The founding member of the Emerson String Quartet takes on the role following the quartet’s 2023 dissolution


Violinist Eugene Drucker ©

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The Berkshire Bach Society has announced violinist Eugene Drucker as its new artistic director. The society prides itself on being the oldest continuous non-profit music organisation that is member-based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and is dedicated to presenting Bach and other Baroque composers in a variety of solo, chamber, choral, and orchestral performances. The appointment follows on from Drucker’s role as the music director for the society’s ‘Bach at New Year’ concert series since 2017.

Drucker is a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, once labelled ‘America’s greatest quartet’ by Time Magazine, in which he performed for 47 years until its dissolution in 2023. In that time, the quartet was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, nine GRAMMY awards, three Gramophone Awards, and Musical America’s ‘Ensemble of the Year’ award.

Drucker studied in New York at Columbia University and at The Juilliard School with Oscar Shumsky, where he performed as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. As a soloist he has won multiple prizes, including the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the Montreal Competition, and the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 1976. He teaches at Stony Brook University, NY, and the Manhattan School of Music, and is also a composer and novelist.

‘[The Society is] thrilled that Eugene Drucker is stepping into this new position,’ executive director Terrill McDade said in a statement to The Berkshire Edge. ‘This is a unique opportunity for us to grow the footprint of The Berkshire Bach Society with an artist of exceptional distinction. It allows him to explore the repertoire and develop new, more varied programmes as we continue to present the music of Bach and his contemporaries, educating our audiences about all things Baroque.’

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