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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: March 30, 2001

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Magisterra is pronounced mah-je-STARE-ah.

UI will present second annual international chamber music festival May 30-June 9

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Magisterra, the University of Iowa’s International Chamber Music Festival that had its successful inaugural year in 2000, will return for its second season, with concerts and lectures May 30 through June 9.

The festival, which is a presentation of the UI School of Music and the Division of Performing Arts, will feature performances of a wide variety of chamber repertoire, played by UI faculty and guest artists. There will be seven concerts and two lectures during the festival, all of them open to the public free of charge.

For the second year, the festival will include a "Marathon" concert, an extended performance that explores an area of repertoire with more depth than standard concert formats would allow. This year the subject of the Marathon will be "U.S. Meets Europe in the 20th century." The concert, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, in Clapp Recital Hall, will be hosted by Dennis Green, general manager of radio station KCCK, who will briefly introduce the works and provide context for each performance.

Other events during the festival will include an opening concert, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, and the final concert, at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9, both in Clapp Recital Hall.

Annette-Barbara Vogel, the violinist who put together the first festival, will return as artistic director for the second season. "Magisterra 2001 will build on the success of last year’s launch with a mix of some of the best European chamber musicians with our own faculty in the School of Music," Vogel said. "There’s an energy that comes from these collaborations that is really exciting -- I think that the audience can feel it. We showed that last year, as the audiences grew from one performance to the next throughout the festival.

"As last year, I've tried to program these musicians in lots of different configurations -- sextets, octets, trios and even a few quartets. Each piece on each concert will be played by different groups of musicians so that each evening will be very lively."

In a new position, Judith Hurtig will serve as managing director of Magisterra. The assistant director of Hancher Auditorium and a lifelong fan of chamber music, Hurtig has served on the board of Chamber Music America, the national service organization for chamber musicians.

Hurtig commented: "As an audience member for Magisterra in 2000, I really loved the range and variety of the repertoire. I went to almost all of the concerts, which were filled with wonderful music, much of it unfamiliar to me.

"The experience last spring made me want to get involved in this festival and help it to set down strong roots in this community. I have been to chamber music festivals all over the country, but Magisterra allows me -- and the whole community -- to have the festival experience right here at home.

"One thing that makes festivals different from most chamber music concerts is that each ensemble on the program is made up of different musicians and instruments. So in one evening you might hear a piano trio, a flute and piano duo and an octet of stringed instruments. Over the course of the festival you hear all the musicians and you feel like you get to know them as they reappear in different groupings over and over again."

For this year’s festival, Hurtig has put together an advisory board from the local community. Members not only provide a community perspective on planning for the festival, they help by housing the visiting musicians, providing lunches for the musicians and getting information about the festival into the community.

Local support for Magisterra will also come from the Iowa City Press-Citizen, as the corporate sponsor for the 2001 festival.

Hurtig said that Magisterra has been carefully timed to fit into the string of summer festivals and celebrations in Iowa City. In fact, she said, it will kick off the summer festival season, to be followed by Riverside Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park, the Iowa Arts Festival, University Theatres’ Summer Rep and the Iowa City Jazz Festival.

Guest artists for the 2001 festival will be musicians with international careers: violinists Christian Altenburger and Mark Gothoni; violist Vladimir Mendelssohn; cellists Terry King and Martti Rousi; and pianist Juhani Laperspetz. UI faculty artists will be Vogel, violist Christine Rutledge; double-bassist Diana Gannett; the members of the Maia String Quartet; pianists Uriel Tsachor, David Gompper and Rene Lecuona; flutist Tadeu Coelho; clarinetist Maurita Murphy Mead; horn player Kristin Thelander; and soprano Rachel Joselson.

During his on-air career that spanned 20 years and several radio stations, including WMT-FM and KDAT in Cedar Rapids, Dennis Green took his show to a hot-air balloon, an elephant ride in a circus parade, and underwater at Epcot Center. In 1999, he retired from daily on-air duties when he was named general manager of KCCK, the jazz radio station operated by Kirkwood Community College.

Green serves as the host of the Cedar Rapids Symphony’s "Classic Innovations" concert series and has been a member of the Symphony Guild "Follies" cast for four years. Each year he hosts events for more than 30 organizations, including the Freedom Festival, Theatre Cedar Rapids and Kirkwood Fine Arts. He is the 2001-02 president of the Cedar Rapids Area Cultural Alliance and is a director on the board of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. He serves on the board of the Iowa City Jazz Festival and is a founding director of the Jazz Society of Eastern 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>.