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Release: Jan. 23, 2003

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Maia Quartet Presents Mendelssohn, Beethoven And Faure Feb. 7

The Maia Quartet, string quartet in residence at the University of Iowa School of Music, will continue its 2002-03 series of free concerts on the UI campus at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in Clapp Recital Hall, playing quartets by Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

On the same program, pianist Ksenia Nosikova will join the quartet for a performance of Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor.

“We welcome this opportunity to collaborate again with our friend and colleague Ksenia Nosikova in a performance of Faure's enchanting C-minor Piano Quartet,” Tim Shiu, the quartet’s second violinist, said.

“With the string quartets on this program we wanted to in particular to explore Beethoven’s influence on the writing of the young Felix Mendelssohn,” he said.

To illustrate the influence, the Maia Quartet will play Beethoven’s late String Quartet in A minor, op. 132, written in 1825, and Mendelssohn’s early Quartet No. 2 in A minor, op. 13, written in 1827.

“The 15-year-old Mendelssohn, enamored of Beethoven’s late string quartets, incorporated elements from a number of Beethoven's quartets in his op. 13, while creating a piece that was freshly and uniquely his own,” Shiu said. “Although Mendelssohn’s op. 13 draws inspiration from others of Beethoven’s quartets as well, we have chosen here to highlight the correspondences with Beethoven’s monumental A-minor Quartet.

“We hope these pieces, performed together on the same program, will prove to be mutually illuminating.”

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 1999 they gave a concert at the German Embassy in Washington, in honor of the Czech Republic’s entry into NATO. 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 Governors School for the Arts and the Cedar Rapids Symphony School. Prior to coming to Iowa, they also taught on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory.

The quartet has gained wide recognition for its educational outreach activities. It has participated in a three-year project in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival under a grant from the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation aimed at building adult audiences. The members of the quartet have shared their love of music with children under the auspices of Young Audiences, Inc., and the Midori Foundation, and they have given performances for families with children at Lincoln Center and the U.N. School in New York.

The Maia Quartet was founded 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.

Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States Europe and South America. She presented two solo recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1996 and 2001 and has been a guest soloist with symphony and wind orchestras in Colorado, Louisiana and Iowa. In addition she has been invited to perform at international festivals in Munster, France; Rimini, Italy; and Rovin, Yugoslavia; as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals in the United States.

A critic in the Boston Globe wrote, “Nosikova again displayed impressive musicianship,” and in Alsace, France, a review noted, “her performance is brilliant, full of grace and the most astonishing precision.” New York Concert Reviews noted, “in her Weill Hall recital, the space bloomed with fresh colors and supple pulse, an invigorating and pleasing effusion.”

In addition to international appearances in France, England, Brazil and Argentina, she has performed as a guest artist at several American universities, including the universities of Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. She received a return invitation to the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago and concert series in England and Moscow for 2002-03 season

The Italy volume of her three- CD set of the complete “Years of Pilgrimage” by Franz Liszt was released by Centaur Records in March 2001. The year 2003 will see the release of the Switzerland volume the recording of the third and final volume of the set. She has also recorded a disk of chamber music works for viola and piano by early 20th-century English composers Rebecca Clarke, Arthur Bliss and Frank Bridge with her UI colleague Christine Rutledge.

Nosikova has presented master classes in England and both North and South America. The winner of several international competitions, she regularly serves the Ibla Grand Prize International Competition in Italy as a jury member. She is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Women. She has received two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the Central Investment Found for Research Enhancement at the UI.

Nosikova received a masters degree with high honors from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia and a doctorate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has been invited to perform with renowned artists in numerous international master classes.

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

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