The world-renowned Alexander String Quartet returns to Sonoma by popular demand at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at Vintage House senior center, 264 First St. E., Sonoma.
Sponsored by the Sonoma Classical Music Society, the Quartet will perform three quartets of Beethoven. Tickets for the concert are $25 for the general public, $20 for members of the society, and $10 for students. Tickets may be obtained from the society’s website, sonomaclassical.org, and will be available from Readers’ Books and Pharmaca approximately three weeks prior to the performance, and at the door.
Feb. 9 marks the Alexander Quartet’s seventh appearance in Sonoma since 2004, under the auspices of the Sonoma Classical Music Society.
For this concert, the Alexander String Quartet will perform three quartets of Beethoven, spanning his chamber music output: opening with his String Quartet Op. 18, No. 4 in C minor, one of his six Op. 18 quartets and written in 1799-1800; continuing with his String Quartet Op. 135 in F major, the last string quartet written by Beethoven, in 1826, and a distillation of all that he had learned and written about the string quartet; and concluding with the String Quartet Op. 59, No. 2 in E minor, written in 1806, the second of the three quartets he wrote his patron, Count Razumovsky. The Alexanders are considered one of the pre-eminent Beethoven interpreters in the world.
Currently celebrating its 34th anniversary, the Alexander String Quartet (Zakarias Grafilo, violin, Frederick Lifsitz, violin, Paul Yarbrough, viola, Sandy Wilson, cello) is one of the world’s premier ensembles, widely admired for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovich.
It has recorded the Beethoven quartet cycle twice, the Shostakovich quartet cycle, and the Mozart quartets dedicated to Haydn, among other works, for Arte-Nova and Foghorn Classics. The quartet has had a 28-year association with New York City’s Baruch College as Ensemble in Residence and has received its Presidential Medal.
At home in San Francisco, the members of the quartet are a major artistic presence, serving as Ensemble in Residence for San Francisco Performances and as directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Centre in the College of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University.