The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Antoniou is pronounced ahn-toe-NEE-you.

UI Center for New Music will present festival of Greek music April 5

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for New Music will celebrate the contemporary music of Greece with two concerts at 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday, April 5 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. Billed as a Festival of Contemporary Greek Music, the concerts will be free and open to the public.

The director of the Center for New Music is David Gompper, who put together the program for the April 5 concerts. Gompper recently returned from Thessaloniki, Greece, where he was invited to perform several of his works and lecture on current American musical trends in composition. It was on that trip that Gompper learned about the active new music scene in Greece and made the acquaintance of composer Theodore Antoniou, who will be the featured composer-in-residence for the festival.

Four of Antoniou's works will be performed on the 8 p.m. concert: "Westwinds" (1995) for soprano and ensemble, "East-West" (1993) and "Zon" (1996), all for chamber ensemble and conducted by Gompper. In addition, Antoniou's "The (Do) Quintet" will be performed by the Iowa Brass Quintet, a faculty ensemble of the UI School of Music.

Other works on the evening concert will be by composers who are well known in Greece: Jani Christou, Nikos Scalkottas and Christos Samaras. Individual School of Music faculty members performing on the concert will be baritone John Muriello in Christou's "Anaparastasis I" and pianist Rene Lecuona in "Apologie IV" (1996) for piano trio by Samaras.

The 3 p.m. concert will include music by a younger generation of Greek composers, primarily from Thessaloniki. Composers will include the Austrian-trained Dimitri Papageorgiou and Costas Nikitas, Leontios Hatzileontiades, Costas Tsougras and Evangelia Kikou. Their works include a variety of styles and ensembles, from works for solo flute and solo piano to a trio and a chamber ensemble work.

Most of the performers in both concerts are students in the UI School of Music who are associated with the Center for New Music.

Commenting on the program, Gompper noted that "these two concerts will show how strong the contemporary music scene in Greece is. It is also a reflection of the current diversity in musical composition among Greek composers globally. The diversity of styles is quite dazzling, from the avant garde mysticism of Christou to the post-modernist interests of Antoniou."

A professor of composition at Boston University, Antoniou will attend both concerts and give a master class to UI composition students while he is on the UI campus.

A native of Athens, Antoniou is co-founder and vice president of the International Society of Contemporary Music, Greece; founder and director of the Hellenic Group of Contemporary Music, Athens; and director of the Philadelphia Musical Academy New Music Ensemble, the Philadelphia New Music Group, Alea II (Stanford) and Alea III (Boston).

He has received many prizes and awards for his music, most notably commissions from the Fromm and Koussevitsky Foundations, and the city of Munich for the Olympic Games (1972). He has been awarded fellowships and grants throughout his career, including National Foundation for the Arts and Guggenheim composition fellowships. He has taught at the National Conservatory in Athens and at several colleges in the United States. He has taught at Boston University since 1979.

Antoniou has written more than 90 works of symphonic, chamber, solo, choral and electronic music, composed for concert hall, theater, dance and television. Antoniou is active not only as a composer, but also as a conductor, teacher, lecturer and artistic director of various musical events and organizations.

The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at the UI School of Music, performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations, and professional meetings throughout the United States. Founded in the early 1950s, the group has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur, trumpets; Kristin Thelander, horn; David Gier, trombone; and Robert Yeats, tuba.

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.

In 1993 she made her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance in Weill Recital Hall. She has appeared as soloist with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Orchard Park Symphony, the Vivaldi Traveling Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia and the University of Iowa Symphony. In collaboration with her UI faculty colleagues she has appeared in numerous chamber music concerts on the UI campus.

The Center for New Music was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The center promotes the performance of new music by providing a core group of specialists in contemporary performance techniques. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. Today, the Center for New Music is supported by the UI School of Music.

Gompper joined the music theory and composition faculty of the UI School of Music in 1991. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at San Diego State University, a Master of Music from the Royal College of Music in London, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the University of Michigan. His teaching experience includes two years at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka and a faculty position at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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 Orchestra.