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Release: Feb. 9, 2001

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Uriel Tsachor is pronounced OO-ree-ell tsah-KHOR.)

UI faculty/guest duo to perform sonatas for violin, piano Feb. 19

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa faculty-and-guest duo of Uriel Tsachor, piano, and Andrew Hardy, violin, will perform three major works of the violin repertoire in a free recital at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1988 and began working with Hardy soon after. Although they have performed around the world and made several recordings during the decade-long collaboration, this will be the first time the duo has performed on the UI campus.

"We began playing together in 1990 in Belgium," Tsachor said. "A recording producer needed a duo for a recording of the complete works for violin and piano by Robert and Clara Schumann. He knew each of us separately and decided to try us out as a duo. After a short reading of various works it was obvious to both of us regarding the musical chemistry."

"Since then, we have performed as a duo in numerous locations and festivals in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, but we just never got around to scheduling a recital here.

"We have recorded four CDs together, including the one that got us started -- the complete works of Robert and Clara Schumann -- as well as the complete works of Brahms and sonatas by Reger and Strauss."

For the UI debut, the Hardy-Tsachor duo chose three sonatas, all of them serious, demanding works that are considered among the major challenges of the duo repertoire: Brahms' Sonata No. 2 in A major, op. 100, Beethoven's Sonata No 10 in G major, op. 96, and Bartok's Sonata No. 1.

Brahms liked to spend his summers away from Vienna, in a small country resort where he could work undisturbed. The summer of 1896 was spent in Hofstetten, Switzerland, where he managed to complete three large-scale pieces of chamber music: the Violin Sonata No. 2, the Cello Sonata No. 2, op. 99, and the Piano Trio in C minor, op. 101. The Violin Sonata is very reminiscent of Brahms' songs, calling for a singing-tone and lyrical style from the violinist.

Beethoven wrote his Violin Sonata in G major at the end of 1812, for a concert in Vienna by the French violinist Pierre Rode. It was the first Violin Sonata he had written since completing the imposing "Kreutzer" Sonata10 years before. In comparison to its predecessor, the G-major Sonata is more intimate in expression, but its four-movement length marks it as a serious work nonetheless.

Bartok is one of only a very few composers to write works in the 20th century that have joined the standard repertoire in genres of the Classic and Romantic periods. His string quartets, piano and violin concertos, and the two violin sonatas have all joined the works of Beethoven, Brahms and other composers of the 19th century among the essential works of their types. Bartok wrote the First Violin Sonata for the British violinist Jelly d'Aranyi, with whom he performed it on tour throughout Europe in 1921 and 1922.

A native of Baltimore, Hardy received his first musical instruction from his parents. He made his orchestral solo debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, playing Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor as the winner of the orchestra's Young Soloist Competition. Later he attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he won first prizes in the Concerto and "Concours Recital Competitions.

Hardy has served as co-concertmaster and soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and as concertmaster and soloist with professional orchestras in Germany. He currently lives in Brussels, where he pursues his solo and chamber music career. He performs frequently as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout Europe, Russia and the United States.

He has made CD recordings for the labels Talent (Belgium), Olympia (United Kingdom), and Calliope (France), including works for violin and piano by Franz Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann, Sergei Prokofiev, Leos Janacek, Max Reger, Richard Strauss, and Brahms , and a recording of Russian Violin Concertos by Nicholas Rakov, Dmitri Kabelevsky, and Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebaline, recorded at the Melodia Studio in Moscow.

His most recent European recital engagements include the l'Opera de La Monnaie, the University Library and the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, the Schloss Konzerten series in Salzburg, the Festival Musicale in Ravello, Italy, and the Salle Cortot in Paris.

He plays a violin by Josef Guadagnini, Cremona, dating from 1793.

Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988 and is currently head of the piano area. A Steinway artist, Tsachor was a winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986 and the Busoni Competition in 1985, and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983. He is a graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and the Juilliard School in New York. He has performed as a soloist in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, New York, Chicago, Vienna, Paris and other cities around the world.

Tsachor has performed with the Israel Philharmonic by invitation from Zubin Mehta. He has also appeared as soloist with the New York City Symphony, the Teatro La Fenice Symphony in Venice and the National Orchestra of Belgium, among others. He has performed both live and in recordings for radio and television stations in Israel, Europe and the United States, and he has made 18 recordings for the EMI, Musical Heritage Society, PHONIC, DIVOX, Olympia and EMS labels.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

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>.