Tomorrow night, under the auspices of SF Performances at Herbst Theater, the Guarneri Quartet will play its last concert in San Francisco; they're hanging up their instruments after forty-five years of service. If that weren't reason enough to go see them one last time - -they pretty much define "string quartet" - they do present an exciting program. They may have one foot in retirement, but they'll still play the Mendelssohn Octet and the exciting Bay Area premiere of Derek Bermel's Passing Through.
The program was supposed to include two other Bay Area premieres, a string quartet by Esa-Pekka Salonen, the music conductor of the L.A. Symphony and another octet by Johannes String Quartet, and the violist of the Johannes had to rush home due to a death in the family. Bummer. He'll have an excellent sub, but they can't get the unfamiliar work ready by tomorrow night, unfortunately, they'll play Dvorak instead.
We chatted with the Guarneri Quartet's violist, Michael Tree, and the first thing we wanted to know was, you guys are retiring now, we hope your retirement plan is not invested in the stock market! We're not fully retiring as individual, Michael said.