Arditti Quartet @ Zankel Hall

My review of last evening’s recital by the Arditti Quartet — sporting a last-minute substitute program quickly cobbled together due to the illness of a member of the Hilliard Ensemble — is online at What followed the concert, however, was a stunning episode of New York City at its worst at the Landmarc restaurant.

One of Ardittis’ associates was kind enough to invite me to join the quartet and some of their friends for dinner after the concert. After tramping through typically soupy New York City rain to a Japanese restaurant whose effort to seat our party proceeded at a glacial pace, we bolted for the ultra-hip Landmarc restaurant and wine bar, located on the third floor of Time-Warner Center.

We were unable to secure a table large enough for the whole party, so we sat at adjacent tables, which still provided more than ample opportunity to schmooze. The company, naturally, was stimulating, and while the food was typically pricey the portions were ample and quite well-prepared. The service, however, seemed to disappear at around the time we all wanted to leave. Worse yet, as we were ponying up our portions of the evening’s bill, the briefcase of one of the quartet’s guests, a prominent New York City composer whose laptop (and a major work in progress) was inside, was lifted from the spot where he had laid it next to a chair at one of the tables. Restaurant management and security woke up, the police were dispatched, and everyone in our party left with a sense of loathing and outrage.

If you’ve ever visited Time-Warner Center, you know the place is crawling with security and has enough surveillance equipment to monitor a few federal agencies. Yes, this upscale mall is sure to be a target for high-end pickpockets and boosters, yet one can easily imagine the theft might have been an inside job by a less-than-scrupulous freelancing employee.

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