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(Note to broadcasters: Beaux Arts is pronounced BO-ZAR)

Beaux Arts Trio marks Schubert centennial in Sept. 18 Hancher concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Beaux Arts Trio, which has for four decades set the standard for classical piano trio performance, will join in the world-wide celebration of the Franz Schubert bicentennial with a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. The concert is the first event in Hancher's 1997-98 Group 5 Hospitality Chamber Music Series.

The trio will perform two works by Schubert, the Notturno in E-flat Major, op. 148, and the Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, op. 90. Also on the program is the Trio in D Minor, op. 32, by late-19th-century Russian composer Anton Arensky.

Many classical ensembles are spotlighting Schubert's compositions, to honor him on the 200th anniversary of his birth in 1797. Of the so-called "Viennese masters," only Schubert was actually born and raised in the city that became a major center of European culture in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In his relatively short life -- he died in 1828 -- Schubert was remarkably prolific, composing more than 600 art songs, as well as dozens of instrumental compositions including symphonies, chamber music pieces and sonatas.

Only a tiny percentage of Schubert's output was published during his lifetime, and after his death his work was virtually forgotten for many years. But the charm of Schubert's distinctively melodic music was rediscovered, and his work is now among the most frequently performed elements of the classical repertory.

Arensky was one of the most eclectic Russian composers of his generation. A protege of Rimsky-Korsakov, his work also shows the influence of Tchaikovsky. His compositions are known for their lush, romantic harmonies and poetic phrasing. The Trio in D Minor, dating from 1894, is his best-known large-scale composition.

Founding pianist Menachem Pressler is still the heart and soul of the Beaux Arts Trio, which now features cellist Peter Wiley, who joined upon the retirement of Bernard Greenhouse in 1987, and violinist Ida Kavafian, who has been a member since 1992. Pressler is now regarded as the quintessential chamber music pianist.

Kavafian was a founding member of the popular chamber ensemble TASHI and she has been an artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Her career has ranged from the standards of the classical repertoire, to contemporary music composed for her, to tours and recordings with jazz great Chick Corea.

A recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, Wiley came to the Beaux Arts Trio from a career as a principal cellist and concert soloist. He continues to be in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, including appearances as a guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet. He was principal cellist with the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati symphonies, and he has a long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, on tour and in recordings.

The Beaux Arts Trio discography on Philips Records encompasses virtually the entire piano trio literature, including many recordings that are revered as definitive performances. The trio's recordings have been honored with nearly every major musical award.

Group 5 Hospitality division of Highlander Inc. is the corporate sponsor of the Chamber Music Series, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for the Beaux Arts Trio are $27.50, $25.50 and $23.50. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and Zone 3 tickets are available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Tickets may also be purchased at a 20-percent discount as part of the Chamber Music Series. Other events in the series are two concerts by the Colorado Quartet, on Nov. 3 and March 12, 1998.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.