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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 10, 2007

UI Center for New Music performs contemporary Estonian music Oct. 21

The University of Iowa Center for New Music (CNM) will present a concert featuring contemporary Estonian music and new works by composers Ketty Nez, a former UI faculty member, and John Elmsly, at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert, which will be free and open to the public, will feature performances by guest pianist Peep Lassmann, who is rector of the Estonian Academy of Music in Tallinn; the UI Camerata Singers, directed by David Puderbaugh; and the CNM Ensemble, directed by David Gompper, with cello soloists Anthony Arnone and Hannah Holman from the UI faculty.

Featured on the concert will be the world premiere of "beyond release" for two cellos and chamber ensemble by Nez. The score will be performed by Arnone and Holman with Gompper and the CNM Ensemble. Gompper commissioned "beyond release" from Nez, who knew both soloists and members of the CNM group from her tenure on the UI faculty 2003-05.

"I started sketching a 'concertante' work featuring the solo cello," Nez writes, "but several months and many notes later, had a thought: what could be better than one cello? The rich combination of two celli presented itself, as well as the considerable challenge of counterpointing the soloist's mid- and low-range timbres against the rich orchestral palette."

Lassmann will open the concert, playing solo piano works by two Estonian composers. Ester Mägi often writes music based on Estonian folk melodies, including the two pieces on the program: "Lapimaa joiud" (Folk songs from Lapland) and "Vana kannel" (Old zither).

A more modernist composer, Lepo Sumera is noted for the use of contrasting patterns, such as the juxtaposition of playfulness and suffering, show and drama, or masquerade and boundless sincerity. Lassmann's will play Sumera's "Pardon, Frederic" and "Symphony."

Puderbaugh, who received a Fulbright grant to study the music of Estonia, will lead Camerata in three works by the prominent Estonian composer Veljo Tormis: "Kutse Jaanitulele II" (Call to the midsummer bonfire) from "Estonian Calendar Songs"; "Meil Aiaäärne Tänavas" (In our village lane) from "Five Favorite Estonian Songs"; and "Pärismaalase Lauluke" (Aboriginal song).

Elmsly teaches at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is a past president of the Composers Association of New Zealand. The concert will feature two of his works: "Four Echoes" for solo cello and "Nocturne" for bass clarinet, gentle percussion and electronic sounds.

Complete program notes for the concert, with biographies of the composers and performers, can be found at

A native Estonian, Lassmann studied at the Tallinn Musical Secondary School and the Tallinn Conservatory. He had the good fortune to study further at the Moscow Conservatoire under the famous piano professor Emil Gilels. After years of studying, he taught at the Tallinn Conservatoire/Estonian Academy of Music. He has been rector of the Estonian Academy of Music since 1992.

Gompper has been professor of composition and director of the Center for New Music at the UI since 1991. His compositions are performed throughout the United States and Europe, and he has taught, presented lectures, and performed around the world. For more information see

Puderbaugh joined the UI faculty as assistant director of choral activities in 2006. He conducts Camerata and teaches graduate choral literature. For more information see

A founding member of the Meriden Trio and the Sedgwick String Quartet, Arnone was principal cellist of the Madison Symphony in Wisconsin, 1996-2001. He has taught and performed across the country, and joined the UI music faculty in 2001. For more information see

Holman is cellist of the Maia Quartet at the UI School of Music. She has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra cellist, including principal cello with the Cedar Rapids Symphony, and joined the Maia Quartet in the summer of 2002. For more information see

A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the CNM is part of the UI Division of Performing Arts. The center supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guest artists. For more information see the CNM Web site at

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

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: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),