Grammy-nominated Takacs Quartet explores new repertoire

Pianist Margaret McDonald collaborates in performances of Janáček and Elgar

By Peter Alexander

Takasce SQ

Tákacs Quartet. Photo by Keith Saunders.

The Takacs Quartet has such a long and distinguished history, has performed and recorded so much music, that it is surprising to learn that there is major repertoire that has not appeared on their programs.

In fact, their list of unplayed works will shrink by two at their performances Sunday and Monday (4 p.m. Jan. 10 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11) in Grusin Music Hall. And unsurprisingly, neither is for string quartet alone: The Takacs and pianist Margaret McDonald will perform Edward Elgar’s Quintet for piano and string quartet; and McDonald and first violinist Edward Dusinberre will present Leoš Janáček’s Sonata for violin and piano.

Completing the program will be Beethoven’s String Quartet in D major, op. 18 no. 3.

This will be the first concert by the Takacs following the announcement in December that their album with pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin of Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet and String Quartet No. 2 has been nominated for a Grammy Award. It is their fifth nomination and will be their second award if they win. The Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 15.

“We’re always trying to combine music that’s very much our standard repertoire with newer things,” Dusinberre says. “It’s fun with (Elgar and Janáček), since they’re written at a similar time around the First World War, and the musical language couldn’t be more different.”

Read more in Boulder Weekly.

Boulder’s Barsamian joins Kronos Quartet for Oct. 8 concert at Macky

Concert will feature music commemorating the 1914 outbreak of World War I

By Peter Alexander

Kronos Quartet performing Beyond Zero. Photo courtesy of Kronos Quartet

Kronos Quartet performing Beyond Zero. Photo courtesy of Kronos Quartet

The Kronos Quartet, always bold, brings Boulder artists to Boulder for their appearance at Macky Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The concert will feature the world premiere of Speak, Time by Yuri Boguinia, who grew up in Boulder; and an appearance by broadcaster and writer David Barsamian, who founded Boulder’s Alternative Radio in 1986.

Barsamian will speak while Kronos performs songs from the early years of the 20th century. That performance will lead to the major work of the program, filling the second half of the concert: Beyond Zero: 1914–1918, a new multimedia work for string quartet and film that Kronos commissioned for the centennial of the outbreak of World War I.


Courtesy of Kronos Quartet

Beyond Zero was written by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov and will be performed with film restored by experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison from extremely rare and badly deteriorated original films of the war.

Read more in Boulder Weekly.

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CU Presents: Kronos Quartet
Death to Kosmische by Nicole Lizée
World premiere of Speak, Time by Yuri Boguinia
Four songs from the time of World War I with David Barsamian
Beyond Zero: 1914–1918 by Aleksandra Vrebalov, with film by Bill Morrison
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Macky Auditorium