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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 27, 2006

Maia Quartet Will Play A Concert Of Hungarian Music Oct. 12

The Maia Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a concert with a strong Hungarian flavor at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct 12, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet participates in a series of chamber music concerts on campus each year. Its members -- violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- are all members of the School of Music faculty.

Two of three composers on the Oct. 12 program -- Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly -- are well known as Hungarian musicians whose studies of the folk music of their homeland is strongly reflected in their work. The third composer, Joseph Haydn, lived in Vienna and is associated with the Viennese Classical style, but was born in Ruhrau, a multi-ethnic village that today is part of Hungary.

The program will open with Haydn's String Quartet in C major, op. 54 no. 2, which includes a second movement that uses conventions of gypsy music often associated with Hungary. Other works on the program will be Bartok's String Quartet No. 3 and Kodaly's String Quartet No. 2.

The program was selected for a performance the Maia Quartet will give Oct. 15 in Rutgers University's Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. The museum is currently showing "Technical Detours: The Early Works of Moholy-Nagy Reconsidered," which explores the early career of the Hungarian artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and his interactions with other artists and writers in Budapest, Vienna and Berlin around 1920.

Bartok's six string quartets are considered among the greatest contributions to the string quartet repertoire since Beethoven, and also among the most important works of the 20th century. "They are staples and modern standards of the string quartet repertoire," is they way Park, the quartet's first violinist, puts it.

Bartok wrote the Third Quartet in 1927, between a very busy period of piano performances throughout Europe and his first tour of the United States. It is the shortest and most intense of his quartets, comprising four sections that are performed without pause. The sections are closely interrelated in a double-arch structure, with the first and third sharing the same melodic material, tempo and mood. Similarly, the second and fourth sections are musically related.

"Kodaly's two string quartets are less well known and not played often," Park said. "The second quartet is distinctly Kodaly, and his compositional voice is much more defined and very recognizable in this work, more than in the first quartet."The Zimmerli Museum identifies Moholy-Nagy as "one of the most important figures in modern art of the 20th century. (He) was an international artist and educator who worked in Hungary and Germany before moving to the United States where he finished his career."

The exhibition in the Zimmerli Museum will feature more than 200 items, including paintings, watercolors and book designs that illustrate the influence of Moholy-Nagy's work on artists in the early- to mid-20th century.

Founded in1990, the Maia Quartet has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. The quartet has gained wide recognition for its educational outreach activities, and its members have shared their love of music with children under the auspices of Young Audiences, Inc., and the Midori Foundation. More information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, can be found online at

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 319-541-2846;

PHOTOS of the Maia Quartet are available at