Timothy Kantor, Laura Casarez, Emily Chao and Juan Mejia

by Linda Jade Fong and Joan Donat – 

It started with an invitation to eavesdrop. A “spirited conversation without words” was how this concert was promoted. It proved irresistible.

The musical voices and exchanges between the four musicians immediately enticed the audience to listen closely and get drawn into the “conversation”. The result was mesmerizing as violinists Timothy Kantor and Laura Casarez, violist Emily Chao (playing viola instead of her usual violin), and cellist Juan Mejia, answered each other with exceptional precision and seamless ease with both each other and the music.

Two very different “stories” were told, Haydn’s “String quartet in E flat major, Op.20 No.1” and Dvorak’s “String Quartet in F major, Op. 96 ‘American’”. The voices of the musicians pulled us in to join them in feeling as if we were intimately part of the music, whether the harmonious flow in the Haydn or the uplifting power of the Dvorak finale. The ovation at the end recognized the opportunity to be let into and become a part of this spirited and extraordinary conversation.

Watch a video clip of the performance of an excerpt from Dvorak String Quartet in F Major (American) 4th Movement- Vivace