April 1, 2011
Photo: Maia Quartet (from left) cellist Hannah Holman, violist Beth Oakes and violinist Tricia Park (the group is currently searching for a second violinist).
New 'Music IC' festival debuts this June in downtown Iowa City
A new summer chamber music festival taking its inspiration from works of poetry and prose will debut in downtown Iowa City June 24-26. "Music IC: Where Literature and Music Meet" will feature three free concerts by the Maia Quartet, the University of Iowa's faculty string quartet, and several guest artists.
The concerts will take place in Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Iowa City at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. Guest violinist and UI professor of music Katie Wolfe will join the Maia Quartet members — violinist Tricia Park, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman. Guest artists participating in the festival are pianist Conor Hanick, cellist Jay Campbell, clarinetist Sean Rice and violist Nathalie Cruden.
To underscore the connection between music and literature, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival will sponsor conversations titled "The Speech of Music, the Music of Writing." Those sessions, facilitated by poet-librettist Michael Dennis Browne, are free and open to the public and will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, and at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, at the Recital Hall on the ground level of the University Capital Center, opposite UI Quick Care.
As a final added attraction, the festival will feature "A Very Open Rehearsal" on Saturday, June 25, at 10 a.m. in the UCC Recital Hall. Also free and open to the public, the event will be led by a facilitator, who will encourage participants to interrupt the rehearsal with questions and comments.
Music IC, which will be the first of an annual series, is a project of the Maia Quartet and the UI Division of Performing Arts, a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Partners for the inaugural festival are the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.
"Music IC has been planned in response to an often repeated request from the classical music audience for a summer music festival," notes Maia violinist Park. "Iowa City is rich in classical music for much of the year, but there is little live classical music during the summer."
"We selected the theme 'Where Literature and Music Meet' because of its relevance to Iowa City with its rich literary tradition and its continuing prominence in the world of literature," adds festival organizer Judith Hurtig.
Festival programming will be announced in June, but virtually all of it will be inspired by prose or poetry, the two women explain. "We'll have readings from the literary sources during our concerts and those works will also be available on the festival website and in the playbill," Hurtig says.
The inclusion of Hanick and Cruden in the festival lineup highlights a secondary theme of the festival, which is to include musicians with strong Iowa City connections.
Hanick, the son of Kevin and Pat Hanick, was born and educated in Iowa City and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Julliard School in New York City. He is active as a soloist and chamber musician, performing throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Cruden is also an Iowa City native and began her musical studies at Iowa City's Preucil School of Music. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. Currently a member of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony and a substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra, she was previously the principal violist of both the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Cedar Rapids Opera.
Music IC is presented by the UI Division of Performing Arts with support from the Stanley Performing Arts Endowment.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500