Beethoven the Master

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Date(s) - August 1, 2018
12:00 am

Wellfleet Congregational Church


Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival (CCCMF) opens its 39th season as Cape Cod’s premiere presenter of summer chamber music with a juxtaposition of two of Beethoven’s great string quartets, performed by one of the greatest chamber ensembles worldwide, the Emerson String Quartet.   Beethoven the Master offers two performances on Wednesday, August 1, 7:30 pm at First Congregational Church, 200 Main Street, Wellfleet; and on Thursday, August 2, at CCCMF’s newest venue, Falmouth Academy’s Simon Center for the Arts, 7 Highfield Drive, Falmouth.


“Our opening concerts promise a profound musical experience for all,” shares Artistic Director Jon Nakamatsu.


The Festival season opener, Beethoven the Master, features the incomparable Emerson String Quartet performing two of Beethoven’s masterworks.  “String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Opus 131” and “String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opus 130” are two of the composer’s ‘late series’ quartets.  Written in the darkest and final years of Beethoven’s life, they feature successive tonalities that thematically link the two works. The final movement, the Grosse Fugue, thrills both musicians and audience.  The performance of these two pieces allows listeners the opportunity to hear the performing ensemble shine in their interpretation of the works.  No stranger to these quartets, Emerson String Quartet has performed and recorded Beethoven’s quartets many times, contributing to its broad critical acclaim and accomplishments.  The ensemble’s presence and performances at the Festival, returning for their fifth year, are amongst the highlights of each season.


The Emerson String Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over four decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time.


Having celebrated its 40th anniversary last season – a major milestone for a ground-breaking ensemble that has earned its place in the pantheon of the classical chamber music world – the Emerson looks towards the future by collaborating with today’s most esteemed composers and premiering new works, thus proving their commitment to keeping the art form of the string quartet alive and more relevant than ever. 


Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position. The Emerson Quartet, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. During the spring of 2016, full-time Stony Brook faculty members Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton received the honor of Distinguished Professor, and part-time faculty members Eugene Drucker and Paul Watkins were awarded the title of Honorary Distinguished Professor. In January 2015, the Quartet received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field. 


Program:  Emerson String Quartet

Eugene Drucker, violin; Philip Setzer, violin; Lawrence Dutton, viola; Paul Watkins, cello



String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Opus 131

Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo

Allegro molto vivace

Allegro moderato

Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile


Adagio quasi un poco andante




String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opus 130

Adagio ma non troppo; Allegro


Andante con moto, ma non troppo

Alla danza tedesca:  Allegro assai

Cavatina:  Adagio molto espressivo

Grosse Fuge (published as Opus 133)


Ticket orders received on or before July 7: $34 general admission; $15 for college students with ID); FREE for attendees 18 and under. General admission to three or more concerts: $32 per ticket. Emerson String Quartet concert: $50.


Ticket orders received on or after July 8: $38 general admission; $15 for college students (with ID); FREE for attendees 18 and under. General admission to three or more concerts: $36 per ticket. Emerson String Quartet concert: $55.


Festival seating is limited to venue capacity, advance purchase is recommended.  Tickets purchased online can be printed at home or picked up at will call at the performances.  Tickets may also be purchased by calling or visiting the box office at 508-247-9400 or at 3 Main Street, Unit 6, North Eastham.  Box office hours are 10 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Phone orders are available until 12 noon on the day of each concert.


For more information about Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival’s 2018 season, performers, mission and venues, visit, or follow Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival on Facebook and Twitter.
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Hyannis, MA 02601
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