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University of Iowa News Release

April 15, 2005

Maia Quartet Members To Play April 26 Concert 'For Sheer Joy Of It'

Three-quarters of the Maia Quartet, the quartet in residence at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a free concert together with pianist/composer Ketty Nez and doctoral student Jeff Emerich on baritone sax at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 in Clapp Recital Hall.

Margaret Gutierrez, the quartet's second violinist, said that she, violist Elizabeth Oaks and cellist Hannah Holman were playing this concert just for the fun of it. "The Maia Quartet/minus one will present a concert of chamber music for the sheer joy and fun of it," she said.

The quartet is currently minus one because the position of first violin became vacant last fall when founding member Amy Appold left to take a position at the University of Missouri. The quartet recently announced the selection of Tricia Park as the new first violinist, following a careful selection process that included public concerts in Iowa City with the final candidates. Park will join the quartet for their summer activities, and will be a member of the UI faculty in the fall.

Gutierrez described the program for the April 16 concert: "Hannah, Beth and I will play Beethoven's String Trio in E-flat major, op. 3 -- a wonderful piece brimming with Mozartean joy and classic elegance but littered with Beethoven's budding compositional fingerprints -- sudden dynamic contrasts, liberal use of strong accents and development of motivic fragments.

"We will also play ". . . on my mind . . ." by Ketty Nez, a composer on the UI faculty, together with graduate student Jeff Emerich.

"The second half of the program will be Brahms' Piano Quartet in G minor, op. 25, with the multi-talented Nez, who is a Curtis Institute-trained pianist. The evening will be fun and packed with wonderful music."

The performance will be the second for Nez's score, which was written for and premiered on April 10 by the members of the Maia Quartet and UI saxophone professor Kenneth Tse.

"'. . . on my mind . . .' was inspired by the palpable rhythmic energy of James Brown, as well as bebop, blues and other popular traditions," Nez said. "The overtones of funk reflect the unique charisma of my colleagues, including the theatrical and sartorial flair of the Maias' stage presence."

Nez is a visiting assistant professor of composition and theory at the UI School of Music. In 2003 she completed a residency at the Ecole Nationale de Musique (National School of Music) in Montbeliard, France, where she worked with faculty and students on projects of live electronics and improvisation. In 2001 she was a visiting composer at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), and in 1998, she participated in the computer music course at the Institute de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. Prior to her studies at IRCAM, she worked for two years with the composer Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam, where she co-founded the international contemporary music series Concerten Tot and Met. In the fall she will join the faculty of Boston University.

Her music has been played at festivals in the US as well as abroad, including Bulgaria, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland and Japan. She holds a master's degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music, a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Curtis Institute of Music and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bryn Mawr College.

Gutierrez joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as a member of the Maia String Quartet in 2003. She had previously performed and toured with the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony. She was concertmaster of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra and the Washington Bach consort, as well as principal second violin with the Washington Chamber Symphony. Her chamber music experience goes back to fourth grade, when she first played in an established string quartet.

She was a member of the Vanadium Quartet at the Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Camp and the National Gallery String Quartet in Washington, D.C. She has performed at several chamber music festivals in the United States and taught master classes at the Austin (Tex.) Chamber Music Center.

Gutierrez grew up in Iowa City and graduated from West High School, where she played in the orchestra. She studied violin with Sonja Zeithamel and Doris Preucil at the Preucil School of Music and participated in the Iowa All-State Orchestra as well as the UI All-State Music Camp.

Oakes is a founding member of the Maia Quartet, with which she has performed throughout the United States and Japan and has performed in venues including Alice Tully Hall and the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.

A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Oakes received a bachelor's degree in viola performance. She continued with a master's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. At the Juilliard School she served as a teaching assistant to Sam Rhodes of the Juilliard Quartet and subsequently served on the chamber music faculty of the Peabody Conservatory.

Oakes is a founder of the Foothills Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and currently serves both as one of its directors and regular performers. Performances with orchestra have included two concerti with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. She has served as assistant principal of the Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra and as principal of both the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra.

Holman, who served as principal cello with the Cedar Rapids Symphony in 2001-02, joined the Maia Quartet in the summer of 2002. She is also assistant principal cello of the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra and the American Sinfonietta, She began her professional career in England, playing with the English String Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle.

On returning to the United States Holman became principal cello of the Jackson (Mich.) Symphony and assistant principal of the Greater Lansing Symphony and Michigan Chamber Orchestra. She also was assistant principal of the Richmond (Va.) Symphony.

Always an active chamber musician, she was a founding member of the Beaumont Piano Trio, performing recitals in several states, as well as on tour in England, and was a founding member of Quadrivium, a music ensemble in residence at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. As soloist she played with orchestras in Michigan, Virginia, and Georgia, and was invited to the Pablo Casals Cello competition in Germany and the Luis Sigall Cello Competition in Chile.

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

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