With the renowned Fitzwilliam Quartet, who hold a residency at the Cambridge college that gives them their name, I shall be exploring quartet masterpieces by Shostakovich and Schubert, including the famous ‘Death and the Maiden’, while in May we shall be exploring one of Shostakovich’s late quartets, premiered in the West by the Fitzwilliam Quartet, and Beethoven’s late Quartet in C sharp minor Op. 131, which he himself pronounced his greatest, plus movements from JS Bach’s Art of Fugue.
A special attraction of these events is that Shostakovich came over to England in the early 1970s to coach the young Fitzwilliam Quartet, including viola player Alan George, in two of his late quartets. One of these was No. 13. We will thus have a unique hotline to the composer himself, via Alan’s reminiscences and insights.
WEDNESDAY 15 MARCH
2.00 onwards Arrival at the Felix Hotel, Whitehouse Lane, Huntingdon Rd, Cambridge CB3 OLX (01223 277977). I shall be in reception by 2.30
2.45 Walk or drive to Fitzwilliam College
3.10-5.30 Study session in Fitzwilliam College Auditorium with myself and the Fitzwilliam Quartet. There will be a break for tea/coffee, and time for questions
7.30 Dinner in Fitzwilliam College: three courses, including wine
THURSDAY 16 MARCH
10.30-1 Study session in Fitzwilliam College Auditorium, with coffee break
6.30 Concert in Fitzwilliam College Auditorium (ends c 7.45):
Schubert: String Quartet in G minor, D173
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108
Schubert: String Quartet in D minor, D810, ‘Death and the Maiden’
8.20 Dinner in Fitzwilliam College (three courses, with wine)