CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Colorado Quartet fall UI residency concludes with Nov. 3 Hancher
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Colorado Quartet will conclude its three-week
fall residency at the University of Iowa with a concert at 8 p.m. Monday,
Nov. 3, in Hancher Auditorium. The event, which is part of the Group 5
Hospitality Chamber Music Series, will complete the first portion of an
extensive, seven-week residency supported by a major grant from the Lila
Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund Arts Partners Program.
The quartet will perform works that were among those excerpted in their
September-November appearances at churches in Iowa City and Muscatine:
Haydn's String Quartet in F Minor, op. 20, no. 5; the String Quartet No.
1, "A Revival Service," by Charles Ives; and Beethoven's String
Quartet in A Minor, op. 132.
To explore the connections between music and spirituality, the Colorado
Quartet was integrated into the musical and educational activities of Wesley
United Methodist Church in Muscatine, Sept. 30 through Oct. 5; the Unitarian
Universalist Society in Iowa City, Oct. 14-19; and Zion Lutheran Church
in Iowa City, Oct. 28-Nov. 2.
In each of the churches the quartet participated in two evenings of
discussion and music, rehearsed with the choir and organist, and performed
during the Sunday worship service. The events addressed the ways that composers
and performers express their faiths through music, and also the power of
music to convey spiritual feelings and ideas to listeners.
As was common in his time, Haydn saw all of his works as praising God,
inscribing his scores with the Latin phrases "In nomini Domine"
("In the name of the Lord") at the beginning and "Laus Deo"
("praise God") at the end. Further, the theme of one movement
of the F-minor quartet is associated by many listeners with familiar sacred
choral music, so that the piece can be perceived as conveying a spiritual
Incorporating movements written for performance in a church service,
the Ives quartet features the composer's idiosyncratic reworking of familiar
tunes. In his characteristic fashion, Ives manipulated several easily identifiable
hymns to create a highly evocative soundscape.
The Beethoven quartet is an example of a deeply felt personal spirituality
being expressed in music. One movement of the Op. 132 quartet is a prayer
of thanksgiving for Beethoven's survival of a life-threatening illness.
The movement contains ethereal material, written in the Lydian mode, that
is out of character with the robustness and rhythmic vitality that listeners
associate with Beethoven's music. These sections alternate with sections
marked "gaining new strength," which are typical Beethoven.
The Colorado Quartet -- violinists Julie Rosenfield and Deborah Redding,
violist Francesca Martin Silos and cellist Diane Chaplin -- has performed
in Hancher on several occasions, and the positive experiences the quartet
has provided became the basis for this ambitious residency. In early 1998
the quartet will return to interact with reading groups at the Iowa City,
Cedar Rapids and Lisbon libraries during a four-week period, culminating
with a March 12 Hancher concert.
The quartet has been at the forefront of the international music scene
since winning both the Banff String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg
Chamber Music Award in 1983. The Colorado Quartet is known not only for
musical integrity, impassioned playing and lyrical finesse, but also for
their spontaneous, friendly rapport with audiences.
The Los Angeles Times praised the quartet for "tight, flawlessly
balanced ensemble as well as strong individual presences"; the Chicago
Sun-Times extolled the quartet's "resonant, impassioned sound that
was extraordinary" and the Dallas Morning News concluded, "They
are a magnificent, disciplined group whose resonant sound and forceful
projection give their performances a generous quotient of drama leavened
with lyrical grace."
The Colorado Quartet has performed in more than 20 countries, and recordings
of their performances have been released on the Fidelio, Parnassus, Albany
and Mode labels.
Tickets for the Nov. 3 concert of the Colorado String Quartet are $25,
$23 and $21. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount,
and Zone 3 tickets are available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience
members 17 and younger are half price. Hancher box office hours are 10
a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From
the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance
within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319)
353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express.
UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI
faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services
should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office
personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair
access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is
equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Group 5 Hospitality Management Division of Highlander, Inc., is the
corporate sponsor of the Group 5 Hospitality Chamber Music Series through
the University of Iowa Foundation.
The residency was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Lila Wallace
Reader's Digest Fund Arts Partners Program, which is administered by the
Association of Performing Arts Presenters.