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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 7, 2007

Maia Quartet Premieres 'Thumbelina' Score At Iowa City Public Library Feb. 17

The Maia Quartet from the University of Iowa School of Music will join with actor Jody Hovland from Riverside Theatre and the Iowa City Public Library's Kidspectacular Players to present a family concert at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, in the library's Meeting Room A.

The performance, part of the UI's ongoing Scandinavian/Nordic Fest, will be broadcast live on the Iowa City Cable Channel, Channel 10 in the Iowa City area. Admission to the performance will be free.

The performance will feature the world premiere of "Thumbelina" by composer Pierre Jalbert, commissioned by the Maia Quartet, the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Music for the Scandinavian/Nordic Fest.

"Thumbelina" will be accompanied by Hovland presenting a theatrical reading of the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The Maia Quartet will also accompany the Iowa City Public Library's Kidspectacular Players in a topsy-turvy version of "The Princess and The Pea."

Andersen's "Thumbelina" is the source of the quartet's name, as the character Thumbelina is renamed Maia at the end of the story. This connection was the inspiration for the quartet to present the Scandinavian/Nordic Fest at the UI. The festival, most of it taking place during February, will feature many different aspects of Scandinavian arts and culture.

Details of all Scandinavian/Nordic Fest events, including times, locations and programs, may be found at

Hovland has been part of the leadership as well as a working artist with Iowa City's Riverside Theatre since its founding in 1981. She has often been seen in their productions, including the summer Shakespeare Festival performances. She has appeared as Linda Loman in "Death of a Salesman," Gertie in "Fuddy Meers" and the one-woman play "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe." Recent directing work includes "The Lonesome West" and "The Laramie Project."

Kidspectacular is a group of 12 3rd- through 8th-grade students who perform four creative dramatic and puppet performances a year through the Children's Services Department of the Iowa City Public Library. The group is directed by Debbie Dunn.

The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet presents a series of chamber music concerts on campus every 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.

The Scandinavian/Nordic Fest is a collaborative project of the Maia Quartet and other campus organizations, including the UI School of Music, the Department of Dance, the Department of Theatre Arts and the School of Art and Art History, as well as the Iowa City Public Library.

Events in the Scandinavian/Nordic Fest are supported in part by grants from the University of Iowa/Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, Humanities Iowa, Iowa Arts Council and Chamber Music America.

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 events and programs at the Iowa City Public Library, please visit their Web page 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;

PROGRAM CONTACT: Debbie Dunn or Debb Green 319-887-6028 or 319-887-6019 or

PHOTOS of the Maia Quartet are available at