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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 25, 2005

Christine Rutledge Will Play Viola Recital Feb. 2

Christine Rutledge, viola professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present her instrument in several different contexts on a faculty recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. The recital will be free and open to the public.

Teaming up with pianist Shari Rhoads, Rutledge will play Paul Hindemith's Sonata for viola and piano, op. 11 no. 4, known as the "Romantic" Sonata. With double bassist Volkan Orhon, she will play Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf's Duetto for viola and double bass. And alone, she will play Stravinsky's "Elegie" for solo viola.

She and Rhoads will also play several short concert pieces for viola and piano.

One of the leading musicians in pre-World-War II Germany, Hindemith was an extremely versatile composer. He taught composition, performed as a violist and violinist, and wrote chamber music, orchestral and choral pieces, operas and music for children and amateurs.

Although his style was heavily influenced by his German Baroque and Classical predecessors, Hindemith was considered a modernist and his music fell under the disapproval of the Nazi regime. Hindemith moved first to Switzerland then to the United States, where he taught at Yale University 1940-53. He moved back to Switzerland in 1953 and remained there until his death in 1963.

The Viola Sonata was composed in 1919. It has been given the nickname "Romantic" because it contains many atmospheric and coloration devices that are very tonal and reminiscent of the late 19th-century style, and particularly of Debussy.

A contemporary of Haydn, Dittersdorf had a distinguished career that included positions with the Court Theater orchestra in Vienna and other courtly orchestras. He had a number of operas produced in Vienna and across Europe, he was granted the Order of the Golden Spur by the Pope and ennobled by the Austrian Emperor in 1773. Although he lacked the genius of Haydn and Mozart, he is considered an important contributor to the Viennese classical style, and a number of his compositions remain in the repertory.

Stravinsky's only contribution to viola literature, the "Elegie" was one of several works commissioned by Germain Prevost, violist of the Pro Arte Quartet, as a memorial for Alphonse Onnou, the quartet's first violinist. Written at the height of World War II, in 1944, the idea of an elegy for a solitary unaccompanied instrument took on extra emotional significance.

The relatively short piece contrasts two ideas: a quiet funeral hymn that frames a more complex, fugue-like central section. The entire piece is played with a mute, which gives an especially subdued and mournful quality to the sound.

Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She had previously been a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, 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, the 28th Congress in Sweden and the 31st Congress in 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 and violist of the Ceruti Chamber Players and the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where she studied with the distinguished viola teachers Karen Tuttle and Michael Tree, 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. She recently received a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Initiative at the UI, which will assist in a solo CD recording of "Early 20th-Century English Works for Viola and Piano." In 2002-03 she played a series of recitals at the UI covering the viola repertoire of J.S. Bach.

Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty as opera coach and diction teacher in the fall of 2000. Before arriving at the UI she taught music history at the Music conservatory in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads earned the title of Kapellmeister at the Lucerne (Switzerland) Theater. She was conductor and coach at the opera theater in Darmstadt, Germany, the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, Spain, and the Teatro de las Zarzuela in Madrid.

Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima and Montserrat Caballe with whom she worked exclusively as coach/accompanist and orchestrator. She has appeared at numerous international festivals including Aix-en-Provence, Luzern International Festowche and the Beethovenhaus Chamber Music series. Rhoads continues to perform internationally and conducts master class world wide on Mozart operas with collaborator Georges Delnon. She earned her degree in accompanying and has completed post-graduate studies in opera coaching/conducting at the University of Southern California.

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. He has performed as soloist with orchestras across the country, including the El Paso Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Connecticut Orchestra, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, Cortlandt Chamber Orchestra and Northern Westchester Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his solo playing, he has been a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Opera Orchestra and a freelance musician throughout New England. He recently completed a European tour with the Fazil Say and Kudsi Erguner Jazz Quartet, performing at the Montreux, Paris, Antibes, Montpellier, Istanbul and Izmir jazz festivals.

Orhon was a finalist and prize-winner in the Concert Artists Guild Solo Competition in New York City, and  was the co-first place winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. He was 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.

Orhon was born and raised in Turkey. He began playing the double bass at the age of 12, and spent much of his youth touring Europe. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Ankara State Conservatory, he became a member of the Ankara Presidential Symphony Orchestra. He came to the United States in 1991 to continue his studies with Karr at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Conn., where he received an Artist Diploma and master's degree.

Orhon joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002. During the summer he teaches at the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vt. He has served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts, Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford, and Summer Strings Music Festival in Pocatello, Idaho. Orhon is a D'Addario Diamond Performing Artist, and performs exclusively on D'Addario Strings.

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.

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

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