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Release: Immediate

Baroque performance specialist McGegan will lecture at UI Oct. 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Noted Baroque music performance specialist Nicholas McGegan will be an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, presenting a series of lectures and workshops that will culminate in a lecture/concert of music by Rameau and Handel at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The lecture and performance, featuring McGegan with the UI Chamber Orchestra, Kantorei and soloists, will be free and open to the public.

During his three-day visit to the UI campus McGegan will also present lectures and workshops for music students, hold open rehearsals and demonstrations of the works included in the Oct. 30 program, and host a question-answer session with students.

The Handel work on the Oct. 30 lecture concert program will be the choral ode "L'Allegro, Il Pensieroso ed il Moderato," featuring soloists Thea Engelson, Margaret Lanning, Yatsi Leung, LeAnne Foust and Lisa Hearne, sopranos; Dirk Garner, tenor and Matthew Faerber, baritone.

Arias by Rameau will be sung by graduate students Yatsi Leung and Thea Engelson, sopranos; Jake Endres, baritone; and John Des Marais, tenor.

Handel's ode is a setting in English of poetry by John Milton concerning the outlooks of three contrasting personalities -- one who is cheerful ("L'Allegro"), one who is morose and one who is moderate. Although it is not performed as often as "Messiah" and other sacred works by Handel, it is considered one of his major choral works.

One of the public events during McGegan's visit will examine Handel's compositional process in creating "L'Allegro." "Milton and Handel: A composition goes from text to music" will feature a discussion between McGegan and UI faculty member Alan Nagel from the program in Literature, Science and the Arts at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building.

A noted conductor and scholar with expertise in the performance of music from the Baroque and classical eras, McGegan has been director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra of San Francisco since 1985. He is also artistic director of the Goettingen Handel Festival, principal guest conductor of the Scottish Opera, and the founder, director and harpsichordist for the Arcadian Academy, a chamber group specializing in 17th- and early 18th-century music.

McGegan has guest conducted major symphony and Baroque orchestras around the world. He has conducted more than 40 operas in Europe and the United States, ranging from Monteverdi to Stravinsky. He has made recordings both as flutist and harpsichordist, in addition to more than 35 recordings as conductor.

The premiere vocal ensemble of the School of Music, Kantorei consists primarily of graduate students in choral conducting or voice. The group tours extensively, performing throughout Iowa and across the Midwest, and by invitation at choral festivals around the world. Recently Kantorei was chosen to perform a concert in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for a convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

In the fall of 1996 Kantorei participated in an International Choral Competition in Tolosa, Spain. Prior to that honor, Kantorei was one of only five choirs chosen to participate in the 1994 World Choral Festival in Seoul, South Korea. In 1990 they performed the Mozart "Requiem" with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and other orchestras in the former Soviet Union and also gave concerts in Russia, Estonia and Finland.

McGegan's activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Beam Visiting Professor program, which brings distinguished scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. The program was begun in 1977 with funds provided by the estate of Ida Beam of Vinton.

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Following is a complete schedule of events in the UI Voxman Music Building with Nicholas McGegan that will be open to the public free of charge:

Tuesday, Oct. 28

-- 9 a.m., Room 1077, "Music and Performance Conditions in the 18th century."

-- 1 p.m., Voxman Hall. Rehearsal and performance practice demonstration with UI students performing arias by Rameau and Handel; McGegan with Kantorei, the UI Chamber Orchestra and soloists.

-- 3 p.m., Harper Hall. "Milton and Handel: A composition goes from text to music"; McGegan and UI faculty member Alan Nagel.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

-- 9 a.m., Room 1077. "Performance Practice in the 18th Century," featuring discussions of instruments, ornamentation and tempo.

-- 1 p.m., Room 1077. Rehearsal and performance practice demonstration with UI students performing arias by Rameau and Handel; McGegan with Kantorei and soloists.

Thursday, Oct. 30

-- 10:30 a.m., Harper Hall. Question-answer session.

-- 1:30 p.m., Voxman Hall. Rehearsal and performance practice demonstration with UI students performing arias by Rameau and Handel; McGegan with Kantorei, the UI Chamber Orchestra and soloists.

-- 4 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall. Lecture Concert. McGegan with Kantorei, the UI Chamber Orchestra and soloists.

10/17/97