The quartet — violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi and Mathias Tacke, violist Richard Young and cellist Marc Johnson — was founded in 1969 at the Marlboro Festival and has been in residence at Northern Illinois University since 1970.
The Vermeer has appeared at most of the world's most prestigious concert halls and music festivals; its discography includes the complete quartets of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Bartók, as well as works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvorák, Verdi, Shostakovich, Haydn, Schnittke, and Brahms. The quartet has received numerous Grammy Award nominations.
Their farewell tour includes a stop in New York at Alice Tully Hall on April 25, under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. They will perform Schubert's String Quartet No. 10, Britten's String Quartet No. 3, and Dvorák's String Quartet in E-flat major.