CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 1, 1999
National Symphony Orchestra performs all-American program
in Hancher Oct. 21
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Leonard Slatkin will conduct the
National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), the internationally acclaimed resident
orchestra of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in an all-American program
featuring music of Gershwin, Copland, Barber and Bolcom, at 8 p.m. Thursday,
Oct. 21, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.
The program will feature Samuel Barber's Essay No.
2, William Bolcom's Symphony No. 6, George Gershwin's "An American in Paris"
and the Symphony No. 3 by Aaron Copland.
Slatkin, the NSO's music director, will participate
in a free program, "What Makes It Great," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, at
the Iowa City Public Library. The program will be broadcast live on the library's
Gershwin and Copland are typically regarded as the
most distinctively American of orchestral composers. In the '20s and '30s,
Gershwin brought jazz, blues and Broadway song styles into American concert
music, with compositions of enduring international popularity including "Rhapsody
in Blue" and the opera "Porgy and Bess." Composed in 1928, "An American in
Paris" immediately attracted attention for its inclusion of four taxi horns
in the score.
Copland was the first composer to be recognized outside
the United States as representing the national character of American music.
In his orchestral output, the Symphony No. 3 immediately followed two of his
most well-known ballet scores, "Rodeo" and "Appalachian Spring."
Bolcom, a native of Seattle, represents a more abstract
use of tin pan alley jazz as the basis for an American classical genre.
The general public knows Samuel Barber primarily through
only one of his compositions, the "Adagio for Strings," which was featured
in the score of the film "Full Metal Jacket." An inheritor of the European
Romantic tradition, Barber's music is melodic, elegant and lyrical.
The National Symphony has earned praise around the
world for its numerous overseas tours as well as for its seasons at home.
Now in its 69th season, it is generally recognized as one of today's finest
As the orchestra of the capital of the United States,
it regularly participates in events of national and international importance.
The National Symphony often performs for presidential inaugurations and leads
the nation in its annual Independence Day and Memorial Day celebrations with
nationally televised outdoor concerts on the West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol.
The Hancher program demonstrates the National Symphony
Orchestra's ongoing commitment to the development and celebration of America's
The Orchestra's fifth music director, Leonard Slatkin,
is widely acknowledged as one of today's finest conductors, especially dedicated
to the performance of American music. The orchestra's first recording under
his direction, a disc of the music of John Corigliano, won the Grammy Award
for Best Classical Album.
In demand worldwide as a guest conductor of both orchestral
and operatic repertoire, Slatkin has made regular appearances over the last
two decades with the major orchestras and opera companies of the world. In
addition to his position with the National Symphony Orchestra, he also serves
as principal guest conductor of London's Philharmonia Orchestra. He regularly
appears with the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland,
Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo and Tel Aviv.
In 1996 Slatkin completed his highly successful music directorship of the
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, of which he is now conductor laureate.
Slatkin's career on disc includes more than100 recordings
with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra,
the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra,
and Bayerische Rundfunk. These recordings have been recognized with five Grammy
awards and more than 50 Grammy nominations.
Canterbury Inn & Suites is the corporate sponsor
of the NSO concert, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen, through
the University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets are $49, $46 and $42. UI students and senior
citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available
to UI students for $10 -- a discount of more than 75 percent. Tickets for
audience members 17 and younger are half price.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays. From the local
calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa
and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. 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.
People with special needs for access, seating and
auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered
by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking,
wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The
line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that
The entire 1999-2000 Hancher season -- including the
season-spanning Millennium Festival -- is detailed in a free brochure, "At
This Moment," which is available from the Hancher administrative offices (319-335-1130)
or the Hancher box office.
Learn more about the NSO on the World Wide Web at
For UI arts news and information, and arts calendar updates, visit the ArtsIowa