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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 28, 2009

UPDATE: Please note that the correct time for this concert is 2 p.m., not 8 p.m. as originally released.

Center for New Music will present 'New Music for Violin and Viola' Feb. 8

The University of Iowa Center for New Music (CNM) will present "New Music for Violin and Viola" -- and one duo by Mozart -- at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol.

Performers will be violinist Wolfgang David, a guest artist with the CNM; violist Christine Russell from the UI School of Music faculty; pianist David Gompper, the director of the CNM; and members of the CNM Ensemble. The performance will be free and open to the public.

The complete program will be:
--Mozart's Duo in G major for violin and viola, K423.
--"Three Phantasy Pieces" for viola and percussion by Claude Baker.
--"Duo Capriccioso" for violin and piano (2003) by Mario Davidowsky.
--Introduction and Allegro for solo viola by Miklós Rósza.
--"Spirals" for violin, viola and string ensemble (2007) by David Gompper.

Baker's "Three Phantasy Pieces" was commissioned by the CNM for Rutledge and percussionist Daniel Moore, who is also a member of the School of Music faculty. The three movements draw inspiration from pieces in the standard viola repertoire.

The first piece in the set makes oblique reference to the second movement of Brahms' Sonata op. 120 no. 1 for viola and piano The next uses as its structural and melodic basis the second "Märchenbild" (Fairy tale) of Robert Schumann and provides a light-hearted foil for the more somber outer movements. The final piece is a parody of the "Procession of the Pilgrims" from Hector Berlioz's "Harold in Italy."

Davidovsky describes combining the violin with the piano in this recent composition as his attempt to make two totally different instruments work together acoustically without the benefit of the harmonic blending that would be automatic in tonal music. According to Davidovsky, the violin is by nature "a fly" and the piano "an elephant." To compose each moment within each phrase then he must find the pieces of sound that will "embed one instrument into the other."

Although he is best known for his more than 100 film scores -- including three Academy Awards -- Rósza wrote a number of concert works as well. His Introduction and Allegro for solo viola was composed for violist Tony Thomas in 1987-88. He also wrote a significant concerto for viola and orchestra, his op. 37, in 1982.

Originally written for two violins and string orchestra, "Spirals" will be performed in a version for violin, viola and small string ensemble. The composition uses a similar collection of "broken" fifths that served as the basis of Gompper's Violin Concerto. The work is in one movement with distinct three sections (moderato, slow, fast).

Gompper has been professor of composition and director of the Center for New Music at the UI since 1991. His compositions are performed throughout the United States and Europe, and he has taught, presented lectures and performed around the world. For more information visit More information about the Center for New Music is available at

David has performed in Europe, the United States, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India, Egypt, Israel, Turkey and South Africa. He is the winner of competitions and prizes including the University of Vienna's "Foundation Stefanie Hohl" award, top prize in the Kulenkampff International Competition (Cologne) and the International Music Competition of Pretoria, South Africa. For more information see David's Web page

Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She is a graduate of the UI School of Music, where she studied with William Preucil. She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the United States and abroad. For more information visit

A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the Center for New Music is part of the UI Division of Performing Arts. The center supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guest artists.

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),