Music: Longhair for All

Chamber music used to be strictly highbrow country; nowadays it is close to becoming a U.S. fad. One of the best examples of the current trend: the steadily increasing popularity of the Budapest String Quartet.

On its first U.S. tour, in 1931, the Budapest could find no audiences west of Chicago, returned disappointed to Europe and divided up an unrewarding $5,000 net. Today, the members of the quartet (Violinists Joseph Roisman and Jac Gorodetsky, Violist Boris Kroyt, Cellist Mischa Schneider) are all naturalized U.S. citizens. With recording dates and more than 100 U.S. recitals a year, they hardly have time for...

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