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NEW WORKS IN COMPOSERS WORKSHOP CONCERT FEB. 23 -- The Composers Workshop of the University of Iowa School of Music will present seven new works by seven student composers on a concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, in UI Clapp Recital Hall.

A program of the theory and composition department of the School of Music, the workshop is devoted to the performance of music composed at the UI and aims to foster greater collaboration and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area. Typical concerts present new works by student composers and span a wide variety of media and styles.

The Feb. 23 concert will include both live and taped works:

-- "Propaganda One" for double bass and percussion by doctoral student

John Allemeier, explores ways the apparently disparate instruments can share musical material. This includes having the bassist knock on the body of his instrument and the percussionist imitate string pizzicato on the vibraphone. At the end, the mimicking stops and the players handle a common melodic line with conventional playing techniques. Thus, they find common ground only in their individuality.

-- "Solstice" for solo piano by undergraduate student Jeff Bennett incorporates ideas derived from Stonehenge and other megalithic sites in England.

-- "Crescent's Wake: Special Edition" for digital tape by Matthew Hallaron uses juxtapositions between longer sweeps of sound and aggressive attacks to explore the ways listeners are affected by sounds.

-- "Four Love Songs" for soprano and piano by doctoral piano student

Katerina Stamatelos are settings of poems that date to the composer's adolescent years. "These are not the best poems," she says. "They are naive and rather sentimental, but they serve my musical purpose perfectly as I relate to them in the most personal way."

-- "Triple Two" for cello and piano was composed by David Maki; "Gasp" was created on digital tape by graduate student Andrew Hauschild; and "Conversations" for mixed ensemble by graduate student John Kramer takes its name and inspiration from a series of imagined conversations among three characters.

The Composers Workshop is directed by Martin Jenni, professor of music and chair of the theory and composition department in the School of Music.

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(more) 2/14/97

MASTER CLASSES BY FAMED PIANIST FEB. 24-25 -- Mehahem Pressler, pianist of the famed Beaux Arts Trio and one of the most revered chamber musicians and music teachers in the world, will present two master classes on the University of Iowa campus, at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, and at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Both sessions, which will be in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus, will be open to the public free of charge. Each will be approximately three hours in length.

Piano students from the School of Music will perform for the classes. As is characteristic of master class sessions, the students will perform music they have prepared, and Pressler will provide comments on the music and the performance.

The first piano trio to achieve international prominence as a standing ensemble, the Beaux Arts Trio has been in existence for more than 40 years. Currently consisting of Pressler, violinist Ida Kavafian and cellist Peter Wiley, the trio tours internationally, with annual engagements at many of the most important festivals and performing centers around the globe, including the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals in the United states, and others internationally.

A Beaux Arts Trio performance has been scheduled at the UI next season as part of the silver anniversary season of Hancher Auditorium.

With more than 50 recordings on the Phillips label, the Beaux Arts Trio has won the top recording awards, including the Grand Prix du Disques, the Gramophone Record of the Year Award and the Prix Mondial du Disque. Their discography covers most of the literature for piano trio.

A founding member of the trio, Pressler has established himself among the world's most honored musicians with a career that spans nearly five decades. Known as both a solo and chamber performer, he is respected for his extensive knowledge of solo and chamber piano repertoire. Touring as a soloist he has performed with orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco, London, Paris and Brussels.

In addition to playing with the Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler's reputation as the consummate chamber pianist has led to collaborations with the Juilliard, Emerson, Guarneri and Cleveland Quartets, as well as many of the most distinguished musicians in the world. He teaches piano at the Indiana University School of Music, where he has been awarded the rank of distinguished professor.

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PERSPECTIVES FEBRUARY 26 -- Stephen Prokopoff, director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, will lecture on Chicago artist Karl Wirsum as part of the weekly Perspectives series at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the museum. The talk, which is offered in conjunction with the exhibition "Sports and 'Just Us What Past Before Us,'" on display at the museum through April 20, is free and open to the public.

(more) 2/14/97

In September 1996 Wirsum's mural "Just Us What Past Before Us" was completed in the UI Field House. The mural is composed of 10 highly stylized, brightly colored athletic images ranging from 8 feet 6 inches to 23 feet in length.

The work was commissioned by the Art on Campus Committee and is part of an Iowa State Legislature initiative, "Art in State Buildings." The initiative mandates that

0.5 percent of funds for newly constructed or extensively renovated state buildings be used to acquire works of art for those buildings.

The exhibition currently at the museum includes Wirsum's final studies for the mural, along with a selection of paintings, drawings and sculpture devoted to sports images, a frequent theme in Wirsum's work. Prokopoff's lecture will relate the Field House project to an overview of Wirsum's work.

M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1996-97 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free.

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POET GROSSMAN READS FEB. 27 -- Poet Allen Grossman will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in Van Allen Hall on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City. The reading, sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

He will also present a free lecture, "True Love," at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in Room 107 of the UI English-Philosophy Building.

Grossman is among America's most distinguished poets. A member since 1993 of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Grossman is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, better known as the "genius grant." In 1992 his book "The Ether Dome" was a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee. He has received three Pushcart Prizes.

Grossman is the author of the books "A Harlot's Fire," "The Recluse," "The Woman on the Bridge Over the Chicago River," "The Song of the Lord" and "Of the Great House." His most recent book is "The Philosopher's Window."

As a student at Harvard University, Grossman received the Garrison Award for Poetry and the Prize of the American Academy of Poetry. He has received the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also is the recipient of the Sara Teasdale Memorial Prize in Poetry of Wellesley College and the Sheaffer-PEN/New England Award for Literary Distinction. His work is included in Scribner's Best Poems for 1988, 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Grossman has taught at Brandeis University and Universitat HaNegev in Israel, and he is currently a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, where he has been since 1991.