Daedalus Quartet
Beethoven String Quartet Cycle

In a Philadelphia first, the Daedalus Quartet, Penn’s quartet-in-residence, performs the 16 masterpieces that make up Beethoven’s quartet cycle, all in a single season. The cycle demonstrates a range of artistic innovation, emotional expression and sheer craftsmanship that remains unparalleled in music today. Join us for an exploration of the personal odyssey of Beethoven, the musician and the man: his genius, his suffering, his joy, his sense of humor, his inner child.


Performances are scheduled throughout the 17/18 season and take place at venues across Penn's campus. And, be sure to check out the performances that also feature poetic responses, staged play readings and discussions:


Sunday, September 10 @ 3 PM

Annenberg Center

Quartet no. 4 in C minor, Op 18 no. 4
Quartet no. 16 in F major, Op. 135
Quartet no. 9 in C major, Op. 59 no. 3

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Tuesday, September 12 @ 6 PM
Kelly Writer's House, 3805 Locust Walk

The Poetry of Beethoven
Quartet no. 1 in F major, Op 18 no 1
Quartet no. 15 in A minor, Op 132

Readings of poetic responses to Beethoven's Opus 132

T.S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, Milan Kundera and many other writers found inspiration in Beethoven’s music, particularly his late quartets. In this special collaboration with the Kelly Writers House, the Daedalus Quartet will perform Quartet no. 1 in F major, Opus 18 no 1, which is inspired in part by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Quartet no. 15 in A minor, Opus. 132. Penn poets will complete the performance with their own responses to Opus 132.

Tickets: Free!

Friday, October 13 @ 12 PM
Arthur H Rubenstein Auditorium, First Floor, Penn Smilow Center for Translational Research, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard

Beethoven and the Hearing Brain
Discussion with Dr. Yale Cohen, Director of the Hearing Sciences Center at Penn
Quartet no. 13 in Bb major, Op 130
Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

Featuring Dr. Yale Cohen, Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and Director of the Hearing Sciences Center at Penn Medicine, the performance will be begin with a discussion of Beethoven’s hearing loss and how that affected his brain and creative process. At the end of his life it was remarkable that he was able to be a creator of sound who could no longer hear them himself. Following the discussion, the Daedalus Quartet will perform the late Quartet in Bb major, Opus 130, and Opus 133, ‘The Great Fugue’, the most massive and forward-looking works of the cycle.

Tickets: Free!

This performance is co-sponsored by the Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Penn Medicine.


Friday, October 20 @ 12 PM
Arthur Ross Gallery, 220 South 34th Street

Quartet no. 6 in Bb major, Op. 18 no. 6
Quartet no. 7 in F major, Op. 59 no. 1


Tickets: Free!

Sunday, February 4 @ 3 PM
Annenberg Center

“After this, what’s left to write?”
Staged reading of Opus by Michael Hollinger
Discussion with the playwright and Penn Theatre Arts Program Professor, Marcia Ferguson
Quartet no. 14 in C# minor, Op 131

Michael Hollinger’s acclaimed play Opus follows the life of a professional string quartet as they prepare for a performance of Beethoven’s late masterpiece, the String Quartet No. 14 in C# minor, Op. 131. Following a staged reading of Opus, Hollinger, Penn Theatre Arts Program Director Marcia Ferguson and the Daedalus Quartet consider the aesthetic and historical questions raised by the appearance of Beethoven’s works, some of the most uncompromising “absolute” music ever written, at the center of a theatrical work. The event concludes with a performance of Beethoven’s Opus 131 in its entirety.

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In partnership with Penn’s Wolf Humanities Center.

Sunday, February 11 @ 3 PM
The Arts, Research and Culture House (ARCH) 208 Auditorium, 3601 Locust Walk

Quartet no. 3 in D major, Op. 18 no. 3
Quartet no. 10 in Eb major, Op. 74 "The Harp"
Quartet no. 12 in Eb major, Op. 127

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Tuesday, April 3 @ 6 PM
Pennovation Center, 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue

Quartet no. 5 in A major, Op. 18 no. 5
Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2


Tickets: Free! Click here to register >>

Friday, April 13 @ 6 PM
The Orrery Pavilion at the Kislak Center, Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut Street

Quartet no. 2 in G major, Op. 18 no. 2
Quartet no. 11 in F minor, "Serioso," Op. 95
Quartet no. 13 in Bb major
, with Beethoven's rewritten finale


Tickets: Free!