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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 14, 2011

UI Symphony Orchestra opens 2011-12 season with pianist Lecuona

Faculty pianist Rene Lecuona will be the guest soloist in Grieg's Concerto for Piano in A minor when William LaRue Jones and the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra open their 2011-12 season with a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Other works on the program are the Waltz Sequence No. 1 from "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss, celebrating the centennial of the popular comic opera's premiere; and the picturesque "Pines of Rome" by Ottorino Respighi.

Norwegian composer Edward Grieg only completed a single piano concerto, early in his musical career, but it endures as one of his most frequently performed and recorded works. In fact, in 1909 it became the first piano concerto ever recorded, and parts of it have been used in several movies and TV shows.

Lecuona has won critical acclaim in the United States and Europe, and her playing has been featured on many compact discs, including a recording of the music of Margaret Brouwer that won the 2000 Contemporary Art Music Burton Award. She may be heard on Centaur Records, Innova Recordings, Capstone Records, Cybele Recording, Albany Records and Composers Recordings International.

"Der Rosenkavalier" was so popular that scores for concert performance were spun off. Unsatisfied with an earlier version, Strauss arranged his "First Waltz Sequence" in 1944, at the age of 80.

Respighi composed "The Pines of Rome" in 1924 to portray trees in several Roman locations at various times of the day -- the Pines of the Villa Borghese, Pines near a catacomb, the Pines of the Janiculum and the Pines of the Appian Way. This work, along with "The Fountains of Rome" and "Roman Festivals," have become fixtures of the orchestral repertoire.

For a biography of Jones, visit

The School of Music is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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