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Emerson String Quartet set for Stanford's Bing Concert Hall / SFGATE

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It's easy, and not entirely wrong, to regard the string quartet as a quintessentially European phenomenon. One of the great and lasting legacies of the Emerson String Quartet's 40-year career has been its ability to shine a distinctively American light on this tradition. This weekend's program, featuring quartets by Ravel, Berg and Debussy, could scarcely be more Eurocentric. But expect the ensemble to put its own spin on this material. The Emerson String Quartet performs this Friday, March 24 at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall.

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