An Unlikely Pairing



(Courtesy Utah Symphony / Deer Valley Music Festival)

Dr. Condoleezza Rice, politician and concert pianist, and the Muir Quartet will perform at Stein Eriksen Lodge on January 14, 2011. The evening's music will include works by Dvorak and Brahms, and will benefit the Deer Valley® Music Festival, Summer Home of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Both Dr. Rice and the Muir Quartet have donated their services for this event.

Dr. Rice was born into a life of music and foreign affairs on November 14, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama. Growing up in the turbulent and segregated South, Rice stayed focused on her music lessons, and at age 10 was the first black student admitted to study at the Birmingham Southern Conservatory of Music. Dr. Rice competed in piano at the Conservatory and continued for several years as her family moved to Colorado. She won her first musical competition playing Mozart’s D Minor Piano Concerto, and later performed with the Denver Symphony Orchestra.

The Muir Quartet features founder Mike Reynolds, cello; Peter Zazofsky, violin; Steven Ansell, viola; Lucia Lin, violin. In its 31st season, the Muir String Quartet has long been acknowledged as one of the world's most powerful and insightful ensembles, distinguishing itself among audiences and critics with its "exhilarating involvement" (Boston Globe),"impeccable voicing and intonation" (San Francisco Examiner) and "unbridled musicality" (American Record Guide).

Winner of the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian Competition, the Muir String Quartet was greeted with rave reviews and an extensive feature in the New Yorker. They were soon featured on the internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Reagan.

Reynolds, called Rice an "old friend" of the Muir Quartet, sharing that she used to play with them regularly years ago at the Montana Chamber Music Festival in Bozeman before accepting a leading role in the Bush Administration. “We are thrilled to have Condoleezza Rice join us in Utah to share her love and passion for the musical arts,” says Melia Tourangeau, President and CEO of the Utah Symphony| Utah Opera.

For more information on attending this exclusive performance please contact Amanda Deuel, Director of Special Events, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera at adeuel@usuo.org or 801-869-1010.

More about the Deer Valley® Music Festival (DVMF)

The Deer Valley® Music Festival is the summer home of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. The 2011 Festival will celebrate its eighth season next summer providing chamber, classical, and pops performances in multiple venues: the Deer Valley® Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, St. Mary's Church, Temple Har Shalom, and salons in private homes in the Park City area.

The goal of DVMF is to consistently deliver high-quality and musically diverse experiences that engage, educate, and enrich lives in casual settings of unparalleled natural beauty.

More About Condoleezza Rice
A former Provost of Stanford University, National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, and U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Rice had originally planned a career as a concert pianist. It was not until her junior year of college at the University of Denver that Dr. Rice enrolled in an international relations course and found a passion for Soviet politics. Foreign affairs became her academic and professional interest, but music remains a major part of her life. During her government service, Dr. Rice had the pleasure of performing with world-renowned musicians and for heads of state. Most recently, she played before German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon her visit to Stanford University and with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Rice’s favorite composers are Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and Prokofiev, and her favorite compositions include Mozart’s Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives, and Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn for Two Pianos and Piano Quintet in F Minor. Dr. Rice is particularly fond of the operas Khovanschina and Boris Godunov by the Russian nationalist composer Modest Mussorgsky.

More about the Muir Quartet members
Michael Reynolds, the Quartet's founding cellist, tours the musical centers of North America and Europe and has performed more than 2,000 concerts in addition to his activities as a professor at Boston University, where he has been in residence since 1983.

Renowned violist Steven Ansell is another original member of the Quartet. Ansell joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1996 as principal violist, and has appeared many times as soloist.

Following five years with the Marlboro music festival, violist Peter Zazofsky began performing with the Muir Quartet in 1987. Zazofsky has performed solo throughout the United States, Canada and 21 countries in South America and Europe. In addition, his solo performances include engagements in Paris, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Vienna and Israel.

Lucia Lin made her debut performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of 11. Since then, she has been a prizewinner of numerous competitions, including the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Lin joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and served as assistant concertmaster from 1988-'91 and 1996-'98.

In its commitment to advancing contemporary American music, the Muir Quartet has commissioned new works by Joan Tower (Night Fields), Sheila Silver (From Darkness Emerging), Richard Danielpour (Shadow Dances and Psalms of Sorrow -featured on CBS Sunday Morning), Richard Wilson (Third String Quartet), and Charles Fussell (Being Music, based on poetry of Walt Whitman). The quartet also gave the premiere performance of the Native American collaborative work, Circle of Faith, featured on National Public Radio.

The Muir Quartet has been In Residence at Boston University's College of Fine Arts since 1983, and gives annual summer workshops at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. The Muir Quartet has also given master classes at Eastman, Curtis, Oberlin and Rice University. Since 1989, the quartet has presented the Emerging Quartets and Composers Program in Utah with eminent composer Joan Tower, now part of the Muir’s role as resident chamber ensemble with the Deer Valley® Music Festival, in partnership with the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera.