My introduction to Elliott Carter’s music began when my quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, performed his First String Quartet at the University of Chicago in 2000. I was struck by the range and depth of expression in this monumental work. The performance was one of the highlights of my musical life, and since then we have been regularly performing Elliott Carter’s quartets. Early on we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Carter. Arriving with my quartet at his apartment in New York one afternoon in 2001, we were incredibly nervous but excited. We had been working for months on these extraordinary pieces, mostly just trying to get them together and be true to what was on the page. We had no idea what to expect and couldn’t imagine what it might be like playing for such a monumental figure in American music. We were greeted at the door by Mr. Carter and Virgil in such a warm manner that we were immediately put at ease. Playing through his quartets that afternoon was life changing. While we had been so worried about getting the details perfectly correct, all of his comments were about the character and emotion in the music. He wanted things lighter and more transparent. As we played, his wonderfully expressive face would change with the music. This experience has stayed with me and shaped me as a musician in how I approach everything I play. For this I will be forever grateful to Mr. Carter.