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University of Iowa News Release

March 17, 2005

Piano Festival Guest Recitals Will Be April 1 And 7 At UI School of Music

Two guest pianists will present recitals at the University of Iowa as part of the annual Piano Festival at the UI School of Music: Dmitry Rachmanov will include works from his native Russia in his recital program at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 1; and Logan Skelton from the University of Michigan will include music by Franz Liszt and his own work on his recital, at 8 p.m. Friday, April 7.

Both concerts will be in Clapp Recital Hall and will be open to the public free of charge.

Both guests will also present a master class with UI students that is open to the public: Rachmanov at 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2, in Clapp Recital Hall, and Skelton from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 8, in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building.

An annual event, the Piano Festival is a celebration of piano performance and teaching. It typically includes master classes for UI students and free public performances from outstanding visiting artist-teachers from around the world.

The complete program for Rachmanov's April 1 recital will be:

-- Three "Moments Musicaux," D780, by Franz Schubert;

-- Schubert's Sonata in D Major, D 850;

-- Nocturne in F Major, op. 10 no. 1, and Humoresque, op. 10 no. 2, by Tchaikovsky;

-- Barcarolle, op. 10 no. 3, and Prelude in B-Flat Major, op. 23 no. 2by Sergei Rachmaninoff; and

-- several works by Alexander Scriabin, including the Fantasy in B Minor, op. 28.

For his recital April 7, Skelton will play:

-- Improvisations, op. 20, by Bela Bartok;

-- Franz Liszt's arrangement of music from Richard Wagner's "Tannhauser';

-- Liszt's "La Lugubre Gondola";

-- The "Liebestod" (Love death) from Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" in Liszt's virtuoso piano arrangement;

-- Liszt's "Am Grabe Richard Wagners" (At Richard Wagner's grave);

-- Skelton's "Civil War Variations"; and

-- Liszt's Sonata in B minor.

Rachmanov has appeared at international festivals in France, Holland, Croatia, Canada, England and the United States. His recitals, chamber engagements and orchestral appearances have taken him to London's Barbican Centre; the Kennedy Center and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; Chicago's Cultural Center,; San Francisco's Old First Concerts; New York's Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and the 92nd Street Y; and to numerous countries from Jamaica to Slovenia.

His repertoire ranges from Bach to Bartok and from the German Romantics to the Russian 20th-century avant-garde. Critics have called his performances "dazzling," "thrilling," "soulful" and "deeply moving."

Due to his interest in historical performance practice, Rachmanov has made regular appearances performing on 18th-century fortepianos at Massachusetts' Frederick Historic Piano Collection.

He is also an avid proponent of the Russian repertoire. His 1989 US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Sonata was broadcast nationwide by National Public Radio, and his 1998 recital at Merkin Concert Hall, "The Art of the 19th-Century Russian Character Piece," was noted by the New York Times for the "considerable color and focus" he brought to the individual works. A founding member of the Scriabin Society of America, Rachmanov gave a four-recital series that included all 10 Scriabin piano sonatas to celebrate the composer's 120th anniversary in 1992.

Skelton has received international acclaim as pianist, teacher and composer. He has performed widely in the United States, Europe and Asia and has been featured on many public radio and television stations including NPR's "Audiophile Audition," "Performance Today," "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition."

He has recorded nine discs of solo and chamber repertoire for Centaur, Albany and Crystal Records in addition to performing on two pianos with composer/pianist William Bolcom on a disc for Naxos Records.

As a composer he has a special affinity for art song, having composed numerous song cycles.

As a pianist Skelton performs a wide repertoire as both soloist and chamber musician. He is known for his lecture/recitals, often presenting Bartok's piano music. He has appeared as guest artist at the Music Teachers National Association Convention, Chautauqua Institution and the Indiana University Summer Piano Academy, as well as the American Romanian, Eastern, Tunghai, New Orleans and Hilton Head Island festivals.

He is a member of the artist piano faculty and associate director of the Prague International Piano Master classes, and he is a frequent juror for international piano competitions.

His piano students have repeatedly won awards in many international competitions, and his former students hold positions of prominence in music schools and conservatories throughout the world. He was honored recently by the University of Michigan as the recipient of the Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching.

He has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Missouri State University, and is currently chair of the piano department, associate professor of piano and director of doctoral Studies in piano performance at the University of Michigan.

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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