Brentano Quartet and Jonathan Biss

Late Beethoven Program

 Friday, October 21, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Please Note New Date

“…luxuriously warm sound and yearning lyricism” – New York Times

“…a magnificent string quartet” – Times (London)

Founded in 1992, the Brentano Quartet has performed on the world’s major classical music stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. For 14 years it was quartet-in-residence at Princeton and in 2014 became Ensemble-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music, succeeding the Tokyo String Quartet. Its members all hold Juilliard degrees, among others.

In 2010-2012, the Brentano recorded all of Beethoven’s late quartets. In the 2015-2016 season,  they began a collaboration with pianist Jonathan Biss to perform the late works of great composers. The ensemble is named for Antonie Brentano, believed by some to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved.” Tonight’s performance is composed entirely of late Beethoven works.

Jonathan Biss began his piano studies at age six in Bloomington, Indiana. At 17, he was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. Following a debut with the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, Mr. Biss has performed the world over at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and the Sydney Opera House. He is completing recordings of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas on nine discs, of which four are available to date. His Coursera online course, “Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas,”produced in collaboration with the Curtis Institute on whose faculty Biss serves, has engaged more than 100,000 music lovers.


An all- Beethoven “Late Style” Program:

Sonata in G Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 96 (Jonathan Biss and Mark Steinberg)

Sonata in C Minor for Piano, Op. 111 (Jonathan Biss)

String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135 (Brentano Quartet)


  • Beethoven composed the G Major Violin Sonata in 1812, the same year in which he completed his Eighth and Ninth symphonies. Like his Op. 97 “Archduke” Trio, it was dedicated to Archduke Rudolph, who was at the keyboard for the Sonata’s premiere on December 29 of that year.
  • The Opus 111 sonata was one of Beethoven’s final piano works and clearly one of his greatest sonatas, as well as his last. It was completed in 1822, the year before he composed the extraordinary “Diabelli Variations.”
  • Beethoven’s Op. 135 is the last of his “late” string quartets, widely regarded as the greatest grouping ever by a composer. It is his final complete work in any form.