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Release: Nov. 21, 2001

Timothy Shiu steps out of the Maia Quartet for a recital with pianist Mansoon Han Dec. 4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Violinist Timothy Shiu, who is familiar to eastern Iowa audiences from his work in the Maia String Quartet, will present a free University of Iowa faculty/guest recital with pianist Mansoon Han at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Shiu, who is the quartet's second violinist, and Han, professor of piano at Hope College in Holland, Mich., will play Beethoven's Sonata in G Major, op. 30 no. 3: Ernst Bloch's "Baal Shem Suite"; Brahms' Sonata No. 1 in G Major, op. 78; and Jascha Heifetz' violin arrangement of George Gershwin's Three Preludes for Piano.

This is the second time that Shiu and Han have performed together on the UI campus; they performed a duo recital here just about a year ago. Their musical collaborations grew out of a friendship that began when Shiu and Han met at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Shiu holds a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody, and as a member of the Maia Quartet also held a teaching fellowship there. Han moved to Baltimore from Seoul, South Korea, in 1992 to study with pianist Ann Schein -- a past participant in the UI Piano Festival -- and subsequently received master's and doctoral degrees from Peabody.

"I am delighted once again to have this opportunity to collaborate with my friend Mansoon Han," Shiu said. "We have selected what I believe will be an interestingly varied program of works ranging from the delightful exuberance of Beethoven's Eighth Sonata to the jazzy virtuosity of Heifetz' transcription of Gershwin's Three Piano Preludes.

"In addition, the program will feature Ernest Bloch's soulful and passionate meditation on Hassidic life, his 'Baal Shem Suite,' and will also include the tender and reflective First Sonata of Johannes Brahms."

The 10 sonatas of Beethoven are considered one of the greatest challenges of the violin repertoire. And along with the solo partitas and sonatas of J.S. Bach and a few other works, they are regarded as works of musical and expressive weight that is equal to their technical difficulties.

Nine of the 10 sonatas were written over a span of about five years. The first three, published as op. 12, were composed in 1797-98, before Beethoven had established himself in Vienna. Six more followed in the next few years: op. 23 and 24 around 1800, the set of three op. 30 in 1801-02, and the monumental "Kreutzer" Sonata, op. 47, in 1802-03. These were the years when Beethoven wrote his first major works, including the op. 18 string quartets, the first three symphonies, the first three piano concertos and several of his best known piano sonatas.

Brahms wrote three sonatas for violin and piano. They were written roughly over a 10-year span, 1879-89, that saw the completion of some of his greatest mature works, including the Third and Fourth symphonies, the Second Piano Concerto, the Double Concerto and several important chamber works. The First Sonata was written in 1879, immediately after the completion of the Violin Concerto. The Second Sonata followed in 1886, and the Third Sonata was published in 1889.

A founding member of the Maia Quartet, Shiu joined the UI faculty with the other members of the quartet in 1998. He has concertized extensively throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia, and has collaborated with many renowned chamber musicians. He has been a member of the Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in Louisiana, where he held the position of Principal Second Violin.

Before joining the UI faculty, Shiu taught chamber music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and has also served at the Juilliard School as teaching assistant to Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard Quartet. His summer teaching engagements include the Interlochen Arts Camp's Advanced String Quartet Institute and Colorado Music in the Mountains.

Shiu began his violin studies at the age of three and a half, and during his high school years he attended the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Yale University and a master's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has held fellowships at the Peabody Conservatory and Juilliard.

Mansoon Han began her piano studies at the age of six in Seoul, Korea. She has won numerous competitions, including the Yook Young Competition, the Piano Music Competition, and the Nan Pa Music Competition. After receiving her bachelor's degree from Seoul National University she moved to the United States to study with renowned concert pianist Ann Schein at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where she received both master's and doctoral degrees. She won a number of awards at Peabody, including second prize in the Yale Gordon Competition, the Clara Ascherfeld accompanying award and a Peabody Scholarship.

Han has also participated in the Aspen Music Festival, the Orford Arts Center and the Kent Blossom Summer Chamber Music Festival. She has worked in master class with Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher, Abbey Simon, Jorg Demus, Marc Durand and Sergei Dorensky. Currently professor of piano at Hope College in Holland, Mich., Han leads an active performing career.

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with members of the Maia Quartet; with Peter Landgren, Principal French Horn with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; and with soprano Hyunah Yu, 1998 Naumberg Competition finalist. Among her upcoming projects will be a performance in January, 2002, at Carnegie Hall's Weil Recital Hall in New York City with violinist Mihai Craioveanu.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.