The University of Iowa

Authored by Elizabeth Oakes


Iowa String Quartet Residency begins with live performance from Elias Quartet

One of the many things I loved about having a career in a professional quartet was the chance to travel. Playing music afforded me the opportunity to meet so many people across the country and the globe and it became a powerful way to share ideas and learn. Through all these adventures, I had a particularly thought-provoking experience many years ago that has stayed with me. I was teaching with my Maia Quartet colleagues at the Great Wall International Music Academy outside of Beijing. This was my first trip to China, and I had the privilege of working with many talented young musicians. Communication required some imagination, as my students spoke only a few words in English and I only knew how to count to four in Mandarin. Our instruments became our means for exchanging ideas.

What path will you choose? Music, science or both?

Many musicians, artists and scientists have the desire to merge disciplines in order to better understand our world, and Iowans will have the chance to experience the results of one such collaboration this week in a number of different events and programs on the University of Iowa campus.