Haydn Voyages

The Hausmann Quartet and the Maritime Museum of San Diego are excited to partner to present the ninth season of Haydn Voyages: Music at the Maritime, a quarterly concert series aboard one of the museums historic vessels, Berkeley – an 1898 steam ferryboat that operated for 60 years on San Francisco Bay.

Concerts aboard this National Historic Landmark, docked in downtown San Diego next to Star of India, explore the evolution of the string quartet through the lens of Joseph Haydn’s quartet cycle. The programming sets his works alongside those of master composers from our own era and stretching back to his musical ancestors. As the father of the string quartet and one of history’s most innovative composers, Haydn is an ideal guide to this exploration of some of the most powerful, creative music ever written.

The 2024 season will open at 2:30pm on February 18 with Haydn & Hollywood, a concert featuring Haydn quartets bracketing two exciting works with connections to the silver screen: Erich Korngold’s second quartet (1933) and Nicole Lizée’s theatrical Another Living Soul from 2016, which she describes as “stop motion animation for string quartet.”  The season will continue on May 19, September 15 and November 24.

The dependably adventurous mix of music presented in the series combined with the idyllic views and sounds of the harbor make Haydn Voyages one of San Diego’s best-loved cultural institutions, now in its ninth season. Critics have consistently praised the Hausmann Quartet’s “technical prowess and musical taste,” their “especially refined performance of Haydn, marked by clarity, wit, and well-chosen tempos” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and noted the group’s “trademark sparkling ensemble playing coupled with graceful, stylish phrasing animated every movement” (San Diego Story).

Tickets available through Ticketleap – hq.ticketleap.com

The ninth season will take audiences on an array of wonderful journeys. The vast range of works are drawn from diverse traditions and cultures, featuring treasured classics alongside some of today’s freshest, most creative voices from around the world. Enjoy extraordinary performances from San Diego’s only floating concert hall!

“The Hausmann Quartet is one of a handful of string quartets…that move with fluent ease from Classical-period works (Haydn is one of their specialties) to contemporary works by living composers.” –San Diego Union-Tribune

February 18 – Haydn & Hollywood

We open the ninth season of our Haydn Voyages series with a program that begins and ends with  Haydn quartets that show the master composer at the peak of his creative powers, though 15 years apart (his opus 33, no. 4 from 1781 and his later opus 76, no. 1 from 1796). Between these two we’ll take a trip up the coast for a taste of Hollywood, featuring Erich Korngold’s second quartet from 1933, when he was starting to establish himself as one of the great composers of Hollywood film scores. Nicole Lizee’s Another Living Soul (written in 2016 for the Kronos Quartet’s 50 For the Future project) is a wild ride: her tribute to stop motion animation calls for actual bells and whistles!

May 19  – Night Music

Artists through the centuries have been drawn to the darkness and mystery of the night for inspiration, and this concert showcases two seminal works from this tradition. After a typically inventive Haydn quartet to open the program, a “May gray” San Diego afternoon on the water may set the scene for French composer Henri Dutilleux’s Ainsi La Nuit (Thus the Night), a 20th-century masterpiece. The second half of this show will feature Arnold Schoenberg’s lushly impressionistic Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for string sextet, with local stars Travis Maril (viola) and Elizabeth Brown (cello) joining the Hausmann Quartet.

September 15 – Light & Shadow

The study in contrasts that is September’s program will feature the first performance of a work by Johannes Brahms on the Haydn Voyages series, as his final string quartet (opus 67) anchors a program filled with exciting variety, a characteristic we’ve come to expect and appreciate in Haydn’s work; his opus 55, no. 3 on this program certainly offers its share.  The afternoon will open with This is It, a 2023 work by Reena Esmail in which she “asks the musicians to explore being present with one another…Each movement opens up a tiny, mutually created universe for just a few precious breaths.”

November 24 – Revolution

When we think of art as “revolutionary,” we are most often considering the content of the work itself. This program also asks us to consider the context of its creation, as the opening Haydn quartet (opus 55, no. 2 “Razor”) is followed by Victor Ullmann’s third string quartet, written in 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The second half features Gabriela Smith’s raucous Carrot Revolution, and the ninth season ends in epic fashion with Beethoven’s final work, his Quartet in F Major, opus 135.

All concerts are Sundays at 2:30, and include an intermission for a total length of under two hours.

Advanced Tickets: $60 Premium Reserved seating, $35 General Admission, $25 Maritime Museum members, $10 students/military, $50 Concert + Museum admission
Season subscriptions: $220 Reserved seating, $120 General Admission

Available at hq.ticketleap.com/haydn-voyages
Tickets at the door: $70 Reserved seating, $40 General Admission, $25 Maritime Museum members, $12 students/military, $55 Concert + Museum admission

To order by phone call: 619.432.2314
Nearby Parking lots for $10 a day

About the Maritime Museum 

The Maritime Museum of San Diego experience includes admission to a world-class collection of historic sailing ships, steam-powered boats, and submarine, each offering entertaining and educational exhibits. The 501c3 non-profit Museum enjoys an international reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaing, and operating historic vessels including the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India. Maritime Museum of San Diego is ranked as one of the nations’s top attractions offering self-guided tours, docent-guided group tours, tall ship charters, year-round public events, educational programs, and a distinctive venue for corporate/private events. The Museum is open daily along Star of India Wharf at 1492 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. sdmaritime.org

About musicologist Derek Katz 

Derek Katz is an Associate Professor of Music History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his PhD in 2000. He also holds a degree from Harvard, and has studied at The Free University of Berlin on a Fulbright Fellowship. A specialist in Czech music, he has published articles in Musical Quarterly and multiple Czech journals, as well as chapters in Nineteenth Century Chamber Music (Schirmer, 1998), and in Janáček and His World (Princeton, 2003). His book Janáček Beyond the Borders was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2009. His more recent work deals with institutional support for professional string quartets in the United States in the mid-20th Century. Katz has also written for The New York Times and the San Francisco Opera and spoken at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He is an enthusiastic amateur violist and chamber music player.

photos by Sam Zauscher

Past seasons’ concerts:


February 26 – Then & Now

We open the eighth season of our Haydn Voyages series with an exploration of past and present, early and late. The first half of this concert features two Haydn quartets: one from his opus 9 set, which he considered his first mature group of string quartets, and one of his masterpieces written a quarter century later. Tomeka Reid (recent MacArthur award winner) is one of the most exciting voices writing today, and Mendelssohn’s exuberant D Major Quartet closes this show with a bang!

May 21 – Mementos

May’s program journeys through places and times far and wide, from Haydn’s Vienna and London to Milhaud’s Europe, Caroline Shaw’s musical depiction of the grounds of Washington DC’s Dumbarton Oaks and Max Vinetz’s work inspired by a cross-country journey. Max was also a prize winner in our 2021 Quarantine Composition Competition, and we’re proud to share his work in his native San Diego.

September 17 – Impressions

Ned Rorem would have been 100 this fall, and his fourth quartet is based on impressions from a collection of Picasso’s paintings (“sort of,” in the composer’s words). How do other art forms influence and inform each other? How can our dialogue with masterpieces of the past be shared in our performances today? This collection of works on its own can’t possibly answer these questions, but may pose some of its own…

November 19 – Patterns of Americana

The 2023 season of Haydn Voyages concludes with a journey through America’s last century of creativity, featuring groundbreaking works by Charles Ives (his second quartet), Lou Harrison and inti figgis-vizueta. Though these three composers come from diverse backgrounds and traditions, their distinctive voices provide compelling tastes from our continent’s cultural melting pot.


February 6 – Stars Align

The season opens with a dramatic and optimistic afternoon featuring two of Haydn’s more joyous quartets (opus 33/6 and 77/1) alongside works by two women with strikingly original musical voices: Leila Adu-Gilmore’s if the stars align… (a composer whose own star is rising fast) and French Romantic (and member of Les Six) Germaine Tailleferre’s Quartet from 1919. Join us for a celebratory opening to 2022’s concert season.

May 8 – Folk Beats

Two works that explore folk music of their native lands in extraordinary ways anchor this concert: Bela Bartok’s Third String Quartet (1927) is his shortest, yet packs incredible power and variety in its use of raucous dance rhythms and haunting melodies. The afternoon’s two Haydn Quartets (opus 17/6 and 64/6) both feature creative use of popular idioms and tunes, with Haydn’s characteristic blend of the most fashionable trends of the time and more rustic, everyday folk material. Shelley Washington’s Middleground (2016) is a celebration and reminiscence of places and feelings from the composer’s upbringing, “the space grounded, the between, the center[…] Home of the heart, hear of the home.”

September 11 – Blueprint for Four

note date change from original announcement

Four compositional giants meet on this concert program: Haydn, Beethoven, John Cage and Caroline Shaw. The dialogue among them is sometimes direct, and at other times less obvious, but Caroline Shaw sums it up best in her program note to her 2016 work, Blueprint:

Chamber music is ultimately about conversation without words. We talk to each other with our dynamics and articulations, and we try to give voice to the composers whose music has inspired us to gather in the same room and play music. Blueprint is also a conversation — with Beethoven, Haydn (his teacher and the “father” of the string quartet), and with the joys and malinconia of his Op.18, No. 6.

November 6 – Nature Sounds

A world premiere quintet by Jessica Meyer (commissioned for the Hausmann Quartet and featuring the composer performing on viola) is the centerpiece of this program, which explores our relationship to the natural world and the alarming changes it is undergoing. George Walker’s tender, evocative Lyric and Haydn’s sunny opus 20/2 are matched with Peter Schulthorpe’s hauntingly beautiful Quartet #18, his “hearfelt expression of my concern about climate change, about the future of our fragile planet.”


February 28 – Alone Together (online presentation, pay what you wish)

The online opening of the 2021 season will continue to explore the unique time and place we find ourselves in, and the new kinds of creativity and connection that we have been forced to find. The program opens with Angélica Negrón’s Marejada, a piece written in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically to be played from separate locations via a video conferencing platform. The Hausmann Quartet will return to the Berkeley for Haydn’s groundbreaking Opus 20, No. 4 Quartet, paired with Grazyna Bacewicz’s dynamic String Quartet no. 4 from 1951. The concert concludes with an in person version of Marejada, in the composer’s words: “an invitation to sonically escape from your room and to actively imagine and immerse yourself in a different place and time.”

May 16 – Paths Converge

Two Haydn quartets bookend a trio of compact but powerfully adventurous works from the 20th and 21st centuries in the Hausmann Quartet’s long-awaited return to live, in person performance. This concert will be held on the outdoor deck of the Berkeley, and features works by Silvestre Revueltas (the father of Mexican musical modernism), Alexandra Vrebalov (My Desert, My Rose from 2015) and Kerwin Young’s brief but evocative Peace on the Left, Justice on the Right, written in response to the murder of George Floyd. Audience members will once again be able to enjoy the idyllic sights and sounds of San Diego’s harbor as they experience live music.

September 12 – Time & Place

A world premiere by Joshua Roman is the centerpiece of this program. Originally scheduled for 2020, Roman’s piece (commissioned for the Hausmann Quartet and the Haydn Voyages series) is a meditation on the unique setting and era we find ourselves in today. This concert includes a novel collection of movements from some of Haydn’s contemporaries (St. Georges, Vanhal, Dittersdorf and Mozart) assembled to create a kind of “Composite Classical” Quartet, also a world premiere in its own way. Another Hausmann pandemic-era initiative was a composition competition, and the winning submission by Yangfan Xu will be featured on this show. The audience will be sent off into the San Diego sunset with Haydn’s captivating “Dream” quartet (op. 50/5).

November 21 – Groove Music

The sixth season closes with a celebration of beats that make us move, wherever and whoever we are. Music by Californian minimalist Terry Riley meets John Adams and recently departed jazz giant Chick Corea, as well as a trip back in time a few hundred years for some of the earliest music written for four string instruments (by Gregorio Allegri). Haydn’s place on the program may represent the least funky beat, but dance moves are still welcome…feel the groove with the Hausmann Quartet to round out the sixth season of Haydn Voyages!


February 9 – Dancing in the Orange Groves

The season opens with an evocative mix of music, pairing two Haydn masterpieces with works suggestive of our own time and place. Terry Riley’s Good Medicine Dance is the final segment of his epic Salome Dances for Peace, which updates the legend of Salome to today (or at least to 1987). Caroline Shaw’s Valencia is an ode to the common supermarket orange, but also in the composer’s words “a kind of celebration of awareness of the natural, unadorned food that is still available to us.” Join us for this Californian adventure!

September 20 – Worldly Travelers

Join us online from the comfort of your home! This virtual voyage includes stops in this century’s Middle East and 18th-century France, and of course Haydn’s Austria. The program opens with a quartet by the inventive Chevalier de Saint-Georges (remembered as the first classical composer of African descent) who collaborated on many of Haydn’s Paris premieres. Young Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi’s evocative Daughters of Sol is the bridge to one of Haydn’s late masterpieces, opus 76, no. 6.

October 18 (KPBS night) – Inhale, Exhale

The annual celebration of KPBS’ sponsorship of the Haydn Voyages series is a typically adventurous mix of old and new. Haydn will be joined on this concert by one of today’s most compelling composers: Hannah Lash’s 2009 work Frayed. Beethoven turns 250 this year, but his music sounds as fresh, experimental and powerful as ever; his Serioso quartet anchors this program’s exploration of contrast, breath, tension and release. (The originally scheduled world premiere by Joshua Roman, commissioned for the Hausmann Quartet, will be performed in 2021).

November 15 – After the Storm

The Hausmann Quartet will be joined by longtime friend and collaborator, soprano Ann Moss, for John Harbison’s The Rewaking, the centerpiece of an afternoon of music drawing inspiration from the natural world. This exploration of our environment is sure to be an unforgettable journey, including John Howell Morrison’s Hard Weather Makes Good Wood and Haydn’s Bird Quartet. This afternoon on the bay is sure to open your ears and warm your heart!


January 13 – Reconstruction and Transformation

The season opens with an exploration of the transformative power of music through works with strikingly different points of origin and world views. Jessie Montgomery’s Source Code re-imagines works by African American poets, dancers and jazz singers active in the Civil Rights era to create a transportive sound world all of her own. Pauline Oliveros’ 1971 Tuning Meditation takes both audience and performers on a participatory deep-listening journey. It comes from a set of pieces the composer highlights for a “focus on community, the social power of sound, an extended recognition of its sources, and its deconstruction of hierarchy. Though undoubtedly a new way of composing, it also proposed a new way of existing in the world, and interacting with others.” The centerpiece is Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ninth Quartet, a powerfully intense work which was in fact his second attempt at writing a ninth string quartet, as he burned his first draft “in an attack of healthy self criticism.” As usual, Haydn’s constant reinvention and endless creativity will be on full display.

March 31 – Songs of the World

This journey around the globe spans cultures, eras and political issues that are as alive today as they were in Haydn’s 18th-century Europe. His “Emperor” Quartet, with its variations on a theme he wrote for Francis II (later used in the German national anthem and inspired by Haydn hearing “God Save the King” in London), surely includes feelings of national pride, but may have also been a symbolic protest to Napoleon’s rise in Europe. A haunting setting of an Armenian folk song by Mary Kouyoumdjian and Terry Riley’s G Song (the work of an American master who draws on truly global influences) complete this international voyage, with Haydn as fearless leader.

September 15 (KPBS night)- Loss and Renewal

This concert spans the full range of our human experience: from the unspeakable tragedy of losing a child and facing one’s own impending death after a long battle with poor health, contrasted with the sense of hope and renewal that comes with the birth of another child, and the unexpected recovery after a long illness. Beethoven’s opus 132 Quartet is one if his final masterpieces, and guides the narrative arc of this program. A world premiere by Ryan Carter will explore similar themes, and Haydn’s quirky opus 17/1 Quartet completes this emotionally potent evening. This concert is also the annual celebration of KPBS’ sponsorship of Haydn Voyages.

November 10 – Frog and Hair

Mischief and wry humor abound in 2019’s final concert, featuring quirky miniatures by Andrew Norman (Peculiar Strokes) and Igor Stravinsky (Concertino) to go along with two of Haydn’s most creative and unique contributions to the string quartet repertoire, his so-called “Frog” and “Lark” Quartets. Come enjoy some clever musical jokes, winks and nods to go along with the beautiful sunset aboard the Berkeley as the fourth season of Haydn Voyages comes to a close.


February 25: Early Years

The 2018 season opens with an exploration of Haydn’s beginnings in the string quartet genre, featuring one of his opus 1 quartets along with an example of his more mature opus 9 works, written a decade later. Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Quartet 1931 is an American modernist masterpiece that put the young composer on the map, and Tina Tallon’s selective defrosting from 2012 is an evocative, exciting work from an up-and- coming composer with San Diego roots.

May 6: Form and Texture

A pair of Haydn Quartets frames two exquisitely crafted works from our modern era: Philip Glass’ Company (composed in 1983 for a dramatization of Samuel Beckett’s novella of the same name) and Marcos Balter’s Chambers from 2012, described by one critic as “a mesmerizing plunge into icy musical depths…This is a gorgeous piece, well worth hearing again.” The singular atmosphere of the Berkeley and San Diego harbor is sure to add to this exciting program.

September 16: Anniversaries

In a fascinating and varied program that will feature a world premiere by Stephen Prutsman, the Hausmann Quartet will present works celebrating significant anniversaries in 2018: Steve Reich’s seminal Different Trains (composed 30 years in ago in 1988), along with Haydn’s opus 55/1 (composed 230 years ago in 1788). Some of the earliest chamber music ever written (from 16th-century England) will round out this unique concert experience.

November 11: Journeys on the Voyager

In 1977, NASA sent the Voyager Golden Record, which included selections of images, music, speech and sounds from around the world, into outer space. Beethoven’s sublime Cavatina from his opus 130 quartet was the final piece of music, and the project was directed by Carl Sagan, whose request to turn the Voyager around portrait of Earth looking back on us as it was leaving the solar system from six billion miles away inspired David Ludwig’s 2014 work Pale Blue Dot. One of Haydn’s quartets from the time Beethoven studied with him completes this program. As Jimmy Carter said at the time of the Voyager’s launch, “This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe.”


January 22: Ancient Inspirations

We trace the early music influences of two masters, Haydn and Gabriel Fauré. Adaptations of vocal works by Giacomo Carissimi and Josquin des Prez shine a new light on the old origins of two of the finest quartets ever written: Haydn’s opus 20/3 and Faure’s lone work in the genre, his final composition before his death in 1924.

May 28: Operatic Explorations

A celebration of song, as two of Haydn’s most virtuosic quartets (the opus 17/5 “Recitative” and opus 20/5), Anton Webern’s seductive Langsamer Satz and two of Dvorak’s Cypresses are paired with Thomas Adès enchanting Arcadiana, a collection of fantasies from 1994 that Adès says “evoke various vanished or vanishing ‘idylls’.” Each of the Adès movements the Hausmann Quartet will play are inspired by a body of water (real or imagined), making the Berkeley a fitting setting for this captivating program.

September 17: Reason Gone Mad

Haydn’s humor is legendary and multi-faceted. Miniatures by Ana Sokolovic (Commedia dell’Arte I), Igor Stravinsky and George Antheil frame two of Haydn’s wittiest, funniest works, the “Joke” Quartet and circus-like opus 74/2, adding up to a concert embodying Groucho Marx’s definition of humor: “reason gone mad.”

November 12: Dreams and Dances

The final concert of the 2017 season features Haydn’s “Rider” quartet, an example of the composer at the true height of his powers as a master of the string quartet genre. Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces (1923) are a wonderfully varied collection of dances, and Missy Mazzoli’s Quartet for Queen Mab (2015) is a fantastical journey based on a creature from folklore and literature. In the words of the composer: “I want people to find something out about themselves through my music, something that was inaccessible before, something that they were suppressing, something that they couldn’t really confront….”


February 21: Beginning, Entr’acte, Finale

The inaugural concert features Haydn’s first and last complete string quartets, offering a vivid portrait of his development and mastery of the genre. His final quartet (opus 77/2) was completed in 1799, and inspired 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte from 2011. Shaw wrote, “I love the way some music (like the minuets of Op. 77) suddenly takes you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition.” The concert also includes maverick American/Mexican composer Conlon Nancarrow’s first quartet (1945) and Haydn’s very first quartet, opus 1/1 (ca. 1757).

May 15: Haydn and Cage

John Cage and Joseph Haydn may appear to be an unlikely musical couple, but they were both titans of their eras, influencing entire generations of composers and defining the style of their times: Haydn as the epitome of classicism and Cage as the trailblazer of the post-war avant-garde. Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts from 1950 is a spare, beautiful view of the four seasons based in part on Indian philosophy, of which he wrote at the time, “This piece is like the opening of another door; the possibilities implied are unlimited.” Haydn’s first quartet in the opus 20 series (“Sun”) likewise opens a new door of possibilities, as each instrument is liberated and given equal importance, a departure from the violin-driven tradition of the past. His “Sunrise” Quartet op. 76/4 closes the program, another shining example of his mastery of the genre.

September 25: Folk Festivities

Haydn was one of the first Classical composers to incorporate popular, folk and Hungarian material into the string quartet, and the opus 42 and 54/2 quartets are some of the most evocative examples of this exploration. The influence of traditionalmusic on the string quartet continues to this day, and this concert provides two more vivid examples from the 21st century: Linde Timmerman’s Cante de Ida y Vuelta (Round Trip Songs), inspired by the folk traditions of South America and Spanish flamenco, was written for and premiered by the Hausmann Quartet in 2015. Brooklyn-based composer/violinist Colin Jacobsen’s Brooklesca is an homage to the richly diverse borough he calls home, complete with winks to his musical ancestors.

November 20: London Travels

Haydn had a wonderful association with London, with his works gaining wide appeal and his visits there giving fruit to numerous career advancements and opportunities. His opus 74/1 reflects the worldly, cosmopolitan style of his later years. The British connection continues with the String Quartet no. 1 of Benjamin Britten (arguably the Empire’s finest composer), written in the summer of 1941 here in Southern California, and opens with his teacher Frank Bridge’s hauntingly beautiful Three Idylls.