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Release: Oct. 15, 1999

Cellist Dorman, pianist Nosikova will present faculty-guest recital

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Scottish cellist Mairi Dorman will appear as a guest artist at the University of Iowa, performing with Russian pianist Ksenia Nosikova from the faculty of the UI School of Music in a free recital at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

A genuinely international effort, their faculty/guest recital is symbolic of the ongoing globalization of the music scene, both at the UI and throughout the United States. Nosikova and Dorman met when they were students at the University of Colorado. Both have stayed in the United States after completing their studies, and they continue to perform together as a duo.

Their collaboration reflects a widespread phenomenon. Currently, the UI School of Music has faculty from Russia, Germany, Brazil, England and Israel, and in recent years American orchestras and schools of music have attracted growing numbers of talented players from throughout the world. At the same time, many of the UI music faculty members have joined countless other American musicians by making performances and workshops in Europe, Asia and South America a significant part of their professional careers.

For the Oct. 29 recital, Dorman and Nosikova will play three sonatas for cello and piano: Beethoven's Sonata in C major, op. 102 no. 1; Alfred Schnittke's Sonata for cello and piano; and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G minor, op. 19.

Beethoven wrote two cello sonatas, op. 102 nos. 1 and 2, in 1815. During the previous two years the composer had been preoccupied with several minor works, and by the end of 1815 he was involved in a legal battle for the guardianship of his nephew that would consume most of his time and emotional energy. Thus the two cello sonatas are among the very few major works Beethoven completed during a period of several years, from as early as 1813 through 1817.

The sonatas were written for the cellist Joseph Linke, a close friend and admirer of the composer. He played in the string quartet led by violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, which gave the first performances of most of Beethoven's later string quartets as well as several works by Schubert, and he played in other notable performances of Beethoven's works.

Musically, the sonatas are considered to represent the beginning of Beethoven's late style, already showing a flexibility of form, a concentration of emotional elements and a use of counterpoint that become more prominent in the pieces written in the 1820s. Breaking the usual pattern, the C-major sonata consists of two fast movements, each preceded by a slower and intensely expressive introduction.

Alfred Schnittke is one of several Russian composers who first became widely known in Western countries after the end of Communist rule and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Schnittke is particularly known for his interest in Western musical techniques, which were officially banned in Soviet Russia, and for the wide variety of influences reflected in his music.

The composer once explained, "Because of the continuous array of musical stimuli, people these days lack a unified musical consciousness. Simultaneously, you can hear your radio, someone upstairs has the television turned up, and next door there's rock music. I think maybe it's my task to capture this stylistic kaleidoscope, to reflect something of this reality."

Schnittke composed his Cello sonata, called one of his "most subtle and economical scores" by scholar Graeme Skinner in 1978.

Although his creative life extended well into the 20th century, Rachmaninoff composed music in the tradition of the great 19th-century showpieces while pursuing a simultaneous career as a concert pianist. As a composer his idol was Tchaikovsky, and as a performer he followed in the footsteps of the flamboyant Romantic virtuosi including Paganini and Liszt.

Rachmaninoff wrote his Cello Sonata in G minor in 1901, shortly after completing his popular Second Piano Concerto. The sonata reflects the composer's immense pianistic talents, making the cello part seem almost like an embellishment of the extended lyrical melodies that are heard floating amidst waves of piano sound. It is one of the composer's most Romantic works, and one that is loved by cellists and audiences alike.

A native of Scotland, Dorman has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United Kingdom, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Spain and throughout the United States. Former principal cellist of the London Concertante and the Colorado Sinfonia, she has also performed as a member of the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival and the Santa Fe Symphony.

Dorman holds an undergraduate degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and graduate degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The winner of the 1994 Guildhall School Libotton Cello Award, she also won two major competitions at the University of Colorado. She has participated in international musical seminars and festivals in England, Europe and the United States. Her featured performance on the award-winning album "Prophecies," voted "Best Indie Album of 1999" by the Association for Independent Music, has led to further recordings on the Etherean Music record label.

Ksenia Nosikova has performed as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. She has toured the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Italy with a piano trio from the Moscow Conservatory. She made her New York debut in 1996 in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has performed concertos with the Louisiana Symphony, the University of Colorado Symphony and the Jefferson Symphony.

Nosikova has been a prize winner in numerous piano competitions, including the Frinna Awerbach International Piano Competition in New York, the Alabama International Piano Competition, the William Byrd Young Artist Competition in Flint, Mich., and the St. Charles International Piano Competition in Chicago. She has also performed extensively as vocal accompanist, appearing at international competitions in 'sHertogenbosch, the Netherlands, and Stuttgart, Germany.

Nosikova received a master’s degree with high honors from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado. In 1994 she received a fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival.

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