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Release: Jan. 7, 2000

Yo-Yo Ma returns to Hancher for Jan. 26 'New Goldberg Variations' concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma will make his sixth visit to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium for a concert of "The New Goldberg Variations," accompanied by pianist Kathryn Stott, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Sandwiched between performances of the Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations, Ma and Stott will play a series of new variations on the aria -- "The New Goldberg Variations" -- written for Ma by contemporary composers Kenneth Frazelle, Christopher Rouse, Peter Lieberson, John Corigliano, Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach) and Richard Danielpour.

Also included in the concert will be the Sonata in G minor, opus 19, by Rachmaninoff, and the Suite Italienne by Stravinsky.

Massachusetts music-lover Judy Goldberg commissioned the new variations in memory of her husband. Bach's Goldberg Variations were played at their wedding, and the Goldberg Variations II Project began as an idea to celebrate the couple's 25th anniversary. But when her husband died before the realization of the project, it was continued as a memorial to him.

As part of their Iowa visit, Ma and Stott will also discuss and demonstrate the interpretation, rehearsal and performance of music from their repertoire for elementary through high-school students in a statewide interactive broadcast on the Iowa Communications Network. The event will launch the partnership between the Hancher/ICN educational activities and the Iowa Bankers Association.

Ma is the world's best known cellist -- one in the handful of major classical artists whose name and face are instantly recognizable even to those with little knowledge or experience of classical music.

One of the most celebrated and beloved virtuosos in classical music, Ma also is a musical adventurer who has brought his warmth to settings from Sesame Street to collaborations with Bobby McFerrin, diverse chamber artists, bluegrass musicians, tango specialists and experimental composers.

Ma's discography of more than 45 albums includes 10 Grammy Award winners. In November 1997 he was named Artist of the Year in the Gramophone Awards.

Iowa State Bank and Trust Company is the corporate sponsor of the Yo-Yo Ma concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Learn more about Yo-Yo Ma at <http://www.sonyclassical.com/artists/ma/> on the World Wide Web. For information on UI arts, visit <http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr>.

Tickets for Yo-Yo Ma are $48, $45.50 and $43. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for children 17 and younger are half price. Hancher volume-purchase discounts are still available.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance 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 technology.