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Release: Oct. 12, 2001

Annual UI Piano Festival To Bring International Artists Oct. 21, 28

Pianists from Finland and Russia will perform at the University of Iowa for Piano Festival 2001, presented by the piano area of the UI School of Music. An annual event, the Piano Festival is a celebration of piano performance and teaching. It typically includes master classes and performances from outstanding visiting artist-teachers from around the world.

The current festival will offer two concerts and two master classes, all held in Clapp Recital Hall and all free to the public.

Finnish pianist Juhanni Lagerspetz will perform a program of 24 Preludes by Sergei Rachmaninoff at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. He will lead a master class with UI students 9 a.m. to
noon Monday, Oct. 22.

Russian pianist Valery Kuleshov will perform a varied program -- sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, Robert Schumann's "Kreisleriana," Six Pieces from "Romeo and Juliet" by Sergei Prokofiev and "Islamey (Oriental Fantasy)" by Mily Balakirev -- at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. He will lead a master class 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Lagerspetz is known to Iowa City audiences for his appearances the past two years at Magisterra, the International Chamber Music Festival sponsored by the UI School of Music.

Lagerspetz was accepted for study at the Turku Conservatory in his native Finland 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 in 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.

A gold medalist at the 1987 Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy, a Silver Medallist at the Ninth Van Cliburn International Competition in 1993, and a First Prize winner at the 1998 Pro Piano International Competition in New York, Kuleshov has won extensive critical acclaim. The New York Times commented, "He has everything: the fingers to negotiate the virtuoso repertory, the musicality and imagination to make the most familiar music sound fresh and compelling." "What sound! What allure! What a musician!" wrote the critic for Le Monde in Paris.

At the age of nine, as a student at the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory, he made his concert debut with orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. The student of renowned artist teachers including Karl Ulrich Schnabel and Leon Fleischer, Kuleshov has

pursued an international performance career with appearances in Russia, the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic. He has been a guest artist at numerous international music festivals and has made many recordings for labels including JVC Victor, MCA Classics and Philips. In 1997, by decree of President Boris Yeltsin, Kuleshov was awarded the title "Honored Artist of Russia."

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

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