This is a rich week-end in classical music events, with the Magnificat Baroque opening its season with a celebration of love, and one of the most respected string quartets, the Takács Quartet visiting Herbst Theater on Saturday. The Grammy-winning Quartet has a Hungarian name, it was created in Budapest, but is now based out of Boulder, CO and has welcomed a British first violinist, Edward Dusinberre, and an American violist, Geraldine Walther, to join the original members Károly Schranz and András Fejér. Dusinberre replaced Gabor Takács-Nagy, whose name the quartet still holds.
Geraldine Walther was for almost thirty years the principal violist of the SF Symphony, pretty much playing all the viola concerto repertoire as a soloist. True, the unheralded viola is more often the butt of a joke, than it is the featured instrument with the orchestra. Yet Geraldine gained quite a lot of respect for her playing, so much that when the famed Takács Quartet had an opening for a violist, she jumped at the opportunity to tour the world and perform on all the major scenes. We called her in Colorado to hear about Saturday's performance and how she felt about coming back to her home of thirty years.