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Release: Immediate

Guest artists will play program of French music for two pianos Nov. 19

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pianist Cristina Capparelli Gerling, a visiting scholar at the University of Iowa School of Music, will join with Alys Terrien-Queen for a free concert of some rarely performed pieces for two pianos, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The program, titled "Nocturnal Visions: 176 Keys to French Music," will comprise three works, all by 20th-century French composers: Debussy's "Nocturnes," Ravel's "La Valse" and Olivier Messiaen's "Visions de l'Amen." Of these, the two by Debussy and Ravel are well known in their orchestral versions but very seldom done by piano duos, while the Messiaen piece is a rarity even for a composer who is little recognized in the United States.

Debussy composed his three "Nocturnes" sometime during the years 1892-99, and the complete cycle of atmospheric orchestral works was first performed in 1901. One of the composer's first mature works for orchestra, it is a prime example of the suggestive musical style that has become known as musical Impressionism. The score was later transcribed for two pianos by Ravel.

The latter composer's "La Valse," also known in its orchestral version, developed in the opposite direction: from a piano piece, to an expanded score for two pianos, and finally to a colorful orchestral score that was created for a ballet. In this case, all three versions are by the composer.

Although he is still considered exotic to American musical culture, Messiaen was a highly influential composer and teacher during the post-World War II period in Europe. In addition to performing as an organist in Paris and teaching at the Paris Conservatory, Messiaen taught at the Darmstadt contemporary music center in Germany and at the Tanglewood (Mass.) Music Center in the United States.

One of the most original composers of his time, Messiaen used a wide range of musical sources, from Gregorian chant and oriental rhythms to the songs of birds. Most of his music is based on religious subject matter and colored by his own highly personal Catholic mysticism.

In 1973 Messiaen visited Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, where he performed the "Visions de l'Amen" with his wife, pianist Yvone Loriod. As far as is known, this was the most recent performance of Messiaen's score in Iowa or in the Midwest.

A native of Brazil, Gerling received two Fulbright grants to study music in the United States. She received a master's degree with honors from the New England Conservatory and a doctorate from Boston University. A teacher at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, she was also a member of the Pan American Trio and the Longyear Chamber Music Series.

In Brazil she helped establish a graduate program at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, where she teaches piano. She has done research on teaching methods for piano and music theory and has published articles and presented lectures at Brazilian music schools. She also wrote a chapter on Schubert and Liszt in the book "Nineteenth-Century Piano Music," published in the United States by Garland Press.

She has performed frequently as a recitalist and chamber musician and has recorded the solo piano music of contemporary Brazilian composer Bruno Kiefer.

Terrein-Queen studied at the Juilliard School, Barnard College, the New England Conservatory and the University of Nice (France). She was also a fellowship recipient at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony.

A versatile artist, Terrien-Queen has performed as a concerto soloist with the Brookline (Mass.) Symphony, collaborated with dancers, singers and chamber musicians, and performed several solo and chamber recitals on the East Coast. She is a founding member of the ONYX Ensemble, which has been featured live on WGBH radio and played in performance throughout New England.

She is assistant director of the Brookline Music School and teaches at the New England Conservatory Preparatory and Containing Education schools, in addition to maintaining an active private studio. She has received grants for research in pianists' learning styles and for her work at the Brookline Music School.