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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 7, 2008

Update: Please note the corrected time is 3 p.m. at MacBride Hall Auditorium and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 319-335-1603.

UI Chamber Orchestra features faculty artists on Nov. 16 concert program

The University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra will feature several artist-faculty musicians from the UI School of Music on the program of a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, in MacBride Hall Auditorium on the UI Pentacrest.

The Maia String Quartet -- violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- will be soloists for a performance of the Concerto in A minor for string quartet and orchestra, op. 131, by Ludwig Spohr. William LaRue Jones, UI director of orchestral activities, will be the conductor.

And guest conductor David Nelson, the former director of the School of Music and the UI Division of Performing Arts, will lead a performance of Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 103 in E-flat major ("Drumroll").

Due to the closure of the Voxman Music Building following the record floods in June, the School of Music does not have access to its usual performance venues. The Auditorium of MacBride Hall will be one of several locations both on and off campus in Iowa City for performances during the current year.

Haydn's "Drum Roll" Symphony, named for the long roll on the timpani with which it opens, was first performed March 2, 1795, at the King's Theatre in London. It is the next-to-last of the 12 symphonies Haydn composed for his two concert tours to London in the years 1791-95.

The slow introduction with its surprising drumroll aroused, one London critic wrote, "the deepest attention." Continuing, he noted that "the Allegro charmed, the Andante was encored, the Minuets, especially the trio, were playful and sweet, and the last movement was equal, if not superior to the preceding."

Haydn's two trips to London occurred near the end of his long and productive life, after his retirement from his job as a court musician to the Esterhazy family of Hungary and Austria. Conceived on a grand scale, the symphonies he brought with him on each visit were designed to display the pinnacle of his skill as a composer. Indeed, Haydn knew his audience well, and the 12 symphonies composed for London have remained in the orchestral repertoire ever since, making them the earliest symphonies to have a continuous place in concert programs from the time of their composition.

Although little remembered today, Spohr was a multidimensional artist who was a very active part of Germany's musical life in the early 19th century. He maintained an active career as a conductor and an early advocate of Wagner's music, was well known as a composer, and enjoyed an international reputation as a renowned violinist, attracting students from across Europe. While he wrote a considerable amount of music for the violin, Spohr also wrote in all the major genres of the time. His orchestral music includes 10 symphonies, he wrote various large-scale choral works, and his operatic efforts include the first major opera on Goethe's "Faust."

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. The founding director of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with professional, festival, collegiate and student ensembles throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. For more information visit

Nelson is a professor of music education at the UI. As a violinist and conductor, he performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Austin (Texas), Omaha, Quad-City and the Madison Symphony Orchestras, and served as associate concertmaster of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony. For more information visit

The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. The quartet has gained wide recognition for its educational outreach activities and its members have shared their love of music with children under the auspices of Young Audiences, Inc., and the Midori Foundation. For more information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, visit

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information visit

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then 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, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),