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As part of Princeton University Concerts’ 125th anniversary season, the audience favorite Takács String Quartet will make their 20th appearance on the series. On Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 8PM in Richardson Auditorium (Alexander Hall), the ensemble—with new second violinist Harumi Rhodes—will be joined by pianist Marc-André Hamelin and bassist John Feeney to perform Franz Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet for Piano and Strings in A Major, D. 667. This work was selected by audience members as one of their “favorite pieces of chamber music” in PUC’s audience survey last season. Also on the program: Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1 and Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83. At 7PM, Princeton Emeritus Professor Scott Burnham will offer a program-illuminating talk. This pre-concert event is free to all ticket-holders.


Tickets are $10-$55, available online at princetonuniversityconcerts.org, by phone at 609-258-9220, or in person two hours prior to the concert at the Richardson Auditorium Box Office.


The Takács Quartet are beloved members of the Princeton University Concerts family, and integral to the series’ 125th anniversary celebration. As the only artists to appear twice in the 2018-19 season, they launched this season’s “Performances Up Close” series in October with an unforgettable performance of Schubert’s String Quintet. Princeton University Concerts audiences got to know the quartet members very well when the ensemble came several times throughout the 2016-17 season to present Beethoven’s complete string quartets, and it is a thrill to have them back alongside fellow Princeton University Concerts veteran pianist Marc-André Hamelin.



The Takács Quartet, now in its forty-fourth season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. The New York Times recently lauded the ensemble for “revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more,” and the Financial Times described a recent concert at the Wigmore Hall: “Even in the most fiendish repertoire these players show no fear, injecting the music with a heady sense of freedom. At the same time, though, there is an uncompromising attention to detail: neither a note nor a bow-hair is out of place.” Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, Edward DusinberreHarumi Rhodes (violins), Geraldine Walther (viola) and András Fejér (cello) perform eighty concerts a year worldwide.


In 2014 the Takács became the first string quartet to win the Wigmore Hall Medal. The Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognizes major international artists who have a strong association with the Hall. Recipients so far include pianist Andras Schiff, singer Thomas Quasthoff, pianist Menahem Pressler and singer 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 violinist Jascha Heifetz, conductor Leonard Bernstein and singer Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. The Takács records for Hyperion Records, and 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 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 members of the Takács are on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where they run an intensive summer string quartet seminar, and Visiting Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music.




Pianist Marc-André Hamelin is known worldwide for his unrivalled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc. He was a distinguished member of the jury of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2017 where each of the 30 competitors performed Hamelin’s Toccata on L’Homme armé which marked the first time the composer of the commissioned work was also a member of the jury. Although primarily a performer, Mr. Hamelin has composed music throughout his career; the majority of his works are published by Edition Peters.


He was honored with the 2014 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of Year (Piano) and Disc of the Year by Diapason Magazine and Classica Magazine for his three-disc set of Busoni: Late Piano Music and an album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critics’ Association. Mr. Hamelin makes his home in the Boston area with his wife, Cathy Fuller. Born in Montreal, Marc-André Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critic’s Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.



John Feeney, principal double bass of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the American Classical Orchestra, also appears as principal with Sinfonia New York and Opera Lafayette. A chamber musician and soloist of international renown, he is a frequent guest with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Four Nations ensemble and Artek. He won first prize in the Concert Artists Guild and Zimmerman-Mingus International Competitions and was a medalist-prizewinner in the Geneva and Isle of Man Competitions. His 2010 world premiere performance of Dragonetti’s Concerto in D with the American Classical Orchestra was hailed by The New York Times: “a skilled, passionate performance……played with flair.”  In 2009 he founded the DNA Quintet, recording and publishing the premieres of chamber music by Domenico Dragonetti.






WHEN: Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 8PM, Pre-concert talk by Professor Scott Burnham at 7pm
WHAT: HAYDN: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1, Hob.III:75

SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83

SCHUBERT: Quintet for Piano and Strings in A Major, D. 667 “Trout”

WHERE: Princeton University Concerts, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University
TICKETS: $55, 45, 25 General; $10 Students. Tickets are available online at princetonuniversityconcerts.org, by phone at 609-258-9220, or in person two hours prior to the concert at the Richardson Auditorium Box Office.
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