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Four Virtuosos Join for Rare Ensemble Appearance: Arcanto String Quartet on November 12, 8PM

October 20, 2015

Princeton University Concerts has hosted both world-renown soloists and world-renown chamber ensembles; on Thursday, November 12 at 8PM the two will fuse when the Arcanto String Quartet makes their Princeton debut in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. For, not only is the ensemble of the highest caliber, but each of its members is independently celebrated as an internationally-acclaimed soloist. The program, too, promises a similarly unique blend: while J.S. Bach’s “Art of the Fugue,” BWV 1080, Robert Schumann’s Quartet in A Minor Op. 41 No. 1, and Bedřich Smetana’s “From My Life” Quartet No. 1 in E Minor are all remarkable on their own, all three works together form an enchanting triptych. The concert will be preceded by a talk given by Ruth Ochs at 7PM, free to ticketholders.

Just imagine: a quartet in which one violinist (Antje Weithaas) has played as soloist with every orchestra from the San Francisco to the BBC Symphony, another (Daniel Sepec) whose internationally acclaimed recording of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas was recorded on none-other than the composer’s own violin, a violist (Tabea Zimmermann) so esteemed that György Ligeti wrote a viola sonata just for her, and a cellist (Jean-Guihen Queyras) currently in residence at London’s legendary Wigmore Hall. Perhaps the phenomenon of luminary experts coming together to collaborate is familiar to the Princeton community, which thrives on such collective brilliance. But the Arcanto Quartet is an incredible example of a collaboration that stems not as much from individual talent as it does on remarkable friendship. That the four musicians have committed themselves to finding the time in their demanding solo schedules to come together and play chamber music adds an especially poignant dynamic to their playing. As Princeton University sophomore Stephanie Cook expressed, “these four best friends are living the promises that all Princeton seniors make to their friends to keep in touch after graduation.” That this promise will be fulfilled through music is sure to be not only quite moving, but also a reminder of what music is at its roots: the promise of pure human connection.

Princeton University Concerts’ recent presentations illuminate this aspect of music on several fronts—the new series PUC125: Performances Up Close which seats the audience on stage, and the upcoming “Meet the Music” family concert on November 7 aimed at connecting the younger generation with chamber music, are just two examples of this endeavor. Yet one might say that the upcoming concert by Arcanto will speak for itself. After the four best friends conclude the evening with the work which Smetana conceived as his life confession, "... using four instruments speaking among themselves in something like a friendly circle" as he put it, the audience will not only have witnessed the most intimate of musical encounters, but will have become a part of it as well.   

WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 8PM; Pre-concert talk by Ruth Ochs at 7PM, free to ticketholders
WHAT: BACH Selections from “The Art of the Fugue,” BWV 1080 SCHUMANN Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1 SMETANA Quartet No. 1 in E Minor “From My Life”
WHERE: Princeton University Concerts, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University
​TICKETS:​ ​$50, 40, 25 General; $10 Students. 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


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