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Escher String Quartet Make Debut at PUC125: Performances Up Close

February 12, 2016

Princeton University Concerts is excited to bring the Escher String Quartet, the current Artists-in-Residence at The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to Princeton for the first time on Thursday, March 24, 2016 for a pair of concerts at 6PM and 9PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. Their program, the second in a presentation of Composer’s Last Words as part of PUC125: Performances Up Close, features the last string quartets by Benjamin Britten—his String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94—and Franz Schubert—his String Quartet No. 14, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden.” As in all PUC125 events, the format emphasizes as close a proximity to the music as possible. The audience will be seated on stage around the performers, who will introduce the music and converse with audience members after their performance. Concerts last just one hour. After their 9PM concert, the Quartet extends an invitation for amateur string players of all ages and levels to join them to sight-read Haydn’s “Emperor” Quartet in a Late Night Chamber Jam; non-performers are encouraged to stay and sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the instrumentalists. Tickets to the Escher’s concerts are not required to participate in the Late Night Chamber Jam, but reservations for the reading are necessary. To sign up, visit of call 609-258-2800.
The PUC125 series has tended to stretch the concert norm. Even beyond the two concerts in Richardson, the Escher Quartet will also perform new works by Princeton composers in a Princeton Sound Kitchen Concert on Tuesday, March 22 at 8PM in Taplin Auditorium, and will offer a Live Music meditation on Wednesday March 23 at Nassau Presbyterian Church at noon. These multiple access points to the Quartet and their music is at the core of PUC125’s mission, which has been notable both for its novel structure, and for the adventurous programming that this allows. (The next PUC125 concert on April 14, for example, features accordion extraordinaire Julien Labro offering a rare mix of classical and jazz accordion music). Yet when more “traditional” repertoire is presented in such a setting, it loses any sense of stiffness and becomes as novel as at its first premiere. For we often forget how interesting it is to hear a chamber work by Britten, whose music we normally hear in an operatic setting, or how poignant that Schubert penned his last string quartet as he was dying. In encountering these two works—both beloved staples in the chamber music repertoire—in such an intimate way, the Escher Quartet allows us to perceive the “last words” of these composers as if for the first time; more importantly, they remind us that at each and every performance it is possible to create such an effect. In such a light, the composers’ last words are reconfirmed not so much as final, as eternal.


WHEN:  Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 6PM & 9PM
WHAT:  Composer’s Last Words, Part 2:
BRITTEN String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94; SCHUBERT String Quartet No. 14, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden”
This hour-long event is part of the new PUC125: Performances Up Close series, in which the audience sits on stage with the performers, in-the-round. The audience is invited to interact with members of the Escher Quartet afterward
WHERE: Princeton University Concerts, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on stage
TICKETS: $25 General; $10 Students. Attend both programs and save 20%! Tickets are available online at, by phone at 609-258-9220, or in person two hours prior to the concert at the Richardson Auditorium Box Office
PHOTOS: Please contact Dasha Koltunyuk at or 609-258-6024

Concert on the Princeton Sound Kitchen Series - Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 8PM in Taplin Auditorium at Fine Hall; For more information visit
Live Music Meditation - Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at noon in the Assembly Room at Nassau Presbyterian Church. For more information visit
Late Night Chamber Jam – Wednesday, March 23 following the 9pm concert, at roughly 10pm in Richardson Auditorium.  Amateur string players are invited to join the quartet to read Haydn’s “Emperor” Quartet.  Reservations are required.  To sign up, visit

For further information please contact Dasha Koltunyuk at or 609-258-6024


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