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From their unforgettable collaboration with Meryl Streep to their monumental performances of the complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle, the Takács String Quartet are well known to Princeton audiences. They make their 21st appearance on the Princeton University Concerts series on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8PM in yet another novel way.

Live from Colorado and with a new violist in tow—Emmy Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Richard O’Neill—the quartet will launch Princeton University Concerts’ Watch Party series with a free, streamed concert featuring works by Mozart, Bartók, Debussy, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The streaming festivities will conclude with a Live Q&A in which listeners are invited to speak directly with members of the Takács String Quartet. To further enhance the Watch Party experience, Olsson’s Fine Foods is curating a special cheese platter “Sound Board” to complement the music, available for purchase and home delivery.

The concert stream will remain available for on-demand viewing until 11:59PM on Sunday, October 18. While this free virtual event is non-ticketed, attendees are encouraged to RSVP in advance at for access to special related content leading up to the stream, including a brief video introduction to the evening’s program given by Princeton University Professor Emeritus Scott Burnham who will include the fascinating history of Coleridge-Taylor’s background as a 20th-century English composer and activist of European and African descent.

“This will be a season opening unlike any other in the series’ 127-year-history,” says Princeton University Concerts Director Marna Seltzer. “While it is certainly disappointing to not be able to gather in person to hear the Takács Quartet perform, we are excited by the possibilities that a virtual concert can offer—especially the intimacy of experiencing the quartet in their hometown and the ability to interact with them directly through a Live Q&A. By conceiving this as a free Watch Party open to all, we hope that the community can come together once again in a festive, virtual way and celebrate the enduring power of music, especially during these difficult times.”

Princeton University Concerts’ Watch Party series will continue in November with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who made a splash performing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and his sister pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. Other planned virtual activity includes the continuation of the popular Collective Listening Project featuring weekly curated playlists, and the launch of a virtual Live Music Meditation series. More information is available at

The Takács Quartet, now entering its forty-sixth season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard O’Neill (viola) and András Fejér (cello) perform eighty concerts a year worldwide. Highlights of their planned 2020-2021 season include performances at New York’s White Light Festival, concerts with pianist Jeremy Denk at Stanford, Princeton, Ann Arbor, Boston and Lincoln Center, and performances in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Montreal, Vancouver, Cleveland, Portland and Seattle.
In 2014 the Takács became the first string quartet to be awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal. The Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognizes major international artists who have a strong association with the Hall. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. For their CDs on the Decca/London label, the Quartet has won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, three Japanese Record Academy Awards, Disc of the Year at the inaugural BBC Music Magazine Awards, and Ensemble Album of the Year at the Classical Brits.
The Takács Quartet performed Philip Roth’s Everyman program with Meryl Streep at Princeton in 2014, and again with her at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in 2015. The program was conceived in close collaboration with Philip Roth. The Quartet is known for such innovative programming. They first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman. 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. Aspects of the quartet’s interests and history are explored in Edward Dusinberre’s book, Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet, which takes the reader inside the life of a string quartet, melding music history and memoir as it explores the circumstances surrounding the composition of Beethoven’s quartets.
The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder. 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. Through the university, two of the quartet’s members benefit from the generous loan of instruments from the Drake Instrument Foundation.
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. In 2001 the members of the the Takács Quartet were awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March 2011 the Order of Merit Commander’s Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.

WHEN: Thursday, October 15, 2020 8PM-9PM.
The stream will be available for on-demand viewing through Sunday, October 18 at 11:59PM.
WHAT: A streamed watch party including performances of the works listed below and a post-concert live Q&A with the musicians.
MOZART Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K. 421 (1st movement)
SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Prelude and Humoresque from 5 Fantasiestüke for String Quartet, Op. 5 (1st & 3rd movements)
String Quartet No. 3 (intro & 4th movement)
String Quartet in G Minor (3rd & 4th movements)
WHERE: A virtual stream available at
TICKETS: FREE, non-ticketed. RSVPs recommended for special content leading up to the stream.
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