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After an amazing 44 years together, the Tokyo Quartet has announced its decision to disband at the end of the 2012/13 season. With the imminent retirement of second violinist Kikuei Ikeda and viola player Kazuhide Isomura, the remaining members feel that the gap they leave behind is too big to fill.
Speaking of the pair’s retirement and the decision the bring the quartet to a close, first violinist Martin Beaver said: "It is a difficult prospect to replace one long-standing quartet member. To replace two of them simultaneously is a Herculean task. With the retirement of our colleagues in our minds, we increasingly felt over the last few months that the most fitting way we could honor and celebrate our quartet's long and illustrious career was to bring it to a graceful close."
Formed at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, the Tokyo Quartet has recorded over 30 albums and notched up seven Grammy nominations. They have been artists in residence at Yale School of Music since 1977.
According to their agent, Beaver and remaining member, cellist Clive Greensmith, are set to become teachers at the prestigious Colburn School in Los Angeles.