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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 20, 2001

Guest Artist Gregory Sauer Plays Solo Cello Recital Oct. 25 At UI

Gregory Sauer, a native of Davenport who teaches cello at the University of Oklahoma, will present a free University of Iowa guest recital at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, in Clapp Recital Hall.

Sauer's program will comprise works for solo cello from Bach to the 21st century:
--The First Suite for Solo Cello, op. 72, by Benjamin Britten;
--"Angel of Fire," composed in 2002 by Suzanne Sorkin; and
--the Suite No. 6 in D major for solo cello by J.S. Bach.

Composed in 1964, Britten's First Suite for solo cello is one of several works inspired by and dedicated to the legendary Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. The suite comprises of a recurring Canto, or song, and six movements. The Canto appears in three times in emotionally different guises, each followed a pair of contrasting and strongly characterized movements. Each movement has a unique character and explores various technical qualities of the cello.

In Bach's time, there was already a long tradition of unaccompanied pieces for stringed instruments, but Bach far surpassed his predecessors. His works not only show an intimate understanding of the performance techniques and possibilities of each instrument, but they also maintain a high level of musical interest, while covering a wide range of rhythmic styles and expressive possibilities.

The six suites for solo cello, composed around 1720, are the earliest works to earn a permanent place in the virtuoso cello repertoire. They were written while Bach was music director at the court of Prince Leopold of Coethen. A number of Bach's greatest instrumental works were written about the same time, including the sonatas and partitas for solo violin and the Brandenburg Concertos.

Sauer attended the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory. In addition to serving as assistant professor of music at the University of Oklahoma, he is cellist of Quartet Oklahoma, principal cellist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra and assistant principal of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. He is active as a recitalist, performing throughout Oklahoma and the Midwest on a regular basis.

As a prizewinner in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Ima Hogg National competitions, Sauer has performed concertos with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the New American Chamber Orchestra and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. As a member of the Fidelio String Quartet, he performed concerts throughout the United States, including festival appearances at Tanglewood, Aspen Music Festival, Round Top Music Festival and Chamber Music West. He also serves as co-artistic director of Chamber Music Quad Cities and has performed recently at the Swannanoa Music Festival, the Garth Newel Music Center and the Boulder (Colo.) Modern Music Festival.

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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