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Princeton University Concerts Announces 2012-2013 Season


At a sold-out performance last month, James Camner, a Princeton local and a new subscriber to Princeton University Concerts, remarked “I can’t remember ever subscribing to anything  - including the Metropolitan Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra - that has been so consistently excellent as this year’s Princeton University Concerts season.”  Building on that success, which has attracted capacity audiences, Princeton University Concerts (“PUC”) is pleased to announce the details of its 2012-2013 season.   Once again, PUC will offer a variety of programs, including three of the finest string quartets in the world today, one of the world’s great English choirs, two chamber orchestras with very different approaches and a concert bringing together master pianist Richard Goode and poet C.K. Williams.  From Great Britain and Germany to Poland and Carnegie Hall, the offerings of “PUC” represent a diverse and international array of the best of today’s classical musicians.  Most of the concerts will be presented in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, regarded as one of the most exceptional acoustics for classical music in the country.  PUC will present 15 concerts, including 3 special events, and its Richardson Chamber Players series. 


The 2012-2013 season opens with the Takács String Quartet.  They come to Princeton in the same season that they assume the prestigious role of Associate Artists at the famed Wigmore Hall in London, a new long-term position awarded to a senior internationally acclaimed ensemble who will be central to Wigmore’s programming.  Closing the season, PUC builds on a concept started in the current season with countertenor David Daniels and choreographer Mark Morris - pairing artists across discipline for a one-of-a-kind evening.  In this event, pianist Richard Goode will collaborate with Princeton’s own Pulitzer prize-winning poet C.K. Williams in a program that will include solo piano music and poetry read from the stage by Williams.   In between, 6 musicians will make their PUC debuts, including a recital by the young Polish piano virtuoso Rafal Blechacz and a rare duo performance by mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager and tenor Ian Bostridge, who will appear in only 3 venues in the United States next year (Alice Tully Hall in New York, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and Princeton).  The series will also explore two different themes:  the relationship between words, music and song in three very different programs, and the art of the piano in the course of three diverse recitals.  A special event will mark the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency of the United States and violinist Julia Fischer, who dazzled PUC audiences this season, will return with a solo recital.  PUC’s Director, Marna Seltzer, says “Princeton University Concerts has presented the world’s most commanding performers since 1894. Next year’s series continues to build on that tradition while spotlighting artists new to Princeton audiences and expanding the framework that has made PUC’s 11-12 season a critical and audience success. We will continue to feature programs that bring together our loyal adult concert-going community with younger audience, and Princeton students in particular, a cross section that makes going to a PUC concert unique.”


Some of the 8 subscription concerts will be preceded by talks given by a variety of speakers, including the popular Princeton professor Scott Burnham who charmed PUC audiences this season.  Others will be preceded by musical previews played by talented Princeton students, a feature new to PUC’s current season. 


Subscriptions are now on sale for the 2012-2013 season.  PUC continues to offer one of the lowest ticket prices in town to hear remarkable artists up close and personal in the intimacy of Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall.  PUC will offer several different subscription packages making it easier to subscribe.  Single tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 4.  For more information, contact the PUC concert office at 609-258-2800.



THE 2012-2013 SEASON

(Organized by series, then chronologically)



The cornerstone of the PUC season, offered as the full subscription of 8 concerts or as smaller concert packages, features the pillars of classical music performed by today’s most renowned artists.  All concerts take place on Thursday nights in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, unless otherwise noted.


*indicates Princeton University Concerts debut



Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall



Schubert String Quartet No.13 in A Minor, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”)

Britten String Quartet No. 2 in C Major

Dvorak String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 (“American”)


Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire.  John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall, recently announced that from the 2012-13 season, the Takács Quartet will be Associate Artists at the Hall. This is a new position which is awarded on a long-term basis to senior internationally acclaimed ensembles who will be central to the venue’s chamber music output over many years.  The Quartet is renowned for its exacting standards and hugely engaging performances, enjoying an unsurpassed reputation throughout Europe, the United States, Australia and Asia.


Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 8pm in Princeton University Chapel

TENEBRAE,* Britain’s premier chamber choir


presented in collaboration with McCarter Theatre


Works by Rachmaninoff, Pärt and Paul Mealor


Tenebrae, a 17-voice British choir founded 10 years ago by Nigel Short, a former member of the King’s Singers, has established itself as the chamber choir of choice for critics and audiences in the UK and around the world. The group blends the passion of a large cathedral choir with the precision of a chamber ensemble to create a unique and enchanting sound, one which is as dazzlingly effective in medieval chant as it is in contemporary works. With every performance exploiting the unique acoustic and atmosphere of each venue in which they perform (in this case the gothic revival splendor of the Princeton University Chapel), the carefully chosen team of singers enable the audience to experience the power and intimacy of the human voice at its very best.  The ensemble is best known to American listeners through its recordings: about a dozen of its own (on the Signum Classics label). But a tour to the United States last spring (2011) caused the New York Times to write that “ if the group toured here as often as the Tallis Scholars, it could probably match — perhaps even draw on — that ensemble’s considerable following.”  Recently, two of Tenebrae’s recordings were nominated in the Choral category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards, the first time in the history of the awards that an ensemble has had two nominations in a single category.  The mixed program will include works by Paul Mealor who was catapulted to international attention when 2.5 billion people (the largest audience in broadcasting history) heard his Motet, Ubi caritas performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) at Westminster Abbey.  For the first time in its history, PUC will move its audience to the Princeton University Chapel, the ideal venue for Tenebrae’s debut.  PUC is also pleased to highlight its connection to one of Tenebrae’s principal singers, Gabriel Crouch, Princeton’s much-loved Director of the Glee Club and Choral Program.


Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall





HUGO WOLF’S Spanisches Liederbuch


Two of the world’s outstanding lieder interpreters explore the subtle nuance and beauty of the art of the song in this recital of thirty-four songs selected from Hugo Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch.  It’s hard to imagine singers better matched to reveal the profound emotional intensity of Wolf’s art and to remind us what a startlingly original composer of lieder he was.  Princeton audiences will be among the few in the country to hear this powerhouse duo who will sing this repertoire in only 3 venues next season, a testament to the PUC series and its concert venue that renowned musicians have flocked to for over a hundred years.


Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall




Baroque Chamber Orchestra Masterpieces by Handel, Telemann and Purcell


In February 2013, Princeton will be the site of the American Handel Society’s bi-annual conference.  It is no coincidence that the English Concert known for, among other things, its interpretations of Handel will appear on the PUC series anchoring the American Handel Festival which will take place at Princeton during the conference.  The English Concert, returning to PUC after many years, is among the finest baroque chamber orchestras in the world, with an unsurpassed reputation for inspiring performances of Baroque and Classical music in the concert hall and on CD. Based in London, the orchestra presents an annual season there, in addition to extensive touring. In 2007 Harry Bicket became the orchestra’s Artistic Director, following in the steps of Andrew Manze and their founder, Trevor Pinnock. The English Concert’s many recordings include several prize-winners, most recently As steals the Morn, a CD of Handel arias with tenor Mark Padmore that received a 2008 BBC Music Magazine Award. The visit to Princeton precedes a concert performance of Handel’s opera Radamisto at Carnegie Hall, part of a larger concert opera project that was started last season and will feature The English Concert over several seasons in Carnegie Hall.


Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall



Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1

Bach Selections from The Art of the Fugue

Piazzolla Fugues

Mendelssohn  String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80


The Berlin-based Artemis Quartet was founded at the Lübeck Musikhochschule in 1989. Walter Levin, the Emerson Quartet, the Juilliard Quartet and the Alban Berg Quartet have been and remain important teachers and mentors for the ensemble. Since 1994 the four players have performed as a professional ensemble, quickly gaining a reputation as one of the leading ensembles of their generation. Their international stature was established by winning First Prizes at the ARD Competition in 1996 and soon thereafter First Prize at the Premio Borciani. Rather than pitch themselves into the tempting fast track of career success, the members of the Artemis Quartet instead immersed themselves in further study.  In 1998 the ensemble spent a year in residence with the Alban Berg Quartet in Vienna followed by a three-month sabbatical at Berlin’s Wissenschaftskolleg. Their debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in June of 1999 marked the formal start of their career. A new phase of the chamber group’s life began in July 2007 when Gregor Sigl and Friedemann Weigle became members of the quartet.   Since 2004 the quartet’s series of concerts at the Berlin Philharmonie has met with high praise from critics and audiences alike. From the 2011-12 season onwards the ensemble is “quartet-in-residence” at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.


Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall



Haydn Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 64, No. 6

Janacek Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”)

Schumann Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1


The Elias String Quartet take their name from Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah, of which Elias is in its German form.  A relative newcomer on the quartet scene, they have quickly established themselves as one of the most intense and vibrant quartets of their generation. They perform around the world, collaborating with many different artists.  The Quartet was formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where they worked closely with the late Dr. Christopher Rowland. They also spent a year studying at the Hochschule in Cologne with the Alban Berg quartet. Other mentors in the Quartet’s studies include Hugh Maguire, György Kurtág, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Henri Dutilleux and Rainer Schmidt of the Hagen Quartet.  The quartet has been chosen to participate in BBC Radio 3’s prestigious New Generation Artists’ scheme and is the recipient of a 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. In April 2010, their disc of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schubert on the Wigmore Hall Live label was given the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer Award.  This year they had their debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a week long tour in Europe with pianist Jonathan Biss. Future projects include a five-concert series at Wigmore Hall, a US tour including their Carnegie Hall debut, returning to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and participating in Jonathan Biss’s Schumann project at Carnegie Hall.


Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall



Bach Partita No. 3 in A Minor, BWV 827

Beethoven Sonata in D Major, Op. 10, #3

Debussy Suite Bergamasque

Szymanowski Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 8

In October 2005 Rafal Blechacz was the uncontested winner of the 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland.  In addition to the Grand Prize, Mr. Blechacz won all the special prizes of the Competition: the Polish Radio Prize for best mazurka performance, the Frédéric Chopin Society Prize for the best performance of a polonaise, the National Philharmonic of Poland Prize for the best concerto performance, and the Krystian Zimerman-sponsored prize for the best performance of a sonata.   In July 2010 he received the prestigious Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Siena, Italy), awarded annually by an international jury of music critics to young musicians for superb artistic achievements.  On May 29, 2006, Rafal Blechacz signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, thus becoming only the second Polish artist, after Krystian Zimerman, to be signed to the prestigious label.  His first recording of the Chopin Preludes, honoring the Chopin anniversary year of 2010, received a “Best of the Year” honor from Gramophone Magazine, and the Preis der Deutschen Schalplattenkritik, a prestigious recognition from Germany’s music critics.  The recording quickly achieved double platinum status in Poland. 





Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall




Beethoven Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110

Selections from Janacek “On an Overgrown Path”

Other works by Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin


Following on the heels of the collaboration between choreographer Mark Morris and countertenor David Daniels, the season finale brings together a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who calls Princeton his home with a musician who has been acknowledged worldwide as one of today’s leading interpreters of classical music.  The two artists, both poets of their craft, have jointly selected a program that pairs C.K. Williams’ words with Richard’s Goode’s musical interpretations.  Hailed by poet Paul Muldoon as “one of the most distinguished poets of his generation,” C.K. Williams has created a highly respected body of work, including many collections of original poems, volumes of translation, several books of criticism and a memoir.  His love for music shows up in many of his poems and springs partly from a childhood of piano lessons.   His musical partner for the evening, Richard Goode, shares a love of poetry and is known for a very personal approach to music that has led the New York Times to call him “a poet of the piano.”  This special program will be performed with poetry read by C.K. Williams between piano works and will be offered only in Princeton. 




Formed in 1994-95, this mixed ensemble comprises Princeton’s Performance Faculty, distinguished guest artists, and supremely talented Princeton students. Richardson Chamber Players concerts take place on Sundays at 3pm in Richardson Auditorium.  Each concert features informal commentary from prominent hosts, exploring the themes of each concert.


Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

“MUSIC FOR A WHILE,” all-Purcell program


Players include: Nancy Wilson and Vita Wallace, Baroque violins; Wendy Young, harpsichord, Vivian Barton, cello & gamba; Julianne Baird, soprano





Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall



Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras No. 6 for Flute and Bassoon

KURT WEILL Frauentanz, 7 Poems from the Middle Ages, Op. 10 for Soprano and Instruments

Hindemith Die Junge Magd, Song cycle for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Clarinet, and String quartet, Op.23b

Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 for Soprano and an Orchestra of Cellos


Players include: Jo-Ann Sternberg, clarinet; Martha Elliott, soprano; and Barbara Rearick, mezzo-soprano


Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:00PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall



BARTOK Romanian Folk Dances for Violin and Piano

RACHMANINOFF Vocalise for Viola and Piano

GYöRGY KURTáG Bach Transcriptions for Piano Four Hands

Chopin Polonaise Brillante for Cello and Piano

Dvorak Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op. 81


Players include: Margaret Kampmeier, piano and Tom Kraines, cello





Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


Back by Popular Demand!


BACH Solo Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006

YSAŸE Solo Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 27, No. 2

BACH Solo Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001

HINDEMITH Solo Violin Sonata in G Minor, Op. 11, No. 6


This past February Julia Fischer made her Princeton debut in Richardson Auditorium on the PUC subscription series.  Playing to a capacity crowd of subscribers, students and other music lovers, the audience was treated to a dazzling display of fiery technique, a rich sound that filled the hall and a musical journey that ended with a heartfelt encore of Ernst Bloch’s Nigun.  PUC audiences were lucky to hear a rare recital by a violinist who does not often perform in the United States.  Audiences will be luckier still to be one of two venues (the other is Carnegie Hall) in the United States where she will perform a solo recital next season before taking a hiatus from recital appearances in the United States.  This violinist is definitely back by popular demand, this time taking the stage on her own to tackle the fiendishly difficult solo violin repertory. 


Tuesday, February 12 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

a special double bill

ECCO, East Coast Chamber Orchestra*  & YOU


Mozart Divertimento in F Major, K. 138

Bartok Divertimento

plus... a community reading (piece TBD) with ECCO - all string players invited!


In 2001, a group of musicians – colleagues and friends from leading conservatories and music festivals across the country – collectively envisioned the creation of a democratically-run, self-conducted chamber orchestra that would thrive on the pure joy and camaraderie of classical music-making. This organic approach and high level of passion and commitment resulted in ECCO, a dynamic collective that combines the strength and power of a great orchestral ensemble with the personal involvement and sensitivity of superb chamber music. The ensemble’s debuts in New York’s Town Hall and The Kennedy Center confirmed its position as one of the most exceptional ensembles of today’s generation, whose fresh interpretations, coupled with passionate and joyous playing, have earned them standing ovations and re-engagements.  This special event, free to subscribers, builds on the huge success of the appearance by the ensemble Time for Three this season by showcasing a young ensemble with a fresh approach to music-making  (violinist Nick Kendall of Time for Three is a member of ECCO).  The concept for this concert, though, will be entirely new for PUC.  In an era where audience participation and feedback has become essential, we will celebrate the joy of music-making by inviting the audience to participate in the performance. As a special part of the evening, all string players will be invited to the stage to read a chamber orchestra work alongside the young players of ECCO.  Stay tuned for more details.








Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 8pm in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


paderewski memorial concert



BEETHOVEN Thirty-two Variations in C Minor

BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53 (“Waldstein”)

SCHUMANN Carnaval, Op. 9

CHOPIN Selected Pieces

ERNEST SCHELLING Nocturne a Raguse

STOJOWSKI By the Brookside


Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan caught the eye of Princeton audiences when he made his debut this fall with cellist Alisa Weilerstein.  He returns to Princeton to take part in a community-wide celebration of the Woodrow Wilson centenary, an occasion that marks the 100th anniversary of Wilson’s inauguration as President of the United States and will be celebrated by many local organizations.  For PUC’s contribution, we have asked Mr. Barnatan to recreate a program played by the legendary pianist Ignacy Paderewski.  Following World War I, Paderewski laid aside his concert career, holding the offices of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland.  As such, he was a signer of the Treaty of Versailles, becoming friendly with Woodrow Wilson whose support had been influential in the establishment of Poland as an independent state.  In 1925, shortly after Wilson’s death, Paderewski visited Princeton, under the auspices of Princeton University Concerts, to play a recital in honor of Wilson.  Mr. Barnatan is perhaps the ideal pianist to bring this historic program back to life.  His interest in thematically-related programming recently led him to release his second solo recording called Darkness Visible.  The recording features wide-ranging inspired by other works of art.  On the recording Mr. Barnatan examines how different characteristics of darkness are represented in music.


*indicates Princeton University Concerts debut







Concert Classics Series

            8 concerts, save up to 30%

            A  $229, B  $179, C  $119



Choose 3 or more different concerts from all of our offerings and save 10% off the single ticket prices.


PUC prides itself on offering the chance to experience something new.  The packages below provide an alternative way to view the season and may be helpful as ticket buyers build their own series. 


Words, Music and Song


Ian Bostridge/Angelika Kirchschlager



Next Generation

ECCO, East Coast Chamber Orchestra

Rafal Blechacz

Elias String Quartet


Art of the Piano

Inon Barnatan

Rafal Blechacz

Richard Goode



Takács String Quartet

Julia Fischer

Ian Bostridge/Angelika Kirchschlager


The String Quartet

Takács String Quartet

Artemis String Quartet

Elias String Quartet


Sunday Afternoon Serenades

Richardson Chamber Players




Special Events


Julia Fischer, Violin

Add this event to a full Concert Classics subscription and receive a 20% discount off the single ticket prices.


ECCO, East Coast Chamber Orchestra

FREE for all full subscribers.  Limit one ticket per person.


Inon Barnatan, Piano  “Honoring Woodrow Wilson”

Add this event to a full Concert Classics subscription and receive a 20% discount off the single ticket prices.


Subscriptions can be bought by calling the Concert Office at 609-258-2800.  The Concert Office is open Monday through Friday, 10AM to 4PM.  Subscription information can also be submitted online at


For all questions, contact the Concert Office at 609-258-2800.



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