· David Finckel, Cello
  • Yefim Bronfman, Piano
  • Paul Neubauer, Viola
  • Colin Carr, Cello


  • String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2
  • String Sextet in G Major, Op. 36
  • Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34



    Emerson String Quartet

    The Emerson String Quartet stands alone in the history of string quartets with an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than 30 acclaimed recordings since 1987; nine Grammy Awards (including two for Best Classical Album-an unprecedented honor for a chamber music group); three Gramophone Awards; and cycles of the complete Beethoven, Bartók, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich string quartets in the world's musical capitals. The quartet has collaborated in concerts and on recordings with some of the greatest artists of our time. In 2000, the Emerson was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America and in March 2004 became the 18th recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize.

    In March 2011, Sony Classical announced an exclusive agreement with the Emerson String Quartet. The quartet's debut album for the label was released in October 2011 to coincide with a series of concerts at Wigmore Hall in London and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. In June 2012, the Emerson embarked on its first tour of China, which included sold-out performances in Shenzhen, Tianjin, and Beijing. In 2012-2013, its 36th season as an ensemble, the Emerson performs extensively throughout North America. Its European itinerary includes Paris, Moscow, Salzburg, Vienna, Copenhagen, Munich, Perugia, and London. The Emerson continues its series at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, for its 33rd season. An album of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht is slated for release by Sony in March 2013.

    Of the multiple highlights and extraordinary projects accredited to the Emerson String Quartet, several milestone achievements stand out. In both 1981 and 1988, the quartet attracted national attention with the presentation of the six Bartók quartets in a single evening, first at Lincoln Center and later for its Carnegie Hall debut. The Emerson's recording of the cycle received the 1989 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Chamber Music Performance, and Gramophone magazine's 1989 Record of the Year Award-the first time in the history of each award that a chamber music ensemble had ever received the top prize.

    In March 1997, the quartet released a seven-disc set of the complete Beethoven quartets and presented a sold-out series of performances over two seasons at Lincoln Center entitled Beethoven and the Twentieth Century. The Beethoven recording earned a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Album.

    In 2000, the Emerson performed the complete Shostakovich quartets at Lincoln Center and in London, in a cycle divided between Wigmore Hall and the Barbican. Each series culminated with The Noise of Time, a theatrical presentation directed by Simon McBurney that featured the Emerson and Complicité, Mr. McBurney's theater company. Since 2001, The Noise of Time has been repeated in Los Angeles, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, and Moscow. The five-disc set won the 2000 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Chamber Music Performance, as well as Gramophone magazine's Best Chamber Music Performance Award for 2000. In 2008, New York magazine named The Noise of Time one of the most important contributions to the arts in New York since the inception of the magazine.

    In 2007, the quartet celebrated 30 years of activity and 20 years as exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artists with a historic nine-concert Perspectives series in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, titled Beethoven in Context. The series, which spanned three centuries of repertoire, received an overwhelming response and nine outstanding reviews in The New York Times.

    Since 2002, the Emerson has been Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. Prior to that time, they were affiliated for 20 years with the Hartt School of Music.

    Formed in the bicentennial year of the United States, the Emerson String Quartet took its name from the great American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. The founding members of the Emerson, violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, were joined by violist Lawrence Dutton in 1977 and cellist David Finckel in 1979. To commemorate its 25th-anniversary season, the quartet compiled a commemorative book entitled Converging Lines. Written in the members' own words, the book contains never-before-published text, graphics, and photos from the Emerson's private archives.

    The quartet is based in New York City. The ensemble recently announced what will be its first member change in 34 years, when cellist Paul Watkins replaces David Finckel at the end of the 2012-2013 concert season. Mr. Finckel will leave the group to devote more time to his personal artistic endeavors. To mark Mr. Finckel's departure from and Mr. Watkins's debut with the Emerson String Quartet, all five gentlemen will perform together for the first time at the Smithsonian on May 11, 2013.

    More Info

  • Yefim Bronfman

    Yefim Bronfman is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his prestigious orchestral engagements, or his rapidly growing catalogue of recordings.

    Mr. Bronfman's 2012-2013 season begins with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin, Salzburg, and the London Proms, followed by performances with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich with David Zinman and London's Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Tugan Sokhiev. A yearlong residency with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and longtime collaborator Mariss Jansons begins in the fall, encompassing orchestral and chamber music in a broad range of repertoire. A return to Salzburg's Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann is planned for the spring, followed by appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas in Vienna and London, subscription concerts in Spain and Germany, and a spring tour with Ensemble Wien-Berlin.

    In North America, Mr. Bronfman performs with the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall conducted by Fabio Luisi, and returns to the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Dallas, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Montreal, where he is a beloved regular. In collaboration with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozená, he will make a short winter tour that includes a performance at Carnegie Hall. In solo recital, he can be heard in Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, and Atlanta, as well as in Paris, Berlin, and Lisbon.

    Widely praised for his solo, chamber, and orchestral recordings, Mr. Bronfman was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for his recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto with the composer conducting, released on Deutsche Grammophon; in addition, he won a Grammy Award in 1997 for his recording of the three Bartók concertos with Mr. Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union in 1958, Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the US, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro, and the Curtis Institute, and with Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. He became an American citizen in July 1989.


    More Info


    Paul Neubauer

    Paul Neubauer's exceptional musicality and effortless playing distinguish him as one of this generation's quintessential artists. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he is the chamber music director of the OK Mozart Festival in Oklahoma and the Chamber Music Extravaganza in Curaçao. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of a new viola concerto by Aaron Jay Kernis with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Roberto Abbado, as well as performances in California, Arizona, Vermont, Virginia, and Massachusetts as part of a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.

    A two-time Grammy nominee, Mr. Neubauer has recorded works by Schumann with Ms. McDermott, as well as numerous pieces that were composed for him, including Joan Tower's Purple Rhapsody for viola and orchestra and Wild Purple for solo viola; Viola Rhapsody, a concerto by Henri Lazarof; and Derek Bermel's Soul Garden for viola and chamber ensemble.

    Mr. Neubauer's recording of the Walton Viola Concerto was recently re-released on Decca. He has appeared as soloist with more than 100 orchestras that include the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; St. Louis and San Francisco symphonies; National, Detroit, Dallas, and Bournemouth symphony orchestras; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; English Chamber Orchestra; and Beethovenhalle Bonn.

    Mr. Neubauer gave the world premiere of the revised Bartók Viola Concerto, as well as concertos by Penderecki, Picker, Jacob, Lazarof, Suter, Müller-Siemens, Ott, and Friedman. He has performed at the Verbier, Ravinia, Stavanger, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, and Marlboro festivals. He was an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the first prizewinner of the Whitaker, D'Angelo, and Lionel Tertis international competitions; in addition, he has been featured in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. Mr. Neubauer is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Mannes College The New School for Music, and is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

    More Info


    Colin Carr

    Colin Carr appears throughout the world as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras that include the Royal Concertgebouw, Philharmonia, and Royal Philharmonic orchestras; the BBC Symphony; and the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, and Montreal, as well as major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. He has performed under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Stanis?aw Skrowaczewski, and Sir Neville Marriner; has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms; and has recently played concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Hallé Orchestra.

    Mr. Carr has performed works for cello and piano with his duo partner Thomas Sauer throughout the US, England, Germany, and France, at venues that include the Concertgebouw, Philadelphia's Chamber Music Society, and London's Wigmore Hall. He has also played several cycles of Bach's Solo Suites at Wigmore Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Gardner Museum in Boston, as well as in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

    For 20 years he was a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, and has appeared often as a guest with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets. In 2012, he recorded the string sextets of Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky with the Emerson String Quartet and Paul Neubauer.

    Mr. Carr received first prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, and second prize in the Rostropovich Cello Competition. He was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston for 16 years. In 1998, St. John's College, Oxford, created the post of Musician in Residence for him. In September 2002, he became a professor at Stony Brook University in New York. Mr. Carr's cello was made by Matteo Goffriller in Venice in 1730.

    More Info


Brahms's String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2 (Allegro non assai)
Emerson String Quartet
Deutsche Grammophon