CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Guest artists will headline UI Center for New Music concert Dec. 7
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Performances by guest pianist Anthony Infanti and
half a program devoted to guest composer Noel Zahler will be featured on
a free concert presented by the University of Iowa Center for New Music
at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Other featured performers will include UI School of Music faculty members
Rene Lecuona and Sergey Schepkin, piano, and Kristin Thelander, horn. David
Gompper, director of the Center for New Music and head of the composition
area at the School of Music, will conduct.
Thelander and Lecuona will open the concert with Margaret Brouwer's
Sonata for horn and piano, completed last year. Completing the first half
of the concert, Infanti will play six of the Etudes for piano of Polish
composer Gyorgy Ligeti.
The second half of the concert will comprise two works by Zahler: the
piano trio, performed by a graduate student ensemble of Andrew Carlson,
violin; Jacqueline Emery, cello; and Jonathan Kramer, piano; and "Harlequin"
for piano and chamber orchestra, conducted by Gompper, with Schepkin as
the featured soloist.
A distinguished scholar as well as a composer, Zahler is professor of
music and director of the Cummings Electronic and Digital Sound Studio
at Connecticut College. His scholarly writings include articles in the
"New Grove Dictionary of Music" and the "New Grove Dictionary
of Music in the United States," a new critical edition of Charles
Ives' "The Unanswered Question," and numerous articles on music
theory and composition, artificial intelligence and computer music.
His compositional work has earned him grants from the National Endowment
for the Arts, a Fulbright/Hayes Fellowship, two McDowell Colony Fellowships
and other awards. His works have been performed throughout the United States
and have been featured on recordings on the OPUS ONE and Neuma labels.
"Harlequin" is a one-movement work composed in 1981 for pianist
Rebecca LaBreque. It is named for the commedia dell'arte character who,
the composer explains, "conjures up an individual whose actions, be
they romantic or otherwise, were rarely requited. So it goes with my composition.
"In one sense it is a search for the 'lost chord' -- a harmonic
experiment that thrashes about looking for, but never really finding a
path to rest. On the other hand it is a struggle between grand gestures
of the 19th century and a language that is every bit a part of the 20th
An ardent proponent of new music, Infanti has participated in numerous
international festivals in France, Hungary and the United States. He is
co-founder of the Sensua Ensemble, a group that performs unusual repertoire
for multiple pianos. He is currently recording the complete Ligeti piano
Etudes for Neuma records.
One of the leading composers of the mid- and late 20th century, Ligeti
began writing his piano studies in 1985 as birthday gift for the influential
French composer/conductor Pierre Boulez. The first book of six etudes won
the Grawenmeyer Award in 1986. A second book of eight etudes was written
between 1988 and 1994, and two more have been completed since. Ligeti has
acknowledged multiple influences in these works, including the complex
polyrhythmic works for player piano of Conlon Nancarrow, sub-Saharan drumming,
patterns in fractal geometry and the great tradition of piano etudes from
Scarlatti to Chopin and Debussy.
Gompper has received numerous awards for his academic and musical achievements,
including the Charles E. Ives Prize for composition from the American Academy
and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Composers Fellowship from the National
Endowment for the Arts. His "Transitus" was premiered at Carnegie
Hall and his "Flip" was premiered by the Kansas City Chamber
Active as both soloist and chamber musician, Thelander is a member of
the Iowa Brass Quintet. During the summer she performs with the Britt Festival
Orchestra in Jacksonville, Ore. Previously she was on the music faculty
at the University of New Mexico, and she was a member of the New Mexico
Brass Quintet, the Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony and the Four
Corners Opera Festival in Durango, Colo.
Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United
States, as well as in South America and the Caribbean. As an Artistic Ambassador
for the United States, she has given concerts and master classes in Argentina,
Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals
and given master classes at many universities in Brazil.
The newest member of the UI piano faculty, Schepkin has appeared with
the St. Petersburg (formerly the Leningrad) Philharmonic, the Oslo Philharmonic,
the Norwegian Broadcasting Symphony and other orchestras. He has performed
throughout Russia, Europe and the United States, including appearances
at St. John's College, Oxford University, in England; the Sibelius Academy
in Helsinki, Finland; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C; and Jordan
Hall in Boston.
In addition to numerous solo performances, Schepkin has performed chamber
music with many leading artists, including Julius Baker, James Buswell,
Walter Trampler and Masuko Ushioda.