CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Pianist Uriel Tsachor and cellist Uri Vardi will present UI faculty-guest
recital April 13
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pianist Uriel Tsachor from the University of Iowa
School of Music faculty will be joined by cellist Uri Vardi for a free
faculty/guest recital at 8 p.m. Monday, April 13 in Clapp Recital Hall
on the UI campus.
The first half of their program will feature works based on folk music
of the Jewish peoples of eastern Europe. The second half will feature two
works from the standard 19th-century cello and piano repertoire: the "Fantasy
Pieces" op. 73 of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms' Sonata in E
minor, op. 38.
Works on the first half of the program are by Leo Zeitlin, Michael Gnessin,
Alexander Weprik and Joseph Achron. All these little-known composers were
born in the 1880s in Russia. As young men they were associated with the
Society for Jewish Folk Music of St. Petersburg, a group which existed
from 1908 to 1918.
The group came about in part from the encouragement of the great Russian
composer and teacher Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov, who advised his Jewish students
to consider composition in their ethnic idiom, as Glinka had done in Russia
and Dvorak and Smetana had done in Bohemia.
The members of the Society for Jewish Folk Music dedicated themselves
to composing music of an artistic nature based on the folk spirit of the
Eastern European Jewish peoples. They began investigating Jewish folk songs
in communities from northern to southern Russia, and they composed music
based on the traditional melodies that had been preserved in both the synagogue
and the marketplace.
Most characteristic of both the folk music they recorded and their own
original compositions is the use of a particular musical mode, or scale
type, found primarily in the Middle East.
Although born in Hungary, Vardi grew up on a kibbutz in Israel. He studied
cello at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, and later with the master
teachers Janos Starker at Indiana University and Aldo Parisot at Yale University.
He has served as principal cellist of the Israel Sinfonietta and the Israel
Chamber Orchestra, in addition to appearances as soloist with both orchestras.
Vardi has also recorded and toured Israel and Italy with the Sol-La-Re
String Quartet, founded a chamber music series in Tel Aviv and taught for
many years at the Israel Conservatory and the Jerusalem Music Center. He
joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in 1990.
He has given cello and chamber music master classes at Indiana University,
the New England Conservatory, Yale and the Eastman School of Music, and
at summer festivals around the world. Most recently, Vardi has toured the
United States and Israel in 1997 and '98 with "Fusions," a concert
of western Jewish music and Arabic art music for cello, oud (a stringed
instrument characteristic of Arabic North Africa) and piano.
Vardi visited the UI campus in October 1995, when he presented a free
guest recital and a master class for cello students.
Uriel Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall
of 1988. The first prize-winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International
Competition in 1986, the second prize-winner of the Busoni Competition
in 1985 and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983,
he is a graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and the Juilliard
School in New York. He has performed as a soloist in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem,
New York, Chicago, Vienna, Paris, and other cities around the world.
Tsachor has performed with the Israel Philharmonic by invitation from
Zubin Mehta. He has also appeared as soloist with the New York City Symphony,
the Teatro La Fenice Symphony in Venice and the National Orchestra of Belgium,
among others. He has performed both live and in recordings for radio and
television stations in Israel, Europe and the United States, and he has
made recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia
and EMS labels.