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University of Iowa News Release

May 13, 2005

Austrian Cellist Panhofer Will Present Free Solo Recital At UI May 22

Wolfgang Panhofer, an Austrian cellist who has been called "absolutely brilliant" by the Viennese press, will play a free recital as a guest of the University of Iowa Center for New Music at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Panhofer will play a program of music for solo cello from the 18th to the 21st centuries. The complete program will be:

-- Sonata op. 31 by Egon Wellesz, composed in 1920;

-- Suite No. 2 in D minor, S1008, by J.S. Bach;

-- "3 Signs," op. 53, written in 2002 by Thomas Daniel Schlee, which are being premiered on Panhofer's current concert tour in the United States;

-- "Cellare," composed in March of this year by Alfred Peschek, which is also being premiered on the current tour; and

-- Sonata for cello solo by Wolfram Wagner, which was written for and premiered by Panhofer in 1990.

This will be Panhofer's second visit to the UI campus. On his previous appearance in 2000 -- just one day before his New York debut recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall -- he also played a program of music for solo cello.

Wellesz was a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg, creator of the 12-tone system of composition, and a close friend of composers Alban Berg and Anton Webern. A specialist in Byzantine music, he became a professor at Oxford University, England. The Sonata op. 31 consists of one movement and was written in two days in August of 1920. It begins and ends with a slow motive in common time, repeated throughout the piece with slight variations.

Bach's s six suites for solo cello, composed around 1720, are the earliest works to earn a permanent place in the virtuoso cello repertoire. 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 range of rhythmic styles and expressive possibilities -- qualities that have made the solo suites an essential part of any cellist's repertoire.

The director of the festival "Carinthischer Sommer," Schlee tours internationally as organist and does editorial and publication work. His compositions include works for orchestra, ensembles, vocal, choral, chamber and instrumental music, including many pieces for or including organ.

Peschek is a composer, musicologist and music publisher based in his home city of Linz, Austria. He taught at the Bruckner Conservatory, now the University of Linz. Currently he lives as freelance composer who attempts to combine sound colors and acoustic music with elements of electronic, movement and graphic arts.

Wagner studied in Vienna, London and Frankfurt. In 1992 he was the Composer in Residence at the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and is currently a professor in composition, harmony and counterpoint at the University for Music in Vienna. His works include three operas, a ballet, two oratorios, several orchestral works, chamber music and works for choir. The Sonata for cello solo was written for Panhofer, who not only premiered it in 1990 but also recorded it for Austrian radio and performed it on many tours around the world. The sonata requires a great deal of virtuosity with its artificial harmonics and double stops as well as inner depth in its lyrical parts.

Panhofer was born in Vienna and studied cello at the Vienna Academy for Music and the Royal Northern College of Music in England, and he has participated in master classes with many of the world's leading cellists. At the age of 17 he became the youngest member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has won several prizes and competitions, including the Sir John Barbirolli Prize in England and the Austrian Broadcasting Competition. He has given concerts throughout Europe, in Africa, Asia and the United States, and has participated in major music festivals including the Carinthian Summer Festival, Wiener Festwochen (Vienna festival weeks) and Wien Modern Festival in Austria; the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany; the Boxhill Festival in England; and the Vivaldi Festival in Poland. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the globe and performed the 150th Birthday Anniversary Concert of Antonin Dvorak with Josef Suk, the composer's grandson, in Vienna.

The Center for New Music was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The center promotes the performance of new music by performers based at the UI and by guest artists. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. In 1986 the center received the Commendation of Excellence from Broadcast Music, Inc., the world's largest performing rights organization, and it has received grants from the Aaron Copland Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The School of Music and the Center for New Music are parts of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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