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Release: Immediate

Maia Quartet brings the string quartet back to UI School of Music concert series

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- After a two-year absence, there will be a string quartet on the University of Iowa School of Music faculty concert series next year.

The School of Music has announced that the Maia Quartet will be Quartet in Residence for the 1998-99 academic year. An established quartet that tours to major concert halls and music festivals around the country, the quartet will be in residence on the UI campus three times during the academic year and will play a free concert in Clapp Recital Hall during each residence period:

at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 11.

The quartet was selected for the UI residency by members of the string faculty at the School of Music. The members of the quartet -- Amy Kuhlmann Apold and Timothy Shiu, violins; Elizabeth Oakes, viola; and Amos Yang, cello -- are currently on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. They will be visiting assistant professors at the UI School of Music. In addition to the free concerts in Clapp Recital Hall, each UI residence period will include teaching activities in the School of Music and outreach activities that will be arranged through the UI Arts Share office.

Commenting on the appointment of the Maia Quartet, David Nelson, the director of the UI School of Music said, "We're excited by the presence of this distinguished string quartet that has been invited by the string faculty to join the School of Music as visiting professors next year. Their performances will give our students and members of the community an opportunity to hear exemplary performances of an essential part of the classical repertoire."

The UI School of Music has been without a resident string quartet since in 1996, when three members of the Stradivari String Quartet retired from the faculty at the same time. The Stradivari Quartet had been at the UI since 1959, and their performances on the School of Music concert series -- usually three or four times each academic year and always free -- had become an expected part of the university's classical music season.

The Maia Quartet was founded in 1990, when the four members were students at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The members were subsequently awarded fellowships at the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. They have also been awarded summer fellowships to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, where they worked with the Emerson, Tokyo, Cleveland and American string quartets. At Juilliard they worked closely with the Juilliard Quartet and served as their teaching assistants.

The quartet has played concerts at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, for the "Music the Great Hall" series in Baltimore, at the Terrace Theatre at the Kennedy Center, and as visiting artists at Harris Hall of the Aspen Music Festival. Their collaborations with leading chamber musician have included performances with flutist Samuel Baron and violist Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. They have performed world premieres of works by Pierre Jalbert, Donald Grantham, Jeffrey Mumford and Ingram Marshall.

The Maia Quartet is also recognized for its educational outreach activities. The ensemble recently completed a three-year project in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival, under a grant from the Lila Wallace Foundation, aimed at building adult audiences through a series of innovative programs exploring the relationship between music and other art forms.

Their frequent invitations for short-term educational residencies have included engagements with Chamber Music Northwest, the Austin (Texas) Chamber Music Center, the Music Associates of Aspen and the city of Katsuyama, Japan.

Performances for children have included a family concert at Lincoln Center on the Metropolitan Opera's "Growing Up with Opera and Friends" series and appearances for ArtsExcel, Young Audiences, Inc. and the Midori Foundation.