Sarasota Concert Association presents The Emerson String Quartet

December 18 Ÿ 3 p.m. Ÿ Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The 2016-17 season marks the Emerson String Quartet’s 40th anniversary—a major milestone for this ground-breaking ensemble, named “America’s greatest quartet” by TIME Magazine.


“The Emersons’ finely-honed precision — boosted now with the glow brought by cellist Paul Watkins — made this Beethoven speak with potent directness.”

—The Guardian


“The Emerson has achieved its exalted place in the hierarchy of American quartets for good reason: at this point in their career, the Emerson’s members understand as second nature the importance of clarifying the specific character of individual phrases and balancing them all into an elegant whole, and they can turn on a dime to create quicksilver variations of mood.” –Gramophone Magazine


(Sarasota, Florida) The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) continues its 72nd Great Performers Series’ season of bringing world-renowned artists to our region with the Emerson String Quartet, Sunday, December 18, 3 p.m., at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. The program includes works by Beethoven, Bartok and Grieg. Single tickets are $37-$65. Six-concert season subscriptions are $180, $230, $250, $280, and $320. Two-concert subscriptions also available. Tickets and information for the Great Performers Series are available by calling 941-225-6500 or online at

The 2016-17 season marks the Emerson String Quartet’s 40th anniversary—a major milestone for this ground-breaking ensemble, named “America’s greatest quartet” by TIME Magazine. The quartet continues to perform with the same benchmark integrity, energy and commitment that it has demonstrated since it was formed in 1976, and its 40th-anniversary season reflects all aspects of the ensemble’s venerable artistry with high-profile projects and collaborations, commissions and recordings.

The Emerson Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades, including more than 30 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. The Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position. In 2002, the ensemble began to stand for most of its concerts, with the cellist seated on a riser. The ensemble, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. Paul Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the Emerson Quartet in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the ensemble with a warm, rich tone and a palpable joy in the collaborative process. The reconfigured group has been praised by critics and fans alike around the world.

The Great Performers Series season continues with The Minnesota Orchestra (January 9 at the Van Wezel); the National Symphony of Ukraine (January 30 at the Van Wezel); Apollo’s Fire (February 22 at Riverview Performing Arts Center); the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (March 16 at the Van Wezel); and the piano duo of Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan (March 30 at the Van Wezel). Five of the Great Performers Series concerts are at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The February 22nd concert (Apollo’s Fire) is at the Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way in Sarasota. For ticket information, call 941-225-6500 or visit

SCA also presents a series of free daytime concerts that include performances by high-caliber, area-based artists, November 2016 through April 2017. The Music Matinee Series is designed to offer a variety of musical genres, including classical, folk, and jazz, featuring both vocal and instrumental performers. For more information about the 2016-2017 Music Matinee Series, visit


About the Sarasota Concert Association

The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to foster an appreciation for the musical arts by sponsoring professional concerts, featuring a variety of quality music. This is accomplished through the Great Performers Series of world-class musicians and the Music Matinee Series, a free community outreach program. For more information about SCA, visit