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Pamela Frank & Friends, Internationally Renowned All-Star String Sextet to Perform at Drake University’s Edwin Earle Ferguson Event

Posted September 27, 2012 in Web Exclusives

“Heard up close, her energy and focus were electric… musicianship stayed supreme at the closest inspection” – (New York Times)

“She has a big, rich sound that vibrates. Phrasing breathes with great purpose. Even single notes don’t leave the strings without meaning.”  –  (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Des Moines, Iowa (September 27, 2012) — After a nearly decade-long hiatus, Pamela Frank returns to Drake University for the 2012 Drake University Edwin Earle Ferguson Event.  An all-star string sextet of internationally acclaimed artists will provide a rare opportunity to see these chamber greats as they perform works by composers Dvorák, Arensky and Brahms.

Joining Frank are fellow string instrumentalists Andrew Simionescu, (violin), Dmitri Murrath and Nokuthula Ngwenyama (violas), Peter Wiley and Edward Arron, (cellos).

An American violinist, Frank has established an outstanding international reputation across an unusually varied range of performing activity. In addition to her extensive schedule of engagements with prestigious orchestras throughout the world and her recitals on the leading concert stages, she is regularly sought after as a chamber music partner by today’s most distinguished soloists and ensembles.

The breadth of this accomplishment and Frank’s consistently high level of musicianship were recognized in 1999 with the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists.

“Drake University is honored to have the opportunity to present Frank in this special and exclusive tour, let alone alongside such notable artists,” says Sarah Plum, associate professor of music. “The string sextet is a genre that

is rarely heard in traditional classical music series, however the repertoire is striking and vibrant.  This is a not-to-be-missed event for any local classical music lover, symphony subscriber, music student, or music professional.”

Frank has appeared with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic.  She has performed under many esteemed conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin and, most regularly, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman

The performance will take place on October 8th at 7:30 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.

Frank and Wiley will also give a Master’s Class on October 9th, in Sheslow Auditorium, admission is free.  The classes will feature Drake violin and cello students of Ashley Sidon, assistant professor music, and Sarah Plum.

Alumnus Edwin Earle Ferguson, ED’31, LW’34, was a prolific pianist and composer, whose works have been performed at Drake. In 1992, Ferguson established an endowment for Drake’s Department of Music, whereby distinguished artists would be invited to campus to perform recitals and give master classes for Drake students.

Tickets for this special concert are $12 for adults and $5.00 for students and can be purchased at the Drake Fine Arts Box Office, 515-271-3841.  The Master Classes are free of charge.  For more information, Sarah Plum at or Sheila Linskens at

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