July 26, 2012 3 Comments
This past Tuesday, the Tokyo String Quartet played what first violin Martin Beaver said would almost certainly be their last concert at the Ravinia Festival. In all likelihood, it will also be their final appearance anywhere in the Chicago area. With Kazuhide Isomura (founding viola) and Kikuei Ikeda (longtime second violin) deciding to retire, the whole ensemble is calling it quits after the 2012/2013 season. It was “an evening full of meaning for us,” according to Mr. Beaver.
That I was there to experience it was a confluence of lucky events. A week before, I didn’t know I’d be in Chicago. The day before, I wasn’t sure if I’d be attending. That morning, a massive thunderstorm rolled through the region, complete with hail and some not-messin’-around wind causing widespread damage and some power outages.
Around lunch time, the rain stopped, but I got a weather alert on my phone warning of “Severe Heat” with temperatures between 100 and 104 degrees with a heat index of up to 110 degrees once you factored in the humidity; however, this turned out to be a warning for Wednesday, not the night of the concert By the time I arrived at Ravinia around 6:30pm, the skies had cleared and the temperature was a very SoCal-like mid-70′s with moderate humidity. Nothing would get in the way of the chance to see this concert.
Lucky me — and very lucky, too, for the near-capacity crowd inside Martin Theatre and the many others picnicking outside. The Tokyo Quartet treated everyone to an evening that was enjoyable on so many levels.