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Release: Sept. 20, 2001

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Sengstschmid is pronounced "ZENGST-shmeed"

Guest recital presents Anglo-American Fiddle Music of 20th, 21st centuries Oct. 3

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Austrian violinist Wolfgang Sengstschmid and pianist Daniel Grimwood, making their second visit to the University of Iowa, will perform a program of "Anglo-American Fiddle Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their concert, presented by the UI Center for New Music, will be free and open to the public. The program features several world premieres, including pieces by David Gompper, the director of the Center for New Music, and Ching-Chu Hu, a former student in the UI School of Music, as well as works by Jeremy Dale Roberts, who taught composition at the UI on a visiting appointment two years ago.

Sengstschmid and Grimwood will perform the same program four days later, on Oct. 7, in Wigmore Hall in London. Their previous appearance at the UI was a concert of 20th-century violin music, performed as part of the Center for New Music concert series, in the fall of 2000.

The complete program on Oct. 3 will be: Aaron Copland's Sonata; Elliott Carter's "Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrassi" (Remembrance of Goffredo Petrassi), the world premiere of Luke Bedford's "Dream Thou"; the world premiere of Gompper's "Hommage a W.A." for solo piano; Roberts' "Capriccio"; Howard Ferguson's Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 10; Roberts' "Wieglied"; the world premiere of Hu's "Passions"; and Gompper's "Finnegan's Wake."

"Besides demonstrating the vitality and appeal of the present day violin and piano repertoire, this program touches upon a number of connecting themes or relationships," Sengstschmid said.

"Sometimes these are stylistic or aesthetic -- both the Copland Sonata and Gompper's 'Finnegan's Wake' exploit a country music brio in the fiddle writing; sometimes they point to a more personal or professional relationship. Indeed, much of the program is woven through with the pliant but binding thread that links teacher and pupil. Composer and artist, too: both Ferguson and Roberts wrote their work for the distinguished violinist Yfrah Neaman -- who was my teacher."

Gompper wrote of his "Homage a WA," "This piano work was written in homage to my teacher at the University of Michigan, William Albright, who died prematurely in 1998. He was among those who, in the 1960s and 70s, initiated and supported the revival of ragtime music. He was also a brilliant organist and pianist, and a dedicated and talented composer.

"While the work is in three main sections, the middle contains my dream of the type of rag Albright was fond of composing and performing."

Ching-Chu Hu wrote, "'Passions' deals with the intermingling of influences in my life as an Asian American: the folk tunes that have surrounded me since my childhood and the western-based education of classical music and 20th-century techniques. For 'Passions,' I composed music in which the violin's lines recall the idioms of the er hu (Chinese fiddle) and sheng (Chinese aerophone). In contrast, the music for the piano alternates between various pentatonic textures and neo-romantic, neo-tonal influences."

Gompper's "Finnegan's Wake" is based on two Irish fiddle tunes, "The Green Groves of Erin" and "The Flowers of Red Hill," made popular by the Bothy Band, and more recently, the string trio of Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor and Yo-Yo Ma. The score deliberately places presents Irish-Appalachia-Texas fiddle music within the context of art music, but Gompper says "my intention was to transform the music as feet-stomping dance music through a labyrinth of rhythmic manipulations into a series of playful excursions for both instruments."

Sengstschmid has performed extensively in his native Austria, including concerts in the major concert halls of Vienna. He has performed in the United States, South Korea, India, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and many countries of Europe. Following his 1999 New York debut recital, Thomas Frost, the producer of the later Horowitz recordings and currently Senior Executive Producer at SONY Classical, wrote: "Sengstschmid deserves to have a significant international concert and recording career."

Sengstschmid has performed as a guest soloist with the Tonkuenstler Orchestra Vienna, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Berne Symphony Orchestra, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sofia Opera Orchestra and the Kiev Chamber Orchestra. He currently teaches at the Musikhochschule in Vienna.

A graduate of the Purcell School in England, Grimwood has given concerts at Wigmore Hall in London, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the British Consulate in Amsterdam, the British Embassy in The Hague, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room in London, and the Rachmaninoff and Gnessin Halls in Moscow.

Grimwood won the Accompanist's Prize in the International Young Concert Artists' Competition. He has performed extensively as an accompanist, including an appearance at a benefit concert in aid of the Royal Society of Musicians presented by the Jacqueline du Pre 5th Annual Charity Concert in Wigmore Hall. He made his broadcast debut with cellist Jamie Walton in the BBC Young Artists Forum. Grimwood is a member of the Royal Society of Musicians, which was founded in 1738 by George Frideric Handel.

The Center for New Music (CNM) was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The center promotes the performance of new music by providing a core group of specialists in contemporary performance techniques. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. The Center for New Music is supported by the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences. Information on the CNM, including complete program notes for the concert by Sengstschmid, is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.uiowa.edu/~cnm.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.