CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 1, 2000
(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Sengstschmid is pronounced ZENKST-shmeed.)
Center for New Music presents Austrian violinist Wolfgang
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for
New Music will present a concert of 20th-century violin music, played by Austrian
violinist Wolfgang Sengstschmid and pianist Daniel Grimwood, at 8 p.m. Monday,
Sept. 11 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Their performance, which will be free and open to
the public, is part of a concert series for the 2000-2001 season presented
on the UI campus by the Center for New Music, a part of the new UI Division
of Performing Arts.
A former child prodigy who was admitted to the Musikhochschule
(Music conservatory) in Vienna at the age of eight, Sengstschmid has received
critical raves all around the globe. In South Africa, one critic described
him as "an ideal violinist . . . a master of technique and a very intelligent
musician who analyzes the meaning of every single note," and another
wrote, "his intonation was secure, his tone bright and he imbued the
entire work with a sense of grace while implying deeper feelings below the
In New Delhi, India, he was praised for "his
complete grasp of the solo violin repertoire," and following a concert
in Graz, Austria, a critic noted "his natural determination and concentration
(and) the high quality sound that are vital skills for a sovereign soloist."
In 1999 Sengstschmid got an unparalleled career boost
when Thomas Frost, the senior executive producer at SONY Classical and former
producer of recordings by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, singled
out the young violinist as an artist who "deserves to have a significant
international concert and recording career."
For the Sept. 11 recital at the UI Sengstschmid will
play the Rhapsody for violin solo, written in 1995 by his father, Johan Sengstschmid.
A professor of music at the University in Graz, Austria, the elder Sengstschmid
developed his own theory of "harmonic 12-tone music," which has
its roots in the theories of Arnold Schoenberg. The "Rhapsody for violin
solo" is based on a single 12-tone sequence, varied according to the
principles of harmonic 12-tone music.
Other works on the program will cover a broad range
of styles in 20th-century music, including sonatas by Ernst Krenek and Maurice
Ravel and the Fantasy. Op. 47 of Arnold Schoenberg. Also included are works
by Erik Satie and Ernest Bloch. The recital will conclude with a violin-piano
arrangement of Darius Milhauds Latin-American flavored orchestral piece
"Le boef sur le toit" (The steer on the roof).
Sengstschmid has performed extensively in his native
Austria, including concerts in the major concert halls of Vienna and appearances
at the festivals Klangbogen Vienna and Carinthian
Summer. He has performed in the United States, South Korea,
India, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and many countries of Europe.
He performed as a guest soloist with the Tonkuenstler
Orchestra Vienna, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Berne Symphony Orchestra,
the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sofia Opera Orchestra and the Kiev Chamber
Since 1998 Sengstschmid has performed on a violin
from Joseph Guarneri del Gesu, made in Cremona in 1731, given as a loan by
the Austrian National Bank. He currently teaches at the Musikhochschule in
A graduate of the Purcell School in England, Grimwood
recently won the Accompanists Prize in the International Young Concert
Artists Competition. He has performed extensively in England and on
the European continent as an accompanist, including an appearance at a benefit
concert in aid of the Royal Society of Musicians presented by the Jacqueline
du Pre 5th Annual Charity Concert in Wigmore Hall, London last March. He made
his broadcast debut with cellist Jamie Walton in the BBC Young Artists Forum,
with whom he plans to record a CD of works by Musorgsky, Medtner and Felix
A flexible organization devoted to the presentation
of the music of the past 100 years, the Center for New Music is directed by
David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the
UI School of Music. Part of the new UI Division of Performing Arts, the center
supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students
of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guest artists.
The Center for New Music was founded in 1966 with
a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The center promotes the performance
of new music by providing a core group of specialists in contemporary performance
techniques. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged
In November 1998, an east-coast tour by the Center
included a performance at Merkin Hall in New York City. Critic Paul Griffiths
opened his New York Times review of the concert by observing that "an
ensemble of faculty and graduate students from the University of Iowa performed
strongly Tuesday night," and he praised Gompper for "the concerts
clarity and directness."
In 1986 the center received the Commendation of Excellence
from Broadcast Music, Inc., the worlds largest performing rights organization,
and it recently received grants from the Aaron Copland Fund and the National
Endowment for the Arts. Today, the Center for New Music is supported by the
UI Division of Performing Arts.
Information on the UI Center for New Music, including
complete program notes for the concert by the Sengstschmid, is available on
the World Wide Web at http://www.uiowa.edu/~cnm.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <email@example.com>.