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Release: Sept. 25, 2001

UI Center for New Music, ensemble from Old Dominion will play Serbian music Sept. 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for New Music will join forces with Creo, the new music ensemble from Old Dominion University in Virginia, to present a free concert of contemporary Serbian music at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be directed by David Gompper from the UI and Andrey Kasparov from Old Dominion. Faculty and guest artists on the program will be oboist Mark Weiger from the UI and percussionist David Walker from Old Dominion; and guest artists Lisa Relaford Coston, mezzo-soprano; F. Gerard Errante, clarinet; and Oksana Lutsyshyn, piano.

The concert is the second half of a musical exchange between the UI and Old Dominion, in which the Center for New Music and Creo presented the same program last spring in Virginia.

The program will feature six works by six composers: "MIX" (1993) for tape alone by Vladan Radovanovic; "Rukoveti" (A Harvester Gathers a Handful of Songs) (1999) for voice and piano by Isidora Zebeljan; "Lamentoso" (1977) for violin, clarinet and piano by Milan Mihajlovic; "Farce" (1976) from "Hexagons" for violin, cello and piano, by Srdjan Hofman; "Chamber Music" (1997) for voice and instrumental ensemble by Vera Stanojevic; and "Facere Totum" (1993) for mixed instruments by Tatjana Milosevic.

"Although Serbia has been devastated by war for many years, artistic creativity and musical composition continue to flourish there," Gompper said. "This diverse and fascinating program is a testament to the resilience of the creative artists of that country, and also to the creative spirit everywhere.

"In these troubling and dangerous times, it is valuable to be able to share these artistic works from another culture on the other side of the world."

A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the Center for New Music (CNM) is directed by David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the UI School of Music. Part of the new UI Division of Performing Arts, the center supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guest artists.

The 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.

In November 1998, an East Coast tour by the center included a performance at Merkin Hall in New York City. Critic Paul Griffiths opened his New York Times review of the concert by observing that "an ensemble of faculty and graduate students from the University of Iowa performed strongly Tuesday night," and he praised Gompper for "the concert's clarity and directness."

Kasparov was born in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan, to a family of Armenian descent. At 15 he moved to Moscow, where he later entered the Moscow State Conservatory, graduating with honors in music composition and piano in 1989 and 1990, respectively. In the United State he studied composition at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. He has also participated in the 1996 Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany.

Kasparov's compositions have been performed in Moscow, New York, Paris, Darmstadt, Yerevan, Ottawa, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and many other cities in the former Soviet Union, Europe and North America. In addition to his career as a composer, he is a very active pianist. He has appeared in concerts as a recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the former Soviet Union, North America, Europe and South Africa.

Kasparov has won prizes at numerous composition and piano competitions, including the 1997 Sergei Prokofiev International Composition competition in Moscow; the 1998 Orleans (France) International Piano Competition for 20th-century music; and the all-U.S.S.R. composition competitions in 1985 and 1987.

Gompper has received numerous awards for his academic and musical achievements, including the Charles E. Ives Prize for composition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

His "Lament for Bosnia" was premiered in 1998 by the UI Symphony and Choruses as part of "Global Focus: Human Rights '98," the UI's yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of his other compositions, "Transitus" was premiered at Carnegie Hall and "Flip" was premiered by the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra.

Gompper has traveled to Thessaloniki, Greece, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand to lecture on current American musical trends in composition. In May 1999 he performed a concert of his works and lectured at the Moscow Conservatory of Music in Russia. He has also served as a cultural specialist for the United States Information Agency in Kwangju, South Korea.

Information on the Center for New Music, including program notes for the Sept. 30 concert, are 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>.