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Release: March 16, 2001

Visiting cellist Uri Vardi will perform 'Trout' Quintet with UI colleagues March 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Cellist Uri Vardi, a visiting faculty member at the University of Iowa School of Music, will perform with his faculty colleagues in a varied program of chamber music at 8 p.m. Friday, March 30 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

Vardi will display his versatility, performing unaccompanied, in two different duo contexts, and as a member of a larger chamber ensemble. He will open the program with Beethoven’s Sonata in D major, op. 102 no. 2, performed with pianist Rene Lecuona. He will next appear alone, to play Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for Solo Cello, op.25 no. 3. That will be followed by the Duo for Viola and Violoncello by Walter Piston, performed by Vardi and Christine Rutledge.

The final piece on the program will be Franz Schubert’s "Trout" Quintet, which calls for the unusual combination of piano with violin, viola, cello and stringed bass, rather than the more usual quintet of piano with a string quartet of two violins, viola and cello. Performing with Vardi will be Rutledge, pianist Uriel Tsachor, violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel and bassist Diana Gannett.

Schubert composed the "Trout" Quintet during the summer of 1819 while traveling through upper Austria with Johann Michael Vogl, a singer who championed Schubert’s songs. The work was commissioned by an amateur cellist, Sylvester Paumgartner, who is also supposed to have stipulated the unusual instrumentation in imitation of a quintet he liked that was by the classical composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

To compensate for the deep sound of the double bass, Schubert lightened the texture of the piano part, which plays mostly in the upper register. This gives the Quintet an unmistakable, sparkling quality that, together with Schubert’s graceful melodies, contributes greatly to the work’s popularity.

Paumgartner is also supposed to have specified that the composer use his popular song "Die Forelle" (The trout) as the basis of the theme-and-variations fourth movement. It is this movement that gives the quintet its name. "Die Forelle," about a fisherman and the elusive fish that he tries to catch, is one of Schubert’s most delightfully tuneful songs. Schubert wrote a series of decorative variations on the main theme of the song, ending with a gentle variation that introduces the distinctive piano figuration from the accompaniment of the original song.

A member of the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Vardi has given cello and chamber music master classes at Indiana University, the New England Conservatory, Yale and the Eastman School of Music, and at summer festivals around the world. His students have been successful as soloists, chamber players and members of major orchestras including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic.

Although born in Hungary, Vardi grew up on a kibbutz in Israel. He studied cello at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, and later with the master teachers Janos Starker at Indiana University and Aldo Parisot at Yale University. He has served as principal cellist of the Israel Sinfonietta and the Israel Chamber Orchestra, in addition to appearances as soloist with both orchestras.

Vardi has also recorded and toured Israel and Italy with the Sol-La-Re String Quartet, founded a chamber music series in Tel Aviv and taught for many years at the Israel Conservatory and the Jerusalem Music Center. He has toured the United States and Israel with "Fusions," a concert of western Jewish music and Arabic art music for cello, oud (a stringed instrument characteristic of Arabic North Africa) and piano.

Lecuona maintains an active teaching and performing schedule at the UI School of Music, including frequent collaborations with her faculty colleagues. She 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.

Lecuona made her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance in Weill Recital Hall in 1993. As an Artistic Ambassador for the United States, she has given concerts and master classes in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals and given master classes at many universities in Brazil.

Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. 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 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.

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

Prior to her appointment at the UI, Vogel taught at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, Germany. She has taught master classes in Europe, the United States and Asia. At the recommendation of the Tokyo String Quartet she was appointed artist in residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she taught on the faculty and was a member of the Monticello Trio. She has recorded several CDs on the Harmonia Mundi, Cybele and Highland labels.

Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She had previously been a faculty member at Notre Dame University, where she also played with the Notre Dame String Trio. She is a graduate of the UI School of Music, where she studied with William Preucil.

She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the United States and abroad. Her solo performances have included three before her professional peers at the International Viola Congress. She has performed the standard viola repertoire, her own transcriptions of Baroque works, lesser known works for viola, and new works that were written specifically for her. She recently received a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Initiative at the UI, which will assist in a solo CD recording of "Early 20th-Century English Works for Viola and Piano."

A graduate of the UI School of Music, Gannett returned to the UI to teach double bass in the fall of 1992. She also is the principal double bass of the Quad City Symphony. As a teacher and performer she has had an active career including appointments at Yale University, the Hartt School of Music, Oberlin College and the University of South Florida. She has been principal double bass of the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Black Hills Festival Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival and the Bronx Symphony, and been a member of the New Haven and New Jersey symphonies.

As a chamber musician she has performed with members of the Guarneri, Emerson, Laurentian and Stanford string quartets and the Borodin Trio. Her frequent solo appearances have included many premieres and solo improvisations as well as traditional repertoire. She has recorded a solo CD, "Ladybass."

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>.