Emerson String Quartet

Biography

Active: 1976 - ; New York, NY
Since its formation in 1976, the Emerson String Quartet has gradually achieved recognition as one of the world's top chamber ensembles. The group's reputation partially rests upon its daring interpretations of core string quartet repertory; it has performed the complete quartet cycles of Beethoven, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, and Bartók in major concert halls around the world, and its interpretations tend toward the personal, the passionate, and Read more even the hell-for-leather. Audiences have responded enthusiastically to the quartet's involvement with the music it performs. The Emerson (named for Ralph Waldo Emerson) has recorded prolifically since signing with the Deutsche Grammophon label in 1987, and the quartet has won nine Grammy awards, including two for Best Classical Album.

One of those awards came in 1989, for a recording of the six Bartók string quartets that the Emerson made after presenting all six works in a single concert for its debut at New York's Carnegie Hall. The Bartók discs also won Gramophone's Record of the Year award in Britain, one of the quartet's three Gramophone awards. That concert typified the quartet's programming philosophy; the Emerson has attracted both devotees and newcomers with music-making that is ambitious, intellectually challenging, and at the same time a bit extreme in such a way as to attract widespread attention. In 1997 the Emerson presented Beethoven's cycle of 16 quartets in a group of eight concerts at New York's Lincoln Center, each featuring two Beethoven quartets paired with modern works that showed the extent of Beethoven's long shadow in some way. In early 2005, the Emerson presented Mendelssohn's quartets in both New York and England, juxtaposed with works by Mendelssohn's contemporaries. Since its founding, the Emerson has actively commissioned new works from a variety of composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, ranging from the complex modernist Wolfgang Rihm to the accessible Edgar Meyer.

The members of the Emerson String Quartet -- violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, violist Lawrence Dutton, and cellist David Finckel -- have maintained top-flight solo careers of their own. The group is based in Newy York City, and in 2002 they became quartet-in-residence at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Their long list of awards includes the prestigioius Avery Fisher Prize in 2004, and the group members have received honorary doctorates from Middlebury College, Wooster College, and Bard College.

The Emerson is committed to collaborative projects with other artists. Their 2000 performance of the Shostakovich quartets culminated in a multimedia work called The Noise of Time, which mixed the quartet's performance of the composer's String Quartet No. 15 with film, dance, and taped readings. The group has performed many benefit concerts to raise finds for causes such as the fight against AIDS, nuclear disarmament, and world hunger. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 29 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Schumann: String Quartets / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186869 Release Date: 10/23/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $15.99
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: 7 Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 483827 Release Date: 03/20/2020   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Irmgard Seefried,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Ernst Haefliger,  Maureen Forrester  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlos Kleiber,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir  ... 
    CD: $46.99
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  • 3.
    The New York Concert: Mozart, Faure & Dvorak / Kissin, Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002992102 Release Date: 04/12/2019   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gabriel Fauré,  Antonín Dvorák,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
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    CD: $28.49
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  • 4.
    Chaconnes & Fantasias: Music of Britten & Purcell / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002650902 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $22.49
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  • 5.
    Sibelius Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362202 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Johanna Rusanen-Kartano,  Esa Ruuttunen,  Soile Isokoski,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Okko Kamu,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki Radio Symphony,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $97.99
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  • 6.
    Berg: Lyric Suite; Wellesz; Zeisl / Renee Fleming, Emerson Quartet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002370702 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Egon Wellesz,  Eric Zeisl
    Performer:  Renée Fleming
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $22.49
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  • 7.
    Journeys / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 547060 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Paul Neubauer,  Colin Carr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
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    CD: $12.99
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  • 8.
    Brahms: Complete Chamber Music [11-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001725902 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Christian Ferras,  Pierre Barbizet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet,  Hagen String Quartet,  Amadeus Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $64.49
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  • 9.
    Mozart: Prussian Quartets / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 793598 Release Date: 10/18/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Philip Setzer,  Eugene Drucker,  Lawrence Dutton,  David Finckel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $14.99
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: The String Quartets / Emerson String Quartet [7-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001477002 Release Date: 10/19/2010   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $39.99
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  • 11.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 248 Release Date: 08/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Serge Koussevitzky,  Walter Piston
    Performer:  Gary Karr
    Conductor:  Alfredo Antonini,  Sixten Ehrling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Emerson String Quartet,  Juilliard Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 12.
    Old World - New World / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001410602 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Paul Neubauer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $39.99
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  • 13.
    Intimate Letters - Janacek: String Quartets;  Martinu: Madrigals / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4778093 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Bohuslav Martinu
    Performer:  Philip Setzer,  Lawrence Dutton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 14.
    Bach: Fugues / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001085502 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Philip Setzer,  David Finckel,  Lawrence Dutton,  Eugene Drucker  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    Brahms: Quartets, Etc / Fleisher, Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000871802 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Philip Setzer,  David Finckel,  Eugene Drucker,  Lawrence Dutton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $21.99
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  • 16.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Robert Schumann,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Paul Sacher,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $63.98
    CD: $60.99
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  • 17.
    Bartók: 6 String Quartets / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000815602 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Béla Bartók
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $25.49
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  • 18.
    Shostakovich: String Quartets / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000638802 Release Date: 05/16/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Lawrence Dutton,  David Finckel,  Philip Setzer,  Eugene Drucker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    On sale! $39.98
    CD: $32.99
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  • 19.
    Mozart Collection - Quartets K 421, 458, 465 / Emerson Sq
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000552302 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets / Emerson Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000388802 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $54.49
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  • 21.
    Bach: The Art Of The Fugue / Emerson String Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000090802 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Philip Setzer,  Eugene Drucker,  Lawrence Dutton,  David Finckel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    The #1 Mozart Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000063902 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hans-Peter Blochwitz,  Willard White,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 23.
    Cristal - Glass Music Through The Ages / Dennis James
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89047 Release Date: 01/15/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fred Schnaubelt,  Johann Adolf Hasse,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Alessandro Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Dennis [glass armonica] James,  Véronique Dietschy,  Lawrence Dutton,  Philip Setzer  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Cuiller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stradivaria Ensemble,  Emerson String Quartet
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Mozart, Brahms: Clarinet Quintets / Shifrin, Emerson Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459641 Release Date: 05/11/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Philip Setzer,  David Finckel,  Lawrence Dutton,  Eugene Drucker  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Schumann: Piano Quintet & Quartet / Pressler, Emerson Qt
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445848 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  David Finckel,  Eugene Drucker,  Menahem Pressler,  Philip Setzer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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