Emerson String Quartet to Receive Honorary Doctorates from Juilliard

3 May 2024

The Julliard School has announced it will award honorary degrees to the Emerson String Quartet at their 119th commencement ceremony on the 24 May 2024 at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to classical music.

Julliard wrote:

“Together for 47 years, the Emerson String Quartet—Juilliard alumni Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer, and Lawrence Dutton;  David Finckel (faculty 2012-present), Emerson cellist from 1979 to 2013; and Paul Watkins, cellist for the quartet’s final decade—made more than 40 acclaimed recordings and was honored with nine Grammy Awards (including two for best classical album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s ensemble of the year award. As part of its larger mission to keep the string quartet form alive and relevant, the Emerson commissioned and premiered works from some of today’s most esteemed composers and partnered in performance with leading artists including Renée Fleming, Barbara Hannigan, Evgeny Kissin, Emanuel Ax, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yefim Bronfman, James Galway, Edgar Meyer, Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher, André Previn, Isaac Stern, and Oscar Shumsky, with whom Setzer and Drucker studied at Juilliard.

Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first violin position. In 2015, the group received Chamber Music America’s highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, in recognition of its lasting contribution to the field. In October 2023, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center honored the quartet with its Award for Extraordinary Service. For the past 22 years, the Emerson has been quartet in residence at Stony Brook University.”

Photo Credit: Jurgen Frank