HOUSTON – After 44 years of performances throughout the world, the famed Tokyo String Quartet will retire; and their final appearance in Houston this September is hosted by Houston Friends of Chamber Music. On Thursday, September 20, 2012, the Tokyo String Quartet will open the 2012 – 2013 season for Houston Friends, as they have traditionally for so many years, in Stude Concert Hall, Shepherd School of Music, at Rice University at 7:30 p.m. For their 40th and final Houston performance, the program will feature Haydn’s String Quartet in g minor, op. 74/3 “Rider”, Bartók’s String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114, and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in e minor, Op. 44/2.
After introducing the Tokyo String Quartet to Houston, the Houston Friends had the good fortune to develop a close relationship with this most sought-after ensemble. Officially formed in 1969 at the Julliard School of Music, the group has collaborated with a remarkable array of artists and composers, and established a distinguished teaching record. When founding members Kikuei Ikeda (violin) and Kazuhide Isomura (viola) announced their personal retirements from the group last year, it became a unanimous decision that they would disband the group in June of 2013. Martin Beaver (violin) and Clive Greensmith (cello) have been with the ensemble for over 10 years.
The members of Tokyo String Quartet will leave behind an exceptional legacy. They have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music as quartet-in-residence since 1976, and have conducted a multitude of master classes in universities and cities around the world. With more than 40 landmark recordings on Harmonia Mundi, BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel-EMI, CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Grammophon and Vox Cum Laude, Tokyo has received numerous honors and awards, including seven Grammy nominations.
The performance will be held at Rice University’s Alice Pratt Brown Hall, in the Shepherd School of Music, parking entrances #18 from Rice Blvd or #8 from University Blvd. Parking is directly across from the Hall in West Lot 1 at a cost of $4 for the event (major credit card required). Single tickets go on sale beginning August 1, 2012; prices range from $20 - $70, with discounts for students and seniors. For more information on the 2012-2013 Season, please visit the www.houstonfriendsofchambermusic.org or call 713.348.5400.
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Houston Friends of Chamber Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. These performances are also made possible by generous grants from Houston Endowment Inc., a philanthropy endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Jesse H. Jones.
KUHF Radio interview with Kikuei Ikeda, founding member of TSQ, 9/7/11, commenting on significant events for him while playing in Houston over the decades: http://www.classical917.org/articles/1315520796-Houston-Friends-of-Chamber-Music-Tokyo-String-Quartet.html
Tokyo String Quartet at http://www.tokyoquartet.com/
Houston Friends of Chamber Music at http://www.houstonfriendsofchambermusic.org/
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve
Pictured left to right: Kazuhide Isomura (viola), Kikuei Ikeda (violin), Clive Greensmith (cello), and Martin Beaver (violin)