The Tokyo String Quartet has captivated audiences and critics alike since it was founded more than 30 years ago. Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the Tokyo 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 well over a hundred concerts worldwide each season, the Tokyo String Quartet has a devoted international following that includes not only the major capitals of the world but also reaches all four corners, from Australia to Estonia to Scandinavia and the Far East.
Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the quartet traces its origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where the founding members were profoundly influenced by Professor Hideo Saito. Soon after its creation, 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 30 landmark recordings. The ensemble now records on the Harmonia Mundi label.
The Tokyo has served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music as quartet-in-residence since 1976. The musicians also regularly participate in master classes throughout North America, Europe and Japan.
The Tokyo String Quartet performs on “The Paganini Quartet,” a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments named for legendary virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, who acquired and played them 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.
Martin Beaver - violin
Kikuei Ikeda - violin
Kazuhide Isomura - viola
Clive Greensmith - cello