Music patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge
The US pianist and patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, daughter and heiress of a Chicago wholesaler, used her considerable fortune to promote contemporary chamber music. Coolidge, who had many of the commissioned works performed in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., which she financed, used her patronage to support mainly progressive composers who were considered "complicated" by the general public, including Arnold Schoenberg, Anton von Webern, Igor Stravinsky and Benjamin Britten, for example. "I'm not demanding that we should love modern music," she stressed, "not even that we necessarily have to understand it, but that we should perform it because it is a significant human document."
Three such works commissioned by Coolidge will be presented by the Schumann Quartet, which last thrilled audiences at the Brucknerhaus Linz in June 2022 with works by the Mendelssohn siblings and the Schumann couple. Alongside classics by Sergei Prokofiev and Béla Bartók, the programme also includes the String Quartet No. 2 in F-sharp minor by Leó Weiner, who was celebrated as the "Hungarian Mendelssohn" in the 1920s.
Sergei Prokofjew (1891–1953)
String Quartet No. 1 in B minor, op. 50 (1930)
Leó Weiner (1885–1960)
String Quartet No. 2 in F-sharp minor, op. 13 (1921)
– Break –
Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102 (1934)
Erik Schumann | Violin
Ken Schumann | Violin
Veit Hertenstein | Viola
Mark Schumann | Violoncello