SJ Mercury News: Classical Notes (Beethoven in the City)

Source: By Georgia Rowe, corresepondent
April 25, 2016

Throughout its 20-year career, the Cypress String Quartet has performed thousands of concerts, commissioned dozens of new works, recorded more than 15 albums and earned a loyal following in the Bay Area. The San Francisco-based foursome -- Cecily Ward and Tom Stone (violins), Ethan Filner (viola) and Jennifer Kloetzel (cello) -- has been heard in concert halls across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America and on the popular Netflix series, "House of Cards."

All good things must end, however, and earlier this year, the Cypress announced that this season would be its last. The quartet plays its final salon concerts May 13-22 in Berkeley, San Francisco and Palo Alto; a farewell concert is scheduled for June 26 at the Green Room in San Francisco's Veteran's Building.

Before that, though, the Cypress plans to celebrate its long, successful run with a series of free pop-up concerts in various San Francisco locations. Performed May 4-19, "Beethoven in the City" will touch down in all 11 San Francisco districts, in venues from City Hall to Crissy Field, St. Anthony's Dining Room to Justin Herman Plaza and various public parks and libraries.

Beethoven is a specialty for the Cypress. In recent years, the quartet has performed the composer's chamber works on programs throughout the United States and Europe and recorded all 16 Beethoven quartets plus the "Grosse Fuge." On May 6, the quartet will release its latest recording, a two-disc set of Beethoven's early quartets recorded at Skywalker Sound in Marin County.

The recording caps two decades of music by the Cypress Quartet. It's a great send-off -- and so are the pop-up concerts, which give music lovers the opportunity to show their appreciation for the quartet's many contributions to the Bay Area music scene.

Details: "Beethoven in the City," May 4-19, various locations; free. Cypress Quartet Salon concerts, 8 p.m. May 13 and 20, Maybeck Studio, Berkeley; 8 p.m. May 21, Kanbar Hall, San Francisco; 3 p.m., May 22, Woman's Club of Palo Alto, $50; additional details at 415-500-2150;

Download PDF: The Mercury News Feature Beethoven in the City 04.28.16