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Release: Sept. 5, 2002

Isbin, 'Monet of the Guitar,' performs during Hancher's 30th Celebration

photo by J. Henry Fair

Sharon Isbin, the Grammy Award-winning classical star who has been dubbed "the Monet of the classical guitar" (Atlanta Journal), will perform during Hancher Auditorium's 30th-anniversary celebration, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Isbin is known for her adventurous, wide-ranging programming. Her Hancher concert will combine standard works from the Spanish classical guitar repertory, including works by Barrios, Rodrigo, Tarrega and Albeniz, with a recent work written specifically for her -- Leo Brouwer's "El Decameron Negro" -- and Isbin's arrangement of Naomi Shemer's Four Songs. The concert will conclude with "Nocturnal" by Benjamin Britten.

Boston Magazine has called Isbin "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time," an estimation backed up by Isbin's two Grammy Awards. Most recently, Isbin´s world premiere recording of concertos written for her by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun (composer of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") received a 2002 Grammy Award for Concert de Gaudi for Guitar & Orchestra by Rouse in the category "Best Classical Contemporary Composition," and earned Isbin her third Grammy nomination ("Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra").

In June Isbin won Germany's prestigious Echo Klassik Award in the category "Best Concert Recording" for the Rouse/Tan Dun CD. Two weeks after her Hancher concert, she will perform in the award ceremony in Frankfurt´s Alte Oper in a nationwide live broadcast on ZDF Television for an estimated one million viewers.

When Isbin received the 2001 Grammy Award for her CD "Dreams of a World," she became the first classical guitarist in 28 years to receive a Grammy. The announcement was broadcast to nearly 2 billion television viewers in 180 countries.

She has also been the winner of Guitar Player magazine's "Best Classical Guitarist" award. She is a frequent guest on nationally-broadcast radio programs including "St. Paul Sunday," "All Things Considered" and Garrison Keillor´s "A Prairie Home Companion." She has been profiled on the nationally televised CBS "Sunday Morning" program and A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts," and in periodicals from People to Elle and the New York Times, as well as gracing the cover of more than 25 magazines.

The catalogue of Isbin's recordings illustrates her versatility -- they range from Baroque, Spanish/Latin and 20th Century to crossover and jazz-fusion. She has commissioned and premiered more concerti than any other guitarist, as well as numerous solo and chamber works, and her recordings have received many awards, including "Critic's Choice Recording of the Year" in both Gramophone and CD Review, "Recording of the Month" in Stereo Review, and "Album of the Year" in Guitar Player.

Isbin's concert in Clapp Recital Hall -- in recent seasons a frequent venue for Hancher-sponsored chamber music and other intimate concerts -- will highlight the auditorium's history of distinguished classical guitar concerts. During Hancher's first 30 seasons, the schedule has included concerts by guitar virtuosos including Andres Segovia (one of Isbin's teachers), Carlos Montoya, Alexandre Lagoya, Christopher Parkening, Julian Bream, the Romeros and Eliot Fisk.

Tickets for Sharon Isbin's Sept. 25 concert are $25 ($10 for UI students, $20 for senior citizens and $12.50 for audience members 17.) Ticket-buyers can take advantage of volume discounts on most events in the season. A simultaneous purchase of three to five events qualifies for a 15-percent discount, and a simultaneous purchase of six or more events qualifies for a 20-percent discount.

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 website:< 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>.

Nancy Droll is the local sponsor of the Sharon Isbin concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Learn more about Isbin on the World Wide Web at < www.SharonIsbin.com >. 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.