Amara Piano Quartet will perform first concert under new name on Sunday, April 7

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The Amara Piano Quartet, from left, George Work, Jonathan Sturm, Mei-Hsuan Huang and Boro Martinic-Jercic.

The Amara Piano Quartet, Iowa State University’s resident chamber ensemble, will present its second concert of the season Sunday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the music department’s Martha-Ellen Tye recital hall.

The quartet is the successor to the Ames Piano Quartet, Iowa State’s longtime resident chamber group. It consists of new members Boro Martinic-Jercic, violinist, and Mei-Hsuan Huang, pianist, as well as former Ames Quartet members Jonathan Sturm, violist, and George Work, cellist. Former members William David and Mahlon Darlington retired from ISU in 2012.

The concert is the quartet’s first performance under its new name, which was announced at its concert last fall.

According to Work, "The concert will open with Beethoven’s Trio in G major, Op. 9 #1, a sunny and vivacious work featuring the strings of the Amara Quartet. Pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang will rejoin the group for Brahms’ tempestuous and tragic Quartet in C minor, Op. 60, a work inspired in part by Goethe’s tragedy Werther, and in part by Brahms own doomed love for Clara Wieck Schumann. The concert will conclude with William Walton’s quintessentially English Piano Quartet in D minor."

Work explained the new name was chosen for phonetic associations. "Amara" means paradise in Ethiopian, and "immortal" or "unfading" in Sanskrit, he said, but also suggests the Latin root for love or affection ("amor"). "We did not choose it to mean any of these specifically, but to hopefully suggest them all."

The decision to change the name came about for a variety of reasons. "One important reason is that we have a full half of the quartet that is new," Work said, "and that makes us in many important ways a new group, especially given that the violin and piano are the pivotal parts of a piano quartet."

The concert, which is free and open to the public, starts 30 minutes earlier than the usual 7:30 p.m. curtain time to accommodate Iowa Public Radio, which will be broadcasting it statewide.

The Department of Music and Theatre is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ISU. -30-

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Contact: Steve Jones, Liberal Arts and Sciences Communication, (515) 294-0461,