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EDITOR'S NOTE: Violinist Leopold La Fosse can be reached at (319) 335-1645, or by fax at

(319) 354-2181.

Violinist La Fosse will play a recital of short concert pieces and encores Nov. 15

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Violinist Leopold La Fosse from the University of Iowa School of Music will play a program made up entirely of short concert pieces and encores at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

La Fosse will be joined for the concert by pianist Rene Lecuona, who is also on the School of Music faculty. Their performance will be free and open to the public.

Many of the pieces La Fosse has chosen for his program were once staples of the concert violinist's repertoire. For many years, however, these lighter concert pieces were out of fashion, as violinists chose to play more serious programs. Only occasionally did they show up as encores, performed after the real business of the concert was over and unacknowledged on the printed program.

But recently the lighter pieces have started re-appearing on recital programs and becoming more popular with performers. This is a development that pleases La Fosse.

"I have been wanting to do a program like this for some time," La Fosse explained. "There is a wonderful repertoire of light pieces, commonly called 'encore pieces,' that are much appreciated by violinists and the public alike.

"Last year I played a number of serious programs, including three out of four of my 25th-anniversary recitals. After that, I thought that this would be a good time to go on to a lighter vein. This repertoire has been a treasure for uncounted performers and listeners. And besides, the program will be fun to do!"

The program includes light-hearted virtuoso showpieces as well as pieces in a sentimental vein, and extends in style from Beethoven to Gershwin. The early 20th-century violinist Fritz Kreisler -- one of the most prolific composers of violin encores -- is represented by "Tambourin Chinois" and an arrangement of a Tango by Isaac Albeniz. Other accomplished violinists on the program include Antonio Bazzini, with "La Ronde des Lutins" ("The round of the goblins") and Jascha Heifitz, with his arrangement of Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" from "Porgy and Bess."

Showing the range of the concert, other composers and pieces on the program will be: "Ciaconna" by the 17th-century Italian composer Giovanni Battista Vitali; Beethoven's Romance in F major; "Piece en form de Habanera" by Maurice Ravel; "Notturno et Tarantelle" by Karol Szymanowski; Tango in A major by the leading exponent of the "new tango," the late Argentinean composer and performer Astor Piazzola; and "Contramano" by Blas Rivera, an Argentinean composer who was influenced by Piazzola.

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. He made his first public appearance at the age of four, and he began a three-year series of engagements on NBC radio at eight. He later studied at the New England Conservatory. Before coming to the UI he taught at the University of Texas at Austin.

At the UI he teaches violin, directs a group of students devoted to the performance of Baroque and Classic music, 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 classes.

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.

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.

Lecuona received her doctorate in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she won the 1990 Concerto Competition, a doctoral fellowship and the performer's certificate. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees with distinction from the School of Music at Indiana University. Her major teachers have included Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok and Rebecca Penneys.

Since 1990 she has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music, where she has received an Old Gold Fellowship to research piano music by women composers.

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