Emerson String Quartet sign exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical
Celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, the New York-based ensemble was formed in 1976, the bicentennial year of the United States, and took its name from the great American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Two of the original members – Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, who alternate as first and second violinists – remain with the ensemble. Viola player Guillermo Figueroa was replaced by Lawrence Dutton in 1977, and cellist Eric Wilson by David Finckel in 1979. Among their many achievements are nine Grammy Awards (including two for Best Classical Album) and the Avery Fisher Prize.
The Quartet’s debut release for Sony – Mozart’s Prussian Quartets,
K. 575, 589 and 590 – is scheduled for release in November to coincide with a series of concerts at Wigmore Hall in London and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. The follow-up recording, currently planned for 2012, will couple Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht with the String Quintet in G, Op. 111, by Brahms.
Welcoming the arrival of the ensemble on Sony, label president Bogdan Roscic said: “Superlatives are not always used cautiously enough in classical music but for me, the Emerson String Quartet is quite simply the world’s most important string quartet. Not least because of their recording work, which they have honed to a perfection very few musicians have attained. Their discography is a collection of reference recordings. It is an absolute privilege to have them on Sony Classical.”
Earlier this week, Sony announced that it had signed an exclusive recording agreement with the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.
Photo: Emerson String Quartet and Bogdan Roscic.
Photo credit: Tristan Cook.