The EMERSON STRING QUARTET
Eugene Drucker, violin, and Philip Setzer, violin
Lawrence Dutton, viola
Paul Watkins, cello
For more than four decades, the Emerson String Quartet has maintained its status as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles. ‘With musicians like this,’ wrote a reviewer for The Times, ‘there must be some hope for humanity.’ The Quartet has made more than thirty acclaimed recordings, and has been honoured with nine Grammy Awards (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year award. The Quartet collaborates with some of today’s most esteemed composers to premiere new works, keeping the string quartet form alive and relevant. The group has partnered in performance with such stellar soloists as Renée Fleming, Barbara Hannigan, Evgeny Kissin, Emanuel Ax, and Yefim Bronfman, to name a few.
Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson String Quartet was one of the first quartets to have its violinists alternate in the first chair position. The Quartet, which takes its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, balances busy performing careers with a commitment to teaching, and serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. In 2013, cellist Paul Watkins—a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician—joined the original members of the Quartet to form today’s group.