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Release: Nov. 22, 2000

Violinist Vogel Continues Her Explorations Of The Musical Unknown

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel, who has become a tireless explorer of the musical unknown since arriving at the University of Iowa two years ago, will continue her programming adventures by playing music by Hans Gal on a duo recital with pianist Rene Lecuona at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Their UI School of Music faculty recital will be free and open to the public.

Gal, who is best known to music historians for his scholarly work rather than his considerable output as a composer, will be represented on the program with his Sonata op. 17 for violin & piano. The "known" portion of the program will feature Johannes Brahms’s Sonata in E-flat major, op. 120, (arranged for violin from its better known original form for clarinet or viola), and Maurice Ravel’s virtuoso showpiece "Tzigane."

Vogel and Lecuona will open the recital with Witold Lutoslawski’s Partita for violin & piano, a contemporary virtuoso challenge for the violinist and another unknown piece for most audiences.

During the fall semester, Vogel has already performed a chamber music concert in September and a duo recital with pianist Uriel Tsachor in November. Both of those performances reflected her stated aim of creating "exciting program combinations that present the known with the unknown," as did the Magisterra Chamber Music Festival last May, which Vogel directed.

For her part, Lecuona has also been busy during the fall semester, with performances with soprano Rachel Joselson and the Meridian Trio in September, and two all-Bach programs with violinist Leopold La Fosse in November.

The program for Dec. 9 was created around the Gal sonata, which Vogel and Lecuona hope to record for a planned CD of Gal’s works. The pairing of Gal and Brahms sonatas seemed natural, since Gal’s best-known work is his biography of Brahms, published in 1961. Around these two relatively serious sonatas, Vogel placed two virtuoso show pieces, still maintaining the "known/unknown" duality that characterizes the rest of the program.

Hans Gal was born in 1890 near Vienna and died in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1987. He composed more than 100 published works, including four operas, four symphonies, two large-scale cantatas, three concertos, and a large number of orchestral, chamber, piano and vocal works.

As a young man he won several major musical prizes. Following considerable early success, particularly with his opera "Die Heilige Ente" (The holy duck), he became director of the Conservatory in Mainz, Germany, in 1929. The Nazi occupation of Mainz in 1933 brought instant dismissal from office, and Hitler’s ban on all music by Jewish composers ended his career in

Germany. He returned to Vienna, but, with the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938 he was forced to emigrate to Britain. He settled in Edinburgh, where he became lecturer at the University.

Gal’s music is deeply rooted in the Austro-German musical tradition, descending from the legacy of Brahms. Nonetheless, by his early 20s Gal had found his own distinctive musical language, which he maintained with remarkable consistency through all of the stylistic developments and changing fashions of the early 20th century. His music combines intricate contrapuntal texture with a continuous flow of melody, and lyricism with emotional restraint.

Vogel joined the UI faculty in January 1999. She teaches violin and is the artistic director of Magisterra, the UI International Chamber Music Festival and Academy that was inaugurated in May 2000. She has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, playing as a soloist with orchestra, a solo recitalist and chamber musician. She has appeared at the Aspen, Ravinia, Chautauqua, Menuhin and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, among others.

During the 1999-2000 season she presented the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano in Germany and the United States with pianist Ulrich Hofmann, including performances at the UI, and she toured Romania and Germany with critically acclaimed performances of the Brahms violin concerto.

Vogel began studying the violin with her father at the age of four. She was admitted to the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, Germany, when she was 11, one of the youngest students ever admitted to the school, and played her solo debut at the Dusseldorf, Germany, Tonhalle (Concert hall) when she was 12. She continued studies with many of the leading violinists in Europe and America, including the famed violin teacher Dorothy DeLay at the University of Southern California. She received a degree with highest honors in violin solo and chamber music from the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen and an Artist Diploma from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.

Vogel has recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Cybele and Highland labels, including music by Beethoven, Khachaturian, Smetana, Ravel, Richard Strauss and Alfred Schnittke. She has won numerous performance competitions, and has been serving on the jury of the "Jugend musiziert" (Young performers) competition in Germany since 1998.

Lecuona maintains an active teaching and performing schedule at the UI School of Music, including frequent collaborations with her faculty colleagues. Since joining the faculty in 1990 she has appeared in more than 60 on-campus concerts. She is featured on several CD recordings, including one with double bassist Diana Gannett, of chamber music by Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Most recently she performed and presented master classes in Mexico. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance in Weill Recital Hall in 1993, and she has appeared as concerto soloist with orchestras in New York and Iowa.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.