Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

BeachScenes Shorelines' Weekly Entertainment Guide; Tokyo String Quartet Will Perform at St. Paul's by the Sea

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

BeachScenes Shorelines' Weekly Entertainment Guide; Tokyo String Quartet Will Perform at St. Paul's by the Sea

Article excerpt

Byline: TAMARA McCLARAN

The Tokyo String Quartet, founded about 35 years ago and regarded as one of the world's supreme chamber music ensembles, has built a reputation for mesmerizing audiences with its signature sound.

But the response to the quartet was a little different in its early days.

"In the beginning, people might have come to our concerts out of curiosity, wondering, 'How could these four Japanese talents play Western music?' " said second violinist Kikuei Ikeda, who joined the ensemble in 1974.

The Tokyo String Quartet performs all over the world and their current tour includes a performance Sunday for the Beaches Fine Arts Series. The free concert begins at 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach.

Formed in 1969 at The Juilliard School of Music, the Tokyo String Quartet comprises Ikeda, founding member and violist Kazuhide Isomura, first violinist Martin Beaver, who is the founding member of the Toronto String Quartet; and cellist Clive Greensmith, formerly principal cellist of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

With the support of the Nippon Music Foundation, the ensemble performs on the Paganini Quartet, a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments named for the legendary virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, who acquired and played them during the 19th century. The instruments have been on loan to the ensemble since 1995, when they were purchased from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

"The instruments are a fabulous set of Stradivarius ...," Ikeda said. "When we play together, somehow these instruments speak to each other with a homogeneous quality. It feels like magic, yet it happens naturally."

The Jacksonville Beach concert will include compositions by three masters of the Classical and Romantic era: Haydn's Quartet in D Minor, Op. …

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