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HARPSICHORD RECITAL OCT. 25 -- Harpsichordist Jory Vinikour will present a recital of the old and the new -- music from the 18th and the 20th centuries -- at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus.

Vinikour's performance, which is a joint presentation of the UI School of Music and the Iowa City Early Keyboard Society, will be free and open to the public.

One of the few young harpsichordists to play music of the 20th century, Vinikour received a special prize for the performance of contemporary music at the International Harpsichord Competition of Paris, and he has been invited to Amsterdam's contemporary harpsichord music festival. The 20th-century works on the Oct. 25 program will be "Passacaglia Ungherese" by Gyorgy Ligetti; "Sarabande" by Robert Moevs; and Ligetti's "Hungarian Rock."

The "historical" part of his program will feature works by many of the leading Baroque composers of music for the harpsichord, including Louis Couperin, John Bull, J.S. Bach, Padre Antonio Soler and Domenico Scarlatti. Thus the program will include representatives of the French, English, German and Spanish traditions, as well as the individual flair of Scarlatti. In addition, the Italian tradition is represented by the works of lesser known composer Bernardo Storace.

A native of Chicago, Vinikour began his harpsichord studies at the Mannes College of Music in New York. He later studied at Rutgers and in Paris, where he completed studies at the Paris Conservatory with highest honors. He is the only harpsichordist to have won first prizes at two international competitions, the International Harpsichord Competition of Warsaw in 1993 and the International Harpsichord Competition of the Prague Spring Festival in 1994.

Vinikour has performed as soloist in concerto and recital throughout much of Europe and the United States, as well as South America, Japan and the Antilles. He has played Bach's Fifth Brandenburg Concerto with the Moscow Philharmonic, Martinu's Harpsichord Concerto with the South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra and Poulenc's "Concert Champetre" with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. The current season includes engagements in Poland, Russia, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and the United States.

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PERSPECTIVES OCT. 28 -- Mary Jo Arnoldi, curator of African Ethnology and Art at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History, will present a slide lecture on her extensive research in Bamako, Mali, at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art. This presentation, which is part of the museum's weekly Perspectives series, will be open to the public free of charge.

In her lecture, "Monuments in Mali: Sculpture on a Grand Scale," Arnoldi will relate large, public sculptures to the very small objects on view in the current Stanley Gallery exhibition, "Monumentality in Miniature," discussing how both large and small objects express cultural values.

Victoria Rovine, UI Museum of Art curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, said, "Dr. Arnoldi has been working in Mali for many years and has witnessed the country's political shifts. Her presentation will focus on the use of national monuments in the creation of a new, democratic national identity."

The UI Museum of Art's exhibition "Monumentality in Miniature" presents African artworks that have in common only their small size -- all of the objects are less than nine inches in height. The exhibition contains a broad range of objects from the museum's permanent collection including sculptures, whistles, gold weights, jewelry and currency.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Arnoldi's talk. Admission is free.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1998-99 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

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RICHARD POWERS READS AT UI OCT. 29 -- MacArthur fellow Richard Powers will read from his most recent novel, "Gain," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 in Lecture Room II of Van Allen Hall on the University of Iowa campus. The reading, sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

In his review of "Gain," Richard Eder wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Powers is a writer of blistering intellect; he has only to think about a subject and the paint curls off. He is a novelist of ideas and a novelist of witness, and in both respects he has few American peers.... [Gain] is a blast at the destruction, ecological and otherwise, wrought by the Bonnie-and-Clyde-like partnership between American technology and American capitalism." Dan Cryer wrote in Newsday that "Gain" confirms Richard Powers' reputation "as an agile younger brother to Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon."

Laura Miller of Salon magazine wrote, " 'Gain' braids together the fates of two entities: Laura Bodey, a divorced, 42-year-old mother of two who's dying of ovarian cancer, and the Clare Soap and Chemical Company, a 170-year-old multinational corporation that owns Lacewood, Ill., the town where Laura lives and was, perhaps, poisoned. One story is about relentless decline, the other about relentless ascent, but they're both about gain, the awe-inspiring, inhuman capacity for growth shared by both capitalism and cancer. 'Gain' needles us with a persistent question: Is it possible to separate the two?"

Powers is the author of five other books: "Three Farmers on their Way to a Dance" "Prisoner's Dilemma," "The Gold Bug Variations," "Operation Wandering Soul," which was nominated for a National Book Award, and "Galatea 2.2," which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

He teaches at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

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'KASPAR' DEMONSTRATES 'IDIOCY OF LANGUAGE' OCT 29-NOV. 1 -- The University Theatres Gallery series will present "Kaspar," a play by "Wings of Desire" screenwriter Peter Handke, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 29-31 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1 in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

"Kasper" is a direct attack on the authoritative power of language to define, twist, restrict and mediate human experience. Written in 1967, "Kaspar" is an abstract, darkly comic tale in which the title character must defend himself with a single sentence against an assault of cliches and illogic. Handke explains, "What is shown in 'Kaspar' is the idiocy of language."

Handke is widely regarded as the most important postmodern writer since Becket. After graduating from a Catholic seminary in 1959, he studied law at the University of Graz in his native Austria.

Handke first attracted public notice in 1966 when he delivered an unprecedented attack on contemporary German writing during a seminar at Princeton University. That same year saw the publication of his first novel, "The Hornerts," and his first stage success, "Offending the Audience."

With cinema director Wim Wenders he wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed film "Wings of Desire," released in 1988. His other works include "Repetition" (1988), "Across" (1986), "Slow Homecoming" (1985), "2 X Handke" (1977), and "3 X Handke" (1972).

His personal journal "The Weight of the World" (1979) records the details of Handke's daily life which results in a complete offering of the moods and insights -- ranging from the outrageous, sarcastic, and bitter to the humorous and gentle -- of an artist regarded as one of the world's most provocative and insightful contemporary writers.

The UI production of "Kaspar" is directed by Mary Ellen O'Hara, a student in the master of fine arts directing program. Other artistic contributors are scenic and lighting designer Molly Neylan, sound designer Oliver Nowak and costume designer Brianne Boylan.

Admission will be $5 ($3 for UI students, senior citizens and youth) at the door.

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