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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 16, 2007

'Piano Sundays' Begin Jan 21 at Old Capitol Museum

Photo: Pam Trimpe, director of the UI Old Capitol Museum, stands with Old Capitol's 1878 Steinway grand piano. (Photo courtesy of University of Iowa Foundation)

The University of Iowa School of Music, the Old Capitol Museum and West Music have collaborated to bring a new music series to the Iowa City-area community during the Spring semester. "Piano Sundays" will feature UI piano faculty and students performing a wide variety music on Old Capitol's newest museum object: an 1878 Steinway grand piano.

The concerts, to be held in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum, will all be free and open to the public.

The opening concert will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21. Steinway artist and UI Professor Ksenia Nosikova will team up with the UI Chamber Orchestra under by William LaRue Jones, director of orchestral studies at the School of Music. They will present the Iowa premiere of concertos for piano and chamber orchestra by Muzio Clementi and Felix Mendelssohn. UI Professor Alan Huckleberry will also play solo piano works by Domenico Scarlatti and Modest Mussorgsky.

The other performances during the Spring, all at 1:30 p.m. on Sundays, will be:

--Feb. 4, Shared Student Recital: Andrew Hofstrand, an Iowa native and a UI senior, will play music by Beethoven and Liszt. Evelyn Dias, a doctoral student from India, will continue with a program of works by Haydn and Liszt.

--Feb 18, Student Showcase I: a display of different piano personalities of six UI piano students performing a diverse program ranging from the Baroque to music of the 21st century.

--March 18, Shared Student Recital: Minji Kwon, a doctoral candidate from South Korea, will perform works of Beethoven and Schumann. Liang-Fang Chang, a winner of the UI Concerto Competition and a doctoral piano student from Taiwan, will perform music by Bach, Mozart, and Brahms.

--April 1, Piano Faculty Recital: Steinway artist and UI Professor Uriel Tsachor will present music by Beethoven and Schumann, and Professor Rene Lecuona will play a program of works by Alban Berg and Shostakovich.

--May 6, final concert of the season: UI piano students.

The museum's new piano arrived through the window of the Senate Chamber on Oct. 30, 2006. "Since then the museum has been planning ways that we could take advantage of this phenomenal instrument to enliven Old Capitol and further its history as a gathering place for the community," Pamela Trimpe, the director of Old Capitol, said.

Featuring burled rosewood carved legs and satin finish, the piano was restored by West Music in Coralville. Their work included a new soundboard, pin block, tuning pins, strings, dampers, hammers, action parts, and the replacement of some of the pedal lyre.

"The generosity of West Music made the piano a reality for us, and their sponsorship is continuing by their funding of 'Piano Sundays'," Trimpe said.

"Placing this unique piano built in 1878 in the first capitol of Iowa is an important step to bringing arts into the Old Capitol," Steve West, owner of West Music, said. "The Senate Chamber is an intimate performance space with great acoustics and will be a wonderful venue for bringing exciting piano and other musical performances to this beloved historical building. It has been a privilege to partner with the University of Iowa and the Old Capitol to make 'Piano Sundays' possible."

Nosikova and Huckleberry worked with West, Trimpe and Elisa Ewing, education and outreach coordinator for Old Capitol, to develop "Piano Sundays." Nosikova, coordinator of the music for "Piano Sundays," said she jumped at the idea of a piano concert series at the Old Capitol when Steve West approached her about it.

"We have a hall, we have a very special piano, and we have a great source of professional piano talent right here in Iowa City! We have all of the necessary ingredients to create a continuous musical event of high quality. I hope that we'll be successful in bringing to our fellow Iowans an unlimited wealth of piano music in a variety of concerts featuring UI faculty and students," Nosikova said.

The UI School Of Music piano faculty comprises four full-time professors who maintain critically acclaimed performing, recording and teaching careers in the United States and abroad: Nosikova, Huckleberry, Uriel Tachor and Rene Lecuona.

Nosikova said the programs of study in piano attract a diverse group of students. Together the undergraduate and graduate programs attract students from all over the world, from rural areas of Iowa to Russia, India, Australia and other countries in Asia, Europe and South America. The students' career interests range from piano performance and teaching to music education and music therapy.

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 News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Elisa Ewing, education and outreach coordinator, Old Capitol Museum;; 319-335-3591. Writer: Elisa Ewing