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Release: Immediate

Hancher musical co-commission grabs two Grammy Award nominations

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- John Corigliano's String Quartet, a work that was co-commissioned by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium, has earned Grammy Award nominations for Corigliano and the Cleveland Quartet.

The score of the Corigliano String Quartet is a nominee in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category, and the Cleveland Quartet's performance of the work on their "Farewell Recording" released on the Telarc label was nominated in the Best Chamber Music Performance Category. The Grammy Award nominations were announced on Jan. 7.

Hancher and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts commissioned the work for performance on the Cleveland Quartet's farewell tour in the fall on 1995. The quartet, with Iowa City native William Preucil Jr. playing first violin, performed the Corigliano composition in their Oct. 30, 1995, Hancher concert.

Funds for Hancher's co-commission came from the auditorium's annual giving program, known as Hancher Circle, through the University of Iowa Foundation. So the commissioning of the piece was a direct result of the financial contributions of Hancher's individual and business supporters.

Corigliano has been widely recognized as one of the leading composers of our time in the classical tradition. He won the 1991 Grawemeyer Award -- music's Nobel Prize -- and he achieved a dazzling success with "Ghosts of Versailles," the first new Metropolitan Opera commission in 25 years. Corigliano was selected as Musical America's 1992 Composer of the Year.

Corigliano wrote that as he composed his first string quartet he was continuously aware that "I was writing for one of the greatest of all quartets, the Cleveland Quartet, and that they were presenting this work during their farewell tour before disbanding. The idea of an ensemble such as this playing for the last time surely colored the emotional palette of my quartet with a feeling of farewell."