The Future of the ‘Paganini Quartet’
With the recent announcement that the Tokyo String Quartet will disband after its upcoming season, one issue remains: what will happen to the “Paganini Quartet?” For nearly two decades, the members of TSQ have performed on four Stradivaris once owned by Nicolò Paganini: the 1727 “Paganini-Comte Cozio di Salabue” violin, 1680 “Paganini-Desaint” violin, 1731 “Paganini-Mendelssohn” viola (one of only 12 known Stradivari violas), and 1736 “Paganini-Landenburg” cello. President of the Nippon Music Foundation, Kazuko Shiomi says, “It’s very difficult to find a quartet of the same caliber as the Tokyo String Quartet that would make the best use of these instruments. We have no successors in mind at this time. Since the Paganini Quartet has been played for 18 years continuously, perhaps it is time for them to rest a while.”
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