CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 2, 2001
NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Ksenia Nosikova is pronounced "kSAY-nee-ah no-see-KOH-vah."
Pianist Ksenia Nosikova will play 'Switzerland' from Liszt's 'Years of
Pilgrimage' Feb. 18
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Ksenia Nosikova, a pianist and member of the faculty
of the University of Iowa School of Music, will play the music of Franz Liszt
on a free recital at 3 p.m. Sunday,
Feb. 18 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Nosikova will play "Premiere annee: Suisse" (First year: Switzerland)
from Liszts massive compilation of descriptive character pieces for
piano, "Annees de Pelerinage" (Years of Pilgrimage).
Liszt was one of the greatest pianists, and most influential musicians,
of the 19th century. Displaying both an astonishing technique and an extravagant
personality, he created a sensation in his performances. One of the first
musical super-stars, he was largely responsible for the ideal of the flamboyant
virtuoso. He was also an important and original composer who wrote orchestral
tone poems, songs and sacred choral music in addition to his many virtuoso
show pieces for piano.
Liszt worked on the "Annees de Pelerinage" almost constantly throughout
his life. The first pieces were published as early as 1836, when the composer
was 25 years old, and the final book was published in 1883, three years before
Liszts death. Thus it is the only work that spans his lifetime, from
his years of study in Paris, to his years as a traveling virtuoso, and his
later years in Weimar and Rome. In its entirety, the "Annees de Pelerinage"
is considered a musical self-portrait that covers many aspects of Liszts
The cycle consists of three volumes. The first, "Switzerland" -- the
program for Nosikovas recital -- records Liszts experiences while
traveling in Switzerland. The second, "Italy" records his impressions of travels
through Italy with the glamorous Countess Marie dAgoult, who was the
great love and inspiration of Liszts life. And the third book is a document
of Liszts years of religious pilgrimage in Rome, late in his life.
Nosikova played the second volume on a faculty recital she gave Sept.
12, 1999. She is currently working on a CD recording of the entire set.
"Switzerland" consists of nine pieces, each describing a specific place
in Switzerland, or a related emotion: "Chapelle de Guillaume Tell" (William
Tells chapel), "Au lac de Wallenstadt" (At lake Walensee), "Pastorale,"
"Au bord d'une source" (Beside a spring), "Orage" (Storm), "Vallee dObermann"
(Obermanns valley), "Eclogue," "Le mal du pays" (Homesickness) and "Les
cloches de Geneve: Nocturne" (The bells of Geneva: Nocturne).
The original edition contained drawings of the scenes portrayed in the
Several of these pieces are often played apart from the set. The best
known is "Vallee dObermann," a dramatic piece that was inspired by a
very popular Romantic novel. "Orage," a musical portrayal of a mountain storm,
full of dramatic effects and excitement, makes a great virtuoso showpiece.
Other pieces from the volume, however, are heard far less often, and
it is rare that audiences have the opportunity to hear the entire set played
In addition to the complete First Volume, Nosikova will play "Venezia
e Napoli" (Venice and Naples), which Liszt composed in 1840 and later used
as a foundation for a supplement to the Second Volume. Based on simple melodies
by other composers that Liszt has varied with virtuoso elaboration, "Venezia
e Napoli" is in three parts: "Gondoliera" (Gondoliers song), "Canzone"
(Songs) and "Tarantella."
Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively
as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States Europe and
South America. She gave her New York debut performance in 1996 in Weill Recital
Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has been an invited guest soloist with symphony
and wind orchestras in Colorado, Louisiana and Iowa. In addition, she has
been invited to perform at international festivals in Munster; France; Rimini,
Italy; and Rovin, Yugoslavia; as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals
in the United States.
A critic in the Boston Globe wrote, "Nosikova again displayed impressive
musicianship," and in Alsace, France, a review noted, "her performance is
brilliant, full of grace and the most astonishing precision."
Last year, in addition to international appearances in France, Brazil
and Argentina, she performed as a guest artist at several American universities,
including the universities of Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The
2000-2001 season will feature a return to Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
in New York, a solo recital on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago,
and a recital tour of the United Kingdom.
She has been a prize winner in numerous piano competitions, including
the Frinna Awerbach International Piano Competition in New York, the Alabama
International Piano Competition, and the Ibla International Piano Competition
in Italy, to which she has returned as a jury member. She has received two
major grants from the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the Central Investment
Fund for Research Enhancement at the UI.
Nosikova received a masters degree with high honors from the Moscow
State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia and a doctorate from the University
of Colorado in Boulder. She has been invited to perform with renowned artists
in numerous international master classes.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the
UI College of Liberal Arts.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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