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Release: Sept. 14, 2001

Philadelphia Orchestra performs Brahms' Fourth Symphony Oct. 5

The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch, will bring the legendary "Philadelphia Sound" to Eastern Iowa, performing works by Brahms, Elgar and Smetana in a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

The program for the concert, which follows two years of celebration marking the orchestra's 100th anniversary, will be: Johannes Brahms' perennially popular Fourth Symphony, Sir Edward Elgar's "Enigma" Variations and -- appropriately for Eastern Iowa -- Bohemian composer Bedrich Smetana's "Vltava" (the Moldau), the most famous section of his six-part symphonic celebration of Czech culture.

One of America's most venerable musical institutions, the Philadelphia Orchestra is on the verge of a new era as it begins its second century. In December 2001, the orchestra known for its ravishing string sound will move into a new home, Verizon Hall in the $265 million Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

As the new hall is in preparation, the orchestra will present 12 concerts in nine states during three-week coast-to-coast tour, including the concert in Hancher.

Founded in 1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world through a century of acclaimed performances, historic international tours, and best-selling recordings. The orchestra has been guided since 1993 by Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch, who will become conductor laureate in the fall of 2003 when Christoph Eschenbach becomes the Philadelphia Orchestra's seventh music director -- continuing the tradition associated with Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy.

The Philadelphia Orchestra annually touches the lives of more than a million music lovers worldwide through its live performances (more than 300 concerts and other presentations each year), publications, recordings, and broadcasts.

The orchestra's continuing acclaim throughout the world is regularly acknowledged through frequent tours, both at home in North America and overseas. Recent trips include appearances in Asia in 1999 and again in May-June 2001, and in Europe in 2000.

Only six conductors have served as music director during the ensemble's first century, giving Philadelphia a unity of performance and musical guidance unprecedented among American symphony orchestras.

Two Germans, Fritz Scheel (1900-07) and Carl Pohlig (1907-12), served as its first music directors, forming the ensemble and carrying it through its first twelve seasons. British-born Leopold

Stokowski was appointed conductor in 1912 and quickly began leading the orchestra toward a new level of performance and recognition.

Leading a series of major world and U.S. premieres, including works by Berg, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg, Scriabin, Sibelius and Stravinsky, Stokowski firmly established Philadelphia's prominence in American classical music. In addition to making widely-acclaimed recordings with his ensemble, he instituted many other Philadelphia Orchestra traditions, including concerts created especially for children and symphonic tours throughout the country.

Hungarian-born Eugene Ormandy assumed the music directorship in 1936. For the next 44 years, he first maintained and then expanded upon the orchestra's unique reputation. Under Ormandy, the orchestra refined its famed "Philadelphia Sound" and traveled widely, touring throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Japan, Korea and China.

Ormandy's most tangible legacy is a Philadelphia discography of nearly 400 recordings (including three best-selling Gold Records), many of which have been reissued on compact disc and are considered classics of the LP era.

Ormandy turned over the orchestra's leadership in 1980 to Riccardo Muti. The Italian-born conductor built upon the orchestra's tradition of versatility by introducing new and unfamiliar music from all periods. An advocate of contemporary music, Muti commissioned works by a wide range of composers and appointed the orchestra's first composer-in-residence. Muti also revived the orchestra's operatic tradition, presenting concert performances of operas by Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and others.

Sawallisch became music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1993, following a 21-year tenure as head of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich

In addition to the many important premieres it has presented during the past century, the Philadelphia Orchestra boasts an extraordinary record of media firsts. It was the first symphonic orchestra to make electrical recordings (in 1925), the first to perform its own commercially sponsored radio broadcast (in 1929, on NBC), the first to perform on the soundtrack of a feature film (Paramount's "The Big Broadcast" of 1937), the first to appear on a national television broadcast (in 1948, on CBS), the first American orchestra to record the complete Beethoven symphonies on compact disc (in 1988), and the first major orchestra to give a live cybercast of a concert on the Internet (in 1997).

The orchestra made film history in 1939 when it recorded the soundtrack for Walt Disney's 1940 "Fantasia," the landmark animated feature film that did much to popularize symphonic music in the United States. In 1973, the orchestra made diplomatic history when it became the first American orchestra to tour the People's Republic of China, performing in Beijing's Great Hall of the People. In 1999 it became the first American orchestra to visit Vietnam.

Cambridge Place Apartments is the corporate sponsor of the Philadelphia Orchestra concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for the Oct. 5 concert are $50, $45 and $40. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 2 and 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free,
1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's site on the World Wide Web: <>.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

To learn more about orchestra, visit its official website at <> on the World Wide Web. For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.