CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 29, 2000
Emerson String Quartet performs two all-Shostakovich programs at the UI
Oct. 20, 22
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Emerson String Quartet will present "The Late
String Quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich" in two concerts presented by
the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium -- quartets 11-13 at 8 p.m. Friday,
Oct. 20 and quartets 14-15 along with the his Adagio and Polka for string
quartet at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22. Both concerts will be presented in Clapp
Members of the Emerson String Quartet will discuss their Shostakovich Project
-- through which they have tackled all 15 of the legendary Russian composers
quartets -- in a free event moderated by UI Symphony conductor William LaRue
Jones at noon Sunday, Oct. 22 in the UI Museum of Art.
The concert and discussion by the Emerson String Quartet are part of "Russian
Un-Orthodox," a series of fall concerts and other events at the UI focusing
on music from Russia from the 20th century.
"Russian Un-Orthodox" includes a Sept. 29 performance of Shostakovichs
Seventh Quartet by Maia String Quartet, the resident quartet of the UI School
of Music; a free introduction to the music of Shostakovich, featuring the
Maia Quartet and Russian musician Oleg Timofeyev at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct.
11 in the UI International Center Lounge; and a Festival of Contemporary Russian
Music, presented by the UI Center for New Music Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Clapp Recital
Hall, the Museum of Art and the Becker Communication Studies Building.
The classical music world took notice when the multiple-Grammy Award-winning
Emerson String Quartet -- widely regarded as the best string quartet of our
time -- set its sights last spring on all the Shostakovich quartets in a five-concert
series in New York and London.
The concerts were the culmination of several years of study in the wake
of communisms fall in Russia. Although Shostakovich is acknowledged
as one of the major composers of the 20th century, he has also become a figure
of considerable controversy regarding his role in the Soviet era. The Emersons
Shostakovich Project has helped to confirm the importance of the Shostakovich
quartet cycle, as well as to clarify the excruciating context of the composers
tumultuous career under Soviet control.
"Now we can understand the pain and suffering that was endured under
those regimes," says Emerson violist Lawrence Dutton. Violinist Philip
Setzer adds, "You have to think about how he was used and abused, seeing
so many around him killed or disappearing."
The relationship of Shostakovich and the Soviet state -- with which he was
alternately in and out of favor -- has been a matter of considerable debate
in the quarter-century since his death. Outwardly a loyal citizen who remained
in the Soviet Union at times when many artists fled to seek freedom of expression
in the West, Shostakovich is considered by many to have been a disillusioned
socialist whose compositions reveal the conflict between his urge for personal
expression and the rigid ideological requirements of the totalitarian state.
The point on which virtually everyone can agree is that Shostakovich was
one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. He worked in the largest
and most challenging musical forms, creating dramatic, emotionally powerful
music that is both accessible to audiences and filled with technical invention.
Tragedy, whimsy, sarcasm, parody, grandeur and grotesquerie are among the
many moods and emotions encompassed by his work.
The Emerson String Quartet, an ensemble that has become a frequent visitor
to the UI, has won three Grammy Awards, and Gramophones Record of the
Year Award -- becoming the first chamber music ensemble ever to win the magazines
The quartets artistry has been the subject of two award-winning films,
and their schedule of more than 100 concerts each season takes them to the
worlds musical capitals, including benefit concerts to fight AIDS, world
hunger and childrens diseases.
Formed during the U.S. bicentennial, the quartet took its name from the
great American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation of Marshalltown is the sponsor of the Emerson
String Quartet concerts, through the University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets for each Emerson Quartet concert are $30 ($10 for UI students, $24
for senior citizens and $15 for audience members 17 and younger) from the
Hancher box office.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturdays. 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.
Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
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.
For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.