Nov. 7, 2008
Violist Christine Rutledge will play part of her 'wish list' Nov. 20
Christine Rutledge, the viola professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, will connect with several of her faculty colleagues and perform music from her personal "wish list," when she presents "Viola and Friends," a free faculty recital, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI Pentracrest.
The works on the program, and the performers, are:
--The Sonata No. 1 for solo viola -- originally for solo violin -- by J.S. Bach, performed by Rutledge alone.
"This program was designed to finally perform several works that have been on my 'wish list' for a long time," Rutledge said. "I also felt a need to connect professionally with many of my colleagues, and to remind myself that we are also world-class musicians as well as educators and committee members!"
Rutledge also described the works on the program: "The Divertimento is one of many works that Gál wrote with prominent viola parts. A few years ago I performed his Sonata for viola and piano on a faculty recital with pianist Alan Huckleberry. The Divertimento is very virtuosic for both instruments.
"Juon was a turn-of-the-20th-century Russian composer about whom little is known. I have been familiar with his lovely sonata for viola and piano for many years, and found this unusual trio in a sale bin a long time ago. But what a better combination of tone colors? The piece is lush and fun, and a great excuse to work with Bill Preucil again.
"Turnina's 'Scene Andalouse' is a gorgeous blend of Impressionism and pure Spanish flavors. The work is divided into two parts: 'Twilight' and 'At the Window.' The solo viola voice acts as a sort of narrator, commenting on the conversations of the string quartet and the piano.
"Bach's first sonata for solo violin is part of a group of six works for solo violin. Violists are fond of 'borrowing' literature from our cousins -- which was a common practice during the Baroque period. We have had the six cello suites in our standard repertoire for many decades. But Bach's solo violin repertoire is now becoming just as much a part of solo repertoire as the cello suites, and it's about time.
"The rich color of the viola and the lowered key create a beautiful difference from the more brilliant violin. Normally I would play this on baroque viola, but I wanted to play on my modern viola this time around, mostly because it will be valuable for my teaching, and there are some beautiful things that can be done with the modern instrument and bow."
Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She is a graduate of the UI School of Music, where she studied with Preucil. She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the United States and abroad. For more information visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/STRGrutledge.htm.
Preucil taught on the UI music faculty for more than 35 years, from 1958 until his retirement in 1997. He served as violist for the Stradivari Quartet at the UI and principal violist of the Cedar Rapids Symphony. Before coming to the UI he played with the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., performing dinner music at the White House, and was principal violist of the Detroit Symphony. He made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1960.
He has toured throughout North America, and to more than 25 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He had a solo recital tour of Japan in 1982, and is the recording artist for books of the Suzuki Viola School, a worldwide string teaching method based on principles put forward by the Japanese music teacher Shinichi Suzuki. An acclaimed teacher, Preucil has presented master classes throughout the world, from Russia to Australia. In 1992 he was awarded the M.L. Huit Faculty Award at the UI for his dedication and service to his students.
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 http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet participates in a series of chamber music concerts on campus each year. Its members -- violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- are all members of the School of Music faculty. The quartet has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. For more information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, visit http://www.maiaquartet.com.
To read about the other active members of the School of Music faculty visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/faculty.htm.
For UI arts information and calendar updates visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.
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