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Release:   April 9, 1999


GARDNER WINS INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION AWARD -- Hillary Gardner, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and now a UI project assistant in human resources, is the 1999 winner of an international translation award from the Center for Catalan Studies and Fundacio Pauli Bellet. Gardner will collect the $1,500 Jocs Florals ('floral games') award for poetry April 30 in Washington, D.C.

Gardner, who has taken courses in the UI Translation Workshop and has worked as a translator for the UI International Writing Program (IWP), won the award for translations of two books of poetry by the contemporary Catalan poet Jaume Pont. Some of the poems previously appeared in the IWP literary journal 100 Words.

Catalan is the language of Catalonia, the autonomous region of Spain that includes Barcelona. It is Europe's most populous minority language with more than six million speakers. Gardner learned Catalan while living and studying in Barcelona before moving to Iowa City to attend the Writers' Workshop.

During the fascist regime of Francisco Franco, public use of Catalan was prohibited by the Spanish government. Since the return of democratic government to Spain in the 1970s, Catalan has been restored to Catalonia's government press and schools.

Fundacio Pauli Bellet is a non-profit organization that promotes the language and culture of Catalan-speakers in the United States. The foundation honors the memory of a Catalan priest, Father Pauli Bellet, who taught the Coptic, Hebrew, Syriac and Catalan languages at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he was considered the spiritual leader of Catalans in the Washington area.

The Center for Catalan Studies, headquartered at Catholic University, sponsors yearly literary awards and symposiums to foster further study of Catalan culture. The Jocs Florals is a Catalan tradition that originated in the 19th century when Catalan poets would give public readings of their works, similar to today's "poetry slams" in the United States.

Learn more about the foundation and the award on the World Wide Web at

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CONCERT OF MUSIC BY UI STUDENTS APRIL 18 -- The Composers Workshop at the University of Iowa School of Music will present a concert of new works by six student composers at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 18 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert, featuring student performers from the School of Music, will be free and open to the public.

The Composers Workshop is a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music. It is devoted to the performance of music written at the UI and aims to foster greater cooperation and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area.

The pieces on the April 18 program call for a variety of performing media, including solo clarinet, piano, and woodwind trio. One piece calls for solo double bass, comedian and dancer, while another calls for electronic tape and MIDI piano. Reflecting the international character of the School of Music, composers are from Greece, Korea, Brazil and the United States.

Doctoral composition student Edgar Crockett contributed a piece for woodwind trio titled "Iso," derived from the Greek word for "same." The score uses isorhythm -- a repeated rhythmic pattern -- isomelism -- repeated melodic ideas -- and isodynamic elements -- steady levels of loudness.

"Calm" for solo clarinet by doctoral student Shinjung Kim was inspired by traditional music from Kim's homeland, Korea.

Doctoral composition student Evangelia Kikou from Greece is represented on the program by two pieces: "Impressions II" for solo piano and "Monologos" for alto flute.

Graduate student Alexandre Lunsqui from Brazil has written "Concurrence" for flute and piano, a piece in which each individual note is treated, the composer said "as an atomic particle in continuous interaction, transformation and generation of subsequent music material."

Undergraduate student Elizabeth Hopp wrote "Attn. Span" as an honors project. Performance of the piece calls for double bass, comedian and dancer. Hopp said she composed "out of inspiration by the absurd." In the piece, Hopp reconciles "three attention spans -- the short, medium and long."

Eric Durian is a senior composition major. His "Collision Fragments" was originally conceived for live piano performer and electronic tape. However, the composer explained, "over time the ideas in the piano part expanded so much that it became impractical for a human to play, so I encoded the piano on the tape with the other sounds."

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CHAMBER ORCHESTRA CONCERT APRIL 20 -- The Chamber Orchestra from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 20 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

William LaRue Jones, the director of the University Symphony, will lead the orchestra in a performance of Richard Strauss' First Horn Concerto, with doctoral student Catharine McClure Jackson as soloist, and UI graduate music student Lucia Matos will conduct Beethoven's Fourth Symphony.

Richard Strauss was the son of one of the greatest horn players in Europe. The father, who had very conservative tastes, for many years only allowed his son to hear music of the Classical period. As a result of his father's influence, the younger Strauss' early compositions are conservative in style, sticking to the standard forms of the Classical period.

The work that owes the most to his father's influence, however, is the Horn Concerto in E-flat major, composed in 1882-83 when Strauss was 18. The score shows clearly what the son had learned from the father: the solo part, with its resounding fanfares, lyrical melodies and jaunty leaps in the finale, uses all the resources of the instrument, while the three connected movements reflect a familiarity with traditional forms. A favorite of horn players and audiences alike, it is the earliest of Strauss' works to find a regular place in the repertoire.

Beethoven's symphonies are often thought of in pairs, each consisting of a light-hearted symphony followed by a more serious work. Thus the cheerful Second Symphony was followed by the heroic Third; the whimsical Eighth Symphony was followed by the monumental Ninth.

By this reckoning, the Fourth is the lighter partner of the powerful Fifth Symphony. A delightful, unimposing work, it was described by Robert Schumann as "a slender Greek maiden between two Titans," referring to the preceding and following symphonies. Its playful themes and agreeable style have made it a universally popular work, however, and one that orchestral musicians return to with pleasure.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. He replaced James Dixon, the director of the orchestra for more than 40 years, who retired at the end of the 1996-97 academic year. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Jones is conductor of the Bloomington (Minn.) Symphony and has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland) and other orchestras around the world. He has conducted all-state and festival orchestras in 46 states and five Canadian provinces. He has been conductor-in-residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Miami (Fla.).

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

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FREMONT READS APRIL 21 -- Writer Helen Fremont will read from her new memoir, "After Long Silence," at 8 p.m. Wednesday April 21 at Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading is free and open to the public.

"Reading this beautifully written memoir," wrote Margot Livesey, author of "Criminals." "I was amazed all over again by the suffering of the Holocaust and the remarkable power of humans to survive almost anything . . . 'After Long Silence' is a stunning testimony to the power of silence and memory."

UI alumnus Michael Ryan, author of "Secret Life," said Fremont "has the rare wisdom to know that the life of the story is her subject, not the life of the autobiographer, which is only the raw material of the story. And what a story it is -- about historical brutality, human frailty, moral complexity, and the power of fear, shame and love."

Fremont has published fiction and nonfiction in the Harvard Review, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Marlboro Review and Ploughshares.

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LECTURE ON AFRO-CUBAN MUSIC APRIL 23 -- Ethnomusicologist Robin Moore will speak on "The Contradictions of Afrocubanismo Nationalism" at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 23 in Room 1027 of the Voxman Music Building on the University of Iowa Campus.

Moore's lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Colloquium series sponsored by the musicology and music theory areas of the UI School of Music. It is co-sponsored as well by the department of anthropology and the program in literature, science and the arts.

Moore's talk will focus on the role of African-Cuban musical culture in the redefinition of Cuban national identity.

Robin Moore received a doctorate in ethnomusicology from University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of "Nationalizing Blackness: Afrocubanismo and Artistic Revolution in Havana 1920-1940" published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. His research is a unique combination of historical archival investigation and contemporary field work in Cuba. He is an accomplished musician and has led several groups performing Afro-Cuban music.

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O'NAN READS APRIL 23 -- Novelist Stewart O'Nan will read from his new book "A Prayer for the Dying," at 8 p.m. Friday, April 23 at Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free reading will be broadcast live on University of Iowa radio station WSUI AM 910 and WOI AM 640, as part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series.

"Stewart O'Nan is an amazing writer," author Peter Straubsays. "In 'A Prayer for the Dying' he never puts a foot wrong. He's locked in at every step, calm as all get-out, completely inside the skin of his narrator, speaking with beautiful restraint and measuring out the heartbreak in careful little spoonfuls."

Wally Lamb said O'Nan's latest "is that rarest of books: a philosophical horror novel. In its inevitability and humanity, it recalls Camus's 'The Plague,' as a good man tries to make sense of disaster."

O'Nan's first collection of stories, "In the Walled City," won the Drue Heinz Literary Prize. He is the author of four previous novels: "Snow Angels," "The Names of the Dead," "The Speed Queen" and "A World Away."