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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 25, 2005

Rutledge Performs On Baroque Viola In March 8 UI Concert

Christine Rutledge will present a solo recital on the Baroque viola, performing music by J.S. Bach and Georg Philip Telemann, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Rutledge's UI School of Music faculty recital will be free and open to the public.

The program consists entirely of Rutledge's own transcriptions of music that was originally composed for a solo stringed instrument other than the viola. Thus, she will play her own viola versions of Bach's Suites No. 1 in G major and 4 in E-flat major for solo cello; and Telemann's Fantasias Nos. 1, 3 and 10 for solo violin.

"In the Baroque era the viola was hardly considered a solo instrument," Rutledge explained. "Consequently, the repertoire for solo viola is scant at best. A few concertos exist, notably those of Telemann -- his Concerto in G major -- and Bach -- the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 -- and both composers are represented on this program.

"Transcriptions were common during the Baroque era. Composers and performers often rewrote or performed works on various instruments other than the original. A good example is Bach's own transcription of the fifth cello suite for lute. Therefore it is logical to assume that strong violists during that time would often perform works originally written for other instruments."

Rutledge has previously devoted a series of performance to the music of J.S. Bach played on the modern viola. With this performance she will extend her study of Baroque music by performing for the first time on the instrument as it was known in the Baroque period. Although it is similar in many ways to the modern instrument, the Baroque viola differs in having a quieter and more transparent sound, due to its gut strings and a different style of bow.

Telemann and Bach were contemporaries whose names are linked through the fact that in 1723 both were candidates for the job of music director at St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig. In one of the famous twists of music history, Telemann -- today mostly forgotten by the public -- was the first choice of the committee, who reluctantly offered the job to their third choice, Bach -- today regarded as the greatest composer of the German Baroque style -- only after Telemann had turned it down and another candidate had dropped out.

Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She had previously been a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, where she also played with the Notre Dame String Trio. She is a graduate of the UI School of Music, where she studied with William Preucil.

She 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 performances and recordings with the Notre Dame String Trio have earned glowing reviews from The Strad, Fanfare and other music publications. Her solo performances have included those before her professional peers at the 23rd International Viola Congress in Bloomington, Ind., the 24th Congress in Germany, the 28th Congress in Sweden and the 31st Congress in Germany. 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.

Rutledge is the former assistant principal viola of the Louisville Orchestra and violist of the Ceruti Chamber Players and the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where she studied with the distinguished viola teachers Karen Tuttle and Michael Tree, and the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was valedictorian of her class and recipient of the Young Artist Award.

She is also a prizewinner 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." In 2002-03 she played a series of recitals at the UI covering the viola repertoire of J.S. Bach.

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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