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Release: Nov. 20, 2001

Cellist Anthony Arnone, new to UI music faculty, makes his campus recital debut Dec. 2

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Cellist Anthony Arnone, the latest addition to the string faculty of the University of Iowa School of Music, will play his UI campus debut recital with pianist James Giles at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 in Clapp Recital Hall. Their performance will be free and open to the public.

Arnone and Giles will play three major sonatas for cello and piano: Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1 in F Major, op. 5 no. 1; the Sonata for cello and piano, op. 6, by Samuel Barber; and the Sonata in G minor for cello and piano, op. 19, by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Arnone is a founding member of the Meriden Trio and the Sedgwick String Quartet, which regularly performs at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. He is currently principal cellist of the Madison Symphony in Wisconsin and has been a member of the Orchestra Philharmonique de Nice and the Wichita Symphony. He has taught master classes in Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina. Before coming to the UI, he held a faculty position at Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he taught stringed instruments, music theory and chamber music, and conducted the Orchestra.

At the age of 25 Beethoven was gaining a reputation in Vienna as a pianist and composer. To solidify his emerging career, he embarked on a concert tour in February 1796, not long after his 25th birthday. He traveled first to Prague, where he gave a public concert, then to Dresden, where he played for the Elector of Saxony. His next stop was Berlin, where he played several concerts before Friedrich Wilhelm II, the King of Prussia and an amateur cellist.

To win the favor of the king, Beethoven wrote for these performances several new works for cello and piano, including the two Sonatas Op. 5 and a set of variations on Handel’s theme -- chosen to subtly flatter the king -- “See, the conqu’ring hero comes.” Beethoven dedicated these works to Friedrich Wilhelm and performed them with Jean Louis Duport, the first cellist of the court orchestra and a well known cello virtuoso. The king returned Beethoven’s compliments, presenting the composer with a gold snuffbox filled with gold coins -- “no ordinary snuffbox,” Beethoven later declared proudly, “but such a one as it might have been customary to give an ambassador.”

Samuel Barber was one of the most successful composers of his generation. His music was played and sung by leading performers throughout his professional life. His Adagio for Strings -- actually a movement from his String Quartet -- is one of the most popular concert pieces written by an American. His opera “Vanessa” was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera, and another opera, “Anthony and Cleopatra” opened the new Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center in 1966.

Barber’s Cello Sonata was written in 1932, at the end of the 22-year-old composer’s years of study at the Curtis Institute for Music in Philadelphia. It exhibits the romantic style and warm, lyrical melodies that have made Barber’s music popular with audiences.

Although his creative life extended well into the 20th century, Rachmaninoff composed music in the tradition of the great 19th-century showpieces while pursuing a simultaneous career as a concert pianist. As a composer his idol was Tchaikovsky, and as a performer he followed in the footsteps of the flamboyant Romantic virtuosi including Paganini and Liszt.

Rachmaninoff wrote his Cello Sonata in G minor in 1901, shortly after completing his popular Second Piano Concerto. The sonata reflects the composer’s immense pianistic talents, making the cello part seem almost like an embellishment of the extended lyrical melodies that are heard floating amidst waves of piano sound. It is one of the composer’s most Romantic works, and one that is loved by cellists and audiences alike.

Currently on the faculty of the University of North Texas, Giles has appeared internationally as a recitalist, orchestral soloist and chamber musician. He presented his New York recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1998. He is known for imaginative programming and eclectic repertoire, including standard masterworks, new music, virtuoso transcriptions and the music of neglected composers of the past. His CD recording of solo works by Schumann and Prokofiev is available on England’s Master Musicians label.

Giles has been a medallist in several international competitions and the Music Teachers National Association Competition. He was awarded the William Petscheck Scholarship at the Juilliard School and both the Rudolf Serkin Award and the Faustina Hurlbutt Award for outstanding graduate at the Oberlin College Conservatory. He serves on the American Pianists Association National Advisory Board and is on the roster of the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation. Giles is a former Artist in Residence at SUNY Binghamton and has also taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Manhattan School of Music.

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

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>.