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Tokyo String Quartet

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NEWS
April 6, 1987 | By Charles McCurdy, Special to The Inquirer
The University Museum proved the perfect setting for the Tokyo String Quartet's recital yesterday afternoon. On the first floor of the museum, Eskimo jackets with delicate beadwork sat on the shoulders of impassive mannequins. Photographs of stolid Inuit men glared down from the walls. Downstairs, the quartet - Peter Oundjian, first violin; Kikuei Ikeda, second violin; Kazuhide Isomura, viola, and Sadao Harada, cello - played a program of Schubert, Mendelssohn and Beethoven.
NEWS
January 26, 1990 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
The Tokyo String Quartet's third Beethoven concert in Richardson Auditorium was not so keenly polished as previous programs in the series, but the high level of intensity and almost devotional concern for the scores were continually reassuring. However one arranges a cycle of Beethoven's 17 quartets, a perennially interesting venture, players and audience are challenged - and benevolently provoked. Each reordering alters impressions and perspectives. An aural kaleidoscope is formed, with the quartets refracting and regathering elements from one another.
NEWS
October 17, 2002 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Among the great joys of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society are concerts by the Tokyo String Quartet, and this isn't a minority opinion, since those concerts tend to be sold out. So we can all be forgiven for being inordinately nonplussed when the quartet arrived at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday without first violinist Mikhail Kopelman. Having come to the Tokyo quartet from the great Borodin Quartet, Kopelman ushered the group into a golden period starting in 1996.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 1998 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has a devout and seasoned following. So many of its presentations sell out of the 500-seat hall it calls home at the Pennsylvania Convention Center hall that the society has gotten used to bringing out the folding chairs. Five rows of extra chairs were required for the Tokyo String Quartet's performance Friday night, making the atmosphere in the cordial chamber intimate indeed. The Tokyo is performing this fall without its longtime cellist Sadao Harada.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Personnel changes are no small matter for string quartets, a musical unit whose success depends on the closest kind of rapport. The Tokyo String Quartet, which was formed in 1969, has a new violinist sitting in the first chair - at least for this season while Peter Oundjian is on a sabbatical. Andrew Dawes replaces him, and while his sound may never fully match those of his colleagues, he didn't seem to be trying too hard to blend last night when the group played the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Musicians today are writing and blogging, speaking directly to their public, involving readers in, yes, process - but also gathering up fans and a cache of personal investment that may or may not have anything to do with the music itself. Does it really matter what the pianist had for breakfast? Friend me, the classical world pleads. Jeremy Denk is an especially appealing denizen of the electronic ether. Tuesday night's intermission crowd at the Perelman Theater lit up with chatter about his recent New Yorker essay, an illuminating gaze at his own reflection in recordings.
NEWS
February 4, 2002 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Did they bait and switch? Or come to their senses? The ever-popular Tokyo String Quartet promised one of the most distinctive programs in the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's history on Friday with an odd series of seven works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Webern and Kurtag, most of them isolated, single-movement pieces - excellent ones - that are difficult to program any other way without seeming like odds and ends. Grouped together, what could these pieces from different centuries have in common?
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 1992 | By Ken Keuffel Jr., FOR THE INQUIRER
I've no doubt that some chamber ensembles play as well as the Tokyo String Quartet. It's just hard to believe that other groups give concert-goers more for their money. My assessment follows the Tokyo's Thursday program of Haydn, Schubert and Ravel, which opened the 98th season of Princeton University Concerts at Richardson Auditorium. The Tokyo players - violinist Peter Oundjian, violinist Kikuei Ikeda, violist Kazuhide Isomura and cellist Sadao Harada - consistently produced a tightly knit, meticulously prepared sound that both delighted and enthralled.
NEWS
November 10, 1989 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
String players like to remind us that their instruments are the ones held closest to the heart. And certainly those qualities of passion, tenderness and vulnerability that music so often releases are acute when expressed on a taut string. So anyone encountering Beethoven's most personal testimony, his cycle of string quartets, is in for an emotional and possibly spiritual experience of some magnitude. That appeared to be true for the audience at Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium on Wednesday night as the Tokyo String Quartet began a series of performances traversing the complete cycle.
NEWS
February 17, 1988 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
As it nears its third decade before the public, the Tokyo String Quartet has mellowed. This listener has always admired the ensemble's riveting energy and exuberance but has occasionally felt its interpretations suffered from an excess of sheen or high-tech brilliance. But brilliance was hardly the point of its concert presented last night at the Academy of Music Hall by the Musical Fund Society. Expressivity was. During two hours of intensely involved music-making, the Tokyo offered quartets by Haydn, (Op. 74, No. 1 in C major)
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Musicians today are writing and blogging, speaking directly to their public, involving readers in, yes, process - but also gathering up fans and a cache of personal investment that may or may not have anything to do with the music itself. Does it really matter what the pianist had for breakfast? Friend me, the classical world pleads. Jeremy Denk is an especially appealing denizen of the electronic ether. Tuesday night's intermission crowd at the Perelman Theater lit up with chatter about his recent New Yorker essay, an illuminating gaze at his own reflection in recordings.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2008 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Sofia Gubaidulina said she was "simply shocked at the maturity and depth which is contained in Lera Auerbach's works. " A significant statement - this testimonial to one Russian-born composer from an older one - since Gubaidulina herself is clearly one of classical music's most original musical voices at the moment. And so, with Auerbach's String Quartet No. 2, "Primera Luz" in tow Thursday night, the Tokyo String Quartet's appearance with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society took on added news value.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2007 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Premiering unheard Beethoven in the Philadelphia Orchestra's 107th year might seem likely to involve semi-coherent scratchings from the composer's sketchbooks cobbled together by a graduate student into something vaguely Beethovenian - except this week, when important new Beethoven vistas were opened by guest conductor Peter Oundjian. The Thursday premieres at the Kimmel Center were actually transcriptions: String Quartet No. 14 (Op. 131) became something larger, for 50 string players.
NEWS
February 23, 2004 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
One key gauge of a great singer is the extent to which she can slip into a vocal style that suits the piece at hand. In the case of Ewa Podles, the Polish contralto who has gathered up a big fan base in Philadelphia, we've had a chance to marvel at her in a wide swath of repertoire. She's demonstrated an agility in Rossini that seems to defy what a husky voice should be capable of conquering; she's made Handel into an emotional powerhouse. And Friday night at the sold-out Perelman Theater, she took hold of Joaqu?n Nin's "El Vito" (the sole encore)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2003 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Peter Oundjian is the kind of conductor musicians tend to like. You can tell, not only from the bow-wagging with which string players laud him, but also by the quickness with which he has formed a rapport with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The reason, of course, is that he is "one of them" - or, at least, he was. Oundjian, who led the orchestra Thursday night at Verizon Hall, was first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet, so he speaks a language clearly understood by the major-league ensembles he now leads.
NEWS
March 12, 2003 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will present 16 string quartets, mezzo Stephanie Blythe and contralto Ewa Podles, pianists Richard Goode and Arnaldo Cohen, and the promising young Imani Winds woodwind quartet in its 2003-04 season. Next season may also be the last chance for listeners to catch Anonymous 4, the much-loved a cappella women's quartet that has sold more than a million discs. The group, founded in 1986, has announced it will end its rigorous touring schedule at the end of next season.
NEWS
October 17, 2002 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Among the great joys of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society are concerts by the Tokyo String Quartet, and this isn't a minority opinion, since those concerts tend to be sold out. So we can all be forgiven for being inordinately nonplussed when the quartet arrived at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday without first violinist Mikhail Kopelman. Having come to the Tokyo quartet from the great Borodin Quartet, Kopelman ushered the group into a golden period starting in 1996.
NEWS
October 14, 2002 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
There's nothing flashy about the Panocha Quartet. Which is not to say the Czech group's performance here Friday night was anything less than spectacular ? in its own gentle way. It's all a question of musical values, and the Panocha, making its first appearance here, couldn't have been a more strongly emblematic choice for the opening concert of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's 17th season. The society's leaders mostly import musicians whose quest for meaning in music outstrips mere technical brute strength.
NEWS
February 4, 2002 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Did they bait and switch? Or come to their senses? The ever-popular Tokyo String Quartet promised one of the most distinctive programs in the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's history on Friday with an odd series of seven works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Webern and Kurtag, most of them isolated, single-movement pieces - excellent ones - that are difficult to program any other way without seeming like odds and ends. Grouped together, what could these pieces from different centuries have in common?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 1998 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has a devout and seasoned following. So many of its presentations sell out of the 500-seat hall it calls home at the Pennsylvania Convention Center hall that the society has gotten used to bringing out the folding chairs. Five rows of extra chairs were required for the Tokyo String Quartet's performance Friday night, making the atmosphere in the cordial chamber intimate indeed. The Tokyo is performing this fall without its longtime cellist Sadao Harada.
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