Penn State Altoona to present the Takács Quartet on Oct. 2

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State is partnering with the Penn State Altoona Division of Arts and Humanities to present two free public programs featuring the Takács Quartet on Thursday, Oct. 2.

“But I Want to Dream” — a lecture-demonstration related to Leos Janáček’s String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters,” featuring Laura Rotunno, associate professor of English; Timothy Melbinger, instructor in music; and the quartet musicians — will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Titelman Study of the Misciagna Family Center. A performance by the quartet is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Edith Davis Eve Chapel.

The quartet combines four musical personalities to bring fresh insights to its repertoire. In 2012, when Gramophone launched its Hall of Fame, the ensemble was inducted alongside artists such as Leonard Bernstein and Jascha Heifetz. Takács (tah-KAHSH) was the only string quartet chosen for the first class.

A few years ago, the musicians were appointed as the first associate artists at London’s Wigmore Hall, where the quartet performs six concerts each season. Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado in Boulder, the group performs about 90 concerts a year.

Second violinist Károly Schranz, cellist András Fejér and two others formed the quartet in 1975 when they were students at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Edward Dusinberre, originally from England, became first violinist in 1993. Geraldine Walther, a Florida native who had been principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony, joined in 2005.

The quartet has released 16 recordings for the Decca label of music by Beethoven, Bartók, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvořák, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana.

The Altoona programs are part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project. The project, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and now in its fourth season, provides opportunities to engage students, faculty and the community with classical music artists and programs.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley, the Brentano String Quartet, the American Brass Quintet and the all-male vocal ensemble Cantus appeared at the Altoona campus during the project’s first three seasons.

Learn more about the project at

The Division of Arts and Humanities and Penn State Altoona’s Chancellor’s Development Fund provide additional support.

Free tickets, required for the evening event, are available at the Misciagna Box Office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday or at the door. For more information, call 814-949-5452.

Last Updated August 29, 2014