Without doubt, the Takács Quartet is one of the most beloved string quartets of the current era. Their warm and lush European sound is derived from the group’s Hungarian roots, and new second violinist Harumi Rhodes has quartet music in her genes: she is the daughter of Samuel Rhodes, former violist of the Juilliard String Quartet. Having appeared on UChicago Presents’ series for more than two decades, the foursome takes a place of honor to open our 75th anniversary season.
Franz Joseph Haydn is known as the father of the modern string quartet, and that moniker was earned in great part from his opus 20 string quartets which are considered to be a milestone in the history of composition. The program opens with the fourth quartet from this famous opus 20 set. Dmitri Shostakovich’s fourth quartet was written in 1949 but not performed until after Stalin’s death in 1953, due to its Jewish thematic elements. Johannes Brahms wrote and destroyed more than a dozen string quartets before he was satisfied by his two opus 51 works. This A minor quartet is full of Brahms’ grand passion, elegant charm, rhythmic drive, and deepfelt melancholy.
6:30pm pre-concert lecture with Steven Rings
Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No. 4
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 4 in D Major
Brahms: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2