Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Upcoming Events

See Robert Greenberg in person at these upcoming events:

03.04.2017
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets

Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 110 San Francisco, CA 94102

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century. Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

Program:

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 92
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 6 in G Major, Op. 101

Tickets And Information
03.19.2017
2:00pm

Alexander String Quartet: Their Finest Hour

Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, 144 Hutchison Drive, Davis, CA 95616

The String Quartet in a Time of War: Benjamin Britten and His Contemporaries

World War II, which in Europe began in 1939 and ended in 1945, was the single most devastating event of the 20th century. Framed by the string quartets of Benjamin Britten, whose centennial was celebrated in 2013, this series will explore works that reflect the broader European experience of the war years, as well as the period immediately before the war (Concert One) and after the war (Concert Four). Along with Britten’s superb quartets, the series will feature some of the most important string quartets composed during the 20th century, including quartets by the Czech composer Pavel Haas (who perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944), Béla Bartók, William Walton and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Program:

Bartók: String Quartet No. 6 (1939)
Britten: String Quartet No. 1 (1941)

Tickets And Information
04.23.2017
2:00pm

Alexander String Quartet: The Hinge of Fate

Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, 144 Hutchison Drive, Davis, CA 95616

The String Quartet in a Time of War: Benjamin Britten and His Contemporaries

World War II, which in Europe began in 1939 and ended in 1945, was the single most devastating event of the 20th century. Framed by the string quartets of Benjamin Britten, whose centennial was celebrated in 2013, this series will explore works that reflect the broader European experience of the war years, as well as the period immediately before the war (Concert One) and after the war (Concert Four). Along with Britten’s superb quartets, the series will feature some of the most important string quartets composed during the 20th century, including quartets by the Czech composer Pavel Haas (who perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944), Béla Bartók, William Walton and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Program:

Britten: String Quartet No. 2 (1945)
Walton: String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor (1946)

Tickets And Information
05.13.2017
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets

Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 110 San Francisco, CA 94102

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century. Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

Program:

with Roger Woodward, piano
Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108

Tickets And Information
05.21.2017
2:00pm

Alexander String Quartet: Triumph and Tragedy

Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, 144 Hutchison Drive, Davis, CA 95616

The String Quartet in a Time of War: Benjamin Britten and His Contemporaries

World War II, which in Europe began in 1939 and ended in 1945, was the single most devastating event of the 20th century. Framed by the string quartets of Benjamin Britten, whose centennial was celebrated in 2013, this series will explore works that reflect the broader European experience of the war years, as well as the period immediately before the war (Concert One) and after the war (Concert Four). Along with Britten’s superb quartets, the series will feature some of the most important string quartets composed during the 20th century, including quartets by the Czech composer Pavel Haas (who perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944), Béla Bartók, William Walton and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Program:

Britten: String Quartet No. 3 (1975)
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 (1960)

Tickets And Information