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The Axelrod String Quartet 2016-2017 Sunday Concert Series
Three Evening Performances
Sun., Nov. 20, 2016; Jan. 15, 2017; March 19, 2017

Pre-concert lecture: 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.
Concert: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
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Axelrod String QuartetThis subscription option features Sunday dates.

In its 40th season, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society audiences are privy to the unparalleled experience of being able to hear two magnificent quartets of instruments—one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicolo Amati—in this popular three-concert series. This concert series is also offered on Saturday dates.

Kenneth Slowik, 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.

The season opens in November with a string quartet adaptation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080. The four voices of the string quartet bring fresh clarity to the exquisite counterpoint of this masterful work, written during the final decade of Bach’s life.

Over the remainder of the season, the Axelrod Quartet concludes its traversal of Haydn’s Op. 76 quartets, and presents works of other Viennese composers: Webern and Brahms (January), and Haydn’s pupil Beethoven (March).

The final concerts of the series introduce the Rolston Quartet, the graduate-quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. This gifted young ensemble, which was grand prize winner of the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and took prizes in both the M-Prize and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions, joins the Axelrod players in the last of Louis Spohr’s four innovative double quartets, utilizing both sets of instruments. 

The Axelrod String Quartet

Marc Destrubé, violin; Marilyn McDonald, violin; James Dunham, viola; Kenneth Slowik, violoncello

To learn more about the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, click here.



Sun., Nov. 20
Johann Sebastian Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080


Sun., Jan. 15 
Joseph Haydn: Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, No. 5
Anton Webern: Langsamser Satz
Johannes Brahms: Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2


Sun., March 19
Joseph Haydn: Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 76, No. 6
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2Z

Louis Spohr: Double Quartet in G Minor, Op. 136
Featuring The Rolston Quartet: Luri Lee and Jeffrey Dyrda, violins; Hezekiah Leung, viola; Jonathan Lo, violoncello

All concerts take place in the Hall of Music, American History Museum

Sunday Series (3 concerts): CODE: BPP9
Program, location, and artists are subject to change.


National Museum of American History
Music Hall (3rd floor)
14th St & Constitution Ave NW
Quick Tix Code: BPP9