Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 21, 2006

Pianist Rothenberg Combines Music, Poetry And Images In Oct. 11 Hancher Concert

Pianist Sarah Rothenberg will perform "Epigraph for a Condemned Book," a multimedia concert combining music, poetry, images and theatrical lighting, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

The concert is part of the 2006 Daniel Pearl World Music Days, established in 2002 in memory of the Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and murdered that year in Pakistan. The goal of the World Music Days is to connect the world's people through music. Information is available at

Rothenberg, the artistic director of Da Camera of Houston and a frequent performer on Lincoln Center's Great Performers series, has conceived and directed numerous theatrical concerts including the Music and the Literary Imagination series, presented throughout the United States and Europe.

In "Epigraph for a Condemned Book," she connects the solo piano music of Chopin, the poetry of Baudelaire, the painting of Delacroix and scenes of the 19th-century cultural life of Paris through projections and live piano performance lit by legendary designer Jennifer Tipton. The concert takes its name from Baudelaire's poetry collection, "The Flowers of Evil," which was banned in France from 1857 to 1949.

The concert will conclude a three-day UI residency that will begin with an interview by Barney Sherman at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, on UI radio station KSUI-FM 91.7. Listen on the Internet at

The public is also invited to a free event at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library, where Rothenberg will meet with combined classes from the French department.

In addition, Rothenberg will meet with poets from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the International Writing Program. In one session Rothenberg will demonstrate how Chopin created mood, expectation, rhythm and surprise in his music, and connect these techniques to those used by poets. In a second session, the poets will share their responses to her presentation.

A champion of both contemporary music and forgotten works from the past, Rothenberg performed the American premiere of Fanny Mendelssohn's piano cycle "Das Jahr" (The year) in 1991. Her recording of "Das Jahr" received the Best Solo Classical Recording Award from the Association of Independent Recording Companies in 1996. She also received international attention for "Rediscovering the Russian Avant-garde 1912-1925: Lourie, Roslavetz and Mosolov."

She has also recorded for the BBC, CRI and Bridge Records, and with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon.

Prior to coming to Da Camera, Rothenberg co-founded the Bard Music Festival and served as co-artistic director for the festival's first five seasons. She was member pianist of the Da Capo Chamber Players from 1985-94 and has premiered more than 75 new works. As chamber musician she has collaborated with members of the American, Brentano, Emerson, Schoenberg, St. Lawrence and Juilliard string quartets.

Rothenberg appears frequently as a public speaker on musical, literary and cultural issues. She has been a senior fellow at the Vera List Institute for Art and Politics at the New School University and serves on the board of directors of Chamber Music America. Her writings have appeared in the Musical Quarterly, Chamber Music, "The Crisis of Criticism," the World Policy Journal, Nexus and the literary journal Conjunctions.

The Sarah Rothenberg concert in Hancher is supported by Donald Heistad through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $38/35/32; UI student $34.20/15; senior citizen $34.20/31.50/28.80; youth $26.60/24.50/22.40. 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 website:

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,