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 amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over four decades: more than thirty 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.

The arrival of Paul Watkins in 2013 has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the ensemble in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the Quartet with a warm, rich tone and a palpable joy in the collaborative process. The reconfigured group has been praised by critics and fans alike around the world. “The Emerson brought the requisite virtuosity to every phrase. But this music is equally demanding emotionally and intellectually, and the group’s powers of concentration and sustained intensity were at least as impressive.” The New York Times

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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

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