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Release: Feb. 25, 2002


DISCUSSION OF ‘ST. MATTHEW PASSION’ MARCH 3 -- The University of Iowa School of Religion, the UI School of Music and Lutheran Campus Ministry will present “Matthew, Bach and Jesus’ Death: Interpretive Variations on a Religious Theme” at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3 in Harper Hall of Voxman Music Building on the UI campus.

The panel discussion is presented in conjunction with a performance of J.S. Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” by the University of Iowa Symphony and Choruses under the direction of Timothy Stalter, to be given at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10 in the UI Hancher Auditorium. Both the panel discussion and the performance will be free and open to the public.

Panelists on March 3 will be Stalter, who is head of choral activities, and musicologist Gregory Barnett from the School of Music; David Klemm and George Nickelsburg from the School of Religion; and Rabbi Jeffrey Portman from the Agudas Achim Congregation in Iowa City.

In recent times, the St. Matthew Passion has generated significant controversy, due to both the text’s suggestion that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, and the musical portrayal of the Jews in Bach’s score. The panel will address questions related to the controversy, including “In what ways is Matthew’s passion narrative the story of ‘our hero,’ ‘ourselves’ and ‘the other’?” and “How do the text and music of Bach’s ‘Passion’ nuance the story?’”

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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