Bartók/Juillard
Not all the wonderful musical events happened at MIT, of course. I was in Boston/Cambridge, after all. Learned about this one from Gregory Tucker, who was always a wonderful source of all musical knowledge.

Seems that a philanthropist named Leslie Lindsay Mason left a bequest to a foundation, named after himself, whose sole purpose was to put together a string of outstanding, free, public concerts in the Boston area—the string to last as long as the money did. Tickets were, as specified, free, but you had to write for them a couple of months in advance.

The Juillard String Quartet was and is one of this country’s premiere exponents of the genre. And the program they put together for their pair of 1961 Mason concerts was highly unusual: on consecutive Fridays in March, they performed all six Bartók quartets. The third, second, and fifth in one session, and then the fourth, first, and sixth in the next.
Now, I’d been studying 20th-century music under John Corley (in the band) and Gregory Tucker (in the classroom). I’d read about Bartók’s life in Europe and in the United States, and the friendship and patronage of New York’s Agatha Fassett and Boston’s Serge Koussevitsky. Recordings hadn’t quite brought me firmly into the orbit of his music, but I was eager to hear these important pieces “live.”
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