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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 2, 2005

UI String Faculty Presents Chamber Music Classics At Englert Sept. 17

The string faculty from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a concert of chamber music classics, the first of a series of 2005-06 UI performances at the Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Every member of the string area faculty will play in one or more pieces on the program, which will feature Haydn's "Lark" Quartet, op. 64 no. 5, in D major; Schubert's "Trout" Quintet; and Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings.

All three titles are among the best known and most played pieces of chamber music, and are consistently ranked among their composers' best-loved works. Violinist Katie Wolfe, who organized the concert with her colleagues, said, "We are so excited to have a complete string faculty for the first time in several years, and this concert was organized to celebrate all of our wonderful faculty. As we all seem to share a love of chamber music, the programming fell into line very easily."

Three new UI faculty members will be performing in the concert: violinist Scott Conklin, who joins the faculty this fall, and violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, who recently became members of the UI-based Maia String Quartet.

The Maia Quartet will debut its current membership -- new violinists Park and Jakovcic, along with veteran members violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- in the performance of Haydn's "Lark" Quartet.

Park was selected as the quartet's first violinist last spring, after a series of auditions and public concerts. She replaces founding member Amy Appold, who left the group last fall to take a position at the University of Missouri, and played with the quartet during its summer activities. Jakovcic takes the place of Iowa City-resident Margaret Soper Gutierrez, who had played with the Maia Quartet for two years.

The Schubert "Trout" Quintet will feature violinist Katie Wolfe, violist Christine Rutledge, cellist Anthony Arnone and double bassist Volkan Orhon from the string faculty, along with pianist Rene Lecuona, a member of the UI piano faculty.

The Mendelssohn Octet for Strings will feature all the members of the string faculty except for Orhon: violinists Park, Conklin, Jakovcic and Wolfe; violists Rutledge and Oakes; and cellists Arnone and Holman. This will be the first performance as a UI faculty member by Conklin, who played a guest recital on campus last fall.

Park made the unusual move of joining an established string quartet after having established a highly successful solo career. She received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and since appearing in her first orchestral engagement with the Baltimore Symphony has performed with the English Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa; and the Montreal, Dallas, Seattle and Honolulu, symphonies, among many other major orchestras. She has also given recitals throughout the United States, including a highly acclaimed performance at the Ravinia Rising Stars series.

Recent season highlights include a recital debut at the Kennedy Center, appearances at the Lincoln Center Festival in Bright Sheng's "The Silver Rivers" and collaborations with composers Tan Dun, Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Timothy Eddy and Steven Tenenbom. When she played with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra at Jordan Hall, a review in the Boston Herald concluded, "If you see the name Tricia Park in any future programs, buy a ticket."

A native of Croatia, Jakovcic made his solo orchestral debut at age 12 and was a prize-winner at the National Competition in Zagreb. He has performed in recital and as soloist with various orchestras in Europe, Japan, China and the United States. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music, where he was a student of the legendary teacher Dorothy DeLay, and at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

In 1986 he joined the Essex Quartet as its first violinist. The founder and director of both the Essex Conservatory of Music in Leonia, N.J., and the Arcady International Music Camp in Maine, he is also an accomplished teacher and administrator. While at the Juilliard School he taught as assistant to Robert Mann.

Conklin comes to the UI from the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington. He has performed as a violin soloist with numerous orchestras including the Louisville, Nashville and Berlin Symphony Orchestras. He is a first place winner of the Music Teachers National Association Competition, and he regularly performs as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. He was a featured artist at the 2004 MTNA National Conference, and he frequently appears in concert with his duo partner, pianist Robert Auler.

Conklin holds the honorary distinction of being a "Kentucky Colonel," a title given to him by Gov. Wallace Wilkinson of Kentucky. During the summer months he has served on faculty at the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wis., the Michigan All-State Division at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the University of Texas at Arlington Summer Strings Camp, Sound Encounters Music Festival and the Ottawa Suzuki Institute Mid-Southwest. Conklin earned masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. He also holds a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Concerts at the Englert Theatre are made possible by an agreement between the UI Division of Performing Arts and the Englert Theatre, Inc. The series of 11 performances, from both the School of Music and the Dance Department, continues through the 2005-06 academic year. The next UI Englert performance will be presented by the New Horizons Band at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30.

Admission to the Sept. 17 concert will be $12 ($6 for UI students and youth 18 and under). Tickets are available from the Englert Box Office, 221 E. Washington in downtown Iowa City. The box office is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. For additional ticket information, call the box office at 319-688-2653.

The mission of the Englert Civic Theatre, Inc., is to own, maintain and operate the Englert Theatre as a community arts center and performance space, enhancing the vitality of Iowa City's historic downtown by preserving its last historic theater.

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.

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