Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Friday, December 4, 2015, 8pm — NEC’s Jordan Hall
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present Takács Quartet on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 8pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA. The program will feature the Boston debut of Strong Language, a new piece written for the Quartet by composer Timo Andres.
Tickets start at $35, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Jordan Hall Box Office. Sponsored by Tufts Health Plan. An Aaron Richmond Recital endowed by Nancy Richmond Winsten and the late Dr. Joseph Winsten. Media partner is 99.5 WCRB.
This performance marks Takács Quartet’s 10th appearance with Celebrity Series; the most recent was in 2014.
Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. The December performance features the new piece by composer Timo Andres, Strong Language, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Shriver Hall for the Quartet and making its Boston premiere. The piece features three movements, “Middens,” starting with a simple, undulating melody; “Origin Story” venturing outward from a static d-minor triad with a musical sequence that shrinks with each playing; and “Gentle Cycling,” reversing the process of “Middens” with a viola and cello duet.
In addition to their annual Wigmore Hall series in London, where the quartet are Associate Artists, other European engagements in 2015-2016 include performances in Oslo, Amsterdam, Budapest, Hamburg, Hannover, Brussels, Bilbao and a concert at the Schubertiade in Hohenems, Austria. The Takács Quartet performs Philip Roth’s “Everyman” program with Meryl Streep at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in October 2015, a program that they previously played with Ms. Streep at Princeton in 2014. The program was conceived in close collaboration with Philip Roth and first performed at Carnegie Hall with Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2007. They have toured 14 cities with the poet Robert Pinsky, collaborate regularly with the Hungarian Folk group Muzsikas, and in 2010 they collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven’s last quartets.
During the 2016-2017 season, the ensemble will perform complete 6-concert Beethoven quartet cycles at Wigmore Hall, Princeton, the University of Michigan, and at UC Berkeley. In advance of these cycles Takács first violinist Edward Dusinberre’s book, Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet, will be published by Faber and Faber in January 2016.
The Takács became the first string quartet to win the Wigmore Hall Medal in May, 2014, which recognizes major international artists who have a strong association with the Hall. Recipients so far include Andras Schiff, Thomas Quasthoff, Menachem Pressler and Dame Felicity Lott. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.
The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder, where they have been in residence for 32 years. The Quartet has helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. The Quartet’s commitment to teaching is enhanced by summer residencies at the Aspen Festival and at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara. The members of the Takács are Visiting Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
The Quartet’s award-winning recordings include the complete Beethoven Cycle on the Decca label. In 2005 the Late Beethoven Quartets won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award, Album of the Year at the Brit Awards and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy.
In 2006 the Takács Quartet made their first recording for Hyperion Records, of Schubert’s D804 and D810. Subsequent recordings for Hyperion include Brahms’ Piano Quintet with Stephen Hough (Grammy nomination), Brahms’ Quartets Op. 51 and Op. 67, Schumann’s Piano Quintet with Marc-Andre Hamelin, the complete Haydn “Apponyi” Quartets, Op. 71 and 74 and the Schubert Quintet D956 with Ralph Kirshbaum. The three Britten Quartets were released in 2013, followed by the Brahms Viola Quintets with Lawrence Power, viola, and the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with Mr. Hamelin. Upcoming Hyperion recordings include the two Janáček Quartets and Smetana’s “From My Life”, the Debussy Quartet and the Franck Piano Quintet, again with Marc-Andre Hamelin, the Dvorak Op. 105 Quartet and his Viola Quintet Op. 97 with Lawrence Power, viola.
The Quartet has also made 16 recordings for the Decca label of works by Beethoven, Bartók, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvořák, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. The ensemble’s recording of the six Bartók String Quartets received the 1998 Gramophone Award for chamber music and in 1999 was nominated for a Grammy.
The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982.
Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the Quartet in 1993 and violist Roger Tapping in 1995. Violist Geraldine Walther replaced Mr. Tapping in 2005. In 2001 the Takács Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March of 2011 each member of the Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit Commander’s Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.
HAYDN: Quartet in C Major, Opus 74, no.1
TIMO ANDRES: Strong Language (Boston Premiere)
DVOŘÁK: String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Opus 105
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 77-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 77 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, Leslie & Howard Appleby, The Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, EMC, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, The Royal Little Family Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, Stewart Myers, the National Endowment for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation, The D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.