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Stradivari Quartet recordings now available online

Forty-four years after its first public performance, the Stradivari String Quartet now has audio recordings from 1963-1996 publicly available in the Iowa Digital Library at

The collection is part of the Iowa Sounds Digital Collection, a growing digital repository of audio recordings that documents the musical and cultural heritage of the University of Iowa community.

The quartet made its first public performance with the Stradivarius instruments on May 19, 1967 in Macbride Auditorium in Iowa City.  The Iowa Quartet informally announced its name change on July 21 1969 at the International Music Camp in North Dakota, beginning the concert as the Iowa String Quartet, and ending as the Stradivari String Quartet.

The Quartet takes its name from a set of instruments known as the “Paganini Strads,” which were on loan to them from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C beginning in April 1967. After five years of tours and performances with them, the instruments were returned in the summer of 1972. The Iowa/Stradivari String Quartet was the teaching quartet in residence at the University of Iowa until 1996 when the newly formed Maia Quartet became the new quartet in residence. 

Personnel for the Stradivari String Quartet included:  Violin I – Allen Ohmes; Violin II – John Ferrell, Don Haines; Viola – William Preucil; Cello – Joel Krosnick, Charles Wendt.  Joel Krosknick appears on the earliest recordings from 1964-1966, but was not a member of the quartet when they changed their name to Stradivari.

The online collection was created between October of 2009 and March of 2011 by the University of Iowa Libraries from digitized cassettes and reels from the Rita Benton Music Library collection.

This collection of recordings is the latest edition to the Iowa Digital Library, which features more than 400,000 digital objects created from the holdings of The University of Iowa Libraries and its campus partners. Included are illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, fine art, political cartoons, scholarly works, and more. The University of Iowa Libraries is a strong supporter of new forms of scholarly publishing, digital humanities, data curation, and open/linked data.