CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Australian Chamber Orchestra brings Aussie swagger to chamber music
March 31 at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Australian Chamber Orchestra, which was a hit
in its 1995 concert at the University of Iowa, will return to Hancher Auditorium
at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 for a performance on the Cambridge Place Apartments
Concert Series. The orchestra, under the direction of violinist Richard
Tognetti, will be joined by internationally renowned cellist Stephen Isserlis.
The concert will span four centuries of music for chamber orchestra:
the Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 4 in D Major by Corelli; Bach's popular
"Brandenburg" Concerto No. 3 in G Major; Haydn's Cello Concerto
in C Major, featuring Isserlis; Tchaikovsky's Andante Cantabile; Dvorak's
beloved Serenade for Strings; and "Irkanda IV" by contemporary
Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe.
"Irkanda" is an Australian aboriginal word meaning a remote
and lonely place, and Sculthorpe wrote the work as an expression of his
feelings about the death of his father. The mood of the piece ranges from
ritual lamentation to a song-like affirmation of life and living.
Founded in 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a national ensemble
with an international reputation for artistic excellence -- the Washington
Post called the group "one of the world's finest small orchestras"
-- that embodies the sunny, youthful spirit of its homeland. The orchestra
consists of a core group of 17 of the finest young string players in Australia,
augmented by special players and soloists.
The orchestra presents subscription concerts in several Australian cities
and has toured frequently throughout Europe, Asia, North America, South
America and the Pacific region. Its international venues have included
the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie
Hall in New York and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra has also released more than 15 CDs,
which have won numerous Australian recording awards, and it is under long-term
contract with Sony.
Since he assumed the leadership of the orchestra in 1989, Tognetti has
been credited with infusing the ensemble with his eclectic, adventurous,
decidedly un-stuffy spirit. The orchestra's performances range from early
music performed on historic instruments, through modern orchestral instruments,
to new music on electronic instruments.
Steven Isserlis, the grandson on Russian pianist and composer Julius
Isserlis, achieves a distinctive sound through the use of gut strings,
and he is known for discovering and reintroducing works "lost"
for decades or even centuries. His many honors include the Piatigorsky
Artist Award in the United States, the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist
of the Year Award in Britain, the International Grammophone Award and the
Among his previous orchestral soloist engagements are appearances with
the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony.
The chamber music series of Isserlis' devising are renowned, often appearing
as a "festival within a festival," including his Mendelssohn
project at the Salzburg Festival in 1997. He is also well known for his
Schumann Festival at Wigmore Hall in London. Isserlis was featured as soloist
in the Emmy Award-winning series "Concerto!" with Michael Tilson
Thomas and Dudley Moore.
During its visit to the UI, the Australian Chamber Orchestra will also
present a matinee performance for area school groups as part of Hancher's
Stage Door series.
Cambridge Place Apartments is the corporate sponsor of Hancher's Concert
Series, through the University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets for the Australian Chamber Orchestra are $34, $31.50 and $29.
UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with
Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members
17 or younger are half price.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa,
dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is
toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged
to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases
to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option
of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services
should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office
personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair
access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is
equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Additional information about the Australian Chamber Orchestra is available
on the ensemble's World Wide Web site, <http://www.aco.com.au>.