[ Concerts Faculty ]

Tokyo String Quartet performs with violist Ettore Causa Feb. 8

January 20, 2011

Program includes Mozart and Szymanowski quartets, plus Mendelssohn quintet with violist Ettore Causa

The Chamber Music Society at the Yale School of Music presents the Tokyo String Quartet on Tuesday, February 8 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven). The concert will open with Mozart’s “Hunt” Quartet in B-flat major, K. 458, so named because the first movement reminded Mozart’s contemporaries of the rhythms and horn calls of a hunting scene. Szymanowski’s Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 37, will round out the first half. The piece, written in 1917, “deserves to be much better known” for its “inventive textures and arresting, even hallucinatory ideas” (Classics Today).

Guest artist Ettore Causa, professor of viola at the Yale School of Music, will join the quartet for Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 87. Causa has been widely praised for his unusually beautiful tone; his first recording was crowned with the 5 Diapason, and his second quickly earned broad acclaim.

The Tokyo Quartet, currently celebrating its fortieth season as one of the world’s foremost ensembles, has been in residence at the Yale School of Music since 1976. The New York Times has praised the quartet for nothing less than “exemplary chamber music,” and the Toronto Star has called it “an established ensemble playing as one living, breathing organism.”

Tickets to this concert of the season are $25–$35, $15 with student ID. Pick 3 ticket packages are also still available, offering a discount of up to 20% from regular ticket prices. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu<http://music.yale.edu> or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About the Performers

The Tokyo String Quartet has captivated audiences and critics alike since it was founded forty years ago. Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the quartet – Martin Beaver and Kikuei Ikeda (violins), Kazuhide Isomura (viola) and Clive Greensmith (cello) – has collaborated with a remarkable array of artists and composers, built a comprehensive catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings, and established a distinguished teaching record. Performing over a hundred concerts worldwide each season, the Tokyo String Quartet has a devoted international following that includes the major capitals of the world and extends to all corners of the globe. Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the quartet traces its origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo. Soon after its formation, the quartet won First Prize at the Coleman Competition, the Munich Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. An exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon firmly established it as one of the world’s leading quartets, and it has since released more than 40 landmark recordings. The ensemble now records on the Harmonia Mundi label.

Born in Naples, Italy, Ettore Causa began his studies of violin and viola at the Naples Conservatory, where he graduated with the highest honors. He later studied at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland with Sir Yehudi Menuhin and others, and with Michael Tree at the Manhattan School of Music. He has been first solo viola of the Carl Nielsen Philharmonic (Denmark) and leader of the Copenhagen Chamber Soloists. In 2000, he was awarded the Peter Schidlof Prize and the John Barbirolli Prize at the prestigious Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. He has since made solo, recital, and festival appearances around the world, performing in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He is a member of the Aria Quartet and is regularly invited to play with colleagues such as Pascal Rogé and Thomas Adès. In 2001, Causa was appointed professor of viola and chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy. His first recording, for Claves, was crowned with the 5 Diapason, and a new recording has already been highly praised by critics worldwide. Ettore plays on a viola made for him by Frederic Chaudiere in 2003.