Takács Quartet members Károly Schranz, Geraldine Walther, András Fejér, and Edward Dusinberre (courtesy of San Francisco Performances)
Next month the 2017–2018 Shenson Chamber Series, presented by San Francisco Performances (SFP), will conclude with a return visit from the Takács Quartet. This group was founded in 1975 by four students at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. It took its name from its first violinist, Gábor Takács-Nagy; and the other members were Károly Schranz (second violin), Gábor Ormai (viola), and András Fejér (cello). Edward Dusinberre replaced Takás-Nagy in 1993, and Geraldine Walther become the violist in 2005. (Those of us who have been in the Bay Area for a while know that, prior her joining the group, Walther had been Principal Viola with the San Francisco Symphony.)
The ensemble made its SFP debut in 2010. Since then they have become a favorite of SFP chamber music audiences, and next month will mark their fifth SFP visit. It will also be a landmark occasion, because Schranz has announced that he will retire this coming May 1. Thus, this will be has last appearance in the Bay Area as a member of the group.
While the number of Hungarians in the quartet has been declining monotonically, there is still a significant Hungarian presence in the repertoire. That presence will be taken by Ernő von Dohnányi with a performance of his Opus 15 (second) quartet in D-flat major. The program will begin with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 387 quartet in G major. The concluding selection will be Felix Mendelssohn’s final (sixth) quartet, his Opus 80 in F minor, composed shortly before his death in 1847.
This concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18. As with all Shenson Chamber Series concerts, the venue will be Herbst Theatre. The entrance to Herbst is the the main entrance to the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue, located on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. The venue is excellent for public transportation, since that corner has Muni bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel. Ticket prices are $75 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $60 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $40 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.