The Ames Piano Quartet, the resident music ensemble at Iowa State University, will present a free concert at Iowa Wesleyan College on Tuesday, November 3, 2009. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel on the Iowa Wesleyan College campus in Mount Pleasant.
The Ames Piano Quartet holds a unique position in the chamber music field as one of the few piano quartets in the world. The combination of the lush string sound, blended with the orchestral quality of the piano, produces an exquisite and rare fullness of sound.
The Quartet is made up of Mahlon Darlington on the violin, Jonathan Sturm on viola, George Work on cello and William David on piano.
Since its formation in 1976, the ensemble has toured throughout the United States. Internationally they have performed in Canada, Mexico, France, Austria and the Far East. In 2003 the group spent a week giving concerts and teaching in Havana, Cuba, the first American chamber music group to perform there in more than 40 years. In 2006, the Quartet toured South Africa with renowned baritone Simon Estes.
With eleven internationally acclaimed compact discs to its credit, the Ames Piano Quartet is the most recorded piano quartet in America. The Washington Post aptly described their performance as "one of the most heavenly combinations of instruments around." The Los Angeles Times concurred, stating, "The four generated nearly limitless excitement, arching lyricism, poetic eloquence, and great accuracy."
The Quartet has actively championed new music, including Dark Rosaleen—Rhapsody on an Air by James Joyce by the eminent American composer Lee Hoiby, written especially for the ensemble, and recorded on their “American” CD. Their additional commitment to re-discover forgotten gems written for their ensemble has brought over a dozen wonderful pieces back onto the concert stage.
Their Mount Pleasant concert will include pieces by Beethoven, Schoenfield and Fauré.
The concert is free to the public. It is sponsored by the Haselmayer Endowment for the Arts at Iowa Wesleyan College.