Emerson String Quartet

Chamber Music and Orchestras

Eugene Drucker (Violin); Philip Setzer (Violin); Lawrence Dutton (Viola); Paul Watkins (Cello)

Biography

The Emerson String Quartet has maintained its stature as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles for more than four decades. The quartet has made more than 30 acclaimed recordings, and has been honored with nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year”. The Emerson frequently collaborates with some of today’s most esteemed composers to premiere new works, keeping the string quartet art form alive and relevant. They have partnered in performance with stellar soloists including Reneé Fleming, Barbara Hannigan, Evgeny Kissin, Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, to name a few.

During the 2018-2019 season the Emerson continues to perform as the quartet in residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for its 40th season and returns to perform with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The group’s North American appearances include a performance at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, and appears around North America that include the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Denver, Vancouver, Seattle, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit, the Yale School of Music and University of Georgia, among others. The quartet also embarks on two European tours, performing in major venues in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. During the summer of 2019, the Emerson will perform at Tanglewood, Ravinia, and the Aspen Music Festivals.

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Recent News

Emerson String Quartet Begin Six-Date European City Tour

The Emerson String Quartet have begun a six-date European city tour. The nine-time Grammy Award winning ensemble begin their tour today at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, before visiting concert halls in London (8th), Dortmund (11th), Alicante (13th) and Lille...

Reviews

“Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: The “old” Emerson String Quartet never phoned one in. But this new group — Mr. Watkins alongside the violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, and the violist Lawrence Dutton — complemented their customary power, finesse and unanimity with a fresh, palpable vigor at Tully, and it was electrifying.”

The New York Times

“This performance was everything that a string quartet should be – an intelligent conversation between four distinct characters.”

Bachtrack

More Reviews

“From the start the most enduring attribute has been the sheer technical excellence of the quartet’s playing. For precision and unanimity it is second to none… [They] performed with every ounce of the taut, incisive grip that is the mark of the Emerson String Quartet at its best … so perfectly in tune that it was almost uncanny. Forty years on, the Emerson String Quartet remains at the top of its game.”

Financial Times

“Emerson String Quartet, with its “new-ish” cellist, Paul Watkins, … was in a league apart. The sheer quality of ensemble playing from the Emersons, with Watkins seamlessly integrated into the group, while retaining his characterful playing style and profile, was almost miraculous to hear… It’s almost as though the group liberates the truth of the music from the score.”

Herald Scotland

“Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: The “old” Emerson String Quartet never phoned one in. But this new group — Mr. Watkins alongside the violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, and the violist Lawrence Dutton — complemented their customary power, finesse and unanimity with a fresh, palpable vigor at Tully, and it was electrifying.”

The New York Times

“This performance was everything that a string quartet should be – an intelligent conversation between four distinct characters.”

Bachtrack