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Release: March 17, 2000

UI Center for New Music will feature music of Shulamit Ran April 2

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for New Music will present a concert of music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Shulamit Ran, the William H. Colvin Professor in the department of music at the University of Chicago, at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 2.

A composer of prominence and a high reputation in the concert world, Ran will be on the UI campus for several days before the concert as a guest of the Center for New Music. During that time she will give master classes for UI composition students. The concert of her works, featuring performers from the UI School of Music, will be free and open to the public.

Five of Ran's works will be performed on the concert: "Soliloquy" for violin, cello and piano; "For an Actor: Monologue for Clarinet," for clarinet solo; "Private Game" for clarinet and cello; "East Wind" for solo flute; and "Concerto da Camera II" for clarinet, string quartet and piano.

Ran has attracted attention as a composer who combines the intellectual trends in music characteristic of the mid-20th century with a desire for personal expression that became more prominent toward the end of the century. As she expressed to writer Allan Kozinn of the New York Times, "I want my music to challenge both the mind and the heart, and to do so in equal fashion."

Critic C.B. White believes that she has succeeded, for he writes: "The frequently applied labels 'freely atonal' and 'expressionistic' fail to describe her music, which is lush and emotional, yet tightly constructed; each note seems perfectly placed."

Ran is deeply committed to her work as a composer. "I would like to hope that in some way I'm contributing to bettering this world," she has said, "but at the same time, I wonder what any one person can do to change things. . . . I do what I do because I love it, because I believe passionately in it, and as to the impact that it's making, I can't be the judge."

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Shulamit Ran came to the United States at the age of 14 to study, having received scholarships from the Mannes College of Music in New York and the America Israel Cultural Foundation. She has performed extensively as a pianist in the U.S., Europe, Israel and elsewhere and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1973.

In 1990 Ran was appointed composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as part of the Meet the Composer Orchestra Residencies Program, a position she held for seven seasons. From 1994 to 1997, Ran also served as the fifth Brena and Lee Freeman Sr. composer-in-residence with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Among her numerous awards, fellowships and commissions are those from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, WFMT, Chamber Music America, Eastman School of Music, the American Composers Orchestra (Concerto for Orchestra), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Concerto da Camera II), the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Philadelphia Orchestra (Symphony, first performed in 1990, Pulitzer Prize 1991, first place Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, 1992), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ("Legends"), the Baltimore Symphony ("Vessels of Courage and Hope") and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation.

Recordings of her music are available on Bridge, CRI, Erato, JMC (Jerusalem Music Center), Koch International Classics and Vox labels, including several all-Ran discs, with recording projects with Teldec (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), New World Records (Peabody Trio), and Gasparo (clarinetist Arthur Campbell) in progress.

A flexible organization devoted to the performance of music composed in the 20th century, the Center for New Music is directed by David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the UI School of Music. The center was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. Today, the Center for New Music is supported by the UI School of Music.

In November, 1998, an east-coast tour by the Center included a performance at Merkin Hall in New York City and by invitation at the final performance of the Region I Conference of Society of Composers, Inc., at Connecticut College in New London. Critic Paul Griffiths opened his New York Times review of the Merkin Hall concert by observing that "an ensemble of faculty and graduate students from the University of Iowa performed strongly Tuesday night," and he praised Gompper for "the concert's clarity and directness."

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at The Center for New Music is on the web at And you can find more information about Shulamit Ran at

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Shulamit Ran is pronounced Shoo-lah-MEET Rahn.)

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of Shulamit Ran, as well as extensive additional information about her, may be found on the World Wide Web at <> and <>.)