Diners at the Muse cafe in the Anchorage Museum got a bonus with their drinks and half-price appetizers on Thursday night. The Linden String Quartet from Cleveland, Ohio, picked up their bows and gave a short impromtu concert.
Admittedly the acoustics in the narrow bistro aren't the best, but the patrons seemed to like what they heard, to wit: a couple of movements by Haydn, a couple of contemporary works and an arrangement of one of the group's favorite encores, "La vie en rose."
The quartet will perform at the Discovery Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Members told me the program will consist of music by Mozart, an early work by Schubert, a mature work by Mendelssohn and the Third String Quartet by contemporary Canadian composer Vivian Fung.
It's the first trip to Alaska for all four of the musicians. They've been busy with school appearances for the past few days, but had some time to enjoy a little sight-seeing.
They told me that they'll be leaving on four separate flights to four separate engagements. "We're seldom on the same plane at the same time."
The mention of commercial air travel raised a host of horror stories about flying with valuable instruments, buying a separate passenger ticket for the cello only to get it booted by a "partner airline," having a 400 year old violin dislodged from the overhead by another passengers bag of socks and sending the viola to the cockpit in order to suit the humor of a flight attendant.
"We've discovered Snow Goose!" they told me, and added that they were hoping to get to Humpy's.
"Where is it?" they asked. I wanted to give them directions to my house and explain the mistake later, but told them the truth, that it was across the street from where they'll be playing.
"You could pop in during intermission," I said. "I have."