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Release:Oct. 26, 2001

UI Center for New Music brings concert from its tour to Moscow, Russia, to UI stage Nov. 5

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for New Music will present a free concert featuring the music of UI faculty, students and alumni at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 in Clapp Recital hall on the UI campus.

The program features works from the center's performances, only a few days earlier, in Moscow, Russia, during a tour to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In Moscow, the center will take part in a series of lectures and concerts Oct. 30-Nov. 2, presented under the auspices of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory's Center for Contemporary Music and performed jointly by the UI Center for New Music and the Studio New Music Ensemble, one of Russia's major contemporary music groups.

A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the Center for New Music (CNM) is directed by David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the UI School of Music. Part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the center supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guest artists.

The Nov. 5 concert at the UI, drawing on the tour repertoire, will feature seven works by composers associated with the UI School of Music:

-- "Pre-Images," for bassoon and tape by Lawrence Fritts, the director of the Electronic Music Studios in the UI School of Music;

-- "Alone" for solo viola by UI alumnus John Allemeier;

-- "Movement for five instruments" for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano by UI music faculty member Michael Eckert;

-- "Cucumber Music" for flute, viola, toy piano and percussion by retired UI composition professor D. Martin Jenni;

-- "Cheating, Lying, Stealing" for bass clarinet, cello, piano and percussion by UI alumnus David Lang, the founder of New York's cutting-edge Bang on a Can Festival;

-- "Nuit" (Night) for clarinet, viola and piano by UI alumnus Dimitri Papageorgiou; and

-- "Kuta Muela" (Old Stick) for bassoon, ensemble, tape and video by Gompper, with video produced by Sheilah Britton from the Institute for Studies in the Arts at Arizona State University.

The Iowa works will be preceded on the Nov. 5 concert by a performance of "Yellow Pages" for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano by Michael Torke, one of the most successful composers working in America today.

Fritts has been director of the Electronic Music Studios at the UI School of Music since 1995. He has composed for a wide variety of electronic and computer media, including concrete tape, instruments and tape, voltage-controlled and MIDI-controlled analog and digital synthesizers, and digitally processed instruments. His recent works for tape and instruments utilize real-time computer sound transformation technology. His music has been performed at festivals and conferences in the U.S. and broadcast in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe.

Allemeier received a doctorate in composition from the UI, where he also received the Henry and Parker Peltzer Fellowship Award for Excellence in Composition. He recently participated in the 6th International Composition Course in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. His music has been widely performed in the United States and programmed on national conferences of the Society of Composers and the Society for Electro Acoustic Music, and the 7th Brazilian Symposium on Computer Music. He has taught at Marshall University and the UI and currently lives in Mannheim, Germany.

Eckert has taught music theory, counterpoint and composition at the UI School of Music since 1985 and is currently head of the composition/theory area. Before coming to the UI he taught at Colorado State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University, and Antioch College. His awards for composition include the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, a Charles E. Ives Scholarship from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, an NEA fellowship and the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award.

Jenni taught composition and music theory at the UI School of Music from 1968 until his retirement in 1999. He has a master's degree in medieval studies from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in composition from Stanford. While at the UI he composed several works for the Center for New Music, the University Symphony and members of the music faculty. Jenni also founded the Cantores, a choir specializing in the performance of Gregorian chant. For several years he directed the Composers Workshop, a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music devoted to the performance of music written at the UI.

"There is no name yet for this kind of music," critic Mark Swed wrote about Lang. His distinct sound fuses the tradition of classical music with urban aggressiveness, where melodies are accompanied by noise and subtle harmonies are pulled apart by pounding rhythms. He has received commissions from the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, BBC Singers and the Santa Fe Opera. His works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic; at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Holland, Berlin and Huddersfield festivals; the Munich Biennale; in the choreography of Twyla Tharp; in theater productions in New York, San Francisco and London; and at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the South Bank Centre. The UI Hancher Auditorium commissioned works from Lang and his Bang on a Can colleagues that were performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Sydney Olympics.

Papageorgiou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He holds a degree in composition from the University of Music and Drama at Graz, Austria, where he graduated in 1991 with special distinction and received the Doris Wolf Prize of the Ministry of Culture for outstanding academic and artistic achievement. He has taught composition and music theory in Greece from 1991 until he was awarded an Iowa Fellowship to attend the UI in 1998. In Iowa, he studied composition with Jenni, Jeremy Dale Roberts and Gompper.

Gompper joined the music theory and composition faculty of the UI School of Music in 1991. He has received numerous awards for his academic and musical achievements, including the Charles E. Ives Prize for composition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

His "Lament for Bosnia" was premiered in 1998 by the UI Symphony and Choruses as part of "Global Focus: Human Rights '98," the UI's year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of his other compositions, "Transitus" was premiered at Carnegie Hall and "Flip" was premiered by the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra.

Gompper has traveled to Thessaloniki, Greece, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand to lecture on current American musical trends in composition. In May, 1999, he performed a concert of his works and lectured at the Moscow Conservatory of Music in Russia. He has also served as a cultural specialist for the United States Information Agency in Kwangju, South Korea.

Torke's music has been called "some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years" by Gramophone. Hailed as "a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral palette makes him the Ravel of his generation" in the New York Times, Torke has created a substantial body of works in virtually every genre, each with a characteristic personal stamp that combines restless rhythmic energy with beautiful melodies.

The CNM was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The center promotes the performance of new music by providing a core group of specialists in contemporary performance techniques. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. Today, the Center for New Music is supported by the UI Division of Performing Arts.

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."

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