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New Mark-Anthony Turnage Quartet Premieres Around the World with Emerson String Quartet

(August 2016)

Turnage(C)PhilipGatward06.jpg The celebrated Emerson String Quartet will give the world premiere of Turnage’s Shroud this September in Ohio and will perform it on international tour throughout the season, with performances to include the New York premiere presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall.

Mark-Anthony Turnage, celebrated composer of the recent opera Anna Nicole, has written a new string quartet called Shroud for the nine-time Grammy Award–winning Emerson String Quartet, who takes the new work on an international tour as part of its 40th-anniversary celebrations. Shroud receives its world premiere on September 27 in Ohio, presented by Akron's Tuesday Musical in the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall; the New York premiere follows a month later at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on October 23 in Alice Tully Hall. The quartet then travels overseas to the Philharmonie in Berlin (Nov 10) and Wigmore Hall in London (Nov 13), with further dates stateside at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, University of Washington in Seattle, Chamber Music Houston and Wolf Trap in Virginia throughout March and April.

As its name suggests, Shroud is an emotional work that mourns the loss of two of Turnage’s dear friends who passed away close together in time. The new work is approximately 25 minutes long and is composed in five movements, with the first and last movements serving as bookending tributes to each friend. The middle three movements are lighter in tone and are dedicated to the Emerson String Quartet.

Though this is Turnage’s first piece for the Emerson String Quartet, he wrote a concerto in 2010 for the quartet’s new cellist, Paul Watkins. The composer comments on writing for the world-renowned chamber group:

I grew up listening to the Emerson Quartet, having been a huge fan of their many recordings since my early 20s—in particular their Beethoven set, as well as their recordings of Bartók and Shostakovich. I love their precision and fabulous interplay. It was a real honor to write a work for this ensemble.

Turnage has a busy season ahead of him, with additional premieres in 2016–2017 including Remembering for London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle (Jan 2017), and Martland Memorial for Colin Currie, the Britten-Pears Orchestra and Marin Alsop (Apr 2017). He has previously written two critically acclaimed string quartets, Twisted Blues with Twisted Ballad (2008) and Contusion (2013), both for the Belcea Quartet.


>  Further information on Work: Shroud

Photo: Philip Gatward

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