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University of Iowa News Release

April 22, 2005

Ames Piano Quartet Will Play UI Guest Recital May 7

The Ames Piano Quartet, the resident chamber music ensemble at Iowa State University, will present a free guest recital at the University of Iowa, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in Clapp Recital Hall.

The group holds an unusual position in the chamber music field as one of the few standing piano quartets in the world. The musicians -- Mahlon Darlington, violin; Jonathan Sturm, viola; George Work, cello; and William David, piano -- are members of the ISU music faculty.

Their program on May 7 will be:

-- Quartet in A Minor, op.1, by Joseph Suk;

-- "Carolina Reveille," composed in 2001 by Paul Schoenfield; and

-- Quartet in C Minor, op.15, by Gabriel Faure.

Piano Quartets are uncommon as standing professional groups, because there is relatively less repertoire for that combination than for either the string quartet or the piano trio. However, the combination of strings with the orchestral quality of the piano creates an effective ensemble that the Washington Post described as "one of the most heavenly combinations of instruments around."

The Ames Piano Quartet has toured throughout the United States, including concerts in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, San Diego and Washington, D.C. Internationally they have performed in Canada, Mexico, France, Austria and the Far East. Most recently the Quartet spent a week concertizing and teaching in Havana, Cuba, as the first American chamber music group to perform there for more than 40 years.

Since its formation in 1976, the ensemble has recorded six compact discs for the Dorian label, all of which have received national and international critical acclaim. In February of 2005 Albany Recordings released a CD of the quartet performing three new American piano quartets, including "Dark Rosaleen -- Rhapsody on an Air by James Joyce" by Lee Hoiby, composed especially for the ensemble.

Fanfare magazine called the group's CD of the Dvorak quartets "one of the best chamber music recordings of the century," and the Los Angeles Times wrote of a recent concert, "The four generated nearly limitless excitement . . . (with) arching lyricism, poetic eloquence and great accuracy."

The Ames Piano Quartet appears at the UI as guest of the School of Music, a 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,