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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 26, 2009

School of Music will present Liszt Festival, lectures and performances, Feb. 6-7

Alan Walker, author of an award-winning three-volume biography of the great 19th-century virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt, will be a guest speaker when the University of Iowa School of Music presents its first Iowa Liszt Festival, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7.

In addition to two lectures by Walker, the festival will feature performances by School of Music faculty and students. All events will be held on the UI campus and are free and open to the public:

--1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6: "Liszt and the Keyboard," lecture by Walker in Room150 Clinton Street Music 376.
--5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6: Live broadcast of "Know the Score" with Joan Kjaer and guests from the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol.
--11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7: "Liszt as a Cultural Ambassador of the 19th Century," lecture by Walker in Macbride Hall Auditorium.
--3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7: Solo piano recital by faculty and students of the School of Music in Macbride Hall Auditorium.
--7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7: Gala Concert featuring solo, chamber and orchestral performances with the UI Chamber Orchestra and School of Music faculty soloists in Macbride Hall Auditorium.

The festival was organized by Ksenia Nosikova, a member of the piano faculty at the UI School of Music. Nosikova, who has performed and recorded Liszt's complete piano cycle "Years of Pilgrimage," will be a soloist on the Gala Concert.

Nosikova wrote, "The quintessential Romantic, Franz Liszt is widely known for his innovative virtuosic style of piano performance, but throughout his lifetime he also sought to elevate the musician's role in the enrichment of society and serve as a cultural ambassador to the people of his country and abroad.

"Our festival is designed as a two-day long display of UI musical performing talent, a celebration of Liszt's incomparable music and a heart-felt tribute to his philosophy of generous professional support and collegiality."

"Know the Score" will be broadcast live from 5-7 p.m. Friday. Part of the monthly arts and humanities series hosted by Joan Kjaer, the program can be heard at that time on radio station KSUI, 91.7 FM (101.7 FM in Dubuque); KUNZ, 91.1 FM, Ottumwa; and KHKE, 89.5 FM in Cedar Falls/Waterloo. It will be rebroadcast 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, on the Iowa Public Radio classical network.

Walker will be the lead guest on the program. Other guests will include Nosikova and other faculty members who will perform on the Gala Concert -- pianist Uriel Tsachor, soprano Rachel Joselson, baritone Stephen Swanson, members of the Matisse Trio, pianist Shari Rhoads and William LaRue Jones, UI director of orchestral activities -- and pianist Joshua Russell, a music graduate student. They will perform and discuss Liszt's music.

Craig and Nancy Willis of Willis and Willis Law, Security Abstract Company, and Security Escrow and Settlement are sponsors of "Know the Score LIVE!" broadcasts. Refreshments will be provided by the Motley Cow Café.

For the solo piano concert on Saturday afternoon, Nosikova will perform "Venizia e Napoli" (Venice and Naples) from "Italie, Années de Pèlerinage" (Italy, Years of pilgrimage); Tsachor will perform three works: "En Rêve (Nocturne)" (Dreaming, a nocturne), "Nuages Gris" (Gray clouds) and the Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F minor; and a number of music students will perform other works by Liszt.

With repertoire ranging from solo piano to orchestral music, Saturday's Gala Concert will present many different facets of Liszt's creativity. The complete program will be:

--Polonaise in E major performed by Nosikova.
--Three songs performed by soprano Rachel Joselson with pianist Shari Rhoads.
--Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9, performed by the Matisse Trio.
--The Second "Valse oubliée" and Ballade No. 2 in B minor performed by Tsachor.
--A group of songs performed by Swanson and pianist Joshua Russell.
--"Malediction" for piano and orchestra, performed by Nosikova with the UI Chamber Orchestra under Jones's direction.

A former producer with the BBC Music Division in London and a professor emeritus at McMaster University in Canada, Walker is director of "The Great Romantics," an annual festival in Hamilton, Ontario. He received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in biography in 1983 for the first volume of his Liszt biography, and the Royal Philharmonic Society Book Award in 1999 for the completed three-volume series. The New York Times review of biography noted, "Walker seems to know everything about Liszt and anything connected with Liszt." Walker has also written extensively about Robert Schumann and Frederic Chopin.

Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and South America. She has been invited to perform at international festivals Europe as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals in the United States. Among her recordings are the complete "Years of Pilgrimage" by Franz Liszt, released by Centaur Records to critical acclaim. For more information visit

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. For more information visit

Information on other UI School of Music faculty members may be found on the school's faculty Web page 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

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then 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),