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University of Iowa News Release


Release: Oct. 26, 2006

Family Classic 'Peter And The Wolf' Will Be Performed In Hancher Nov. 12

Rob Kapilow's FamilyMusik and the PickleShoes Dance Company will perform their fresh and audience-involving version of Prokofiev's family classic, "Peter and the Wolf," at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

Kapilow conducts a chamber orchestra and provides the narration, while the PickleShoes dancers -- an offshoot of Pilobolus -- give a theatrical twist to the musical tale, in which each character is represented by an instrument or section in the orchestra.

Prokofiev wrote this enduring favorite in only two weeks, for a 1936 children's theater performance in Moscow. The composer invented the story and wrote the narration himself, drawing on childhood memories, constructing the piece as an engaging introduction to the orchestra: Peter is represented by the strings, the grandfather by the bassoon, the bird by the flute, the duck by the oboe, the cat by the clarinet, the wolf by the horns and the hunter by the tympani.

"Peter and the Wolf" has had a long tradition of celebrity narrators, including Peter Ustinov, Boris Karloff, Sterling Holloway, Carol Channing, Sir Alec Guinness, Sean Connery, Leonard Bernstein, David Bowie, Sting, Patrick Stewart, Bobby McFerrin, Bill Clinton, Dudley Moore, Sir John Gielgud and David Attenborough. Disney, "Sesame Street," Alan Sherman and even Weird Al Yankovich have added their own twists to the popular story, helping to solidify its status as a family classic.

Kapilow's career as a composer, conductor and commentator is dedicated to sharing the joy and wonder of classical music with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. As a Kansas City Star article put it, "If you think you don't like classical music, you haven't met Rob Kapilow ... . He's as lively as a top-flight sports announcer and as entertaining as a stand-up comedian. But he's also got substance in spades."

Time Out New York Kids dubbed him "a kind of Bill Nye the Science Guy for classical music," and Katie Couric called him "a wonderful guy who brings music alive!"

One of the busiest people on the classical music scene, he not only leads FamilyMusik but also presents interactive "What Makes it Great?" and "Citypieces" concerts, and will soon premiere his new "Tap Dance Concerto."

Kapilow has conducted many new works of musical theater, ranging from the Tony Award-winning "Nine" on Broadway to the premiere of "Frida" for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Next Wave Festival" and premieres of works for the American Repertory Theater. He has been co-director of the Rutgers SummerFest Festival, assistant conductor of the Opera Company of Boston and Music Director of the touring company Opera New England, and conductor of the Kansas City Symphony's summer FamilyFare program. He was also music director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra for five seasons.

Kapilow has written numerous commissioned works, including the first musical setting of a Dr. Seuss work, "Green Eggs and Ham." His "Green Eggs and Hamadeus" combines his own work and Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" to create a lively performance/discussion. Other compositions include Dr. Seuss's "Gertrude McFuzz"; musical settings of Chris Van Allsburg's "Polar Express" and Michael Rosen's "Elijah's Angel" for the winter holiday; his first opera, "Many Moons," based on the James Thurber story; and "Play Ball!," a setting of "Casey at the Bat."

"Peter and the Wolf" is supported by Hills Bank and Trust Company; Universal Climate Control, Thomas and Kathryn Nereim, owners; and an anonymous family foundation, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $20/17/14; UI student $18/15/12.60; senior citizen $18/15.30/12.60; youth $14/11.90/9.80. Discounted concert tickets are available as part of volume purchases: A simultaneous purchase of five events or more qualifies for a 15-percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. 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 Web site: <>.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;

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