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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 24, 2003

New Iowa Chamber Music Coalition Debuts At Clapp Hall April 4

The Iowa Chamber Music Coalition, a collaborative effort among musicians across Iowa, will present their first concert on the University of Iowa campus at 8 p.m. Friday, April 4 in Clapp Recital Hall.

The Iowa Chamber Music Coalition (ICMC) was the brainchild of violist Christine Rutledge from the UI School of Music. "This is a concept that I formulated last year to bring together musicians, mostly in academic positions, from around the state of Iowa in a spirit of friendly collaboration," Rutledge said.

"The coalition is designed to foster good relations with colleagues by sharing what we love best: playing chamber music. We also hope to create an open exchange of ideas and support rather than a competitive atmosphere, which is often the case between music faculties in the same state and region."

Joining Rutledge for the April 4 concert will be cellist Hannah Holman and double bassist Volkan Orhon from the UI; and pianist Eugene Gaub and violinist Nancy Gaub from Grinnell College.

They will perform two works: Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, which is one of the most beloved works in the chamber repertoire -- for players and listeners alike -- and Dvorak's Quartet for piano and strings in E-flat major.

Schubert composed the "Trout" Quintet during the summer of 1819 while traveling through upper Austria with Johann Michael Vogl, a singer who championed Schubert's songs. The work was commissioned by an amateur cellist, Sylvester Paumgartner, who is also supposed to have stipulated the work's unusual instrumentation -- piano with violin, viola, cello and stringed bass, rather than the more usual quintet of piano with string quartet -- in imitation of a quintet he liked by the classical composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

To compensate for the deep sound of the double bass, Schubert lightened the texture of the piano part, which plays mostly in the upper register. This gives the Quintet an unmistakable, sparkling quality that, together with Schubert's graceful melodies, contributes greatly to the work's popularity.

Paumgatner is also supposed to have specified that the composer use his popular song "Die Forelle" (The trout) as the basis of the theme-and-variations fourth movement. It is this movement that gives the quintet its name. "The Trout," about a fisherman and the elusive fish that he tries to catch, is one of Schubert's most delightfully tuneful songs. Schubert wrote a series of decorative variations on the main theme of the song, ending with a gentle variation that introduces the distinctive piano figuration from the accompaniment of the original song.

The decade of the 1880s saw the spread of Dvorak's fame throughout Europe. During this time he wrote several of his most acclaimed works, including the sixth and seventh symphonies and other orchestral works, the Piano Quintet in A major and the second series of Slavonic Dances, along with choral works, operas and oratorios that were widely admired.

Dvorak started on the E-flat major Piano Quartet immediately after completing the A-major Quintet in October of 1887, but made little progress at first. He returned to the quartet in July of 1889 and completed the score only weeks later in August. "As I expected, it came easily and the melodies just surged upon me, thank God!" Dvorak wrote when the quartet was finished.

In fact, this marked the beginning of a period of the greatest productivity and acclaim for the composer: the next two years saw the completion of his 8th Symphony, his Requiem, the "Dumky" Piano Trio and the orchestral overtures "In Natures Realm" and "Carnival," as well as the awarding of honorary doctorates from Cambridge and Prague universities.

A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, Gaub received a doctorate in music from the Eastman School of Music, where he was also awarded the Performer's Certificate. Since his New York debut playing the First Piano Concerto of Bela Bartok, he has performed throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada, and in major cities of Europe, including Vienna and Salzburg. His performance of W.A. Mozart's Piano Concerto in G major, K. 453, with the Buffalo Philharmonic was cited as one of the year's best by the Buffalo News.

Gaub has worked closely with many American composers, including John Adams, whose "Phrygian Gates" he was invited to perform at the 1997 National Conference of the College Music Society. Passionate about chamber music, Gaub organized the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival in East Aurora, NY, with his wife, violinist Nancy McGarland Gaub. The festival recently completed its ninth season.

Nancy Gaub holds a bachelor's degree from Roosevelt University and a master's degree from the Juilliard School. She teaches violin and viola and coaches chamber music ensembles at Grinnell College. She is co-artistic director of the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival.

Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She had previously been a faculty member at Notre Dame University, where she also played with the Notre Dame String Trio. 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., the 24th Congress in Germany, and the 2Xth International Viola Congress in Sweden. 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.

Holman, who served as principal cello with the Cedar Rapids Symphony in 2001-02, joined the Maia Quartet in the summer of 2002. She is also assistant principal cello of the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra and the American Sinfonietta, She began her professional career in England, playing with the English String Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle.

Always an active chamber musician, she was a founding member of the Beaumont Piano Trio, performing recitals in several states, as well as on tour in England, and was a founding member of Quadrivium, a music ensemble in residence at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. As soloist she played with orchestras in Michigan, Virginia, and Georgia, and was invited to the Pablo Casals Cello competition in Germany and the Luis Sigall Cello Competition in Chile.

Orhon's professional career spans a wide variety of solo, orchestral and chamber music performing and teaching across the country and around the world. He has played with internationally recognized musicians including double bassist Gary Karr and the Emerson String Quartet, and performed as soloist with orchestras across the country. In addition to his solo playing, he has been a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Opera Orchestra and a freelance musician in New England. He recently completed a European tour with the Fazil Say and Kudsi Erguner Jazz Quartet.

Orhon was the co-first place winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition and the first double bass player ever to win the Grand Prize overall and first prize for double bass at the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition. He joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002.

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.

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