Beethoven’s Orbit


In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the Jupiter Quartet will present a unique series of programs, entitled Beethoven’s Orbit. Each program focuses on a key element of his transformative voice and offers a point of connection with some of the great composers who surrounded him over the last 250 years. The programs are offered individually or as a cycle.

HUMOR: Beethoven and Haydn

  • Beethoven: Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2

  • Haydn: String Quartet in E-flat Major, “The Joke,” Op. 33, No. 2

  • Beethoven: Quartet in F Major, Op. 135

LYRICISM: Beethoven and Mozart

  • Beethoven: Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5

  • Mozart: Quartet in A Major, K. 464

  • Beethoven: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127

FATE: Beethoven and Schubert

  • Schubert: Quartet No. 14 in D minor, “Death and the Maiden”

  • Beethoven: Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

JOY: Beethoven and Mendelssohn

  • Beethoven: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74

  • Mendelssohn: Quartet in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1

  • Beethoven: Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 “Razumovsky”

STRUGGLE: Beethoven and Brahms

  • Beethoven: Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4

  • Beethoven: Quartet in F minor, Op. 95

  • Brahms: Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1

CONVERSATION: Beethoven and Bartók

  • Beethoven: Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1

  • Bartók: Quartet No. 3

  • Beethoven: Quartet Op. 130 with the Grosse Fugue

FANTASY: Beethoven and Britten

  • Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6

  • Britten: Quartet No. 2

  • Beethoven: Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

MYSTICISM: Beethoven and Kurtág

  • Beethoven: Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2, “Razumovsky”

  • Kurtág: 12 Microludes for string quartet, Op. 13

  • Beethoven: Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

& Booking

Jensen Artists

Christina Jensen
646-536-7864 ext. 1

Gina Meola
646-536-7864 ext. 4

Last Quartets


The Jupiter Quartet commemorates the last string quartets by three master composers. Mozart’s momentous final string quartet is the third of the “Prussian Quartets,” dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia, an amateur cellist. Mendelssohn’s sixth and final string quartet was composed in 1847 and is the composer’s last major work completed before his death that same year. Stricken with grief after the loss of his beloved sister Fanny, Mendelssohn wrote this dramatic and heartrending piece as an homage to her memory. 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.


  • Mozart: Quartet in F Major, K. 590

  • Bartók: Quartet No. 6

  • Mendelssohn: Quartet in F minor, Op. 80

The Mendelssohns


This program honors the Mendelssohn family legacy through the string quartet form, left behind by master Romantic composer Felix and his revered sister, pianist and composer Fanny. Both child prodigies of music, their strong bond lasted throughout their lives, as Fanny served as her brother’s muse and critic. Each quartet reflects the siblings’ uncanny command of the musical language.


  • Felix Mendelssohn: Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 12

  • Felix Mendelssohn: Four Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 81 (Mvts. I and II)

  • Fanny Mendelssohn: Quartet in Eb Major

  • Felix Mendelssohn: Quartet in F minor, Op. 80​


Haydn’s Op. 20 is considered a beacon of the string quartet form, and each of the six quartets that comprise the opus utilize different compositional techniques that influenced other composers’ approach to the form for over 200 years. The final quartet of the set, the Quartet in A Major, is a whimsical yet expertly crafted work. Many years later, another expert craftsman, Alfred Schnittke, developed his own polystylistic technique, apparent in his third string quartet which employs quotations from Lasso, Beethoven, and Shostakovich. Although more standard in his approach, Tchaikovsky also employed outside influences. When composing his first string quartet, he was inspired by a Russian folk song he heard sung by a carpenter at his sister’s home in the Ukraine. This work alternates between the folk theme and Tchaikovsky’s own earnest theme. Britten’s second string quartet was composed in honor of the 200th anniversary of Purcell’s death and was first performed in England on the precise date of the anniversary. The stunning final movement, “Chacony,” is composed in the form of Purcell’s chaconne, incorporating Britten’s unique compositional language into his tribute to the English Baroque master.


  • Haydn: Quartet in A Major, Op. 20, No. 6

  • Schnittke: Quartet No. 3

  • Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11

  • Britten: Quartet No. 2

Viennese School: Mozart, Webern, and Schoenberg

The Jupiter Quartet performs highly creative works by three Viennese composers. Mozart’s momentous final string quartet is the third of the “Prussian Quartets,” dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia, an amateur cellist. Like Mozart, Arnold Schoenberg lived much of his life amid the fertile musical surroundings of Vienna, and his ingenious first string quartet helped to establish his reputation as a composer. Unlike the majority of his later work, the quartet is essentially tonal, but stretches this tonality to its limit. The program also features the scintillating Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5, written by Schoenberg’s student, Anton Webern. Each of the short movements exhibit Webern’s characteristic atonality and extended techniques, as well as citing influence from the Second Viennese School.

  • Mozart: Quartet in F Major, K. 590

  • Webern: Fünf Sätze (Five Movements) for String Quartet, Op. 5

  • Schoenberg: Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 7


with baritone Tyler Duncan

Proclaimed as “robust and compelling” by Opera Canada, Canadian baritone Tyler Duncan joins the Jupiter Quartet for a performance of string quartet and song. The program begins with the solemnly beautiful Dover Beach, based on a poem by Matthew Arnold, which Samuel Barber composed during his formative years at the Curtis Institute of Music. Barber also premiered and recorded the piece as the featured baritone. In Respighi’s heartbreaking Il Tramonto (The Sunset) the singer laments of two star-crossed young lovers, as the string quartet shapes the intimate, macabre color of the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. A collection of arrangements of Schubert songs follows, and his treasured “Death and the Maiden” quartet, considered a pillar of chamber music repertoire, completes the program.


  • Barber: Dover Beach

  • Respighi: Il Tramonto

  • Schubert: Song Arrangements

  • Schubert: Quartet No. 14 in D minor, “Death and the Maiden”

with pianist Gloria Chien

Praised by San Francisco Classical Voice for her “outstanding technique and fluid musicality,” pianist Gloria Chien joins the Jupiter Quartet for this program of works by prominent female composers. Amy Beach’s piano quintet incorporates lush, Romantically-inspired melodies with modern harmonies, and is indicative of her distinct American style. Fanny Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in Eb Major is one of her most cherished works. Uninhibited by the standard compositional characteristics of the chamber music of her era, she was emboldened to develop her own unique sound, experimenting with harmonic dissonance and unstable form. Jupiter Quartet will also perform a new commission by composer and violinist Michi Wiancko, whose work has been lauded by The Strad as “intriguing and exquisitely beautiful.”


  • Fanny Mendelssohn: Quartet in Eb Major

  • Michi Wiancko: New Commission

  • Amy Beach: Piano Quintet

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