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This year, Beethoven fans have had to wait for the Slee Beethoven Quartet Cycle. Instead of beginning in the fall, the entire season starts this weekend. These first three concerts, though, should prove worth the wait. They feature the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet.

Formed in 2002, the Parker Quartet gathered momentum when Chamber Music America awarded the quartet the biennial Cleveland Quartet Award. The group won its Grammy Award in 2010 for a disc of Ligeti quartets. Starting this spring it will be in residence at Harvard University.

Meanwhile, the Parker Quartet will be in Buffalo offering the traditional first three concerts of the prestigious Slee Beethoven cycle. The cycle will continue in March with three more concerts featuring the Alexander Quartet.

Here is this weekend’s schedule.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Parker Quartet will play Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat, Op. 127; the Quartet in F, Op. 18, No. 1; and the Quartet in C, Op. 59, No. 3.

The second concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday features the Quartet in E-flat, Op. 74 (“The Harp”); the Quartet in G, Op. 18, No. 2; and the Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131.

The Parker Quartet’s visit winds up with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday. This final concert features the Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3; the daunting “Grosse Fuge,” Op. 133; and the sublime, valedictory Quartet in F, Op. 59, No. 1.

All three concerts take place in Lippes Hall in Slee Hall, UB North Campus, Amherst. Advance tickets to any of the concerts are $12, $9 for seniors and $5 for students. At the door, admission is $20, $15 and $8.

The quartet also will conduct a master class from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Baird Recital Hall (250 Baird Hall, North Campus.) The class is free and open to the public.

For tickets or info, call 645-2921.

– Mary Kunz Goldman