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Emerson String Quartet play UCSB's Campbell Hall / Daily Nexus review

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The Grammy award-winning Emerson String Quartet played University of California at Santa Barbara's Campbell Hall last week and conveyed their usual sense of unity and synchronization abilities. Named after celebrated writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson String Quartet boasts a high stature in the world of strings as they've debuted at Carnegie Hall, recorded several best-selling Classical music albums and booked to perform at the Conservatoire de Musique of Geneva, Switzerland.

The quartet's first selection of the night was none other than Mozart's String Quartet in G Major, K. 387. A classical piece for a quartet's performance, this selection featured contrasts of loud and soft segments, which kept the audience engaged throughout. Unlike many selections of the time, this piece conveyed a sense of unity by achieving a musical conversation between the string players. The audience favorite of the night was Ravel's String Quartet in F Major, a pleasant deviation from the norm of classical string quartet selections. The song allowed the first violinist, Philip Setzer, to share a warming melody with the audience. Then, the second violinist and violist played in synchrony as the piece led up to its climax.




The chamber includes violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, violist Lawrence Dutton and their newest addition, Paul Watkins, on cello. Watkins was seated on a raised podium center-stage while the other members stood on their feet throughout the night, allowing animated movements.