The festival comes to a close with a special concert featuring the great Emerson Quartet pairing with cellist Colin Carr in a program including Beethoven and Schubert.

"... with musicians like this there must be some hope for humanity." — The Times (London)

The Emerson String Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over four decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time.

The arrival of Paul Watkins in 2013 has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the ensemble in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the Quartet with a warm, rich tone and a palpable joy in the collaborative process. The reconfigured group has been praised by critics and fans alike around the world.

Having celebrated its 40th Anniversary last season– a major milestone for a ground-breaking ensemble that has earned its place in the pantheon of the classical chamber music world, the Emerson looks towards the future by collaborating with today’s most esteemed composers and premiering new works, thus proving their commitment to keeping the art form of the string quartet alive and more relevant than ever.  In 2016, Universal Music Group reissued their entire Deutsche Grammophon discography in a 52-CD boxed set, and in April 2017, the Quartet released its latest album, Chaconnes and Fantasias: Music of Britten and Purcell, the first release on Universal Music Classics’ new US classical record label, Decca Gold. 

Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position. The Emerson Quartet, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. During the spring of 2016, full-time Stony Brook faculty members Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton received the honor of Distinguished Professor, and part-time faculty members Eugene Drucker and Paul Watkins were awarded the title of Honorary Distinguished Professor. In January 2015, the Quartet received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field.