The popularity of the string quartet, the chamber-music genre par excellence, among Spanish composers reached heights hitherto unknown during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This process was seen as an act of modernization in the face of Europe, as well as a reaction to the absolute predominance of Italian opera, the hegemonic genre of the period. It was also at this time that some of the quartets by the composers of the period were performed for the first time in Madrid. The series thus combines the modern-day premieres of three Spanish string quartets with foreign works. The time span covered in these concerts stretches from 1863, when the Sociedad de Cuartetos de Madrid was founded (thus commemorating its 150th anniversary) to 1914, a year that marked the beginning of a new musical world.