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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 6, 2009

PHOTO: Daniel Avshalomov

Violist Avshamalov joins with Maia Quartet, pianist Lecuona for concert Feb. 19

Daniel Avshalomov, the violist of the American String Quartet, and pianist Réne Lecuona from the University of Iowa School of Music faculty, will join the members of the UI's Maia String Quartet for a concert of chamber music at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in the Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

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.

"It's been a long held wish of mine to bring my dear friend, colleague and mentor, Daniel Avshalomov out to the UI to perform with the Maias," Park said of the Feb. 19 concert. "As violist and member of the American String Quartet, Dan was among my first chamber music teachers at the Taos School of Music. I think of Taos as the place where I first fell in love with chamber music and the string quartet in particular.

"Since then, Dan has remained a mentor and friend to me and to the quartet. It was because of Dan's recommendation of the Maia Quartet that we were invited to be in residence at the Great Wall Academy in Beijing, China, where the American Quartet has also been in residence."

The program for the concert gives Avshamalov the opportunity to perform both as a leading player and within a larger chamber ensemble. He will play the Brahms Sonata in F minor for viola/clarinet and piano, op. 120 no. 1, with Lecuona, and Brahms' String Quintet in G Major, op. 111, with the Maia Quartet.

The Maia Quartet will open the concert with a performance of Beethoven's String Quartet in A major, op. 18 no. 5.

"I am so pleased to have this opportunity to perform with Dan," Park said. "He is a musician of the highest caliber and also a wonderful person. I am also very glad that the students will have a chance to work with him as well -- he is a great teacher. Additionally, the Maias are looking forward to showing him Iowa City and all that this city has to offer in the way of the arts, culture and community."

Avshalomov reveived bachelor's and master's degrees at the Juilliard School, where he was the first violist in the school's history to be awarded the Loeb Prize for Outstanding Achievement. He was principal violist for the orchestras of the Spoleto, Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals and was a founding member of the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. A frequent guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet, he is a faculty member of Manhattan School of Music as well as Aspen Music School. His essays and criticism have appeared in respected musical journals, and he has prepared editions of contemporary viola works for publication.

More information can be found on the American String Quartet Web page

Founded in 1990, 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. More information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, can be found online at

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 visit

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 Web site at

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, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),