The members of the Dover Quartet (courtesy of San Francisco Performances)
Following the opening gala festivities at the end of this month, San Francisco Performances’ (SFP) 2018–2019 season will get under way at the beginning of next month with the first concert in the Shenson Chamber Series. As has already been observed last month, all four of the recitals in this series will focus on string quartets; and all four of the groups have performed previously for SFP. The first of these will be the Dover Quartet, which had its SFP debut in 2016 and will be making its second appearance.
This group was formed at the Curtis Institute of Music, where all four of the members were students. Those members are violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-Van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw. They would later become the Institute’s first Quartet-in-Residence during the 2013–2014 season. The title of the program they have prepared for their return to SFP is Made in America. It will present quartets by three composers, all of whom were born in Europe but were influenced by life in the United States.
The best known of these is Antonín Dvořák, whose Opus 96 quartet in A major, generally known as the “American,” was performed at Dover’s SFP debut recital. For next month’s concert they will play another quartet composed while Dvořák was in the United States, Opus 105 in A-flat major. The program will begin with the first of Benjamin Britten’s string quartets, his Opus 25 in D major. Britten was a pacifist, meaning that in 1939 he was out of favor due to the rising threat of Nazi Germany. With encouragement from W. H. Auden, he moved to New York, where he composed his Opus 25 in 1941. Between these two selections, Dover will play Béla Bartók’s third string quartet, which he composed in Hungary in 1927, long before his move to the United States in October of 1940.
This performance will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 7. Single tickets are on sale for $70 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $55 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $45 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. They may be purchased online through a City Box Office event page. Because this is the first concert in its series, subscriptions are still available. The price levels for the series of four concerts are $260, $200, and $160; and City Box Office has a separate event page for online purchase.