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Juilliard String Quartet set for UW: Meany Center / The Seattle Times

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The Juilliard String Quartet performs in Meany Center on Thursday, Nov. 9, with a program that includes Beethoven's Quartet in A major, Op. 18, No. 5; Sir James MacMillan's Quartet No. 2 ("Why is This Night Different?"); and Dvorak's Quartet No. 11 in C major, Op. 61. 

Founded in 1946, the quartet was formed to give equal weight to 18th and 19th century string repertoire (Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms) and 20th century composers (Bartok, Schoenberg, Shostakovich). Commitment and drive were key to the quartet's acclaimed sound. Original first violinist Robert Mann dominated the quartet for more than 50 years; his influence, wrote music critic Ted Libbey, was "readily apparent in the ensemble's sharply chiseled, high-intensity style of playing." (Mann retired in 1997.) Among the 15 string musicians who are past or present members (and all Juilliard School faculty members), several have had remarkably long tenures, including viola player Samuel Rhodes (1969-2013) and cellist Joel Krosnick (1974-2016). Musicians who embody so much of the quartet's history have helped maintain its mission to approach new music like centuries-old masterpieces, while revitalizing old music with fresh discovery.