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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 28, 2003

Visiting Organist Will Play Music By Bach

Antonius Bittmann, the university organist at Rutgers University, will present a free University of Iowa guest recital at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Bittmann will play music written or inspired by the 18th-century German Baroque composer J.S. Bach, who is widely regarded as one of the first great masters of the organ. The complete program will comprise seven works:

--Fantasy in C Minor by Bach, BWV 562;
--"Schmuecke dich, o liebe Seele" (Soul adorn thyself with gladness) by Bach, BWV 654;
--"28. Juli 1750: Gedenkblatt zum Todestag von Johann Sebastian Bach" (Memorial on the anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach) by Carl Piutti, op. 32, no. 8;
--Three settings of the chorale tune "Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten" (If thou but suffer God to guide thee) by Bach, BWV 691, 690, 642;
--Bach's "Piece d'Orgue," BWV 572;
--"Souvenir" by the iconoclastic 20th-century American composer John Cage; and
--19th-century German composer Max Reger's "Fantasy and Fugue on the Name B-A-C-H, op. 46.

Bittmann teaches musicology and organ at Rutgers University, where he joined the Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1999. He holds three degrees from the Eastman School of Music: doctorates in organ and musicology and a masters degree in harpsichord. Before coming to Mason Gross, Bittmann taught at Eastman, and he has also been a guest lecturer at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University.

Bittmann is active both as organ recitalist and musicologist, having received fellowships and awards from, among others, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Rotary Club International, the Institute of International Education, and the American Brahms Society. University Organist of Rutgers University, he currently serves as Sub-Dean of New Jersey's Middlesex Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Bittmann is featured on several CDs, has recorded for radio and television stations, and performed numerous recitals in the United States, Europe and Japan. Prizes and awards at organ competitions include first prize and prize of the audience at the International Organ Week in Nurnberg, Germany.

As a musicologist, Bittmann writes on German music and culture from around 1870 to 1920, and on issues of performance practice, particularly in the music of Handel. He has published articles in major music journals, and has read papers at conferences in the United States and abroad. Among his current research projects is a book that explores Max Reger's music within the context of fin-de-siecle modernism.

This recital is sponsored by the UI School of Music and the Frederick T. Rahn Memorial Fund. 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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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,