Despite being one of relatively few chamber music pieces in his catalog, John Adams’s 2008 String Quartet stands among the composer’s most compelling works and has been solidly adopted into the chamber-music canon.

This episode features a live performance of the titanic two-movement piece, performed live at Le Poisson Rouge by the Attacca Quartet. Joining Adams's on-stage introduction of the piece are violinist Keiko Tokunaga and violist Luke Flemming of the Attacca Quartet. You’ll hear them recount the trial-by-fire circumstances of their first performance, the details of a late-night phone call and how to temper performance anxiety and just groove. 

This performance of John Adams's String Quartet by the Attacca Quartet features Amy Shroeder and Keiko Tokunaga on violin, Luke Flemming on Viola, and Andrew Yee on cello.

Listen to the complete concert at

John Adams’s String Quartet was featured by permission from Boosey & Hawkes. Visit Boosey on the web at