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University of Iowa News Release

March 4, 2004

Antares Performs Messiaen Landmark In March 25 Concert

Antares, the young chamber music ensemble that won the 2002 Concert Artists Guild Competition, will perform one of the landmarks of 20th-century music - Olivier Messiaen's POW-camp composition, "Quartet for the End of Time" - on a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 25 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The all-French concert, presented by Hancher Auditorium, will also feature the 1941 Piano Trio of Maurice Ravel and "Im Volkston," Divertimento No. 2, by contemporary composer Nicholas Bacri.

The concert will climax a busy residency week for Antares: The quartet -- violinist Vesselin Gellev, cellist Rebecca Patterson, clarinetist Garrick Zoeter and pianist Erik Huebner -- will explore various aspects of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" in a series of public activities on and off campus.

Antares will introduce the "Quartet for the End of Time" in a free event at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 22, in the Iowa City Senior Center.

A free event co-sponsored by the UI Center for New Music at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building will focus on the music itself. Later that day -- at 7:30 p.m. in the Newman Center -- UI Campus Ministries will co-sponsor a free event addressing the religious meaning of the quartet.

At noon on Wednesday, March 24 Antares will be at the Hageboeck Hall of Birds in UI Macbride Hall to discuss the importance of bird songs and nature in Messiaen's music, in a free event co-sponsored by the UI Museum of Natural History. And a free event at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon in the Levitt Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building -- co-sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights -- will explore the historical and human-rights dimensions of the "Quartet for the End of Time."

In conjunction with the Antares residency activities, the UI Department of French and Italian will present "Messiaen in Double Exposure," a free lecture by Walter Strauss, Treuhaft Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25, in the Iowa Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

A French Catholic who had volunteered for the hospital corps early in World War II, Messiaen was captured by the Germans and incarcerated in a Silesian prisoner-of-war camp. When the camp commander discovered that his prisoner was a composer, he provided staff paper and a quiet location for writing music.

The resulting work -- scored for piano, violin, clarinet and cello -- was performed in 1940 by Messiaen and other prisoners before an audience of nearly 5,000 prisoners and guards. The work's eight movements -- radiating with joy and spirituality -- represent the seven days of creation, and the eighth day of eternity.

Because of Antares' unusual instrumentation, adding a clarinet to the standard piano trio, the ensemble can perform both standard chamber music repertoire -- for example, the Ravel trio -- and works that are rarely performed by touring ensembles.

Antares has won top prizes in four national chamber music competitions as well as the 1999 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Chicago Tribune praised the ensemble for "powerful virtuosity and striking razor-sharp ensemble playing,"

Cantebury Inn and Suites is the corporate sponsor of the Antares concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation. The residency is also supported by Chamber Music America's Residency Partnership Program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Helen F. Whitaker Fund and Chamber Music America Residency Endowment Fund.

The Strauss lecture is supported by Cultural Services, Consulate General of France, Chicago; the Bond Fund (UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); and the UI Department of French and Italian.

Tickets for the March 25 concert are $22 ($12 for UI students, $17.60 for senior citizens and $11 for youth) from the Hancher Auditorium box office.

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 website: .

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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