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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 31, 2007

Maia Quartet violinist Jakovcic will present solo, chamber music Nov. 15

Zoran Jakovcic, violinist with Maia Quartet, will present a chamber music recital with his University of Iowa faculty colleagues Hannah Holman, cello, and Rene Lecuona, piano, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their performance will be free and open to the public.

Jakovcic will play three works, a solo for unaccompanied violin and two trios with piano and cello:

-- Beethoven's Piano Trio in E-flat op. 1, no. 1;

-- J.S.Bach's  Partita No. 3 in E minor for solo violin; and

-- Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Trio in E-minor, op. 67.

Beethoven's first published works were a set of Three Piano Trios, op. 1. Written when the young composer was still living in Bonn, Germany, the trios were probably selected for his first publication because they represented a particularly popular performance form among aristocratic music lovers. The publication was dedicated to Prince Lichnowksi, who was one of Beethoven's first important patrons.

Bach's six solo sonatas and partitas are considered among the greatest monuments and most significant challenges of the violin repertoire. They were composed as a group in 1720, relatively early in Bach's career. At that time, the unaccompanied suite or sonata for violin was already an old German-Austrian tradition. Because the violinist plays without any accompaniment, the entire musical interest must be carried by the one instrument -- a daunting challenge to composer and performer alike.

Shostakovich wrote his Trio in E minor near the end of World War II, around the same time as his highly personal eighth string quartet and his seventh and eighth symphonies. Like those works, it seems to have been influenced by the grim tragedy of the war, but the Trio also had a more personal source.

The composer's good friend Ivan Sollertinsky died suddenly in February 1944, and Shostakovich soon began composing the trio to his memory. Then, as he was completing the trio's second movement, Russian troops liberated several of the Nazi death camps, and as the news of the Holocaust came to light, Shostakovich was deeply moved.

In response, Shostakovich used a style based on Jewish folk music in the remaining portion of the trio, particularly in the final movement. This gesture was widely understood as a tribute to the Jewish victims of the Nazis. When the work was premiered in November 1944, one member of the audience reported: "The music left a devastating impression. People cried openly. By audience demand, the last 'Jewish' part of the trio had to be repeated."

Jakovcic joined the Maia Quartet, and the UI faculty, in 2005. A native of Croatia, he made his solo orchestral debut at the age of 12 and was a winner of a top prize at the National Competition in Zagreb. He has performed in recital and as soloist with various orchestras in Europe, Japan, China and the United States. For more information see

Holman is cellist of the Maia Quartet. She has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra cellist, including principal cello with the Cedar Rapids Symphony, and she joined the Maia Quartet in the summer of 2002. For more information see

Since joining the UI faculty in 1990, Lecuona has performed solo and chamber music throughout the United States and South America, in Mexico and in the Caribbean. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall in 1993 with her UI faculty colleague mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle and has also performed in the Goodman Hall at Lincoln Center with soprano Rachel Joselson, also from the UI faculty. For more information see

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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 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),