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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 29, 2008

Nosikova opens 'Piano Sundays' Sept. 7 at Old Capitol Museum

The flood of 2008 has changed nearly everything for the University of Iowa School of Music. However, piano faculty member Ksenia Nosikova is glad for one familiar comfort: the consistency of the "Piano Sundays" series at the Old Capitol Museum.

"The Old Capitol kind of feels like an old home," Nosikova said. "Students can come back to the Piano Sundays each year, knowing they will have this series and this venue, which is especially important this of all years."

On Sunday, Sep. 7, Nosikova will share the stage with four of her students for the first concert in the 2008-09 "Piano Sundays" series. The other scheduled "Piano Sundays" will be Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Feb. 1, March 1 and April 5. All performances begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber and are free and open to the public.

This marks the third year that the UI School of Music, the Old Capitol Museum and West Music have collaborated to bring the Iowa City-area community this series of recitals, featuring UI piano faculty and students performing on Old Capitol's beautifully restored 1878 Steinway grand piano.

The Sept. 7 concert is both Old Capitol's first major public event of the year and the first on-campus School of Music performance since the flood.

That the series continues this year shows the persistence and dedication of the performers and the music faculty, Nosikova said. "It doesn't matter where we have to work," she said. "What we do as musicians remains alive. We are here. We're the same. Nothing changes as far as our level of commitment and desire to learn, teach, and bring piano music into the community."

The "Piano Sundays" series was originally conceived as a way to reach out to that community through a different type of classical music performance. The intimacy of the Senate Chamber lends itself to a more informal recital, and Nosikova has made discussion and audience interaction a key component of students' performances.

"It's not just people in tuxedos and gowns getting on the stage, playing this really complicated classical music and being untouchable," Nosikova said. "These are young musicians who come on stage and share their thoughts and knowledge of the repertoire with the audience. For many of them, talking is the hardest part of the presentation because they have never done it before. It's not something they focus on in school. When the goal is to produce the most perfect performance, sometimes we don't think about how we are engaging our audiences. That's why things like this are so important."

For this opening performance, Nosikova will share the stage with four of her students, providing visitors a unique opportunity to see a wide-range of performance levels and styles. Nosikova strives for this kind of variety, noting that the talented UI piano faculty attracts exceptional students from all over the world to study.

"I think what the series is aiming for is to say illustrate the top-notch pianists we have right here in Iowa City," Nosikova said. "This is the complete package: the historic venue in Old Capitol, a restored piano that is unique in and of itself, and outstanding local talent."

Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and South America. She has been invited to perform at international festivals in Munster, France; Rimini, Italy; and Rovin, Yugoslavia; as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals in the United States. In 2006 she was named a Steinway artist. For more see

West Music in Coralville restored Old Capitol's 1878 Steinway, which features burled-rosewood carved legs and satin finish. Restorations included a new soundboard, pin block, tuning pins, strings, dampers, hammers, action parts and the replacement of some of the pedal lyre. The piano was acquired in January 2007 with assistance from West Music Company. In addition to this gift-in-kind donation, Stephen L. West, president of West Music Company, has once again provided the funding for the 2008-09 "Piano Sundays" concert series.

As a place for community and university gatherings, the addition of the Piano Sundays concert series has served in fulfilling Old Capitol Museum's mission of offering quality programming in the arts and humanities. For more information on the Old Capitol Museum visit

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. The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music website at

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

EDIA CONTACTS: Kathrine Moermond, Old Capitol Museum, 319-335-0548,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),; Writer: Maggie Anderson