Christopher Clair, Office of Strategic Communication, 319-384-0900
A program of note
A program of note
A program of note
The University of Iowa has a long tradition of fostering the highest level of string quartet playing and chamber music instruction—think the Stradivari String Quartet, or more recently, the Maia String Quartet. This storied history adds another chapter this academic year with the formation of the UI String Quartet Residency Program.
The program—coordinated by violist Elizabeth Oakes, lecturer in the UI School of Music and founding member of the Maia—will bring three to four nationally recognized string quartets to the UI School of Music for extended residences. Each residency will include public performances and master classes, public presentations on the entrepreneurial side of a chamber music career, and numerous opportunities for UI School of Music students to work one-on-one with these guest ensembles.
As coordinator, Oakes will run the string chamber music program at the UI and will coordinate extended residencies of guest ensembles at the UI.
“When I look back over the course of my career in chamber music, I find that a number of things have remained constant: my love of the string quartet medium, my passion for coaching chamber music, my deep interest in arts presenting, and my fascination with finding innovative ways to engage audiences of all kinds with the joys of chamber music,” says Oakes. “What is tremendously exciting to me about my appointment as coordinator of the String Quartet Residency Program is that the position weaves these interests together in a new and meaningful way that offers me a fresh set of challenges at this stage in my career. This position will also give me the opportunity to continue performing and collaborating with my wonderful colleagues here in the School of Music.”
The inaugural program will begin in late October with a residency by the JACK Quartet, an ensemble lauded by The Washington Post as “a young, brilliant group” that keeps the string quartet format “thrillingly vital.”
The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music, and they have since studied with the Arditti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Muir String Quartet, and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works.
The JACK Quartet will conduct a chamber music master class from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 and perform a public concert at 7:30 p.m. that same day in Riverside Recital Hall. The foursome also will take part in an Wednesday, Oct. 24 event dubbed “Under the Hood,” a behind-the-scenes peek that provides music students a glimpse of the passion and drive that goes into realizing one’s dreams.
Two quartets will take up residency during the spring of 2013:
The Linden String Quartet (from left): Eric Wong, Sarah McElravy, Felix Umansky, Catherine Cosbey.
The Linden String Quartet, Feb. 26-March 6. Founded in spring 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the quartet has enjoyed remarkable success in four short years, winning the Gold Medal and Grand Prize of the 2009 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Coleman-Barstow Prize at the 2009 Coleman National Chamber Ensemble Competition, First Prize at the 2010 Hugo Kauder Competition, and most recently, the ProQuartet Prize at the Ninth Borciani International String Quartet Competition.
Now based in Cleveland, the Linden Quartet recently completed the two-year Graduate String-Quartet-in-Residence program at Yale University School of Music, where the ensemble was mentored by the Tokyo String Quartet. Previous mentors have included the Cavani String Quartet, Peter Salaff, and Paul Kantor.
The Linden String Quartet will hold its “Under the Hood” event on Wednesday, Feb. 27, a master class on Thursday, Feb. 28, and a concert Saturday, March 2.
Cavani String Quartet (from left): Mari Sato, Annie Fullard, Merry Peckham, Kirsten Docter.
The Cavani String Quartet, April 9-13. The Cavani Quartet performs regularly on major series and festivals throughout North America and Europe. The Cavani Quartet has the honor of being a winner of the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award as well as numerous competitions including, Fischoff, Banff, and Coleman. Active proponents of contemporary music, the quartet has commissioned and performed a worldwide array of living composers and is a recipient of the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.
Formed in 1984, the Cavani Quartet was appointed Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988. The foursome has established itself as a dynamic leader in the field of Arts in Education, and has received a number of Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants. Nationally acclaimed for their inspiring and innovative teaching and proactive approach to residencies, the Quartet has developed creative programs for audiences of all ages, including a series of children’s concerts for the Chamber Music of Lincoln Center.
The Cavani String Quartet will hold its “Under the Hood” event Wednesday, April 10, a chamber master class and a recital on Thursday, April 11, and a workshop at the Preucil School of Music on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14. The workshop is made possible by the UI String Quartet Residency Program, the Preucil School of Music, the UI Office of the Provost, and the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Development.
Oakes plans to bring in four quartets in subsequent years. “It is always exciting to be on the ground floor of a new initiative such as this one; the challenge of bringing a vision to its fruition is something I find deeply fulfilling,” Oakes says. “I am thrilled to continue to help promote the highest level of chamber music-making here in Iowa City and across Iowa.”