(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston presents Takács Quartet in a streaming digital performance as part of the “Celebrity Series at Home” series of virtual concerts. This performance is presented in appreciation of the many donors to the LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Capital Campaign. The concert takes place on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 7pm ET as an Aaron Richmond Recital. The performance is streamed from the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, and is followed by a chat with the quartet members.

The Takács Quartet first appeared on the Celebrity Series in March 2000 and have been presented 10 times since, most recently in March 2018. Tonight’s performance is the first time they are presented by Celebrity Series since violist Richard O’Neill joined the group following the retirement of Geraldine Walther last season.

Tickets for the digital concert are $20 and are available online at celebrityseries.org/productions/takacs-quartet-stream. To browse the entire “Celebrity Series at Home” series and learn more about ticket bundles, visit: celebrityseries.org/athome.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from String Quartet in D minor, K. 421

I. Allegro moderato

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, from Five Fantasiestücke, Opus 5 

I. Prelude

III. Humoresque

Béla Bartók, from String Quartet No. 1, Sz. 40

III. (Introduzione.) Allegro - Allegro vivace

Claude Debussy, from String Quartet in G minor, Opus 10

III. Andantino, doucement expressif

IV. Très modéré

About Takács Quartet

The Takács Quartet, now entering its forty-sixth season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard O’Neill (viola), and András Fejér (cello) perform eighty concerts a year worldwide.

In June 2020, the Takács Quartet was featured in the BBC television series Being Beethoven. The ensemble also released a CD for Hyperion of piano quintets by Amy Beach and Elgar, a fitting way to celebrate Geri Walther’s fifteen years as the Takács’ violist before her retirement from the group. The members of the quartet welcomed Richard O’Neill as their new violist in June and look forward to many exciting projects during their first season together. The group plans to make two recordings for Hyperion, one featuring the last quartets of Haydn, the other pairing two masterpieces from the first decade of the twentieth century: Bartók’s Quartet No. 1 and Alban Berg’s Opus 3. The group continues their role as associate artists at London’s Wigmore Hall.

In 2014, the Takács became the first string quartet to be awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal. The Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognizes major international artists who have a strong association with the Hall. Recipients so far include András Schiff, Thomas Quasthoff, Menahem Pressler, and Dame Felicity Lott. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein, and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.

The Takács Quartet performed Philip Roth’s Everyman program with Meryl Streep at Princeton in 2014, and again with her at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in 2015. The program was conceived in close collaboration with Philip Roth. The Quartet is known for such innovative programming. They first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman. They have toured 14 cities (including Boston) with the poet Robert Pinsky, collaborate regularly with the Hungarian Folk group Muzsikas, and in 2010 they collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven’s last quartets. Aspects of the quartet’s interests and history are explored in Edward Dusinberre’s book, Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet, which takes the reader inside the life of a string quartet, melding music history and memoir as it explores the circumstances surrounding the composition of Beethoven’s quartets.

The Takács records for Hyperion Records, and their releases for that label include string quartets by Haydn, Schubert, Janáček, Smetana, Debussy, and Britten, as well as piano quintets by César Franck and Shostakovich (with Marc-André Hamelin), and viola quintets by Brahms (with Lawrence Power). For their CDs on the Decca/London label, the Quartet has won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, three Japanese Record Academy Awards, Disc of the Year at the inaugural BBC Music Magazine Awards, and Ensemble Album of the Year at the Classical Brits. Full details of all recordings can be found in the recordings section of the Quartet’s website.

The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado - Boulder. The Quartet has helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. Through the university, two of the quartet’s members benefit from the generous loan of instruments from the Drake Instrument Foundation. The members of the Takács are on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where they run an intensive summer string quartet seminar, and are visiting fellows at the Guildhall School of Music. 

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai, and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. In 2001, the members of the the Takács Quartet were awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March 2011 the Order of Merit Commander’s Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.

About Celebrity Series of Boston  

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. The Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 81 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience—on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods–everywhere. 

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2020-21 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Institutional supporters include the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, The Catered Affair, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., First Republic Bank, Foley & Lardner LLP, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Outside the Box: A Production of the Boston Arts Summer Institute, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, Anonymous, and many others.