CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 10, 2000
Maia Quartet's first violinist to play sonatas with
piano, solo works
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Amy Appold will step out of a role
that is familiar to local audiences -- as first violinist of the University
of Iowa's resident string quartet -- to present a solo recital with pianist
Ksenia Nosikova at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI
Appold is a founding member of the Maia String Quartet,
now the UI quartet in residence, but she also has extensive experience as
a solo player, starting with a performance with the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony
more than a dozen years ago and including a first prize with the Cleveland
Institute of Music Concerto Competition while a student, a solo appearance
with the Bach Ensemble of Baltimore, and many solo recitals.
Until now, however, she has appeared locally only
as a member of the quartet. For her first solo recital at the UI, she has
chosen two major sonatas for violin and piano -- the Sonata No. 8 in
G major of Beethoven and the Sonata No 3 in D minor of Brahms -- and two works
for solo violin without accompaniment -- the Serenade for Solo Violin of 20th-century
composer Hans Werner Henze and the Sonata for Solo Violin, op. 27 no. 3 ("Ballade"),
of the great Belgian violin virtuoso Eugene Ysaye.
The Beethoven Sonata, Appold says, is "generally an
exuberant, joyful work." It is one of three violin sonatas that Beethoven
composed 1801-02, around the time of the first major works that earned the
young composer a reputation in Vienna, including his First Symphony, his first
two piano concertos and his first set of string quartets. Interestingly, the
sonatas, published together as op. 30, were dedicated not to a violinist or
one of Beethoven's Viennese patrons, but to Czar Alexander of Russia, admired
by Beethoven as an enlightened monarch.
Brahms' three sonatas for violin and piano are regarded
as landmarks in the 19th-century Romantic repertory. The Third Sonata was
composed relatively late in Brahms' career, in the summers of 1886-88 while
Brahms was staying in Thun, Switzerland. It is longer than either of the first
two sonatas and generally more somber.
"His first two sonatas are essentially pastoral and
lyrical," Appold said, "but the third is quite fiery and passionate. Like
other works that he wrote in Switzerland at this time, it seems to exude the
'Alpine majesty' of his surroundings."
Music for a solo stringed instrument without accompaniment
was one of the staples of the Baroque period, culminating in the six sonatas
and partitas for solo violin and the six suites for solo cello of J.S. Bach.
In the 19th century, however, composers favored richer tone colors and more
complex sounds, and the solo piece disappeared as an important medium for
Eugene Ysaye, who was a successful composer and conductor
as well as one of the greatest violinists of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, picked up the Baroque tradition by writing six sonatas for solo
violin, each dedicated to a different violinist. All six sonatas explore new
techniques and possibilities for the violin, making them ideal show pieces
for virtuoso performers. The Third Sonata was written in 1924 and dedicated
to the Romanian violinist and composer Georges Enesco.
In the 20th century other composers have followed
Ysaye's lead by writing unaccompanied pieces for violin. The German composer
Hans Werner Henze, who has been one of the most successful and widely performed
European composers of the post-World War II generation, wrote his short and
whimsical Serenade for Solo Violin in 1986 in celebration of the 70th birthday
of violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
In addition to her chamber music and solo performances,
Appold has been a member of the Youngstown and Canton symphonies and the Isabella
Gardner Museum Chamber Orchestra in Boston. Prior to their appointment at
the UI, Appold and the other members of the Maia Quartet were quartet in residence
for the Acadiana Symphony in Lafayette, La., serving as first-chair players
in the orchestra's string sections. The members of the quartet have also served
on the chamber music faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Founded in1990, 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. In recent years they have collaborated
with other leading chamber musicians around the world, and they have had summer
teaching engagements at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Austin Chamber Music
Festival, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and the Cedar
Rapids Symphony School.
Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed
extensively as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States
and Europe. She gave her New York debut performance in 1996 in Weill Recital
Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has performed concertos with the Louisiana Symphony,
the University of Colorado Symphony and the Jefferson Symphony. She has toured
the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Italy with a piano trio from the Moscow Conservatory.
She has also performed extensively as vocal accompanist, appearing at international
competitions in 'sHertogenbosch, the Netherlands, and Stuttgart, Germany.
Nosikova has been a prize winner in numerous piano
competitions, including the Frinna Awerbach International Piano Competition
in New York, the Alabama International Piano Competition, and the Ibla International
Piano Competition in Italy, to which she returned in 1999 as a jury member.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Ksenia Nosikova is pronounced
k'SAY-nee-ah no-see-COH-vah. Hans Werner Henze is pronounced hahns VER-ner
HEN-zeh. Eugene Ysaye is pronounced yoo-ZHEN ee-ZYE-ee.)