Gewandhaus Quartett & Ikuyo Nakamichi, Piano


Haydn: String Quartet No. 53 in D Major, Op. 64-5, Hob.III:63, "The Lark"

Dvořák: String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, B. 179, "American"

Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 44 (Ikuyo Nakamichi, Piano)

Ticket Information

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Date S A B C - - -
Thursday, September 29 - - -
  • Date
    Thursday, September 29
  • S
  • A
  • B
  • C
[Ticket Price]
Thursday, September 29 / Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall
S: ¥7,700 / A: ¥6,600 / B: ¥5,500 / C: ¥4,400

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Gewandhaus Quartett
It is the oldest, uninterrupted existing
string quartet in the world. Founded almost 200 years ago, the Leipzig Gewandhaus-Quartett can be seen as a remarkable part of the western history of music. Shortly after its foundation in 1808 by the former leader of the Gewandhaus Orchestra Heinrich August Matthäi the ensemble, whose chamber music concerts immediately attracted a lively response from the public, established itself as a permanent part of the Leipzig concert scene and became a highlight of Saxon music tradition. Since then the quartet has continued its concert activity from generation to generation until today with great success.

In the 19th century the quartet's style of playing
was first and foremost influenced by the members Ferdinand David, to whom Mendelssohn dedicated his violin concerto, and Joseph Joachim, who gave the first performance of Brahm’s violin concerto. The current members of the Gewandhaus-Quartett maintaining the heritage of this unique ensemble today have been playing together since 1993. Traditionally the quartet consists of the leaders of the Gewandhaus Orchestra.
The ensemble gave the first performance
of about 100 works, among others by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann, Antonín Dvorák, Max Bruch and Max Reger often in the presence or with the assistance of the composers. Even today the quartet dedicates itself not only to the classical repertoire but especially to contemporary music. Recently the ensemble premiered the work ‘Deciso’ by the Leipzig composer Olav Kröger as well as Günther Kochan’s piano quintet at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Furthermore, they made a CD recording of Ermano Maggini’s string quartet.

During the history the ensemble played
with such important musicians as Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg and Arthur Nikisch. This tradition is still kept today, and the Gewandhaus-Quartett works with internationally renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Menahem Pressler and Sabine Meyer. In addition to their regular performances at the Leipzig Gewandhaus (the quartet has its own chamber music series there) the four musicians very successfully appeared at major music centres in Europe, Japan, Argentina and the USA. Furthermore, the Gewandhaus-Quartett gave concerts in private audiences of the Japanese emperor Akihito and the British heir apparent Prince Charles.

Many CD recordings demonstrate
the high international reputation of the ensemble. The current members of the quartet have already recorded various CDs for NCA including a CD with the late string quartets by Beethoven, the recording of works by Shostakovitch, Stravinsky and Prokofieff and a CD with string quartets by Schumann and Mendelssohn which were formerly premiered by the Gewandhaus-Quartett.

The quartet took part also in the production
of films about classical music by the Japanese broadcasting corporation NHK, playing quartets by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
Frank=Michael Erben, 1st Violin
Conrad Suske, 2nd Violin
Anton Jivaev, Viola
Leonard Frey-Maibach, Cello
Ikuyo Nakamichi, Piano
After winning the first prize and the Masuzawa Prize at the 51st Annual Japan Music Competition as a freshman at Toho University of Music and other prizes in and out of Japan, Nakamichi began professional performance activities both in Europe and Japan in 1987.
Nakamichi took the top prizes at the 1986 Geneva International Music Competition and the 1987 Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin and fifth prize at the Concours Musical International Reine Elisabeth de Belgique in 1987. Recognition of these achievements led to the Masuzawa Prize in Japan again in 1988. In 1993 she received the 23rd annual Mobile Music Prize.
With a broad repertory ranging from Classics to Romantics, she has performed with Japan’s leading orchestras and many other European and American orchestras such as Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, and Philharmonia Orchestra with Lorin Maazel, the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra with Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, English Chamber Orchestra with Pinchas Zukermann, National Orchestra of Canada, Vienna Symphony Orchestra with Heinrich Schiff, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin with Raphael Frubeck de Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos all to high critical acclaim for her musicality. Among other conductors she has performed are Nello Santi, Claus Peter Flore, Kazimierz Kord and Paavo Järvi.  
  In April 1999, Nakamichi gave her debut performance in New York, at Weil Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. Her performance was praised for its substance and subtlety of interpretations of the program. In December 2001 she performed concertos for the first time at St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Berlin Philharmonie with the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin (Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos conducting).
In chamber music field, Nakamichi also enjoys collaboration with renowned chamber ensembles like Berlin Brandis String Quartet, the Cherubini String Quartet and the Berlin Philharmonic Octet. Her duo performances with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and violinist Josef Suk have won great critical acclaim.
Nakamichi has given recitals widely in Japan. Among them the series of 5 concerts titled as “Ikuyo Nakamichi’s New World” given in 1992, the Bach-Beethoven-Brahms series from 1994, and “Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas” from 1997 were praised for her earnest attitude towards the works and high musicality. From 2002, she began to work on the epoch-making project where she performs Beethoven’s complete sonatas and also comments, talks, analyzes with Makoto Moroi in the performances titled as “Workshop to discuss and listen to Beethoven’s complete 32 sonatas”, for which she was highly praised as “pianist who comes very close to the genuine beauty of Beethoven’s sonatas”. Keeping step with the performances Nakamichi recorded Beethoven’s complete sonatas (11 CDs in total) and all CDs which have been released were chosen by the magazine “Record Arts” for specially recommended recordings.
Her work on Beethoven continues to expand to the composer’s other works as piano concertos and chamber music pieces. She gave performances of “Beethoven’s complete piano concertos” from 2004 and chamber concerts from 2005. The 6 complete piano concertos have been recorded with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the baton of Paavo Jarvi, which has established her reputation as “Beethoven player, Ikuyo Nakamichi”.
Besides recitals, many projects were born from Nakamichi’s various ideas and passions. In 1996 she began a unique series of theatrically staged concerts to provide audiences with entertainment and in-depth music appreciation at the same time. This "Ikuyo Nakamichi's Music School" series has broadened her activities to music education. She presented a master class at the Manhattan School of Music in December 1999 on the theme "Experiments in new modes of expression," and in April 2000 she gave a successful "Music School" tour of Asian countries, sponsored by the Japan Foundation.
A series of mini-concerts for children inaugurated in the fall of 2000, have won her another reputation for innovative approaches in bringing the joy of music to wider audiences. Using a collection of piano pieces composed by the Paris-based Japanese composer Karen Tanaka, these concerts, entitled "The Zoo in the Sky" “Children of Light” named after Tanaka’s pieces, have excited children's interest by using slides and story-telling in addition to Nakamichi's piano playing.
Nakamichi has exclusive recording contract with BMG JAPAN and has released many CDs including an album which became the greatest hit in classic music. She has published DVD book “Blissful Piano - to play, listen to, and enjoy” (Kodansha) and book “Out of the Stage Lights” (Ongakunotomo).
The 2006/07season is the 20th anniversary from her debut. Nakamichi gave “Recital series to commemorate 20th anniversary of debut - No. 1” at Kioi Hall on November 5, 2006 and performance with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the baton of Paavo Järvi on July 17, 2007 with great success. She is schedule to give anniversary recitals nation wide including at Suntory Hall on November 11, 2007.

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