MAY 2007


Julliard Quartet Tackles Bartók on Next SonoKlect

Lexington, VA -- The world renown Julliard String Quartet is coming to Lexington as part of its 60th anniversary season. As a special SonoKlect event, they will be performing the complete cycle of quartets by the Hungarian composer Bela Bartók. On Friday March 2nd they will perform the 1st, 3rd and 5th quartets and the following night they will perform Nos. 2, 4 and 6. Both concerts are at 8:00 in Wilson Hall, the new music and art building at W&L. Tickets are required and can be obtained for free from the Lenfest box office (540.458.8000).

The Juilliard String Quartet is internationally renowned and admired for performances characterized by a clarity of structure, beauty of sound, purity of line and an extraordinary unanimity of purpose. Celebrated for its performances of works by composers as diverse as Beethoven, Schubert, Bartók and Elliott Carter, it has long been recognized as the quintessential American string quartet. The quartet is comprised of violinists Joel Smirnoff and Ronald Copes, violist Samuel Rhodes, and cellist Joel Krosnick.

Composed between 1908 and 1939, the Bartók quartets were not well known in the United States in the years just after World War Two. In 1948 the Julliard Quartet gave the first American performance of the complete cycle at Tanglewood. The players had to learn the Sixth Quartet from parts copied by hand from the manuscript, and the first cycle met with little national attention. Today the six works are part of the standard repertoire, standing beside the quartets of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert and played even by student ensembles. The Julliard Quartet are offering seven performances of the complete set across the United States and in Japan during the anniversary season, 2006-07.


© 2023 Terry Vosbein