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Release: May 8, 2000

International Chamber Music festival will bring extraordinary series of concerts to UI campus

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Magisterra, the International Chamber Music Festival at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a series of concerts for the public May 16-26. Featuring UI faculty and the guest artists of the festival, these concerts will be presented in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus and will be free and open to the public.

Public concerts will be at 8 p.m. May 16, 18, 22, 23 and 26. In addition, there will be 7 p.m. performances on May 20 and 25, and a 3 p.m. matinee concert on Sunday, May 21.

Guest artist/teachers for the festival will be musicians with international careers, many of whom are not often heard in the United States. They are: violinist Peter Zazofsky, violist Vladimir Mendelssohn, cellist Patrick Demenga, and pianist Juhani Lagerpetz.

UI faculty artists participating in the festival will be violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel, who is also the festival director; pianist Uriel Tsachor; double-bassist Diana Gannett; and the members of the Maia String Quartet.

David Nelson, director of the School of Music, commented: "The Chamber Music Festival will allow us to bring very distinguished internationally renowned musicians to campus in order to collaborate with our faculty and present a remarkable series of concerts for the public."

With a large corps of artists available, the concerts will feature a wide variety of instrumental combinations, from works for solo violin and cello and duos for viola and double bass, to quintets for piano and strings and an octet for stringed instruments. A wide variety of styles and composers will be represented as well, from the Baroque period up to the late 20th century.

Thus audiences will have the opportunity to hear interpretations by outstanding young artists of familiar chamber masterpieces, including works for solo violin and cello by J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms’ Quintet in F minor for piano and strings, Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings, and Beethoven’s "Gassenhauer" Trio. But during the same concerts they can encounter less familiar gems, including the Quartet No. 1 for piano and strings by Gabriel Faure and Dvorak’s G major Quintet for strings; and outstanding works by contemporary masters including Shostakovich, Arvo Paert and the featured composer of the festival, Alfred Schnittke.

Highlights of the festival program will include a "Schnittke Marathon," a performance of chamber music by the 20th-century Russian composer at 7 p.m. Saturday May 20; a commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach, with performances of works for solo violin and solo cello at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 21; a recital by students participating in the festival’s academy, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 25; and the final recital, at 8 p.m. Friday, May 26.

Alfred Schnittke, chosen as Magisterra’s featured composer, was the most influential and admired Russian composer of the late 20th century. Historian Laurel Fay noted when Schnittke died in 1998, "In a society where art really mattered, where it had even been known to amount to be a matter of life and death, Schnittke’s was the music that mattered most to Russians of the post-Stalin, post-Shostakovich generation.

"His was the name that always floated off the tongue first in anyone’s list of the most significant contemporary Soviet composers. It was a magic name. In the absence of press or promotion -- withheld by the Soviet musical establishment -- invoking it was enough to fill any Moscow concert hall to overflowing with people ravenous for aesthetic nourishment and intellectual stimulation."

Born in 1934 in the Soviet Union, Schnittke began his musical education in Vienna and later studied counterpoint and composition at the Moscow Conservatory. He taught instrumentation at the Moscow Conservatory 1962-67, and thereafter supported himself chiefly as a composer of film scores. Noted for his "polystylistic" idiom, Schnittke has written in a wide range of genres and styles. His works have been championed by Gidon Kremer and other prominent performers, including Yury Bashmet, Natalia Gutman, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Schnittke composed nine symphonies, four violin concertos, two cello concertos, concertos for piano and a triple concerto for violin, viola and cello, as well as four string quartets and much other chamber music. From the 1980s, Schnittke's music gained increasing exposure and international acclaim. His music has been celebrated with retrospectives and major festivals worldwide.

Bach’s works for solo stringed instruments will be featured May 21, which is the composer’s birthday. The six suites for solo cello and the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin are considered among the greatest monuments in the entire string repertoire.

In Bach’s time there was already a long tradition of unaccompanied pieces for stringed instruments, but Bach far surpassed his predecessors. His works not only show an intimate understanding of the performance techniques and possibilities of each instrument, but they also maintain a high level of musical interest, while covering a wide range of rhythmic styles and expressive possibilities -- qualities that have placed them among the essential works of the string repertoire.

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University of Iowa faculty artists

Annette-Barbara Vogel (violin, festival director) joined the UI faculty in 1999. She has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, playing as a soloist with orchestra, a solo recitalist and chamber musician. She has appeared at the Aspen, Ravinia, Chautauqua, Menuhin and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, among others. Recently, with pianist Ulirch Hofmann she performed the complete Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano in a series of three recitals at the UI.

Vogel has taught master classes in Europe, the United States and Asia, and was artist in residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she taught on the faculty and was a member of the Monticello Trio. She has appeared on radio and television broadcasts in Europe and the United States, and has recorded CDs of music by Beethoven, Ravel, Smetana, Shostakovich and Richard Strauss.

Diana Gannett (double bass) is the principal double bass of the Quad City Symphony. A graduate of the UI School of Music, Gannett returned to the UI to teach double bass in the fall of 1992. As a teacher and performer she has had an active career including appointments at Yale University, the Hartt School of Music, Oberlin College and the University of South Florida. She has been principal double bass of the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Black Hills Festival Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival and the Bronx Symphony, and been a member of the New Haven and New Jersey symphonies.

As a chamber musician she has performed with members of the Guarneri, Emerson, Laurentian and Stanford string quartets and the Borodin Trio. Her frequent solo appearances have included many premieres and solo improvisations as well as traditional repertoire. She has recorded for Irida Records and has a solo CD, "Ladybass."

Uriel Tsachor (piano) joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. A Steinway artist, Tsachor was 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 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.

Maia String Quartet: Founded in 1990, the Maia Quartet (Amy Appold and Timothy Shiu, violins; Elizabeth Oakes, viola; and Amos Yang, cello) has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. In 1999 they gave a concert at the German Embassy in Washington, in honor of the Czech Republic’s entry into NATO. In recent years they have had summer teaching engagements at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Austin Chamber Music Festival, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and the Cedar Rapids Symphony School.

The quartet has gained wide recognition for its educational outreach activities. It has participated in a three-year project in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival under a grant from the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation aimed at building adult audiences. The members of the quartet have shared their love of music with children under the auspices of Young Audiences, Inc., and the Midori Foundation, and they have given performances for families with children at Lincoln Center and the U.N. School in New York.

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Guest artists

Peter Zazofsky’s (violin) career as soloist, chamber musician and educator spans 20 years, 30 countries and five continents. Zazofsky’s father was assistant concertmaster of the Boston Symphony. Joseph Silverstein, the orchestra’s concertmaster, was his first teacher. He later studied with Dorothy Delay, Jaime Laredo and Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute.

Zazofsky won the Gold Medal at the 1980 Queen Elisabeth Competition and Grand Prize of the 1979 Montreal International Contest. In 1985 he received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has performed with U.S. and European orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Sala Cecilia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels, and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. He also performs as first violinist of the Muir String Quartet. Zazofsky is associate professor of violin and chamber music at Boston University.

Vladimir Mendelssohn (viola) is a world-class violist who lives up to the great tradition of his family name and has performed with major orchestras and artists throughout the world. A professor at the Royal Conservatory in Den Hague (The Netherlands), the Folkwang-Hochschule Essen (Germany), and the Toscanini Academy in Bologna (Italy), Mendelssohn has conducted his famous master classes in France, Holland, Italy, Scandinavia, and Switzerland. His recordings are available on the following labels: Denon, Forlande, Electracord, Ottavo, Ondine, and CBS. His recording of the Brahms Lieder (Ottavo) was awarded the prestigious Avro Public Prize.

Patrick Demenga (cello) is as closely followed as any cellist of his generation. A regular at the leading European Festivals, Demenga received his early training at the Bern Conservatory with Johannes Bühler and won the Tschumi Prize for the best solo diploma in 1983. He has been principal cellist with the City of Wintherthur Orchestra and the famous string quartet Neues Züricher Quartett. He has also served on the faculty of the Bern Conservatory. A number of composers have written works for him, and he has premiered the compositions of Isang Yun, Alexander Knaifel, Barry Guy, Sally Beamish, Heinz Holliger, and Gerhard Schedl. He is the Artistic Director of the concert series Vier Jahreszeitsen in Blumstein, Switzerland.

Juhani Lagerpetz (piano) was accepted for study at the Turku Conservatory in 1965 when he was six years old. Since that promising beginning he has won many national and international competitions including the special prize of the jury at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982. A professor at the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki) since 1983, Lagerspetz has received two five-year artist’s grants from the Finnish government. In 1994, he was presented the coveted Alfred Kordelin Foundation Prize for his accomplishments as a young artist.


International Chamber Music Festival and Academy
at the University of Iowa
Concert Schedule

Tuesday, May 16, 8 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Recital 1

Moritz Moszkowsky: Suite in G minor for 2 violins and piano, op. 71
Arvo Paert: "Fratres" for violin and piano (*1935)
Robert Schumann: Maerchenbilder (Fairy tale scenes) op. 113 for viola and piano
Gabriel Faure: Quartet No. 1 in C minor for piano, violin, viola and cello op. 15

Thursday, May 18, 8 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Recital 2

George Frideric Handel, arr. Halvorsen: Passacaglia for violin and double bass
Witold Lutoslawski: Partita (1984) for violin and piano
Arthur Vincent Lourie: Duos for violin and viola
Camille Saint-Saens: Introduction et Rondo capriccioso op. 28 for violin and piano (arranged for 2 pianos by Claude Debussy)
Johannes Brahms: Quintet in F minor for piano, two violins, viola and cello, op. 34

Saturday, May 20, 7 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Schnittke Marathon

Alfred Schnittke: Trio for violin, viola and cello (1985)
Alfred Schnittke: Suite im alten Stil the for violin and piano
Alfred Schnittke: Quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello (1988)
Gustav Mahler: Quartet for piano, violin, viola and cello (1876)
Alfred Schnittke: Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano (1963)
Alfred Schnittke: Quintet for piano, 2 violins, viola and cello (1988)
Alfred Schnittke: Sonata for cello and piano
Alfred Schnittke: Trio for piano, violin and cello (1985/1992)

Sunday, May 21, 3 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Bach 250th Anniversary Concert

Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite for cello solo
Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata (or Partita) for violin solo

Monday, May 22, 8 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Recital 3

W. A. Mozart: Duo No. 1 in G major KV 423 for violin and viola (arr. for viola and double bass)
Antonin Dvorak: Quartet in E flat major for piano, violin, viola and cello, op. 87
Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E flat major for four violins, two violas and two cellos, op. 20

Tuesday, May 23, 8 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Recital 4

Beethoven: Trio in B flat major for piano, violin and cello, op. 11, "Gassenhauer"
Louise Farrenc: Quintet No. 1 for piano, violin, viola, cello and bass, op. 30
Thomas Demenga: "New York Honk" for cello and piano
Antonin Dvorak: Quintet in G major for 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass, op. 77

Thursday, May 25, 7 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Student Recital

(program to be determined)

Friday, May 26, 8 pm, Clapp Recital Hall: Final Recital

Dmitri Shostakovich: Quintet in G minor for piano, two violins, viola and cello, op. 57
Franz Schubert: Adagio and Rondo concertante in F major for piano, viola and cello, D. 487 (op.posth.)
Frank Martin: Ballade for cello and piano
Paul Schoenfield: Cafe-Music for piano, violin and cello