This image is the cover for the book Beethoven for a Later Age

Beethoven for a Later Age

“A richly detailed portrayal of the intimate workings of a great string quartet . . . as revealed to us through the recollections of its first violinist.”—Philip Roth

Edward Dusinberre, first violinist of the renowned Takács Quartet, offers a rare peek inside the workings of his ensemble, while providing an insightful history of Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets and their performance.

Founded in Hungary in 1975 and now based in Boulder, Colorado, the Takács is one of the world’s preeminent string quartets, and performances of Beethoven have been at the center of their work together for over forty years. Using the history of both the Takács Quartet and the Beethoven quartets as a foundation, Beethoven for a Later Age provides a backstage look at the daily life of a quartet, showing the necessary creative tension between individual and group and how four people can at the same time forge a lasting artistic connection and enjoy making music together over decades.

In an accessible style, suitable for novices and chamber music enthusiasts alike, Dusinberre illuminates the variety and contradictions of Beethoven’s quartets, which were composed against the turbulent backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath, and he brings the technical aspects of the music to life.

“We are given intimate insight into the almost impossible-to-describe musical process of rehearsal and performance, the artistic and human interaction that links these modern musicians with their forebears and Beethoven himself.”—Garrick Ohlsson, pianist

“This singular memoir . . . will be something between informative and revelatory to readers from musicians to music lovers.”—Jan Swafford, author of Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph

Edward Dusinberre

Edward Dusinberre has been the first violinist of Takács Quartet since 1993, and he is an artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The University of Chicago Press