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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 26, 2007

Note: Date change, previously listed as Feb. 15

Venerable Guarneri String Quartet Returns To UI For April 10 Concert

The Guarneri String Quartet, one of the world's most venerable chamber ensembles, will return to the University of Iowa for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in Hancher Auditorium.

In their sixth visit to the UI, the quartet will perform Mozart's String Quartet in F Major, K. 590 (sometimes known as the Third "Prussian" Quartet); Debussy Quartet in G Minor, op. 10; and Lukas Foss' String Quartet No. 5, which was co-commissioned by Hancher for the Guarneri Quartet.

2005 marked 40 years of musical partnership for a quartet that still boasts three of its original members - violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley, and violist Michael Tree. Founding cellist David Soyer retired in 2001 and was replaced by his protégé, Peter Wiley, who began his studies with Soyer at the age of 13. Wiley performed in Hancher in 1997 as a member of the Beaux Arts Trio.

A National Public Radio broadcast proclaimed the Guarneri String Quartet "among the most revered and enduring ensembles of its kind in the world," part of almost every chamber music lover's shortlist of finest string quartets.

In January 2004, the Guarneri received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award from Chamber Music America. This is CMA's highest honor, given annually to an individual or ensemble for a lifetime of service and achievement in the field.

In addition to mastering the finest works in the existing quartet repertoire, the Guarneri String Quartet has been committed to performing and popularizing works by today's foremost composers. The commissioning of the Lukas Foss String Quartet No. 5 is an expression of that commitment, and the work promises to become a continuing part of the quartet's active repertoire.

Foss was born in Berlin in 1922 and moved with his family to Paris when the political situation began to deteriorate in Germany a decade later. His parents encouraged his musical talents by providing lessons for him in piano, flute, composition and orchestration at the Paris Conservatory from 1933 to 1937.

The Foss family arrived in the United States in 1937, and he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Upon his graduation in 1940, Foss attended the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he was a student of Serge Koussevitzky and Paul Hindemith, and he spent the following year studying with Hindemith at Yale.

Foss became an American citizen in 1942. By the early 1940s, he had established a dual reputation as composer and performer, receiving the Pulitzer Prize in 1942 for his incidental music to a production of "The Tempest," and being named pianist of the Boston Symphony by Koussevitzky two years later.

In 1945 he became the youngest composer ever to win a Guggenheim Fellowship; his other distinctions include a fellowship in the American Academy of Rome, a Fulbright grant, membership in the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and three New York Music Critics' Circle Awards. Virgil Thomson wrote of him, "A musician of perfect gifts and training, a first-class conductor, (and) as a composer . . . highly ingenious and venturesome."

An review of the quartet stated, "Foss has always written with an ease and ingenuity that provide enormous pleasure -- both on the surface and at a deeper structural level."

The Guarneri String Quartet concert is supported by John and Sue Strauss through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $38; UI student $15; senior citizen $34.20; youth $26.60. Discounted concert tickets are available as part of volume purchases: A simultaneous purchase of five events or more qualifies for a 15-percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit 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: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;

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