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The Jupiter String Quartet is pleased to announce new concert programming for future seasons, offered for 2022-23 and beyond.



Music can provide a profound lifeline for those struggling through times of unrest. The composers in this program grapple with the realities of a world full of upheaval and uncertainty, attempting to provide a path to greater understanding. The Irish-English composer Elizabeth Maconchy was an avowed socialist who supported the Republican forces fighting off Francisco Francoin the Spanish Civil War. Her hauntingly beautiful third quartet emerged out of the shadows of 1930’s Europe. Carlos Simon’s heartbreaking Elegy memorializes the Black American victims of police violence, while Nathan Shield’s new quartet, Medusa, composed for the Jupiter Quartet for Shields’ GuggenheimFellowship, uses the paintings of Caravaggio as an inspiration for exploring the effects of various types of political and social violence. Benjamin Britten, a pacifist who went to America during the War, returned to England afterwards only to embark on a redemptive tour of Europe with Yehudi Menuhin, performing for the victims of the Holocaust in the newly discovered concentration camps. His String Quartet No. 2 was written in response to these experiences. Beethoven’s epic eighth quartet is one of the many works he wrote during a time of immense political turmoil.

  • Elizabeth Maconchy: String Quartet No. 3

  • Carlos Simon: Elegy

  • Nathan Shields: Medusa

  • Benjamin Britten: String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36  -OR-

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2

Flawed Icons

Pianist Michael Brown and a vocal artist join the Jupiter Quartet for this timely theme. Following the second World War, Schoenberg, aghast at the rise of latter-day tyrants, found inspiration for a dramatic chamber work set to the ironic Lord Byron poem, “Ode to Napoleon.” The piece strikes a powerful, bitter, and scornful tone with a reciter joining forces with a quintet of musicians. Nathan Shields’ new work,
Medusa, based on paintings of Caravaggio, also
meditates on violence, both political and otherwise, and asks the audience to consider what they mean today. Art songs and Brahms’ iconic piano quintet offer connection, contrast, and balance to the program.

  • Arnold Schoenberg: Ode to Napoleon

  • Various: assorted songs

  • Nathan Shields:Medusa

  • Johannes Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34

Voices from London

London has long been a city teeming with diverse influences.This program represents views from a variety of composers who spent time in the city. Haydn wrote his Op. 74 quartets shortly after a productive visit to London, during which he composed the famous set of “London Symphonies.” Elizabeth Maconchy, though she identified primarily as Irish, spent much of her musical life in England, and her beautiful third quartet was written just before she evacuated London with her family during World War II. Jamaican-British composer Eleanor Alberga arrived in London asa student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1970, after which she made England her home base for a burgeoning performing and composing career. Benjamin Britten wrote his profoundly moving second quartet right after the end of World War II, partly in homage to another of England’s most celebrated composers, Henry Purcell.


  • Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in in C Major, Op. 74 No. 1, Hob.III:72 -OR-

  • Elizabeth Maconchy: String Quartet No. 3

  • Eleanor Alberga: String Quartet No. 1

  • Benjamin Britten: String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36

Folk Encounters

The first half of this globally inspired program pairs Su Lian Tan’s evocation of traditional South Asian puppet theater with Wynton Marsalis’ exploration of the complicated American Creole experience through the lens of a New Orleans ball. The program finishes with folk-inspired chamber music by Dvořák. Dvořák’s exuberant Viola Quintet as well as his expansive A-flat Major quartet both reflect the composer’s delight in finding kinship between the folk music of America and his beloved homeland of Czechoslovakia.


This program is available as a quartet-only performance or as a collaborative performance with violist Kirsten Docter.

  • Su Lian Tan: Life in Wayang

  • Wynton Marsalis: selections from Quartet No. 1, At the Octoroon Balls

  • Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105 B.193

with violist Kirsten Docter

  • Su Lian Tan: Life in Wayang

  • Wynton Marsalis: String Quartet No. 1, At the Octoroon Balls

  • Antonín Dvořák: Viola Quintet In E-flat Major “American,” Op. 97 B. 180

The Shadow of War

Each of these profound works emerged from a time defined by war.The Irish-American composer Elizabeth Maconchy wrote her darkly. beautiful third quartet as World War II descended upon Europe. Maconchy herself evacuated London with her family shortly after completing this work. Bartok’s sixth and final string quartet was also conceived during the second world war as he struggled to deal both with the turmoil in his homeland of Hungary and his mother’s acute illness. Bartók eventually fled to the United States after his mother’s death. Benjamin Britten composed his powerful second string quartet after performing for the victims of the Holocaust in the newly discovered concentration camps. Beethoven’s epic eighth quartet is one of the many works he wrote during a time of immense political turmoil.


  • Elizabeth Maconchy: String Quartet No. 3

  • Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 6

  • Benjamin Britten: String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36 -OR-

  • Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2

& Booking

Jensen Artists

Christina Jensen
646-536-7864 ext. 1

Gina Meola
646-536-7864 ext. 4


with Natasha Brofsky


Natasha Brofsky, longtime cellist of the renowned Peabody Trio and current faculty member at the Juilliard School of Music, joins the Jupiter Quartet for a program spanning the Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras. Mozart’s momentous final string quartet is the third of the “Prussian Quartets,” dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia, an amateur cellist. Bela Bartók wrote six celebrated string quartets. The last, composed in 1939, employs a lyrical, melancholy theme which ties all four movements together. The theme is believed to be reflective of the dark events Bartók experienced during this period: the outbreak of WWII and his mother’s terminal illness. Widely regarded as a chamber music masterpiece, notably by Schumann and Brahms, Schubert completed his "Cello Quintet," his final chamber work, two months before his death. Schubert had offered the work to a publisher, but it was refused and it lay forgotten until it was rediscovered and had its first known public performance in 1850. It was finally published three years later.

  • Mozart: String Quartet No. 23 in F Major, K. 590

  • Bartók: String Quartet No. 6

  • Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, D. 956 “Cello Quintet”

with the Jasper Quartet

The Jupiter Quartet and the Jasper Quartet collaborate to create an extraordinary musical experience. Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round was composed in response to Astor Piazzolla’s stroke in 1991. The piece is conceived as an idealized bandoneon, and the title serves as a boxing metaphor, prompting Piazzolla’s spirit to fight one last time. Members of the Jupiter and Jasper Quartets commissioned Dan Visconti to compose his 2011 octet, Eternal Breath, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Bill and Margaret Freivogel, the parents of three of the quartets’ musicians. The title refers to the breath of life “passed from one generation to the next.” The fourth violinist trades out their violin for the drone-like tones of the shruti box, signifying the movement of the breath. For the second half of the program, the Jupiter Quartet and the Jasper Quartet perform the monumental Mendelssohn Octet.


  • Osvaldo Golijov: Last Round for double string quartet and bass

  • Dan Visconti: Eternal Breath

  • Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20

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