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Release: Immediate

NY Woodwind Quintet plays music by Holocaust victim in Oct. 19 Hancher concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The New York Woodwind Quintet, which has been one of America's leading chamber ensembles for more than 50 years, will perform the Quintet for Winds, op. 10, by Czech Holocaust victim Pavel Haas on a concert at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The Haas quintet will be performed in conjunction with Global Focus: Human Rights '98, a campus-wide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Part of Hancher Auditorium's 1998-99 chamber music programming, the concert will also feature a transcription of Brahms' String Quartet in A Minor, op. 51; the Quintet for Woodwinds by Elliott Carter, one of the most important American composers of the 20th century; and the Quintette en forme de Choros by celebrated Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

In the last 10 to 15 years, musicians have begun to discover and play music written by Jewish composers who died in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Pavel Haas, who died at Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of 45, was a student of renowned Czech composer Leos Janacek. His wind quintet was composed in 1929 and published in 1934, but very few copies survived the war. In 1941 Haas was incarcerated at Terezin, where he joined a number of other doomed composers, musicians, playwrights, actors and other artists.

The New York Woodwind Quintet has programmed the Haas quintet to press the conviction that the work is of high quality and ought to be considered among a seminal group of woodwind works written in Europe beginning in the 1920s -- including works by Paul Hindemith, Schoenberg, Carl Nielson and Janacek.

During their visit to the UI, the New York Woodwind Quintet will also present a live interactive event for school groups over the Iowa Communications Network. Featured in the event will be "The Musicians of Bremen," featuring readings by Riverside Theater actress Jody Hovland.

The New York Woodwind Quintet has played a major role in popularizing the woodwind quintet as an ensemble and chamber music for winds. Bernard Holland wrote in the New York Times, "These players are a persuasive advertisement for the virtues of age and experience," and he praised their playing for its "wonderful spirit" and "sophisticated professionalism . . . balances, ensemble, intonation, precision of detail -- all were splendid."

More than 20 compositions have been written for and premiered by the quintet, some of which have become classics of the repertoire. These works include Samuel Barber's "Summer Music" and quintets by William Bergsma, Ezra Laderman, Wallingford Riegger, Gunther Schuller, William Sydeman and Alec Wilder.

Recent recordings by the New York Woodwind Quintet include "Works of Irving Fine" on Nonesuch featuring the Quintet in Partita, and "The Brahms" on Musical Heritage. The Quintet recorded Riegger's Chamber Music for Woodwinds on Bridge Records.

The United States Department of State honored the New York Woodwind Quintet on five occasions with invitations for overseas tours. Between 1956 and 1972 the group toured Central and South America, Belgium, 11 countries of the Far East, and the Soviet Union. In addition to concert performances on these tours, the Quintet also held workshops and master class sessions for both student and professional musicians.

For the past eight seasons, the New York Woodwind Quintet has been a resident ensemble of the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

The members of the New York Woodwind Quintet are flutist Carol Wincenc, oboist Ronald Roseman, clarinetist Charles Neidich, bassoonist Donald MacCourt and horn player William Purvis.

Holiday Inn-Iowa City is the corporate sponsor of the New York Woodwind Quintet concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $20 ($16 for UI students and senior citizens, and $10 for youth) from the Hancher box office.

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.

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