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Release: Sept. 27, 2001

Mezzo-soprano von Stade performs with UI Symphony Orchestra

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- American mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, one of the world's most acclaimed and beloved classical vocalists, will join forces with the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra under the direction of William LaRue Jones in a concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Hancher Auditorium.

After a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 ("Pastorale"), von Stade -- who was warmly received in her recent Hancher concert with the vocal ensemble Chanticleer -- will take the stage with Jones and the orchestra to perform works by Canteloube and Mahler, as well as a medley of songs by Jerome Kern.

The concert continues a new Hancher/UI Symphony collaboration that began last season with a concert featuring the orchestra with legendary pianist Van Cliburn.

Von Stade, known affectionately to her friends and fans as "Flicka," began her career at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolf Bing during the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

Since her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In January 2000, the Met celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut with a new production of "The Merry Widow" specifically for her, and in 1995, as a celebration of her 25th anniversary, the company created for her a new production of "Pelleas et Melisande."

A New York Times profile hailed her as "one of America's finest artists and singers," and Joshua Kosman wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, "Even if she were not one of the great singers of our day, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade could probably draw a full house of people eager just to be in her presence and watch her be herself. She's that enchanting.

"Von Stade communicates something to her listeners -- a startling radiance compounded of serene grace and simple delight -- that few other recitalists can match."

In addition to her roles in the leading opera houses of the United States and Europe, she is invited regularly to appear in concert with the world's leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, Washington's National Symphony and the Orchestra of La Scala.

She has made over three dozen recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Jones is a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities Mayors' Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional Leadership and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland) and other orchestras around the world. He has conducted all-state and festival orchestras in 46 states and five Canadian provinces. He has been conductor-in-residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Miami (Fla.).

A student ensemble of the UI School of music, the University Symphony presents a series of concerts on campus each year. Remaining concerts on the 2001-02 concert schedule -- all free -- include a concert of Christmas works with combined choirs from the School of Music on Nov. 28; an all-orchestral concert Feb. 13; a performance of J.S. Bach's "Passion According to St. Matthew" March 10; and a joint concert with the UI Symphony Band April 10.

William and Marlene Stanford are local sponsors of the concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $40, $37 and $32. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20 percent discount, and Zone 2 and 3 tickets are available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's site on the World Wide Web: <http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher>.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <hancherboxoffice@uiowa.edu>.

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

Learn more about von Stade at <http://www.fredericavonstade.com/index.html>. For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.