Tokyo String Quartet
- String Quartet
Tokyo String Quartet: Highlights of recent seasons included a performance at Carnegie Hall, and an ambitious project that included performances of the complete string quartets and other chamber works of Brahms interspersed with four new pieces commissioned by the quartet. The premiere of each new piece took place in the native country of its composer: Joan Tower (United States), José Luis Turina (Spain), Fabio Vacchi (Italy) and Hikaru Hayashi (Japan). The members of the Tokyo have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1976 as quartet-in-residence.
The Tokyo String Quartet has released more than 30 recordings, earning such honors as the Grand Prix du Disque Montreux, Gramophone awards, and seven Grammy nominations. Their new disc of the three Beethoven Rasumovsky quartets on Harmonia Mundi has been greeted with great acclaim, and more Beethoven recordings for the label are planned for the future. Last year the release of their recordings of Mozart's late 'Prussia' Quartets on Biddulph Recordings was similarly well received.
The Tokyo String Quartet performs on "The Paganini Quartet," a group of Stradivarius instruments acquired and played by the renowned virtuoso during the 19th century. The instruments have been loaned to the ensemble by the Nippon Music Foundation since 1995, when they were purchased from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the Tokyo String Quartet traces its origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where the founding members were profoundly influenced by Professor Hideo Saito. They eventually came to America for further study with Robert Mann, Raphael Hillyer and Claus Adam. Soon after its creation, the quartet won First Prize at the Coleman Competition, Munich Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions.