The Grammy award-winning Takács Quartet will perform at the New England Conservatory of Music's Jordan Hall Friday evening, as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston. Paired with notable nineteenth century quartets, they'll also perform "Flow" a piece by American violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama co-commissioned by the series and inspired by the natural world.

The group, which is currently on a 13-city tour, stopped by Boston Public Radio to discuss the performance.

Edward Dusinberre, who joined the quartet in January of 1993 while studying violin at Julliard, spoke on how "Flow" fits between string quartets by Joseph Haydn and Beethoven in their three-song program.

"All of these pieces, when we're playing them, we're trying to create a sense of immediacy, spontaneity, and sort of recreate the sense of discovery when these pieces were first held," Dusinberre said. "That's what pulls them together."

Harumi Rhodes, a violinist for the quartet since 2018, met Ngwenyama over two decades ago and wanted to bring her talents to the group.

"I was just amazed at how her personality, her performance personality, comes through in the composing," she said. "She's amazing, an incredible woman and with lots of positive energy."

To compose a piece influenced by the natural world, Ngwenyama delved deep into the physics of the universe said Richard O'Neill, the group's violist.

"Thula has a divinity degree from Harvard, and she has a lot of amazing interests," he said. "The first movement deals with the Big Bang. This third movement is a quark."

A quark is a subatomic particle that is believed to be one of the fundamental building blocks of all matter.

At the start of the composition, Ngwenyama uses the note B for hydrogen and combines it with the note E to represent helium — one of the first elements in the universe.

The Takács Quartet was created by four students in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. Today, the group is in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Just two years after the quartet's inception and approximately 13.77 billion years after the universe's, the group received worldwide acclaim after winning two awards at the International String Quartet Competition. They have gone on to receive six Grammy nominations and one win in 2003.

Founding member András Fejér detailed where the group's name originated and its move from Hungary to the U.S.

"Gábor Takács was our original leader. But only in the first 17 years," he said. "We moved to the States to the express invitation of the University of Colorado in Boulder, who had an admirable past of supporting chamber music."

It's become an ideal home for the quartet to be based out of and travel from, he said.

Takács Quartet will be performing at NEC's Jordan Hall on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024 at 8:00 p.m.