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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 23, 2005

Current And Former Faculty And Guests Will Perform For Viola Festival Feb. 4-5

Current and former faculty of the University of Iowa School of Music will be among the performers who give free public recitals as part of the MidWest Viola Festival, to be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and 5, in the UI Voxman Music Building.

There will be four performances during the festival that are free and open to the public. The performers and programs will be:

-- 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building: Rudolf Haken, violist and composer from the University of Illinois. Haken will perform works he has written for a five-string viola that was custom-built for him by violin maker David Rivinius. The instrument is one of Rivinius' "Pellegrina" violas, which incorporate an enlarged body for an improved viola sound and ergonomic design for playing comfort, resulting in an instrument that looks as if it has been stretched out of shape.

-- 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, in Harper Hall: One of Iowa City's best known musical figures, UI Professor Emeritus William Preucil, with pianist Barbara Michaelson. They will perform Brahms' Sonata No. 2 in E-flat major and works from the Suzuki viola method that Preucil has recorded for the Suzuki Association's teaching CDs.

-- 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, in Clapp Recital Hall: current UI faculty members Christine Rutledge, viola; Scott Conklin, violin; and Alan Huckleberry, piano. They will perform the Sonata for viola and piano, op. 101, by Hans Gal, Three Madrigals for violin and viola by Bohuslav Martinu, and the Sonata for viola and piano by Libby Larsen.

-- 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5 in Harper Hall: Iowa City Viola Quartet with members of the UI music faculty and guest artists performing J.S. Bach's rarely heard Cantata No. 18, "Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel faellt" (For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven) for four violas, vocal quartet and continuo.

Rutledge's program features works from the 20th and current centuries by composers who have had distinguished careers, but limited public recognition. Gal was born in Austria, but after the rise of the Nazis he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he lived and taught for the rest of his life. In Austria he was well known, but after the move to Scotland he wrote less and received less attention. Not much is known about the origins of the viola sonata, which mixes Austrian folk idioms and English Romantic style.

Martinu was one of the most important Czech musicians of the first half of the 20th century. The Madrigals were written for Joseph and Lillian Fuchs, a prominent violin/viola duo of the time. They are written in the composer's typical style, which features Czech-accented themes with chromatic harmonies, cross-rhythms and intricate rhythmic interplay between voices. They have been a staple of the string repertoire since their 1947 premiere by the Fuchses.

Larsen is the best known of the three composers in the United States. Her works have been widely performed and recorded, and she has had several prominent residencies around the country. The Viola Sonata, composed in 2004, employs uniquely American idioms, calling for the use of "country swing," note bends and scoops, and jazz and blues idioms.

Members of the Iowa City Viola Quartet are Nathalie Cruden, principal viola of the Cedar Rapids Symphony; Michael Kimber, viola instructor at Coe College and former professor of viola at the University of Kansas and the University of Southern Mississippi; Elizabeth Oakes, the violist of the Maia Quartet and a member of the School of Music faculty; and Rutledge. The quartet was founded by the current members in 2004.

Joining the quartet for the Bach performance will be soprano Susan Sondrol Jones, a member of the School of Music faculty; alto Ruth Ann McTyre, UI music librarian; tenor David Puderbaugh, a graduate student in the School of Music; baritone Stephen Swanson from the UI music faculty; bassoonist Benjamin Coelho from the UI music faculty; cellist Carey Bostian, an alumnus and principal cellist of the Cedar Rapids Symphony; organist Delbert Disselhorst from the UI music faculty; and conductor Ann Lyman, a graduate choral conducting student in the School of Music.

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 prize winner 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.

Preucil taught on the UI music faculty for more than 35 years, from 1958 until his retirement in 1997. He served as violist for the Stradivari Quartet at the UI and principal violist of the Cedar Rapids Symphony. Before coming to the UI he played with the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., performing at the White House, and was principal violist of the Detroit Symphony. He made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1960.

He has toured throughout North America, and to more than 25 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He had a solo recital tour of Japan in 1982, and is the recording artist for books of the Suzuki Viola School, a world-wide string teaching method based on principles put forward by the Japanese music teacher Shinichi Suzuki. An acclaimed teacher, Preucil has presented master classes throughout the world, from Russia to Australia. In 1992 he was awarded the M.L. Huit Faculty Award at the UI for his dedication and service to his students.

Haken is known international as performer and teacher. He has toured Europe, where the Badische Zeitung praised his "absolutely infallible intonation, intense concentration, and endless variety of interpretation," and the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung lauded him for his "extroverted, resonant tone" and the "delicate, yet strong intensity" of his playing.

He is active in the new music scene, both as performer and composer. He has been a featured performer at conventions of the Society of Composers, Inc. and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and has received several prominent commissions. He has also recorded several CDs of original chamber compositions, and now has a recording contract with Centaur Records for a CD of his concertos.

As violist for the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera, Haken has performed under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Tilson Thomas and Neville Marriner, among others. He has served on the faculty of the Interlochen Music Camp, Hot Springs Music Festival, and Musikalischer Sommer in Ostfriesland, Germany. He has acted as adjudicator for the Houston Symphony Artists, Midwest Young Artists, American String Teachers Association, and Chicago Viola Society competitions.

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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