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Announcing the 2013-2014 Season

April 4, 2013



April 4, 2013--Building on an exceptional 2012-2013 season that has both drawn critical praise and attracted capacity audiences, Princeton University Concerts ("PUC") is pleased to announce the details of its 2013-2014 season. Once again, PUC will offer a dynamic series of concerts featuring a broad variety of programs and artists.  Highlights of the upcoming season include performances from three of the world's finest string quartets, a mezzo-soprano superstar, two pianists at very different points in their careers, and mandolin player and MacArthur genius Chris Thile in a special solo recital connecting him to his classical roots with a program featuring music by Bach. 

PUC is also pleased to announce the addition of "Meet The Music," two concerts for kids ages 6-12 and their families, featuring musicians from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with host Bruce Adolphe.   Inspiring and educating, these critically acclaimed programs are sure to encourage a love of classical music in our young listeners and delight audiences of all ages.

From Greece and Denmark to Poland and Uzbekistan, "PUC" has drawn performers from an international pool of the best of today's classical musicians.  The concerts will be presented in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, regarded as one of the finest spaces to hear classical music in the country.  PUC will present a total of 15 concerts, including 2 special events, as well as its Richardson Chamber Players series. 

The 2013-2014 season opens in October with the Takács String Quartet performing all of the Bartók String Quartets over two evenings.  Bartók's string quartets have been at the very heart of the Takács Quartet's repertory since the group was founded in Budapest in 1975, and it was a recording of those very works that put the Quartet's name on the international map in the late 1990s.  For the final concert of the season in May 2014, PUC is honored to present the brilliant Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski, one of the most important artists of his generation.  In between, five musicians will make their PUC debuts, including young Uzbeki piano virtuoso Behzod Abduraimov, and the incomparable mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, whose Princeton engagement is her only recital to be given in the United States next season.  PUC's Director, Marna Seltzer, says "Princeton University Concerts has presented the world's most commanding performers since 1894. Next year's series builds on that tradition while broadening our audience by presenting artists like Chris Thile and reaching out to younger audiences with a new set of Family Concerts. We are on a mission to expand our impact in this community and to develop future audiences for classical music.  I think the 2013-14 season reflects the diversity of scope and offerings that will do just that."

Some of the subscription concerts will be preceded by talks given by a variety of speakers, including the popular Princeton professor Scott Burnham.  Others will be preceded by musical previews of short programs performed by talented Princeton students, a new feature among PUC's offerings.

Subscriptions are now on sale for the 2013-2014 season.  PUC continues to offer the lowest ticket prices in town to hear remarkable artists up close and personal in the intimacy of Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall.  PUC will offer several different subscription packages making it easier to subscribe.  Single tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 4.  For more information, contact the PUC office at 609-258-2800.

THE 2013-2014 SEASON
(Organized by series, then chronologically)  

The cornerstone of the PUC season, offered this year as the Full Subscription of 9 concerts or as the Classic series of 8 Thursday nights, features the pillars of classical music performed by today's most renowned artists.  All concerts take place on Thursday nights in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, unless otherwise noted.

*indicates Princeton University Concerts debut

Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11, 2013 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

ALL-BARTÓK -- all 6 Bartók string quartets performed in two evenings.

The Bartók string quartets have been at the very heart of the Takács Quartet's repertory since the group was founded in Budapest in 1975, and it was a recording of those works that put their name on the international map in the late 1990s.  The Bartók quartets have emerged as, perhaps, "the" cycle of the twentieth-century string quartet canon. Spread across Bartók's creative life, their composition mirrors his evolving musical voice and defines the trajectory of his development.  Professor Scott Burnham says "These six quartets represent the best of Bartók, the best of the string quartet in the 20th century, and the best way to experience the exhilarating musicianship of the Takács Quartet. Under any circumstances, hearing all six of Bartók's string quartets is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To hear them played by the Takács Quartet who embody chamber music royalty is a memorable way to open PUC's 120th season.  I can't wait to be a part of it."

Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

HAYDN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 71. No. 1
R. MURRAY SCHAFER (b. 1933) String Quartet No. 3
DVORÁK String Quartet in A-flat Major, Op. 105

The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has established itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. Its mission: to bring every piece of music they perform to the audience in vivid color, with pronounced communication and teamwork, and great respect to the composer. Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted that "the St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection."  Whether playing Haydn or premiering a new work, the SLSQ has a rare ability to bring audiences to rapt attention.  Their program in Princeton reflects just that - a love for Haydn and for the music of our time with the inclusion of a work by fellow Canadian, composer R. Murray Schafer.  The Schafer Quartet No. 3, a staple of the SLSQ repertoire, was described, again by Alex Ross in The New Yorker, as a "spellbinding spectacle, and a hilarious send-up of the emotional infantilism of the ultramodern repertory."

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

BEETHOVEN Sonata Op. 26 in A-flat Major
BEETHOVEN Sonata Op. 10, No. 2 in F Major
SCHUBERT Impromptus Op. 90 Nos. 2 and 3
RAVEL Gaspard de la Nuit

At the age of young age of 18, Uzbeki pianist Behzod Abduraimov achieved a sensational victory in the 2009 London International Piano Competition, winning first prize with a thrilling performance of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. This resulted in invitations to work with the Royal Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestras. Now just 23, he is an exclusive Decca recording artist and recently released his debut recital CD featuring Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 6 and Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre.   A review from The Independent of London perfectly encapsulates what Princeton audiences can look forward to:  "Having praised this 22-year-old Uzbek to the skies after his Wigmore debut, all I can say is that his playing has now passed beyond all the conventional superlatives. His 'Appassionata' was a miracle of elegantly-controlled power, his Schubert was exquisite, and his Liszt electrifying. His magically singing touch serves a refined sense of architecture, but what drove the Southbank audience wild was his winning amalgam of fire and poetry."  In the 2013-14 season, Abduraimov joins the ranks of many emerging young musicians who have been introduced to PUC audiences at an early moment in their career before going on to achieve international recognition.

Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

NIELSEN String Quartet No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 14
JANACEK String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"

The Danish String Quartet holds a unique position in the echelon of young and dynamic ensembles on the international scene today. Though all under the age of 30, they have been performing as a quartet since its debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival. With their passion for Scandinavian composers, juxtaposed with the classics, these modern Vikings have drawn praise from critics, audiences and fellow musicians. Since winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004, these four young musicians have been frequent guests at festivals in Denmark, as well as at international festivals and chamber music venues. Last year, the Quartet, who aptly call themselves "simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard" made their U.S. debut in New York City's Scandinavia House, causing Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times to write, "I can't imagine a more involving performance" and Vivienne Schweitzer, also of The New York Times, wrote that she enjoyed "one of the most powerful renditions of Beethoven's Opus 132 String Quartet that I've heard live or on a recording." The Danish String Quartet was recently appointed to The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two Program, a three-year appointment beginning in the 2013-2014 season.
Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23
Sonata No. 5 in F Major, "Spring," Op. 24
Sonata No. 10 in G Major, "The Cockrow," Op. 96

Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos has established himself as a violinist and artist of rare quality, known at the highest level for his virtuosity, superb musicianship and the integrity of his playing. International recognition first came while Kavakos was still in his teens, winning the Sibelius Competition in 1985 and, three years later, the Paganini Competition. Mr. Kavakos now works with the world's major orchestras and conductors, and in the 2012-13 season, he was the focus of the London Symphony Orchestra's UBS Soundscapes LSO Artist Portrait and is also the Berlin Philharmonic's Artist-in-Residence. Mr. Kavakos is a committed chamber musician and recitalist and is a favored artist at the Verbier, Montreux-Vevey, Bad Kissingen and Edinburgh Festivals and at the Salzburg Festival, where in August 2012, together with Enrico Pace, he played the complete violin sonatas by Beethoven. He and Mr. Pace have recorded the sonatas for Decca Classics, and the cycle was also recorded as part of a television documentary about Kavakos by the Bayerischer Rundfunk.   Next season he and Mr. Pace explore the ample range of characters, techniques, and styles in all of the Beethoven sonatas at Carnegie Hall over three concerts.  Their concert in Princeton is part of that tour.

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
JOYCE DIDONATO, Mezzo-Soprano*

Songs by composers including Antonio Vivaldi, Gabriel Fauré, Giacchino Rossini, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Michael Head, and Reynaldo Hahn

For Joyce DiDonato, 2012-2013 was the year of "the Queen."  2012 saw her not only win her first Grammy, but become the first classical singer ever to perform at the Grammy Awards.  In 2013 she was named Vocalist of the Year by Musical America.   Most recently, the Kansas City-born mezzo-soprano triumphed in the title role of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera. Her latest recording, entitled Drama Queens, offers arias from the 17th and 18th centuries that run the gamut--as she puts it--from "suicidal sadness to rapturous bliss." Beneath the beautiful gowns of her tragic queens, she says, she's always looking for "something humane and insecure, vulnerable and triumphant." Audiences in Princeton will be the lucky ones to hear her only recital in the United States during the 2013-2014 season. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
Amelia Freedman CBE, Artistic Director

Ian Brown, Piano
Philippa Davies, Flute
Richard Hosford, Clarinet
Stephanie Gonley, Violin
Laura Samuel, Violin
Lawrence Power, Viola
Rebecca Gilliver, Cello

Program to include Dvorak Piano Quintet and the premiere of two works by Princeton composers.

Continuing on the subject of "royalty," PUC is thrilled to welcome back the ensemble that The Sunday Times of London calls "British chamber music royalty." A favorite with Princeton audiences and the resident ensemble of Wigmore Hall, the Nash Ensemble will work closely with graduate students in Princeton's Composition Program, one of the best in the country.  The result will be a program that features the world premiere of two works by Princeton composers.  The Nash Ensemble, acclaimed for its adventurous programming and virtuoso performances, presents works from Haydn to the avant-garde, and is a major contributor towards the recognition and promotion of contemporary composers: by the end of the 2012-13 season the group will have premiered over 270 new works, of which 170 have been specially commissioned.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 8:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Works by Bach, Schumann, and Schubert

The PUC Concert Classics series will close with the debut of Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski, widely regarded as one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation.  In recent seasons he has given recitals at London's Barbican Centre and Royal Festival Hall, the Wiener Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St. Petersburg and Munich's Herkulessaal. His collaborations with orchestra have included appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston, Chicago and London Symphony Orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Royal Concertgebouw. An exclusive artist with Virgin Classics since 2000, Piotr Anderszewski has built up an impressive discography. His first recording on the Virgin label was Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, which went on to receive a number of prizes.  Recognized for the intensity and originality of his interpretations, Piotr Anderszewski has been singled out for several high profile awards throughout his career, including the prestigious Gilmore Award, given every four years to a pianist of exceptional talent.

Formed in 1994-95, this mixed ensemble comprises Princeton's Performance Faculty, distinguished guest artists, and supremely talented Princeton students. Richardson Chamber Players concerts take place on Sundays at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium.  Each concert features informal commentary from prominent hosts, exploring the themes of each concert.

Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
"BRASS BONANZA," mixed chamber works by Gabrielli, Gershwin, Boehme, Sanford and Brahms

Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
"QUIET CITY," works by Carter, Piston, Barber, Copland and Harris

Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
"THIS ENGLAND," works by Vaughan Williams, Britten, Bax and Elgar


Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
CHRIS THILE, Solo Mandolin*

Chris Thile is simply one of the most interesting and inventive musicians of his generation.  He has changed the perception of the mandolin forever, elevating it from its modest origins in folk and bluegrass. A 2012 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" grant, Thile first came into prominence as part of the groups Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, but he has recently come into his own as a solo artist, conquering a dizzying range of instruments, song writing challenges, and musical styles. In February 2013 Thile won a Grammy for his work on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, collaborating with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddle player Stuart Duncan. In Spring 2013, Thile will release Bach Sonatas & Partitas Vol. 1 on Nonesuch Records. On this program, he performs transcribed solo violin works by J. S. Bach, as well as his own compositions and other material. 

Saturday, April 12 , 2014 at 7:30PM in Procter Hall at The Princeton Graduate School
GALLICANTUS, Renaissance Vocal Ensemble*
Gabriel Crouch, Director

"THE WORD UNSPOKEN," music of William Byrd and others

Literally meaning "rooster song" or "cock crow," Gallicantus takes its name from the term used in monastic antiquity for the office held just before dawn: a ceremony which evokes the renewal of life offered by the coming day. Dedicated to Renaissance music and directed by Gabriel Crouch, Princeton's Director of Choral Programs, the membership of this early music group boasts a wealth of experience in consort singing, drawn from groups such as Tenebrae, who had an overwhelming success on the Princeton University Concerts series this Fall, as well as The Tallis Scholars, and The King's Singers. The group is bound by a shared love of communicating text, and creates performances which draw out unifying themes within apparently diverse repertoire: To this end they are as meticulous about providing context and insight for audiences as they are about crafting interpretations of the music they love. The Word Unspoken reveals the real William Byrd -- a devout Catholic deeply troubled by the persecution of his brethren, and a composer with expressive and emotive powers beyond any of his contemporaries. His music is paired with works by Philippe de Monte, the Flemish composer whose secret gift to Byrd of a setting of Psalm 136 expressed the solidarity of an entire continent, and moved Byrd to repay de Monte with a gift of his own setting of the same psalm. This program is available on CD on the Signum label.

Princeton University Concerts is pleased to announce the addition of two concerts for kids ages 6 and up and their families performed by musicians of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and hosted by Bruce Adolphe, Director of Family Programs at the Chamber Music Society.  With the addition of these concerts, PUC affirms its commitment to future audiences for classical music, and promises to introduce kids to the world of chamber music through the live concert experience.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 1:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

"A TRILLING EVENT" - A wacky private ear, Inspector Pulse, must determine the identity of a highly ornamented tune for a desperate client.  The tune has a familiar ring, but it is so full of trills, trinkets, and decorative doodads that the Inspector must investigate all the ways a melody can be embellished in order to solve the mystery.  Featuring music of Telemann, Handel, Bach, and more

Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 1:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

"LEAVE IT TO LUDWIG" - Beethoven's instrumental music creates powerful stories.  But what is the tale?  His music tells of everyday human life, full of action and emotions.  Beethoven himself will appear in Richardson to help a young pianist play his music as he meant it to be played.  Featuring music of Beethoven


Full Concert Classics Series (the best deal)
    9 concerts, includes both Takács String Quartet programs, save up to 30% and pay just $10 for the
     second Takács String Quartet concert.  
    A  $259, B  $209, C  $129

Classic Series
    8 Thursday night concerts
    A  $249, B  $199, C  $119

Richardson Chamber Players
    3 Sunday afternoon performances.  All subscriptions are $39.  Or, add the three concerts to a Full or
    Classic subscription and pay just $24.

Make Your Own Series
Choose 3 or more different concerts from all of our offerings and save 10% off the single ticket prices. 


Chris Thile, Mandolin & Gallicantus, Renaissance Vocal Ensemble
Add these events to a Full or Classic subscription and receive a 20% discount off single ticket prices.

Add these events to a Full or Classic subscription for $9 or $5 for kids.

Subscriptions can be bought by calling the Concert Office at 609-258-2800.  The Concert Office is open Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.  Subscription information can also be submitted online at

If available, single tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, September 4, 2013.

For further information please contact Catherine Ugolini at 609-258-6024 or

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Dasha (Darya) Koltunyuk
Phone:  609-258-6024