Faculty Artist Series: Murasaki Duo to perform piano-cello recital Sept. 14

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 "A French Affair" at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, in the Noble Recital Hall of the Jenson-Noble Music Hall on Luther campus.

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

The program will be entirely dedicated to French music. The Murasaki Duo will begin their recital with "Drinking Song" by Maurice Ravel, "Three Pieces" by Nadia Boulanger, "Suite, Op. 16" by Camille Saint-Saens and Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Cello and Piano.

In the second half of the performance, Tarn Travers, Luther visiting instructor in music, will join the duo on violin for a performance of Ravel's Piano Trio. Originally composed in 1914, this performance celebrates the piece's 100th anniversary.

Kominami, Luther adjunct faculty in music, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in piano from the Juilliard School in New York as well as the Piano Performance Certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. 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, Minnesota Orchestra, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, 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 CD featuring works of Beethoven, Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninoff on the Centaur Records label.