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University of Iowa News Release

 

April 4, 2007

Duo Pianists Will Perform At UI April 12

Quattro Mani, a duo of distinguished pianists who play music for four hands -- "quattro mani" in Italian -- will play a free concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Susan Grace and Alice Rybak, the members of Quattro Mani, are based in Colorado: Grace is artist-in-residence, lecturer in music and director of the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and Rybak is instructor of piano and director of the accompanying program at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music.

Their performance at the UI will be presented by the piano area of the School of Music.

For the April 12 concert, Quattro Mani will perform six works for two pianists:

-- Aria and Toccata by the American composer Norman Dello Joio;

-- "Réminiscences de Don Juan" by Franz Liszt;

-- Three Rags for Two Pianos by John Novacek;

-- "Cut-Time Shout" by Stephen Jaffe;

-- "Double Helix," "Celebration and Ritual" and "Palimpsest" from "Otherworldly Resonances (Tableaux, Book II) for Two Amplified Pianos" by George Crumb; and

-- "Manic Music (for 2 maniacal pianists)" by Lance Hulme.

Grace and Rybak have earned recognition as a soloists and chamber musicians in the United States and abroad. The artists share a special interest in the vast repertoire for two pianos and the collaboration involved in its performance.

Quattro Mani, formed in 1989, has gained international recognition with performances in Spain, Korea and many cities in the United States. Their special interest in 20th-century repertoire has led to collaborations with composers George Crumb, Joan Tower and Frederic Rzewski, and to participation in contemporary music festivals throughout the United States and Europe.

Following the release of Quattro Mani's debut CD, "A Game of Go," a review in Fanfare magazine stated: "Grace and Rybak play all of this music with power and intelligence, shaping large expressive phrases. Quattro Mani's blistering performance forms the beating heart of an arresting recital."

Their next CD -- a recording of George Crumb's music for two pianos -- was issued by Bridge Records, and it was immediately nominated as "Best Chamber Music CD of the Year" by the International Critics Committee of the Cannes Classic Awards. The CD received Fanfare's 'Critics Choice' and highest ratings from France's Repertoire as well as from ClassicsToday.com.

Speaking about Quattro Mani, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Crumb wrote: "The duo piano team Quattro Mani is one of the very finest I have heard. Susan Grace and Alice Rybak are wonderful artists and their performances are both technically and musically superb."

Individual bios of Grace and Rybek are available at http://www.bridgerecords.com/qm_manage.htm.

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 UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. 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.