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Release: Feb. 18, 2000


PERSPECTIVES, MARCH 1 -- Wallace Tomasini, University of Iowa professor of art history, will speak on "The Bridge as Public Art" at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 at the UI Museum of Art.

Tomasini's talk, presented in conjunction with the museum's current exhibition of selected works by Siah Armajani, is part of the weekly Perspectives series held Wednesdays at the museum. Admission is free to both the museum and the series.

The exhibition, on display through May 28 in the West Gallery of the museum, features drawings and models by the internationally known artist who designed the "Bridge for Iowa" over North Dubuque St. in Iowa City.

"There is hardly a symbolic monument of note that was not hotly protested at the time of its creation," Tomasini notes. "The 20th century has demonstrated that anything from rigid suburban areas to vast engineering projects may be works of art. Thus the very words 'public art' get one involved in attempting to define what art is."

"I plan to cover the problems public art faces: for the artist, for the audience and its reception, for the selection committees involved and for the government, which often provides patronage."

Tomasini was drawn into the debate over public art from a background as an art historian of the Italian Renaissance -- a time when he says, "the totality of what could be termed art was everywhere recognized."

The former director of the UI School of Art and Art History and a well-known advocate for the visual arts, Tomasini has served on and assisted committees responsible for selecting public art projects around the country. In one controversial case, he was a private consultant to the committee that chose Maya Lin's design for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Tomasini's talk. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1999-2000 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at

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'WHAT MAKES IT GREAT' MARCH 2 FEATURES GUTHRIE THEATER -- The Guthrie Theater production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Hancher Auditorium will be the focus of a free "What Makes It Great?" event at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2 in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. The event will be broadcast on the library's cable channel 10.

The special guests at the discussion will be Joe Dowling, artistic director of the Guthrie Theater, Guthrie education director Sheila Livingston and UI Shakespeare scholar Miriam Gilbert of the English department.

The event was made possible by support from the Iowa Arts Council and the Wendell F. Miller Fund.

The March 3 and 4 performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Hancher are sold out.

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10-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL MARCH 2-5 -- The University of Iowa department of theatre arts will present the 10-Minute Play Festival, a fast-paced program of new theater written, acted and directed by undergraduate theater students, March 2-5 in Theatre B of the UI Theatre Building.

In addition to performances at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 2-4, honorable-mention scripts will be read at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 5.

"It's an extraordinary season of plays this year," says Dare Clubb, the Obie Award-winning faculty playwright who is over-seeing the festival "It's a great evening for theater-goers interested in surprising and adventurous new work."

The featured scripts are "The Three Bride's Maids of the Apocalypse" by Rachael M. Brogan, "Life, Everything in it, and the Ramifications Thereof" by Dan Brooks, "Take a Letter" by Mike Cassady, "A Toy Gun" by Nick Clark, "Reflexes" by Ryan Greenlaw, "The Birthday Closet" by Sarah Greer, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by Liz Lekas and "Mausoleum Plaza" by Chris Stangl.

The productions feature lighting by Jenny Ruff, costumes by Kathy Hemann and sound by Becca Sissel.

Admission to the performances will be $5 ($3 for UI students, senior citizens and youth) at the door. Admission to the Sunday reading will be free.

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LECTURE ABOUT MOZART MARCH 3 -- Dexter Edge, a member of the faculty of Louisiana State University, will speak on "The Orchestral Parts for the First Viennese Production of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' in 1788" at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, in Room 1027 of the Voxman Music Building on the UI campus.

Edge's lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the newly established UI Opera Studies Group and is part of the Musicology Colloquium series at the School of Music.

Edge is currently completing a dissertation at the University of Southern California on "Mozart's Viennese Copyists." In conducting research for this project he discovered the original manuscript music used by the orchestra at the premiere of "Don Giovanni." These parts show, among other things, that the original plan for the structure of the opera was different from what scholars have long believed about the so-called "Viennese version" of the opera.

Edge has published a number of articles on 18th-century orchestras, Viennese concert life, the copying of music in Vienna, and the reception of Mozart's music. Before assuming his current position at Louisiana State University, he taught at the University of Wales in Cardiff.

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ART OF THE MONTH, MARCH 4 -- Peter L. Holtgrave, a graduate student in the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, will speak on "A Sense of Self: Self-Portraits from the Print Collection" at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4 in the Members' Lounge of the UI Museum of Art.

Holtgrave's lecture is the second of three installments in this spring's Art of the Month series, "Pleasures, Portraits, and Peasants: Prints from the Museum's Permanent Collection," a mini course in art appreciation. The final session will beheld Saturday, April 8. New participants are welcome at each session.

The monthly sessions are held in the Members' Lounge of the Museum of Art. During the current year the series has been sub-titled "Satisfy your Appetite for Art." Bruegger's Bagel Bakery of Iowa City will provide a mini-brunch of coffee, bagels and cream cheese for each session. Seating in the Members' Lounge will be limited.

According to Holtgrave, self-portraiture has continuously interested art historians and the public alike not only for what it appears to present and reveal, but also for what it chooses to suggest and conceal. Self-portraits have variously been viewed as psychological profiles, as social and political statements, and as simple examples of artistic style.

Holtgrave will explore these issues as they relate to American and European prints of the 17th through 20th centuries. Among the artists examined in detail will be Rembrandt, Goya, Ensor and Thomas Hart Benton.

"Self-portraiture is of great interest to those who appreciate art because it seems to capture the creativity of artists more intimately and, in some ways, more directly in comparison to other genres," Holtgrave said. "At the same time, self-portraits are visually enigmatic, suggesting aspects of artists' lives which are mysterious yet evocative."

"I hope to deepen the public's appreciation of the lives of the artists selected, as embodied in their work in general and in their self-portraits specifically. I also hope that people will develop a more well-informed understanding of the varied roles and functions which portraiture has played in Western culture."

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FORTEPIANO CONCERT MARCH 5 -- Richard Fuller will perform a concert of 18th-century music on the fortepiano -- the early form of the concert piano -- at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5 in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber at the University of Iowa.

Fuller's performance, a joint presentation of the UI School of Music and the Iowa City Early Keyboard Society, will be free and open to the public.

Fuller will perform works by two of the most creative, and influential, composers of the 18th century, Josef Haydn and Carl Philip Emanuel Bach. His program alternates works by the two: first Haydn's Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI/48, followed by two rondos by Bach and then Haydn's Fantasia in C major, Hob. XVII/4. After intermission, he will play Bach's Fantasy in f-sharp minor, Wq. 67, and Haydn's Sonata in B minor, Hob. XVI/32.

Fuller will play the program on a fortepiano made by the contemporary builder Philip Belt of Hagerstown, Ind. It is a copy of a piano made in 1770 by Johann Andreas Stein of Augsburg, one of the most important German piano makers of the later 18th century.

Although they lived far apart and never met, Haydn and C.P.E. Bach knew of each other's works. Haydn once wrote, 'Those who know me well will find that I owe a great deal to Emanuel Bach; that I understood and studied him thoroughly." And Bach noted that Haydn "was one of the very few, perhaps the only one, who completely understood my writings (about keyboard music) and knew how to put them to good use."

Fuller has written of Bach and Haydn that "both composers exhibited a certain similarity of mentality, passionate temperament, diligent work habits, a slow, steady development, and entrepreneurial flair and enormous productivity. Specific musical procedures are often remarkably similar, including a fondness for short motives capable of further expansions and combination, angular melodic lines, two-part textures, abrupt pauses, harmonic surprise (and) experimentation with unusual formal structures."

Fuller studied harpsichord and fortepiano in San Francisco and Vienna. The emphasis of his artistic work lies in the interpretation of the piano, chamber music and the song repertoire of the Viennese Classical and early Romantic periods -- the 18th and early 19th centuries -- as performed on the fortepiano and the clavichord. His performances have contributed significantly to the revival of the fortepiano, especially in Germany and Austria.

Since 1983 Fuller has appeared as soloist, accompanist and in chamber performances in North America and Europe. He has performed with James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and with a number of outstanding early-music artists, including soprano Emma Kirkby, violinist Andrew Manze, Musica Aeterna Bratislava and the Vienna Fortepiano Trio. He has participated in broadcast productions for German Radio-Cologne, North German Radio-Hamburg, Austrian National Radio, the BBC and Hungarian National Radio, and he has made numerous CD recordings.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at The Iowa City Early Keyboard Society has a web page at

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NEW COMPOSITIONS ON CONCERT MARCH 5 -- The Composers' Workshop of the University of Iowa School of Music will present four new pieces of music by student composers on a free concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 5 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Written by undergraduate and graduate students in the composition program, the pieces feature a wide variety of performing media, from recorded tape to instrumental solos and an instrumental ensemble with vocal soloist.

The complete program will be:
-- "Night Sketches" for mezzo-soprano and eight players by senior Matt Ertz;
-- Third Etude for tape by graduate student Michael Cash;
-- "Distraction" for solo piccolo by Christopher D. Brakel; and
-- "Spiele die Tode . . . " (Play the dead) for solo piano by Albin Jones

"Night Sketches" was scheduled for performance at an earlier Composers' Workshop concert, but had to be postponed due to illness. Thus the March 5 performance will be the Iowa premiere.

The score is based on a Spanish ceremony in which a woman is selected to represent a spirit that conveys suffering and grief using music to express itself. Taking place in the streets of Seville the week before Easter, the ceremony begins with a procession in which statues of the Virgin Mary and giant crosses are carried through the streets.

When the procession stops a woman is presented upon a balcony, where she sings a lament for Jesus. The singing woman is believed to be possessed by the spirit.

Brakel has written that "Distraction" "was composed as an exploration of the concept of duality. Each element used in the piece is diametrically opposed to another -- tonal vs. atonal, legato vs. staccato, etc." It was premiered at the Dvorak Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, as part of the 1998 Czech-American Summer Music Institute.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at The Composers Workshop has a web page at