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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 18, 2008

Nez/Wolfe Duo will combine present three Iowa premieres Feb. 2

The violin-piano duo of Katie Wolfe from the University of Iowa music faculty and Ketty Nez, a composer and former UI faculty member, will present a free recital of music by women composers at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

The recital is the continuation of a series of performances featuring contemporary music that began when Nez was a faculty member at the UI. Today, the Nez/Wolfe duo continues working and performing together even though Nez now is a faculty member at Boston University.

The program ranges from a violin sonata written at the end of the 19th century, to the Iowa premieres of three pieces written in 2007 specifically for the Nez/Wolfe Duo. The complete program will be:

--Sonata for violin and piano by Ruth Crawford, composed in 1926.
--"Tête à tête" by Eliane Aberdam, composed in 2007.
--"before" by Nez, also composed in 2007.
--"Insolence" by Amelia S. Kaplan, the third piece from the past year.
--Sonata in A minor for violin and piano by Amy Beach, the oldest piece on the program, composed in 1896.

The three works written specifically for the duo will receive their world premiere performances in Boston shortly before the Iowa recital. Aberdam writes: "'Tête à tête' is a piece in three movements for violin and piano written during the summer 2007 for the Nez/Wolfe duo."

Nez notes that "'before' was written for my friend Katie Wolfe in the summer of 2007. The work is a companion piece to 'beyond release,' a duo concertante for two cellos and orchestra, also written for colleagues at the University of Iowa."

A member of the faculty at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Kaplan got to know Nez and Wolfe when she was visiting faculty of in composition in the UI School of Music and interim director of the UI Center for New Music. She writes that "'Insolence' is a short work that explores ways of uniting the two instruments in gestural sympathy."

The other two composers on the program are considered among the pioneers of American music. Beach, who was celebrated during her life as the foremost American woman composer, was a prominent figure in Bostonian musical life. A gifted child prodigy, she debuted as pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1885. After her marriage the same year to Henry Beach, a Harvard physician, she respected his wishes by reducing her performing activities and focusing her musical efforts on composition.

Crawford wrote her Sonata for violin and piano in the early 20th century, near the end of her studies at the American Conservatory. The sonata helped establish her reputation as seriously talented radical. The work was performed in 1928 for the newly formed Chicago chapter of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). "The sonata is full of energy and vitality, and is a remarkably expansive and 'expressionist' musical statement," Nez commented.

Nez's music has been played at festivals in the United States as well as abroad, including Bulgaria, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland and Japan. For more information, see her Web page at

Originally from Minnesota, Wolfe joined the string faculty of the UI School of Music in August 2004. She has had a diverse career as a soloist, teacher, chamber and orchestral musician on the national and international stage. For more information, see

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, 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: Katie Wolfe, School of Music,; Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;