Princeton University will bring back indoor concerts in February after a 23-month break due to the pandemic.
The Princeton University Concerts eight-concert “concert classics” series will kick off on Feb. 17 and run through April. The first concert will feature the Takács String Quartet with Julien Labro on bandoneón in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.
Before entering the concert venue, all attendees will be required to show a photo ID and proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received a booster. An active Princeton University ID card also will be accepted as proof of vaccination. All patrons will be required to wear a mask while attending the concerts.
“It is a special joy to be able to gather again in Richardson Auditorium to share the collective energy and life-affirming inspiration that live concerts uniquely provide,” said Marna Seltzer, director of the concert series. “
“After one of the only sustained Concert Classics Series breaks in PUC’s 129-year history, it is with a tremendous sense of excitement that we resume our programming. I am thrilled that we can fulfill our commitment to artists whose concerts were canceled during the past two seasons—their appearance on our stage will now feel all the more special,” Seltzer said. “More than half of these artists will be making their PUC debuts, including both young, rising stars and established legends. This is just the beginning of a new chapter in PUC’s history—a chapter shaped by all of the lessons that we have learned throughout the pandemic and a chapter focused on the integral role of the arts within our society.”
The full concert series lineup
The beloved quartet returns for its 22nd appearance on PUC’s series with a fellow familiar face—dazzling accordionist and bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro. Together, they herald the next chapter in Princeton University Concerts’ 129-year history with newly commissioned works by Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad and Grammy-winner (and The National rock band guitarist!) Bryce Dessner. Both compositions were co-commissioned by PUC as part of the Music Accord consortium of 11 presenters nationwide.
After her PUC debut was canceled in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida makes a triumphant, long-anticipated return in two programs that showcase the range of her prowess as both chamber musician and soloist. In this first program, she joins illustrious tenor Mark Padmore for a joint PUC debut exploring songs by Beethoven and Schubert.
The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the long-anticipated debut of the young star violinist Benjamin Beilman. The Avery Fisher Career Grant winner finally comes to Princeton in a program centered around a composition co-commissioned by PUC by the late Princeton University alumnus, Frederic Rzewski (’60). Demons, written for Beilman and dedicated to author/political activist Angela Davis, is a musical reaction to the 2016 presidential election—and a potent reminder of music’s integral role in our history. The evening will be a celebration of the brightest young talent—and music—of our time.
The Mahler Chamber Orchestra is a self-governing ensemble that translates a full orchestral sound into the intimacy of chamber music. Their long-term partnership with legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida—one of the greatest living interpreters of Mozart’s keyboard music—is a gift that keeps on giving. It is an honor to welcome them to Princeton, at last, led by concertmaster Mark Steinberg, who is familiar to many as a member of the Brentano String Quartet, Princeton University’s former ensemble-in-residence.
There is no getting enough of Quatuor Ébène, which has solidly become one of the most beloved string quartets to appear in Princeton in the past decade. A chameleon of an ensemble, they are as comfortable shattering preconceptions of classical masterpieces through deeply personal interpretations as they are reinventing the string quartet into a jazz band. At the heart of this genre-bending fluidity is an uncanny ability to tap into the immediacy of music, transforming the present moment into pure harmony.
It has been less than a decade since the Dover Quartet swept every prize at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. In that time, they have stunned the field with a meteoric rise to becoming one of the most in-demand ensembles internationally, making their Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut, serving as the Quartet-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center, and smoothly sailing from one coveted prize to the next — from the Avery Fisher Career Grant to the Cleveland Quartet Award. They finally make their PUC debut in a concert rescheduled from the pandemic spring of 2020.
Long-time favorite violinist Christian Tetzlaff returns to Princeton with his sister, Tanja Tetzlaff, this time bringing longtime counterparts violinist Elisabeth Kufferath and violist Hanna Weinmeister. The quartet has been creating music together for almost three decades and makes its PUC debut in a concert rescheduled from a pandemic cancellation in our planned 2019/2020 season. In a fitting tribute to the past two years, the program is connected by an emotional intensity that culminates with Schubert’s iconic and cathartic “Death and the Maiden” quartet.
Getting to know the incredible Kanneh-Mason family virtually last fall, performing from their home in England, was one of the highlights of PUC’s pandemic programming. The sibling duo is back by popular demand for a live appearance in which the young stars tackle some of the most monumental works in the cello/piano repertoire—showcasing the fearless energy, irresistible charm, and bottomless passion that catapulted them to stardom in recent years. The Princeton debut of 22-year-old Sheku, winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, and his older sister Isata, who topped U.K. classical charts with the release Romance, her recent solo album, is one not to miss.
Both subscriptions and single tickets for all of the events are on sale now.
Full Subscriptions, all 8 concerts: $300 (A); $140 (B)
Make Your Own Subscriptions, choose 3 or more concerts and save 10% off single ticket prices.
Single Tickets: Range between $10 to $55 depending on event. All student tickets $10, with valid ID. Should a change in policy or public health conditions make someone uncomfortable, The university will issue a refund or exchange upon request.