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April Classical Roundup: Yo Yo Ma and Quartets Galore

Tetzlaff Quartet

Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble 

Brainchild of celebrated cellist Yo Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble was inspired by the winding trail connecting the East and the West back when a plodding cart was your only access to other cultures. (Provided you were willing to sit behind a mule for hundreds of miles.) Cultural crossover is a lot more convenient these days, and listening to Yo Yo Ma and his cadre of renowned musicians play a global repertoire is a lot more fun than flicking twigs at the ears of a poor, maligned mule. 

April 7. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. Tickets are $45-125 at (415) 392-2545.

Tetzlaff Quartet

Christian Tetzlaff - “one of the most brilliant and inquisitive artists of the new generation,” according to The New York Times - and his famed quartet rarely end up in the same concert hall at the same time. Mainly because they’re always flying to opposite corners of the globe to play solo at impressive places like Carnegie Hall and Auditorium du Louvre in Paris. Despite the geographical odds, the Tetzlaff Quartet brings its famed brilliance and fierce clarity to San Francisco for the first time this month. 

April 16. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue. Tickets are $35-60 at (415) 392-2545.

Ives Quartet 

Not the standard chamber music, lulling you gently to sleep in a warm concert hall (what? IT HAPPENS), the Ives Quartet engages the brain and emotions with its smart programming and adventurous spirit. Playing lyrical standards along with more unfamiliar works, performances from this local institution are always absorbing. 

April 29. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street. Tickets are $14-17 at (415) 474-1608.