Tickets & Events

Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet
Walker, Wernick, Barber, and Previn

Tanglewood

Seiji Ozawa Hall - Lenox, MA View Map

The Emerson String Quartet and 2019 Koussevitzky Artist Renée Fleming perform the BSO-commissioned world premiere of André Previn and Tom Stoppard’s Penelope, for soprano, string quartet, and piano, as part of the BSO’s celebration of Sir André’s 90th birthday; the program will also include works by Walker, Barber, and Richard Wernick.

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Renée Fleming, soprano, 2019 Koussevitzky Artist
View biography in full page >

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America's highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts. She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the only classical artist ever to sing the US National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award (her fourth) for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Renée has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  In 2008 Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

Renée earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Her recent tour schedule has included concerts in New York, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, and Beijing. She is heard on the soundtracks of the 2018 Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Renée provided the singing voice of Roxane, played by Julianne Moore, in the film of the best-selling novel Bel Canto

In her role as Artistic Advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Renée launched a collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, with participation by the National Endowment of the Arts, focused on the science connecting music, health, and the brain. Over the past year, she has given more than 20 presentations with scientists and practitioners across the US and Canada on this subject

In September, Decca released Renée’s latest album, Renée Fleming: Broadway, featuring a collection of great musical theater songs from the 1920’s to the present day. Renée has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to indie rock and jazz; and her album Signatures was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for the National Recording Registry, as an “aural treasure worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony.” Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Renée has sung not only with Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli, but also with Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting, Josh Groban, and Joan Baez. She has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, and Live from Lincoln Center

In 2010, Renée was named the first-ever Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, the Board of Sing for Hope, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation. She is a spokesperson for the American Musical Therapy Association. Renée’s memoir The Inner Voice, published in 2004, is currently in its 16th printing. Among her awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and honorary doctorates from the University of

Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Duke, Harvard, and Carnegie Mellon Universities, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School. www.reneefleming.com 

Renée Fleming, soprano, 2019 Koussevitzky Artist
Emerson String Quartet
Emerson String Quartet
View biography in full page >

The Emerson String Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over four decades: more than thirty 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 arrival of Paul Watkins in 2013 has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the ensemble in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the Quartet 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 Emerson brought the requisite virtuosity to every phrase. But this music is equally demanding emotionally and intellectually, and the group's powers of concentration and sustained intensity were at least as impressive." The New York Times

Having celebrated its 40th Anniversary last season-- a major milestone for a ground-breaking ensemble that has earned its place in the pantheon of the classical chamber music world, the Emerson looks towards the future by collaborating with today's most esteemed composers and premiering new works, thus proving their commitment to keeping the art form of the string quartet alive and more relevant than ever.  In 2016, Universal Music Group reissued their entire Deutsche Grammophon discography in a 52-CD boxed set, and in April 2017, the Quartet released its latest album, Chaconnes and Fantasias: Music of Britten and Purcell, the first release on Universal Music Classics' new US classical record label, Decca Gold. The 2017-2018 season reflects all aspects of the Emerson's venerable artistry with high-profile projects, collaborations and tours. In Fall 2017, the Emerson continues its series at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC for its 39th season, and performances at the Lincoln Center's White Lights Festival and at Alice Tully Hall.  Other North American highlights of the season include a subsequent performance at the Princeton University of Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy, the new theatrical production co-created by the acclaimed theater director James Glossman and the Quartet's violinist, Philip Setzer; collaborations with the Calidore Quartet at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA and the Dover Quartet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and concert appearances at Cleveland, Philadelphia and Corpus Christi Chamber Music Societies, Vancouver Recital Society, Chamber Music Houston, Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts, South Mountain Concerts, Duke Performances and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, as well as in Sleepy Hollow, NY, Louisville, KY, Shreveport, LA and Richmond, VA.  In April 2018, the renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin joins the Emerson for three performances at New York's Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Symphony Hall and Boston's Jordan Hall, and appears with the Quartet in France, Germany and Austria.  Throughout the season, The Emerson embarks on multiple tours in South America, Asia and Europe comprising dates in Austria, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position. The Emerson Quartet, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. During the spring of 2016, full-time Stony Brook faculty members Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton received the honor of Distinguished Professor, and part-time faculty members Eugene Drucker and Paul Watkins were awarded the title of Honorary Distinguished Professor. In January 2015, the Quartet received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America's highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field. 

Eugene Drucker
View biography in full page >

Violinist Eugene Drucker, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, is also an active soloist. He has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Brussels, Antwerp, Liege, Hartford, Richmond, Omaha, Jerusalem and the Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as with the American Symphony Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Symphony. A graduate of Columbia University and the Juilliard School, where he studied with Oscar Shumsky, Mr. Drucker was concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, with which he appeared as soloist several times. He made his New York debut as a Concert Artists Guild winner in the fall of 1976, after having won prizes at the Montreal Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Mr. Drucker has recorded the complete unaccompanied works of Bach, reissued by Parnassus Records, and the complete sonatas and duos of Bartók for Biddulph Recordings. His novel, The Savior, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007 and has appeared in a German translation called Wintersonate, published by Osburg Verlag in Berlin. Having served on the faculty of Stony Brook University since 2002, Mr. Drucker was recently named an Honorary Distinguished Professor by the State University of New York. His compositional debut, a setting of four sonnets by Shakespeare, was premiered by baritone Andrew Nolen and the Escher String Quartet at Stony Brook in 2008; the songs have appeared as part of a 2-CD release called "Stony Brook Soundings," issued by Bridge Recordings in the spring of 2010. More recent compositions include Madness and the Death of Ophelia for female speaker/singer and string quartet. Eugene Drucker lives in New York with his wife, cellist Roberta Cooper, and their son Julian. Violins: Antonius Stradivarius (Cremona, 1686), Samuel Zygmuntowicz (NY, NY 2002), Ryan Soltis (Moyie Springs, Idaho, 2015)

Philip Setzer
View biography in full page >

Violinist Philip Setzer, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and began studying violin at the age of five with his parents, both former violinists in the Cleveland Orchestra. He continued his studies with Josef Gingold and Rafael Druian, and later at the Juilliard School with Oscar Shumsky. In 1967, Mr. Setzer won second prize at the Marjorie Merriweather Post Competition in Washington, DC, and in 1976 received a Bronze Medal at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels. He has appeared with the National Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony (David Robertson, conductor), Memphis Symphony (Michael Stern), New Mexico and Puerto Rico Symphonies (Guillermo Figueroa), Omaha and Anchorage Symphonies (David Loebel) and on several occasions with the Cleveland Orchestra (Louis Lane). He has also participated in the Marlboro Music Festival. In April of 1989, Mr. Setzer premiered Paul Epstein's Matinee Concerto. This piece, dedicated to and written for Mr. Setzer, has since been performed by him in Hartford, New York, Cleveland, Boston and Aspen. 2 Currently serving as the Distinguished Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at SUNY Stony Brook and Visiting Faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Mr. Setzer has given master classes at schools around the world, including The Curtis Institute, London's Royal Academy of Music, The San Francisco Conservatory, UCLA and The Mannes School. Mr. Setzer is also the Director of the Shouse Institute, the teaching division of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. Mr. Setzer has also been a regular faculty member of the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center, and his article about those workshops appeared in The New York Times on the occasion of Isaac Stern's 80th birthday celebration. A versatile musician with innovative vision and dedication to keep the art form of the string quartet alive and relevant, Mr. Setzer is the mastermind behind the Emerson’s two highly praised collaborative theater productions: The Noise of Time, premiered at Lincoln Center in 2001 and directed by Simon McBurney, is a multi-media production about the life of Shostakovich and has given about 60 performances throughout the world; in 2016, Mr. Setzer teamed up with writer-director James Glossman and co-created the Emerson’s latest music/theater project, Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy. Premiered at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Black Monk has been performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Princeton University, Wolf Trap, Ravinia Festival and Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul Korea. Mr. Setzer has also been touring and recording the

Lawrence Dutton
View biography in full page >

Lawrence Dutton, violist of the nine-time Grammy winning Emerson String Quartet, has collaborated with many of the world’s great performing artists, including Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich, Oscar Shumsky, Leon Fleisher, Sir Paul McCartney, Renee Fleming, Sir James Galway, Andre Previn, Menahem Pressler, Walter Trampler, Rudolf Firkusny, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Joseph Kalichstein, Misha Dichter, Jan DeGaetani, Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, and Elmar Oliveira, among others. He has also performed as guest artist with numerous chamber music ensembles such as the Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Since 2001, Mr. Dutton has been the Artistic Advisor of the Hoch Chamber Music Series, presenting three concerts at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY. He has been featured on three albums with the Grammy winning jazz bassist John Patitucci on the Concord Jazz label and with the Beaux Arts Trio recorded the Shostakovich Piano Quintet, Op. 57, and the Fauré G minor Piano Quartet, Op. 45, on the Philips label. His Aspen Music Festival recording with Jan DeGaetani for Bridge records was nominated for a Grammy award. Mr. Dutton has appeared as soloist with many American and European orchestras including those of Germany, Belgium, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Colorado, and Virginia, among others. He has also appeared as guest artist at the music festivals of Aspen, Santa Fe, Ravinia, La Jolla, the Heifetz Institute, the Great Mountains Festival in Korea, Chamber Music Northwest, the Rome Chamber Music Festival and the Great Lakes Festival. With the late Isaac Stern he had collaborated in the International Chamber Music Encounters both at Carnegie Hall and in Jerusalem. Currently Distinguished Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Stony Brook University and at the Robert McDuffie School for Strings at Mercer University in Georgia, Mr. Dutton began 3 violin studies with Margaret Pardee and on viola with Francis Tursi at the Eastman School. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Lillian Fuchs and has received Honorary Doctorates from Middlebury College in Vermont, The College of Wooster in Ohio, Bard College in New York and The Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. Most recently, Mr. Dutton and the other members of the Emerson Quartet were presented the 2015 Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award from Chamber Music America and were recipients of the Avery Fisher Award in 2004. They were also inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and were Musical America’s Ensemble of the year for 2000. Mr. Dutton resides in Bronxville, NY with his wife violinist Elizabeth Lim-Dutton and their three sons Luke, Jesse and Samuel. Mr. Dutton exclusively uses Thomastik Spirocore strings. Viola: Samuel Zygmuntowicz (Brooklyn, NY 2003).

Paul Watkins
View biography in full page >

Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career as concerto soloist, chamber musician and conductor. Born in 1970, he studied with William Pleeth, Melissa Phelps and Johannes Goritzki, and at the age of 20 was appointed Principal Cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. During his solo career he has collaborated with world renowned conductors including Sakari Oramo, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons, Sir Andrew Davis, and Sir Charles Mackerras. He performs regularly with all the major British orchestras and others further afield, including with the Norwegian Radio, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony and Queensland Orchestras. He has also made eight concerto appearances at the BBC Proms, most recently with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the world premiere of the cello concerto composed for him by his brother, Huw Watkins, and premiered (and was the dedicatee of) Mark-Anthony Turnage’s cello concerto. Highlights of recent seasons include concerto appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, and the BBC Symphony under Semyon Bychkov, a tour with the European Union Youth Orchestra under the baton of Bernard Haitink, and his US concerto debut with the Colorado Symphony. A dedicated chamber musician, Watkins was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 to 2013, and joined the Emerson String Quartet in May 2013. He is a regular guest artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and Music@Menlo, and in 2014 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. Watkins also maintains a busy career as a conductor and, since winning the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, has conducted all the major British orchestras. Further afield he has conducted the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Tampere Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony, Queensland and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras. Paul Watkins is an exclusive recording artist with Chandos Records and his recent releases include Britten’s Cello Symphony, the Delius, Elgar, Lutoslawski and Walton cello concertos, and discs of British and American music for cello and piano with Huw Watkins. His first recording as a conductor, of the Berg and Britten violin concertos with Daniel Hope, received a Grammy® nomination. Cello: Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller in Venice, c.1730.

Program Notes Audio
WALKER - Lyric for Strings
Richard WERNICK - String Quartet No. 10
BARBER - String Quartet, Op. 11
André PREVIN and Tom STOPPARD - Penelope, for soprano, string quartet, and piano (world premiere; BSO co-commission)

Celebrating Sir André Previn’s 90th birthday