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Rita Benton Music Library

A Commemoration of Rita Benton

On September 22 and 23, 1995, the University of Iowa School of Music and the University Libraries sponsored a commemoration to honor Rita Benton fifteen years after her death and after the naming of the Rita Benton Music Library. The featured speaker on Friday night was the noted musicologist and conductor D. Kern Holoman, Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California at Davis, who spoke on “Problems and Lessons of the Berlioz Thematic Catalogue.” Saturday morning a distintuished panel addressed the subject, “Musical Cross Fertilization Between France and Italy in the Early 19th Century.” Participants included University of Iowa faculty Thomas Christensen of the School of Music and Downing Thomas of the Department of French and Italian; Jane Fulcher, School of Music at Indiana University; James H. Johnson, Department of History, Boston University; and Dr. Holoman. Moderator was Dr. Peter Alexander, Director of Arts Center Relations at the University of Iowa.

Faculty and students then presented a brief concert of works by George Onslow, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and Ignaz Pleyel. The Onslow selection was the String Quintet in D minor from opus 1, performed from a set of parts published by Breitkopf & Haertel about 1830 and owned by Professor of Cello Charles Wendt, who presented the entire set of 10 part books, containing all of Onslow’s 34 quintets, to the Library in memory of Rita Benton. The celebration concluded with a luncheon, which featured “Reminisences of Rita” by Himie Voxman, retired director of the School of Music, Dale Bentz, retired University Librarian, and Leola Bergmann, a friend of the Benton family.

Faculty and students then presented a brief concert of works by George Onslow, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and Ignaz Pleyel.