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University of Iowa News Release


March 14, 2008

Photo: Flutist Nicole Esposito will perform with the University Symphony Orchestra March 26

Flutist Esposito performs with UI Symphony March 26

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra (UISO) will present flutist Nicole Esposito, new to the UI faculty last fall, in a performance of the Concerto for Flute by Lowell Liebermann on their next concert, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The concert, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will also feature the Overture to "Der Freischütz" by Carl Maria von Weber and the Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major by Robert Schumann, known as the "Spring" Symphony.

The performance is part of the 2007-08 subscription series of concerts by the UISO. The final date in the series of ticketed concerts presented by the UISO in Hancher Auditorium will be May 7, when Timothy Hankewich, music director and conductor of the Cedar Rapids Symphony, will be the guest conductor.

Esposito said she feels a particular affinity for Liebermann's music, going back to hearing a performance of the concerto by her teacher when she was in high school.

"My teacher at the time was performing a concerto with an orchestra that was conducted by the same conductor as my youth orchestra," she said. "I was overjoyed that these two influential musicians in my life were collaborating together ... From the first notes to the rousing finally, I knew that it was a piece that I had to perform one day. I am so happy that I get to do this at the UI in my first year on the faculty.

"The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra is simply a fantastic work. Like many of Liebermann's pieces it seems to take the listener on a real journey, completely holding the attention of both the performer and audience from start to finish."

Weber's opera "Der Freischütz" -- literally translated "the free shooter," referring to a hunter who is not part of an aristocratic estate -- was first performed in Berlin in 1821. Both the story, with its mixture of deep romanticism and black magic, and Weber's colorful music captured the imagination of the German public, and the opera quickly became extremely popular throughout German-speaking lands. The overture, with its suggestion of German forests and exciting drama, has become a staple of the orchestral repertoire worldwide.

Schumann wrote his First Symphony in January and February 1841. This was during the early and happiest months of the composer's marriage to Clara Wieck. The match had been opposed by Clara's father, and the couple had to wait until Clara turned 21, and eventually to sue in court, to be permitted to marry.

After they were finally married in the summer of 1840, Schumann experienced a surge of creativity, writing more than 150 songs that year. At Clara's urging, he also turned from songs and piano pieces to write his first orchestral work, the Symphony No. 1, in January and February of 1841. The work had its first performance in Leipzig almost exactly 167 years ago, on March 31, 1841, in a performance conducted by Felix Mendelssohn.

Even though he wrote the symphony during winter months, Schumann was thinking about spring -- like most Iowans during March! He later wrote a letter to the conductor Wilhelm Tauber, who was leading a performance of the symphony in Berlin: "Could you infuse into your orchestra a sort of longing for spring? This was what I felt most while writing this work."

Esposito joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 2007. She has achieved a career as a soloist, teacher, chamber and orchestral musician on an international level and has been a featured soloist and recitalist at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Detroit Institute for the Arts, the Musikhochschule - Wuppertal, Germany, and the North American Cultural Center of Costa Rica. Esposito has also performed at numerous National Flute Association Conventions and many regional flute conferences. For more information see

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. The founding director of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with professional, festival, collegiate and student ensembles throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. See

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at

Individual tickets to University Symphony concerts are $10; UI student and youth $5; senior citizen $7. Hancher Auditorium box office school-year business hours are 10 a.m. to 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. Fax to 319-353-2284. 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 also may be ordered at

Hancher box office 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.

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.

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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; cell: 319-541-2846;