Cellist Finckel to leave Emerson String Quartet; Paul Watkins to step in

Posted on: February 14, 2012

Monday (2/13) on the New York Times blog ArtsBeat, James R. Oestreich writes, “The Emerson String Quartet, a dominant force on the chamber music scene in America in recent decades, will announce a change in its membership on Tuesday for the first time in 34 years. David Finckel, who joined the ensemble as cellist in 1979 when it was three years old, plans to leave at the end of the 2012-13 season, to be replaced by Paul Watkins. Mr. Finckel, 60, who has been multitasking of late in ventures with his wife, the pianist Wu Han—as co-artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with a current contract running through the 2012-13 season, and Music@Menlo in California, and as co-producer of the record label ArtistLed—is leaving to pursue ‘his personal artistic endeavors,’ the quartet says in a statement. … Mr. Watkins, 42, in addition to performing as a cello soloist, became the first music director of the English Chamber Orchestra in 2009 and is the principal guest conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His Ulster contract expires in May; he plans to remain with the English Chamber Orchestra.”

Posted February 14, 2012