CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
NOTE TO BRODCASTERS: Khachaturian is pronounced with the accent on the
ka-cha-TOO-ree-yan. Modeste is pronounced mo-DEST. Musorgski is commonly
pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, but the original Russian
pronunciation accented the first syllable: MOO-zor-ski.
Uriel Tsachor is pronounced YOO-ree-el tsa-KOR.
University Symphony will feature pianist Uriel Tsachor in all-Russian
program Feb. 10
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Conductor William LaRue Jones and the University
of Iowa Symphony will feature pianist Uriel Tsachor in a concert of Russian
music at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.
Jones and Tsachor are both members of the faculty at the UI School of
Music. The concert will be free and open to the public.
The program will comprise two popular works by Russian composers: the
Piano Concerto of Aram Khachaturian and Maurice Ravel's orchestration of
"Pictures at an Exhibition" by Modeste Musorgsky.
Aram Khachaturian was born of Armenian parents in 1903 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
An early interest in music was not encouraged, but when Khachaturian moved
to Moscow in 1921 he soon began serious musical studies. His talent for
composition developed quickly, and he was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory
in 1929. His First Symphony, written as his diploma piece in 1935, was
soon followed by the Piano Concerto in 1936 and the Violin Concerto in
The Piano Concerto acquired a cult following in the 1960s, due to a
1946 recording by American pianist William Kappell and the Boston Symphony
under Russian émigré conductor Serge Koussevitsky, but later
it disappeared from American concert stages. Recently the Concerto, written
in Khachaturian's characteristic style, has again risen in the esteem of
musicians and critics alike. Today it is reappearing on orchestral programs.
The story behind "Pictures at an Exhibition" is one of classical
music's most-told tales. Among Musorgsky's circle of artistic friends was
the Russian architect Victor Hartman. When Hartman died suddenly of an
aneurysm in the summer of 1873, his friends made up a memorial exhibition
with as much of his work as they could gather up.
The exhibition ran for two months early in 1874 at the Academy of Artists
in St. Petersburg. Later that year, Musorgsky wrote a cycle of piano pieces
in which he described in music several of Hartman's drawings and designs,
with linking passages that portrayed the composer himself strolling through
There is no record of a public performance of "Pictures at an Exhibition"
during the composer's lifetime. Musorgsky apparently played it for a few
friends, including the composer Rimsky-Korsakov, but even he did not include
it in his piano performances.
Only when the score was arranged for orchestra, first by the British
conductor Sir Henry Wood in 1915 and then by Ravel in 1922, did it begin
to achieve any popularity. Other orchestral versions have followed, but
Ravel's arrangement, with its brilliant orchestral effects and powerful
climax, has remained the most popular version of the score.
Uriel Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall
of 1988. The first prize-winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International
Competition in 1986, the second prize-winner of the Busoni Competition
in 1985 and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983,
he is a graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and the Juilliard
School in New York. He has performed as a soloist in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem,
New York, Chicago, Vienna, Paris, and other cities around the world.
Tsachor has performed with the Israel Philharmonic by invitation from
Zubin Mehta. He has also appeared as soloist with the New York City Symphony,
the Teatro La Fenice Symphony in Venice and the National Orchestra of Belgium,
among others. He has performed both live and in recordings for radio and
television stations in Israel, Europe and the United States, and he has
made recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia
and EMS labels.
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 a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities
Mayors' Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional
Leadership and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He
has also been selected Musician of the Year by Sigma Alpha Iota, a music
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.).
Jones holds a Master of Fine Arts in music from the UI and a doctorate
from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at