String Quartet No. 3 “Alan Turing”

Michael Oesterle

String Quartet No. 3 “Alan Turing”

  • Michael Oesterle
  • Year of composition: 2010
  • Instrumentation: string quartet
  • Commission: Quatuor Bozzini, Société Radio-Canada (SRC)

Many of my works are about my fascination with the lives of scientists. In these compositions I don’t attempt to give a precise outline or demonstration of any specific scientific theorem, they are simply the result of having been inspired by the force of concentration and creativity of scientists, their method of work and the frequency with which they meet society’s opposition. This string quartet was my first in a series of pieces about the British mathematician Alan Turing.

Alan Turing took a second hand violin and a sextant to Princeton University: the violin, to be like Einstein, the sextant to chart his course while aboard the ship that carried him there. He never learned to play the violin well, (his brother referred to his playing as “excruciating”) but he loved to play and played for those he loved. He played for his lover and later, for the officers who arrested him. He played as a declaration of faith in civilisation and the need to strive towards greatness of both heart and mind.

String Quartet No. 3 “Alan Turing” was titled Alan Turing — Solace for Irreversible Losses (Matter and Spirit; Delilah; The Universal Machine Concept; Acronyms; Morphogenesis; Hyperboloids of Wondrous Light) through 2020.


  • April 20, 2010, Under the title Alan Turing — Solace for Irreversible Losses: Salon des compositeurs 2010, Homage Series Gilles Tremblay: I, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (Québec)
Interview: Michael Oesterle: Daydream Mechanics; Michael Oesterle: String Quartet No. 3 “Alan Turing”; Michael Oesterle: String Quartet No. 4; Michael Oesterle: Three Pieces for String Quartet; Bozzini Quartet; Michael Oesterle; In English, French; March 2022