CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 4, 2000
Contrast of old, new will be featured on Rutledge's
viola recital Feb. 16
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Christine Rutledge will contrast
old and new works for solo viola and also perform works for viola and piano
on her University of Iowa faculty recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16 in
Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Performing with Rutledge will be pianist Ksenia Nosikova,
also a member of the School of Music faculty. Their performance will be free
and open to the public.
The pieces for solo viola -- the old and the new --
are the Suite No. 5 in C minor for solo viola of J.S. Bach and "Chahagir"
for solo viola by the American composer Alan Hovhaness. Other works on the
program will be "Infanta marina" for viola and piano by Vincent Persichetti,
based on a poem of the same name by Wallace Stevens and the Sonata for viola
and piano by Rebecca Clarke.
The music of J.S. Bach is often regarded as a touchstone
of musical accomplishment. For players of stringed instruments, the solo works
-- six sonatas and partitas for solo violin and six suites for solo cello
-- represent a pinnacle of both technique and expression. Like all of Bach's
music, these works have a quality that transcends the medium and their time
period, making them transferable to other instruments -- as in the case of
the Suite in C minor, originally written for Baroque cello and performed by
Rutledge on a modern viola.
"The Bach will be especially interesting for me,"
Rutledge commented. "I am in the midst of trying to combine as much Baroque
performance practice technique as I can with a performance on a modern instrument
and within the expectations of a modern audience. Therefore this current interpretation
is quite different than previous performances of this work that I have done."
Hovhaness, who is of Armenian heritage, has been influenced
by the music of exotic cultures, including Asian and Middle Eastern styles
as well as the music of Armenia. His music often reflects a non-Western spirituality
as well, ranging in mood from tranquility to epic chaos.
"Chahagir," based on the Hebrew word "Hagigah," are
defined as voluntary sacrifices offered at three great feasts, Passover, Pentecost
and Tabernacles. These somber and spiritual connotations are reflected in
the work, which maintains a somber march pace with emotional outbursts interspersed
The Clarke Sonata represents the last step in a project
that Rutledge has been working on since she came to Iowa in 1998 -- a CD recording
of English viola music. In addition to the Clarke Sonata, written in 1919,
the CD will include works by Frank Bridge and Arthur Bliss, also written in
the early years of the 20th century, that Rutledge has performed on a previous
"When I came to Iowa I saw a wonderful opportunity
to bring to fruition my ideas and goals as a soloist," she said. "One of these
goals was the solo CD project, recording important works that I felt needed
to be recorded, due to the general lack of recorded solo viola repertoire.
These works were written at a time when the viola began to take on a more
significant role as a solo instrument, due largely to the work of these English
composers. Their works showed other composers that there could be such a thing
as a 'solo violist.'"
Rutledge also sees her performances -- on campus and
on CD -- as a vital part of her work as a teacher. "It is of the utmost importance
that my students become familiar with the repertoire and have a recording
available to them for reference. A solo recital and a recording by their professor
is an important way for my students to experience what it is I am trying to
teach them, letting them hear how I do it, just as students in other fields
refer to their professors' books and articles."
Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She is a graduate
of the UI School of Music, where she studied with William Preucil. She has
appeared as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the
United States and abroad. She performs as a member of the Fontana Chamber
Music Festival ensemble. Her performances and recordings with the Notre Dame
String Trio have earned glowing reviews from The Strad, Fanfare and other
music publications. Her solo performances have included those before her professional
peers at the 23rd International Viola Congress in Bloomington, Ind., and the
24th Congress in Marchneukirchen, Germany. She has performed the standard
viola repertoire, her own transcriptions of Baroque works, several lesser-
known works for viola, and new works that were written specifically for her.
Rutledge is the former assistant principal viola of
the Louisville Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia
and the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was valedictorian of her class
and recipient of the Young Artist Award. She is also a prize winner in the
Aspen Festival Viola Competition, and the recipient of an Indiana Arts Commission
Individual Artist's Fellowship, an Eli Lilly Foundation grant for undergraduate
teaching development, and awards from the Institute for Scholarship in the
Liberal Arts at Notre Dame.
Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed
extensively as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States
and Europe. She gave her New York debut performance in 1996 in Weill Recital
Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has performed concertos with the Louisiana Symphony,
the University of Colorado Symphony and the Jefferson Symphony. She has toured
the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Italy with a piano trio from the Moscow Conservatory.
She has also performed extensively as vocal accompanist, appearing at international
competitions in 'sHertogenbosch, the Netherlands, and Stuttgart, Germany.
Nosikova has been a prize winner in numerous piano
competitions, including the Frinna Awerbach International Piano Competition
in New York, the Alabama International Piano Competition, and the Ibla International
Piano Competition in Italy, to which she returned in 1999 as a jury member.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/