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University of Iowa News Release

 

Nov. 20, 2006

Maia Quartet Present Beethoven's 'Compliments' For Nov. 30 Faculty Recital

The University of Iowa's Maia String Quartet will present Beethoven's "Compliments" as part of a free faculty concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet participates in a series of chamber music concerts on campus each year. Its members - violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman - are all members of the School of Music faculty.

Three works are featured on their Nov. 30 concert: Beethoven's Quartet in G major, op. 18 no. 2, his Quartet in F minor, op. 95, and Edvard Grieg's String Quartet in G minor, op. 27.

Park, the Maia Quartet's first violinist, noted that the ensemble is working towards performing a full cycle of all the Beethoven Quartets. "This is a benchmark for any quartet," she said. "Towards that end, we have programmed Op. 18. No. 2 and Op. 95 in our ongoing quest of this 'Everest' of the quartet repertoire.

"The Quartet in G major is known as the 'Compliments' quartet because of its charming and good-natured character. This quality is apparent from the very opening with the first violin's elegant and flowing motive.

"Beethoven himself named his String Quartet in f minor, calling it 'Serioso.' In fact, this is an invented word of Beethoven's, the Italian word for serious being 'serio.' It is one of Beethoven shortest and most compact string quartets, filled with vehement emotion and manic outbursts. It is also the last of his middle period quartets, providing a bridge to the lofty late quartets. Beethoven said this quartet was 'written for a small circle of connoisseurs and is never to be performed in public.'

"We programmed the Grieg quartet in our continuing study of Scandinavian music that will culminate in the Maia Quartet's Scandinavian-NordicFest in February 2007," Park continued. "We recently performed movements of this work in Elk Horn, Iowa, as recipients of a 2006 Chamber Music America Extended Residency Grant.

"Grieg's quartet is expansive in scale and an intensely passionate and fervent work. In the first movement opening, the listener is immediately launched into a world of high emotion and epic sentiment. The intensity continues in the second movement 'Romance' and the lively 'Intermezzo.' The Finale brings this heroic opus to a wild and exuberant close."

Founded in 1990, the Maia Quartet has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. The quartet has gained wide recognition for its educational outreach activities and its members have shared their love of music with children under the auspices of Young Audiences, Inc., and the Midori Foundation. More information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, can be found online at http://www.maiaquartet.com.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 319-541-2846; peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS of the Maia Quartet are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/~c025188/press.html