Faculty Artist Series: Murasaki Duo to perform piano-cello recital March 16

The Murasaki Duo, featuring husband and wife team Miko Kominami and Eric Kutz, members of the Luther College faculty, will present a piano-cello recital titled "100 years of Russian Cello Music: 1857-1959" at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 16, in the Noble Recital Hall in Jenson-Noble Music Hall on the Luther campus.

The program is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The first half of the program features Dmitri Shostakovich's Sonata in D minor.

After the intermission, the duo will perform shorter pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Rodion Shchedrin, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Mily Balakirev. The recital concludes with the Murasaki Duo's own arrangement of "The Flight of the Bumble-Bee" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Kominami, Luther adjunct faculty in music, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in piano from the Juilliard School in New York. She has performed extensively throughout North America as a soloist as well as with other artists.

As a soloist, Kominami has performed with Orchestra Iowa, Danbury Symphony, Kishwaukee Symphony, Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra and the Luther College Symphony. She is an award-winning pianist, recipient of the Artists International Award, the Canada Council Arts Grant and first prize at the 1996 Concerto Soloists' Competition in Philadelphia.

Kutz, Luther associate professor of music, earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University and master's and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School.

He is active as a teacher, chamber and orchestral musician, and soloist, performing for audiences across North America and Europe. Kutz summers in Chicago as a member of the Grant Park Orchestra's cello section. He has also appeared in the New York Philharmonic and served as principal cellist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra.

The Murasaki Duo, founded in 1996 by Kutz and Kominami, is dedicated to performing cello and piano literature as chamber music. They have toured throughout the United States and Canada and have won recognition as one of the leading ensembles of their genre. The pair actively commission new works as well as perform classic pieces.

The duo released their debut compact disc featuring works of Beethoven, Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninoff on the Centaur Records label. The duo have performed on the campuses of Luther College, Macalester College, Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University, Dickenson College and Western Connecticut University and appeared in concert series in California, Minnesota and Iowa.