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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 7, 2003

Photo: Annette-Barbara Vogel.Click here for a high-resolution image.

UI Faculty, Guest Musicians To Perform Feb. 16

A group of chamber musicians, including University of Iowa School of Music faculty and guests, will perform string trios and a quartet for piano and strings -- instrumental combinations that are heard much less often than the standard groupings of string quartet or piano trio -- on a free public concert 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The performers will be violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel, a member of the UI faculty who has established a reputation for exploring unusual areas of the chamber music repertoire, with guest artists Aaron Janse, viola, from the Minnesota Orchestra; Joel Becktell, cello, of the Austin (Texas) Symphony; and Hikari Nakamura, piano, of Iowa City

Vogel, Janse and Becktell have served together on the faculty of the Las Vegas Music Festival during recent summers, and they have performed on several of the festival's chamber music concerts. Nakamura is a doctoral candidate at the UI School of Music who teaches at the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City.

Together, they will play Beethoven's String Trio in G major, op. 9 no. 1, the Serenade in C major for violin, viola and cello, op. 10, by Ernst von Dohnanyi, and the Quartet in C minor for violin, viola, cello and piano by Johannes Brahms.

While the string quartet has become one of the standard chamber music combinations, with a large repertoire of major works to choose from, the trio of violin, viola and cello is much less common. Since there are relatively few works written for this combination, groups do not generally form as string trios, and the music for string trio is not heard very often.

The same holds true for the combination of string trio with piano, or piano quartet: there is less music than for either the piano quintet, which comprises a string quartet with piano, or for the standard trio of piano, violin and cello. And so again, music for piano quartet is not as often played or as well known as music for the standard ensembles.

"Even though these works are not as well known as the string quartets and piano quintets, they are wonderful pieces" Vogel said. "The Brahms quartet is a gorgeous piece, just as are all other chamber music pieces by him. Usually the piano quintet gets performed, and of his piano quartets, the one in G minor is the most popular, so the C minor quartet is the least familiar of those works.

"That's why we chose it: it's fun to introduce people to first-rate music that is not well known."

Janse joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1997. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees at the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with three legendary teachers, violin with Joel Smirnoff and Dorothy Delay, and chamber music with Felix Galimir. At Juilliard he served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and as a teaching fellow for DeLay.

He has performed as soloist and chamber musician at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center's Concert Hall and Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. His recent performances include chamber music concerts with Gil Shaham at the Aspen Music Festival and Cincinnati's Linton Series, as well as participating at the Las Vegas Music Festival as performer and faculty member.

A native of New Mexico, Becktell is an honors graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received first prize in cello performance. He has been a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nicols Quartet and the Moveable Feast chamber ensemble. He is currently principal cellist with the Austin Symphony and the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. He also appears at the Victoria Bach Festival, and teaches and performs at the Las Vegas Music Festival.

Becktell has also pursued his abiding interests in photography and radio production. He has been on the staffs of radio stations WBFO and WNED in Buffalo, New York, and has been published as a photographer and writer in various publications. In 1995 he co-founded Becktell-Blackerby, a nationally recognized shop specializing in the sale and maintenance of violin family instruments, bows and accessories.

Born in Japan, Nakamura moved with her family to Chatswood, Australia, where she received the majority of her musical and Suzuki training. She holds degrees from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney, the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and the Queensland University of Technology.

She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa studying with Uriel Tsachor. In addition to her extensive teaching background, she has soloed with orchestras in both Japan and Australia and participated in piano competitions around the world. She most recently won the 11th North Queensland Concerto Competition and the National Chopin and Wieniawski Competition.

Vogel joined the UI faculty in January 1999 and was artistic director of Magisterra, the UI international festival of chamber music, in 2000 and 2001. She has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, playing as a soloist with orchestra, a solo recitalist and chamber musician. She has appeared at the Aspen, Ravinia, Chautauqua, Menuhin and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, among others.

Vogel began studying the violin with her father at the age of 4. She was admitted to the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, Germany, when she was 11, one of the youngest students ever admitted to the school, and played her solo debut at the Dusseldorf, Germany, Tonhalle (Concert hall) when she was 12. She continued studies with many of the leading violinists in Europe and America, including the famed violin teacher Dorothy DeLay at the University of Southern California. She received a degree with highest honors in violin solo and chamber music from the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen and an Artist Diploma from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.

At the recommendation of the Tokyo String Quartet Vogel was appointed artist in residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she taught on the faculty and was a member of the Monticello Trio. She has recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Cybele and Highland labels, including music by Beethoven, Khachaturian, Smetana, Ravel, Richard Strauss and Alfred Schnittke.

Vogel's most recent CD recordings include "Strings Attached," a violin-cello duo CD of works by Fiorillo. Pleyel, Sibelius, Gliere; "Recital" with pianist Ulrich Hofmann with sonatas and pieces by Brahms, Enesco, Lutoslawksi and Reger; and "Hans Gal Chamber Music," including the Violin Sonata and Cello Sonata. All recordings are released on the Cybele label. An upcoming release in the spring will be dedicated to women composers: Louise Farrenc, Lili Boulanger and Pauline Viardot.

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

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, contact <>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, Program: Annette-Barbara Vogel at 319-335- 1642; .

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