Iowa State University’s Ames Piano Quartet’s Nov. 11 concert features first new members in 14 years

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized
The Ames Piano Quartet, from left, George Work, Jonathan Sturm, Mei-Hsuan Huang and "Boro" Martinic-Jercic.

AMES, Iowa – For the first time in 14 years and only the second time since 1981, the Ames Piano Quartet will perform with new members.

Iowa State University’s resident chamber orchestra’s new lineup will debut Sunday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in a free concert at Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall on the ISU campus.

Joining the quartet are violinist Borivoj "Boro" Martinic-Jercic and pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang. They have taken the places of Mahlon Darlington and William David, who retired earlier in the year from the ISU faculty. The remaining quartet musicians are cellist George Work and violist Jonathan Sturm.

The Department of Music is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State.

Consistency has been a hallmark of the quartet. David joined then-ISU orchestra director Larry Burkhalter in the mid-1970s to form half of the original "Iowa State Piano Quartet." Darlington became a member in 1976 and Work joined in 1981. The next change did not occur until 1998 when Sturm took the place of the retiring Burkhalter.

Martinic-Jercic and Huang both have traveled extensively playing in solo and chamber music performances. For the last five years, Martinic-Jercic has been the music director and concertmaster of I Solisti di Zagreb (in the Republic of Croatia) and professor of violin at the Academy of Music at the University of Zagreb. He also has served as concertmaster of the Phoenix Symphony for 15 years and the concertmaster of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra since 1995.

Huang came to ISU from the University of Arkansas where she was on the music faculty and was a member of the Fulbright Trio, the university’s faculty trio in residence. She recently gave a piano recital in Taiwan, the result of being nominated for the prize of "Excellent Pianist" by the Forum Music Association.

"We have all been exploring the music together, trying things, allowing old ideas to remain or leave as the music directs us anew," Sturm said of the new ensemble. "It has been so refreshing to see the notes that are old friends, but ask what new secrets might be teased from them. It is a bit like having a new lease on life."

The debut performance will include three masterpieces: the E-flat major piano quartet by Mozart, Dvorak’s D major quartet and the E-flat major piano quartet by Robert Schumann. Sturm said the group wants to continue its reputation from the past, while exploring different variations in rhythm and nuances in music.

Said Work, "We hold ourselves to the same rigorous standards of excellence that we have always maintained, and our principal passion and goal remains to present the truest and most beautiful rendition possible of any composer’s music."

See an Ames Piano Quartet article from Link, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ alumni publication.

About Liberal Arts and Sciences The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college, LAS educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment. College faculty design new materials, unravel biological structures, care for the environment, and explore social and behavioral issues. From fundamental research to technology transfer and artistic expression, the college supports people in its community and around the world. -30-