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The Axelrod String Quartet 2017-2018 Sunday Concert Series
3 Weekend Performances
Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017; March 18, 2018; and April 29, 2018

Pre-concert lecture: 6:30 p.m.
Concert: 7:30 p.m.
Quick Tix Code: BPQ7

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NOTE: This concert series features Sunday dates.

The 41st season of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features musical masterpieces from the early 17th century to the early 21st, played on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments. In this popular three-concert series, audiences are privy to the unparalleled opportunity of hearing two magnificent quartets of instruments—one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicolò Amati. The Axelrod Quartet features Marc Destrubé, violin; Marilyn McDonald, violin; James Dunham, viola; and Kenneth Slowik, violoncello.

The ensemble continues its traversal of Joseph Haydn’s quartets with the first three of the Op. 33 quartets, published in 1782, a decade after Haydn’s previous quartet offerings, and described by the composer himself as “written in a completely new and special way.” The Axelrod members have invited three exceptional young violists to join them over the season for three of the best-known string quintets in the repertoire. In November, Hee Sun Yang, from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, assists in the Mozart Quintet in C Major, K515; in March, Jaspar Snow of the Juilliard School completes the Mendelssohn Quintet in A Major, Op. 18; and in April, Oberlin’s Nicholas Gallitano lends his instrumental voice to the Brahms Quintet in G Major, Op. 111. Quartets of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bartók round out the programs.

Kenneth Slowik, SCMS artistic director and recipient of the Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award, curates a series of pre-concert lectures (one hour prior to each program), shedding light on the glorious music and the life and times of the featured composers.

Click on separate dates for individual purchase.

Sun., Nov. 12, 2017

Joseph Haydn: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2, The Joke (1781)    
Johannes Brahms: Quartet in C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1 (1873)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Quintet in C Major, K515 (1787)

Sun., March 18, 2018

Joseph Haydn: Quartet in C Major, Op. 33, No. 3, The Bird (1781)
Béla Bartók: Quartet No. 1, Op. 7 (1908-9)
Felix Mendelssohn: Quintet in A Major, Op. 18 (1832) 

Sun., April 29, 2018

Joseph Haydn: Quartet in B Minor, Op. 33, No. 1 (1781)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6 (1801)
Johannes Brahms: Quintet in G Major, Op. 111 (1890)


  • All concerts are held in the Hall of Music, American History Museum.
  • The ticket code for this series is BPQ7.
  • If you are interested in Saturday dates of this 3-concert series, click here.
  • To learn more information about the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, click here.
  • Program, location, and artists are subject to change.


National Museum of American History
Hall of Music (3rd floor)
14th St & Constitution Ave NW