Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State
Photo of Brentano String Quartet

Brentano String Quartet 2013

about the artists

Date night with strings attached.

"Make no mistake: the Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet," writes a reviewer for The Times of London. "Their music making is private, delicate, and fresh," observes a New York Times critic, "but by its very intimacy and importance it seizes attention." Violinists Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin and violist Misha Amory founded the quartet in 1992. Cellist Nina Lee joined six years later.

Artist website: Brentano String Quartet

Unlucky in love?

You probably have nothing on Ludwig van Beethoven, who spent most of his life attracted to women he couldn’t court or marry for various reasons.

Many of the composer’s well-known works, including the Moonlight Sonata, were supposedly inspired by unrequited loves. As if being lovesick wasn’t enough, Beethoven’s health began to deteriorate in the early nineteenth century. While convalescing at a spa in 1812, he wrote a letter — never sent — to his “immortal beloved.” Some scholars believe it was intended for Antoine Brentano, a woman Beethoven had met in Vienna. Brentano, along with her husband and children, lived in Vienna for a few years after her father became ill. Beethoven often played the piano for her. But when she and her family left Vienna, the composer never saw her again.

1project events

Salon Evening

7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, February 25
The Nittany Lion Inn Board Room

The public is invited to a Salon Evening that features Brentano String Quartet introducing each of the movements of Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74, Harp. Charles Youmans, associate professor of musicology at Penn State, moderates and lends insight. A question-and-answer session is included.

Strings Master Class

10 a.m. Tuesday, February 26
Music Building I Esber Recital Hall

The public is invited to observe a Brentano String Quartet master class for Penn State School of Music string students. Professor of Music James Lyon leads the two-hour session.

Late Beethoven and Eastern Philosophy

2:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 26
402 Burrowes Building
Not open to the public

Mark Steinberg, Brentano String Quartet violinist, Daniel Purdy, professor of German at Penn State, and Erica Brindley, associate professor of history and Asian studies at Penn State, discuss Beethoven’s later life and interest in Indian philosophy.

Main Performance

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 27
Schwab Auditorium

Brentano String Quartet, ensemble-in-residence at Princeton University, returns for the second season of the Center for the Performing Arts presentation of the complete string quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven. The program includes the quartets in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2; E-flat Major, Op. 74, Harp; and F Major, Op. 135.

Download program notes

Adult $42  |  University Park Student $15  |  18 and Younger $32


Buy tickets to individual presentations or create your own Choice series — and receive a 10-percent discount— by purchasing together tickets to four or more Classical Music Project presentations. Purchase tickets online; by phone at 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX; or in person at Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).


Nina C. Brown Endowment

Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Schwab Auditorium.

Artistic Viewpoints

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Lee and Steinberg, is offered in Schwab one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.

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