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Release: Immediate

Laredo, Ax and Nozaki will be soloists with Brandenburg Ensemble March 3

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Violinist/conductor Jaime Laredo will be joined by piano soloists Emanuel Ax and Yoko Nozaki in a concert by the Brandenburg Ensemble at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

Laredo will be the soloist in J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto No. 1, and Ax and Nozaki will perform in Bach's Concerto for Two Pianos in C Major and Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major. Laredo will also conduct the Brandenburg Ensemble in a performance of Haydn's Symphony No. 68.

Born in Bolivia, Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Brussels Competition at the age of 17, launching his rise to international prominence. In the course of his career, he has performed with more than 100 major American and European orchestras and enjoyed chamber-music collaborations with many of the century's legendary musicians, including Glenn Gould, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Rudolf Serkin and Isaac Stern.

Laredo has more than 40 recordings to his credit on 10 different labels. Prizes he has won include the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize, England's Gramophone Award and several Grammy nominations. He has performed in Hancher on several occasions, including enthusiastically received concerts with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

Besides playing violin, Laredo is increasingly well known as a conductor, appearing regularly with the St. Paul and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, as well as with the Houston, Montreal, Phoenix, Seattle and Utah symphonies. He is also artistic director of New York's highly successful "Chamber Music at the 92nd Street Y" series, one of the most important forums for chamber music performance in the United States.

Ax enjoys an international career that brings him acclaim in equal measure for his concert, chamber and recital performances. Highly regarded for his poetic lyricism and brilliant technique, he first won the attention of the classical world in 1974, when at the age of 25 he took the top prize in the first Artur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. He has been a busy and respected figure on the international concert scene ever since.

An old friend of Hancher Auditorium, Ax performed a benefit concert for the auditorium after the flood of 1993, and he has performed in Hancher with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Cleveland Quartet.

This tour with his wife, Yoko Nozaki, came about in the wake of their acclaimed duo-piano concert at Carnegie Hall in 1996. They have also presented joint recitals in the Distinguished Artist Series at the 92nd Street Y and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and have been duo-soloists with the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Minnesota, Detroit and Cleveland.

Born in Tokyo, Nozaki attended the Toho School of Music before her family immigrated to the United States when she was 12 years old. She was later a scholarship student at the Juilliard School of Music, making her New York debut in 1972.

She has been featured at prominent music festival including the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Ojai Festival, the Blossom Festival and the Tanglewood Festival.

The Brandenburg Ensemble was founded by the late Kennedy Center honoree Alexander Schneider, who was for decades one of the world's leading classical music mentors, to bring together some of the nation's finest young classical artists in a concert ensemble.

Corporate sponsor of the Brandenburg Ensemble concert is the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for the March 3 concert are $35, $33 and $30. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 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. Box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services will answer this number. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

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