CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Baroque violinist Melkus will appear with La Fosse Baroque ensemble
from UI March 13
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Baroque violinist Eduard Melkus will be a guest artist
La Fosse Baroque Ensemble from the University of Iowa School of Music
in a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI
The performance, which will also feature violinist and ensemble director
Leopold La Fosse, will be free and open to the public.
An internationally known violinist and Baroque performance scholar who
has an extensive teaching and performing career in Europe, Melkus will
also present two free public lectures while he is on the UI campus. He
will speak on "Baroque Performance Practice Aspects for Violinists"
1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11 in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building;
and he will speak on "Performance Practice from the Viennese Perspective"
at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 13 in Room 1027 of the Voxman Music Building.
The March 13 concert will feature works by five composers representing
the first rank of European music in the 17th and 18th centuries: Corelli,
J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart and Haydn.
Since 1958 Melkus has been professor of violin, Baroque violin and historic
performance practice at the Hochschule fuer Musik (Academy of Music) in
Vienna, and since 1982 head of the Institut fuer Wiener Klangstil (Institute
for the Viennese musical style). La Fosse, who frequently performs on the
Baroque violin and teaches Baroque performance at the UI, has visited Melkus
many times in Vienna and invited him to the UI. This is Melkus' second
visit to Iowa in two years.
La Fosse said, "With about 150 recordings of the Baroque repertoire,
Melkus is one of the leaders of historical performance practice. But as
a teacher he is also a complete musician who has been very involved in
contemporary works earlier in his career, and who covers the entire Classical
repertoire in his lectures."
"He is a very inspirational teacher and brings a very informed
and stimulating approach to Baroque performance. I have been fascinated
to hear him play many works that are very familiar to me. He brings his
own personal stamp to his performances, based on a combination of profound
knowledge and individual artistic taste. As a result his performances are
highly personal and completely convincing, in a way that is quite rare
La Fosse worked with Melkus in Vienna on the sonatas and partitas for
solo violin of J.S. Bach, considered among the cornerstones of the violin
repertoire. "We were both interested in the original bowings and fingerings
of these works, and we worked on that in great detail together,"
La Fosse explained. Based on the work they did together, La Fosse performed
the complete Bach partitas and sonatas here in 1995 and subsequently recorded
them for a planned CD release.
Melkus was born in Baden, near Vienna, and studied violin at the Vienna
Academy of Music. In addition to his faculty appointments in Vienna, he
has been a visiting professor at American and European universities, including
the University of Georgia and the University of Illinois. He has published
many articles on performance practices, and his book "The Violin"
has been published in several languages. He has appeared as soloist at
major musical centers and performance venues around the world and has received
many awards attesting to his accomplishments as a recording artist, performing
artist and teacher.
The La Fosse Baroque Ensemble is a small string orchestra made up of
current and former UI students and UI music faculty. The group specializes
in the performance of music from the Baroque period in music, roughly 1600
to 1750, and the early Classic period. They perform using copies of authentic
Baroque instruments and bows. This enables them to play their instruments
in the same manner as performers of the Baroque period, which in turn makes
possible a historically appropriate style of performance.
The ensemble was founded in 1985 to provide violin students at the UI
the opportunity to play solo works from the Baroque and early Classic periods.
Since its formation the group has been invited to perform at a number of
state and national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association,
the Music educators National Conference, and colleges and public schools
in Iowa. Their annual performance series on the UI campus includes concerts
at the UI Museum of Art, University Hospitals' Colloton Pavilion and the
Old Capitol Senate Chamber.
La Fosse joined the UI music faculty in 1972. His extensive performing
career has included solo appearances as well as concertmaster positions
with five orchestras. At the UI he teaches violin, directs the La Fosse
Baroque Ensemble, and serves as area head for strings. He has also done
extensive research in string pedagogy. He has twice been to Brazil as a
Fulbright lecturer and returns annually to perform, teach and give master
La Fosse continues an active international career as soloist and chamber
musician, with tours in the United States, Europe, South America and Russia.
He has had performances at Wigmore Hall in London, Sala Ceclila Mireles
in Rio de Janiero, Town Hall in New York, and the National Gallery, Phillips
Gallery and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1997 he celebrated
his 25th anniversary on the UI faculty with a series of four recitals displaying
his versatility, appearing as a virtuoso soloist, a chamber musician, a
Baroque performance specialist and a jazz violinist.