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Release: March 12, 2001

La Fosse Baroque Ensemble, soloists present free UI concert March 25

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The La Fosse Baroque Ensemble, a small string orchestra directed by the violinist and University of Iowa School of Music faculty member Leopold La Fosse, will present a program of Baroque and Classical concertos at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25 in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI campus. The performance will be free and open to the public.

The La Fosse Baroque Ensemble is made up of current and former UI students and UI music faculty. The group specializes in the performance of music from the Baroque period in music, roughly 1600 to 1750, and the early Classic period. They perform using copies of authentic Baroque instruments and bows. This enables them to play their instruments in the same manner as performers of the Baroque period, which in turn makes possible a historically appropriate style of performance.

The March 25 concert will feature La Fosse, as well as UI Division of Performing Arts’ director David Nelson, and several of La Fosse’s violin students at the School of Music as soloists.

The first work on the program will be Joseph Haydn’s Violin Concerto in A major, with UI doctoral candidate Spencer Howard as soloist. Next, La Fosse and Nelson will be soloists for Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in B-flat major, op. 5 no. 6. Stephen Shepherd, another doctoral candidate in violin, will play two movements from Mozart’s Violin Concerto in A major. La Fosse will team up with doctoral candidate Miki Yuassa for Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor for two violins. And to conclude the program, Marji Gere, a senior majoring in violin, will perform a movement from J.S. Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor.

La Fosse joined the UI music faculty in 1972. His extensive performing career has included solo appearances as well as concertmaster positions with five orchestras. At the UI he teaches violin and directs the La Fosse Baroque Ensemble. He has twice been to Brazil as a Fulbright lecturer and returns annually to perform, teach and give master classes.

La Fosse continues an active international career as soloist and chamber musician, with tours in the United States, Europe, South America and Russia. He has had performances at Wigmore Hall in London, Sala Cecilia Mireles in Rio de Janeiro, Town Hall in New York, and the National Gallery, Phillips Gallery and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1997 he celebrated his 25th anniversary on the UI faculty with a series of four recitals displaying his versatility, appearing as a virtuoso soloist, a chamber musician, a Baroque performance specialist and a jazz violinist.

Nelson was director of the UI School of Music from 1991 until he was appointed the first director of the UI’s new Division of Performing Arts in July 2000. He is a music educator and conductor as well as a violinist with professional orchestral and chamber music experience. Before coming to the UI, he was on the faculty and directed the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of scholarly articles in music psychology, music cognition and pedagogy. He holds degrees from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Texas at Austin.

The Baroque Ensemble was founded in 1985 to provide violin students at the UI the opportunity to play solo works from the Baroque and early Classic periods. Since its formation the group has been invited to perform at a number of state and national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association, the Music educators National Conference, and colleges and public schools in Iowa.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

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