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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 21, 2003

Amy Appold, Ksenia Nosikova Present Wide-Ranging Violin-Piano Program March 7

Violinist Amy Appold and pianist Ksenia Nosikova, colleagues on the faculty of the University of Iowa School of Music, will team up for a recital program ranging from the high-classic seriousness of a Beethoven sonata to the Latin-American passion of a tango by Astor Piazzolla, at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their faculty recital will be free and open to the public.

The full program for their recital will feature four highly diverse works: Beethoven's Sonata in E-flat major, op. 12 no. 3; Four Preludes by Dmitri Shostakovich, arranged for violin and piano by Zuganov; Gabriel Faure's Sonata in A major; and the "Tango en La" (Tango in A) by Astor Piazzolla.

Beethoven's 10 sonatas for violin and piano are considered one of the greatest challenges of the violin repertoire. Along with the solo partitas and sonatas of J.S. Bach and a few other works, they are regarded as music whose expressive weight is equal to their technical difficulties. The earliest sonatas, a set of three published as op. 12, were composed in 1797 and '98, before Beethoven had established himself as a composer and pianist in Vienna. Like his other early works they are classical in design, but with moments that reveal the composer's highly individual personality.

"I chose the Sonata in E-flat in my quest to learn all the Beethoven Violin Sonatas" Appold said. "It's a great program opener -- bright and sunny, despite the key of E-flat. Yet it still has flashes of a later Beethoven with some unexpected harmonic shifts and a more deeply emotional slow movement."

Originally written for solo piano, the Shostakovich Preludes are unusual violin repertoire. And since the arrangements are out of print, they are not often performed. Appold got her copies from a former teacher, Masuko Ushioda, who had studied with the Hungarian violinist Josef Szigeti at the Moscow Conservatory.

"The arrangements are great!" Appold said "Shostakovich himself recorded them with the Russian violinist Leonid Kogan, so we have the composer's endorsement of the arrangements. They're quirky, and sometimes sarcastic.

"To me they conjure up pictures of Soviet life -- they can sound happy on the outside, but underneath there seems to be pathos and hopelessness."

Of the remainder of the program, Appold commented, "The Faure Sonata is one of the most difficult violin sonatas for the pianist to play, but it has really gorgeous, florid French writing. And The Piazzolla 'Tango' is just a little dessert! I've always wanted to play some Piazzolla and found this piece as I was looking for something short and appetizing to end the program with."

Appold is a founding member and first violinist of the Maia String Quartet. Her extensive performing experience also includes positions with the Youngstown and Canton symphonies and the Isabella Gardner Museum Chamber Orchestra in Boston and solo performances with the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony and the Bach Ensemble of Baltimore. She won first place in the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition and subsequently performed a concerto with the Cleveland Institute Symphony.

Prior to their appointment at the UI, Appold and the other members of the Maia Quartet were the quartet in residence for the Acadiana Symphony in Lafayette, La., serving as first-chair players in the orchestra's string sections. The members of the quartet have also served on the chamber music faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Appold has a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute and a masters degree from the Peabody Conservatory. With the mother members of the Maia String Quartet she held a two-year graduate quartet-in-residence fellowship from the Juilliard School.

Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States Europe and South America. She presented two solo recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1996 and 2001 and has been a guest soloist with symphony and wind orchestras in Colorado, Louisiana and Iowa. In addition she has been invited to perform at international festivals in Munster, France; Rimini, Italy; and Rovin, Yugoslavia; as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals in the United States.

In addition to international appearances in France, England, Brazil and Argentina, she has performed as a guest artist at several American universities, including the universities of Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. She received a return invitation to the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago and concert series in England and Moscow for 2002-03 season. In addition to several solo CDs, she has recorded a disk of chamber music works for viola and piano by early 20th-century English composers Rebecca Clarke, Arthur Bliss and Frank Bridge with her UI colleague Christine Rutledge.

Nosikova has presented master classes in England and both North and South America. The winner of several international competitions, she regularly serves the Ibla Grand Prize International Competition in Italy as a jury member. She is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Women. She has received two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the Central Investment Found for Research Enhancement at the UI.

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 <ur-acr@uiowa.edu>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.