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Release: Sept. 22, 2000

Notre Dame String Trio, oboist Mark Weiger will give UI faculty/guest concert Oct. 4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Notre Dame String Trio, which features violist Christine Rutledge from the University of Iowa School of Music along with violinist Carolyn Plummer and cellist Karen Buranskas, will welcome oboist Mark Weiger for a joint faculty/guest recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their concert will be free and open to the public.

Relatively uncommon as a standing musical group, string trios generally have less music to choose from than either the string quartet or the trio for piano with strings. Nevertheless, there is some rarely heard music of very high quality for the trio, and many composers have also written quartets for a single wind instrument with strings. This gives string trios great scope for inviting wind soloists to join them, as they are doing with Weiger Oct. 4.

For that concert, the Trio alone will perform Beethoven’s Trio in D major, op. 9 no. 2. After intermission, they will perform two works with Weiger, Benjamin Britten’s "Phantasy Quartet" for oboe and strings and Mozart’s Quartet in F major for oboe and strings, K. 370.

The Notre Dame Trio began in 1989 as a resident faculty ensemble at the University of Notre Dame, where Rutledge taught before coming to the UI in 1998. Though now separated in their faculty affiliations -- Plummer and Buranskas are both still teaching at Notre Dame -- the trio continues to perform and record together.

The Notre Dame Trio has concertized extensively throughout the United States, and in May 1996 gave its New York debut performance at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. They have performed at the Manitou Music Festival, Ohio Chamber Music Festival, the Dancing Bear Series in Traverse City, Mich., and the Fontana Concert Society of Kalamazoo. The trio has made several CD recordings, including works by Notre Dame faculty member Ethan Haimo, the two Hindemith String Trios and works by American composer David Diamond, all released on Centaur Records.

Rutledge has appeared as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the United States and abroad. She performs as a member of the Fontana Chamber Music Festival ensemble. Her solo performances have included those before her professional peers at the 23rd International Viola Congress in Bloomington, Ind., the 24th Congress in Germany, and the 25th International Viola Congress in Sweden. She has performed the standard viola repertoire, her own transcriptions of Baroque works, several lesser known works for viola, and new works that were written specifically for her.

She is also a prize winner in the Aspen Festival Viola Competition, and the recipient of an Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist’s Fellowship, an Eli Lilly Foundation grant for undergraduate teaching development and awards from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at Notre Dame. She recently received a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Initiative at the UI, which will assist in a solo CD recording of "Early 20th-Century English Works for Viola and Piano."

While serving as assistant concertmaster of the Houston Symphony, Plummer was a frequent soloist with the orchestra as well as an active recitalist and member of Houston’s chamber ensemble Cambiata Soloists. From 1986-89 she taught at the University of Florida and was violinist of the Florida Arts Trio. During this time she also played with the acclaimed chamber ensemble Atlanta Virtuosi, which performed extensively in the United States, Europe and Mexico.

She has also served as concertmaster of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra and was a guest artist in the "Strings in the Mountains" Chamber Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and the Great Lakes Music Festival at the University of Notre Dame.

Buranskas has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the United States and Brazil and has performed recitals in major concert halls in the United States, Europe, Japan and Taiwan. She has been a featured soloist on National Public Radio and CBC broadcasts. During the past few years, she has been a guest artist at the Fontana Chamber Music Festivals. Buranskas was recently a featured soloist on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago and was invited to perform the Dvorak Concerto with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.

Awards bestowed in the course of her career include first prizes in the Aldo Parisot Competition (Brazil), Concert Artists Guild Competition (New York), Leta Snow Competition (Kalamazoo), and Rosanna Enlow Competition (Evansville). She also received top honors in the Washington International String Competition and the North Carolina Young Artists Competition.

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions, won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY), and presented solo recitals with other notable oboists.

Weiger is a founding member of the double reed quartet Wizards!, which has released three CDs to critical acclaim, toured 18 states and presented educational residence programs throughout the West and Midwest. As the first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador through the U.S. Information Agency, Weiger performed recitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Sri Lanka. Following the New York premiere of the Bernard Rand Concertino, critic Gerald Gabel wrote, "Weiger’s virtuosic abilities were a perfect match for this difficult work. . . . not since Heinz Holliger in his prime have we heard an oboist with his control and mastery." He has solo and chamber music recordings out on the CRS, Crystal, Chandos and Centaur CD labels.

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