Oct. 4, 2001
Vol. 21 No. 2

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    Tokyo String Quartet to open Chamber Music Series

    By Seth Sanders
    News Office

    The University of Chicago Presents Chamber Music Series will open its 2001-2002 season at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Mandel Hall, with an exclusive Chicago appearance by the Tokyo String Quartet, featuring guest violist Phillip Ying.

    Founded more than 30 years ago, the Tokyo String Quartet is regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world. The Washington Post wrote of them, “If the Tokyo String Quartet isn’t the world’s greatest chamber music ensemble, it’s hard to imagine which group is.”

    The quartet comprises violist Kazuhide Isomura, a founding member; second violinist Kikuei Ikeda, who joined the ensemble in 1974; first violinist Mikhail Kopelman, formerly of the Borodin Quartet; and Clive Greensmith, formerly principal cellist of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Phillip Ying is the violist of the Ying Quartet and an assistant professor of chamber music at the Eastman School of Music.

    The quartet performs on the Paganini Quartet, a group of Stradivarius instruments named for the famous virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, who acquired and played them during the 19th century.

    The quartet has released more than 30 recordings, including the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert and Bartok. The ensemble’s recordings of works by Brahms, Debussy, Dvor·k, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel and Schubert have earned numerous honors, including seven Grammy nominations.

    The Tokyo String Quartet also has been featured on PBS’s Sesame Street, Great Performers and CNN This Morning. The members of the quartet have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1976 as quartet-in-residence, and they teach at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in the summer. As a performer, Ying maintains an interest in new music, with recent and planned premieres of works by Chen Yi, Augusta Read Thomas and Michael Torke. He is currently pursuing a multi-year commissioning project with the Institute for American Music.

    The Friday program will consist of the following Brahms works: Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1; String Quintet in F Major, Op. 88; and the “Spring” String Quintet in G Major, Op. 111. A free pre-concert talk will be available to ticket holders in Mandel Hall at 7 p.m.

    Ticket prices are $29 (student price $11, with valid ID).

    For further information or to purchase tickets, please call (773) 702-8068, or visit http://chicagopresents.uchicago.edu. There is free parking nearby, and the venue is handicapped accessible.