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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 13, 2003

"Handel in Iowa 2003" Will Bring Scholars, Performances To UI

Historians and musical scholars from around the United States and the world will come to Iowa City Feb. 27- March 2, when the American Handel Society holds its annual festival -- this year titled "Handel in Iowa 2003" -- at the University of Iowa School of Music. This is the first time the event, formerly known as the Maryland Handel Festival, has taken place outside the campus of its long-time sponsor, the University of Maryland.

While many of the conference activities are designed for the registered participants -- most of them specialists in the history and music of the 18th century -- local audiences will also benefit from a series of free public events, including lectures and performances.

"This is just a great opportunity for the local audience to hear great music that is seldom performed," said Robert Ketterer, UI associate professor of classics, who is vice-president of the American Handel Society and the local organizer of the conference. "So often when people think of Handel they think of 'Messiah' and nothing else. The festival's concerts of chamber music and choral works will cover wonderful but less well known works, including a newly discovered 'Gloria' by Handel."

Public events during the conference will be:
--7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in Harper Hall, Voxman Music Building: Opening lecture, "Handel meets Nero: Hamburg, Venice and Imperial Rome," Wendy Heller, speaker;
--3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Clapp Recital Hall: Concert of chamber music by Handel, Vivaldi and their contemporaries;
--8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Clapp Recital Hall: Concert by Kantorei and the UI Chamber Orchestra, Timothy Stalter conductor, including Handel's "Dixit Dominus" and the recently discovered "Gloria"; and
--2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City, a concert of choral music, including Handel's "Israel in Egypt," Part II, preceded by a 1 p.m. lecture on "Israel in Egypt" by Annette Landgraff.

The "new" "Gloria" by Handel was discovered in the library of the Royal Academy of Music in London by Hans Joachim Marx of the University of Hamburg. Most of Handel's music had been kept together by the composer, but this score had probably been mislaid at some point, and remained unknown to musicians and scholars alike for nearly 300 years.

Details of the work's history remain a fertile ground for scholarly debate, but the most likely scenario is that the "Gloria" was written around 1707, when Handel was in Rome. It is a large-scale setting of the text, in seven movements. It appears to have been written as a show piece for a coloratura soprano. The soprano often sings in dialogue with a solo violin part, that Handel might have written for the great Italian violinist/composer Archangelo Corelli, who was living in Rome at the time.

The first performance of the "Gloria" since the composer's lifetime was in London, at the Royal Academy of Music, in March, 2001.

The American Handel Society was founded in 1986 "to foster study of the life, works, and times of George Frideric Handel, and to encourage and support the performance of his music." The society sponsors a conference every two years, bringing together scholars and performers interested in the music of Handel and his contemporaries, as well as the cultural life of the period.

Ketterer commented that a study of Handel's life and music provides insight into a broad range of subjects. "Not only was Handel one of the great composers of the time," he said, "he had an international career, encompassing the great musical centers of the age, from England to Germany and Italy. Thus, the study of his life and works provides insight into many of the musical and cultural issues of the early 18th century in Europe."

Kantorei is the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music. It is a touring ensemble of approximately 30 singers, most of whom are graduate students. Kantorei presents four or five concerts on campus each year, tours to off-campus performances and participates in major choral works with the University Symphony. Past tours have been international, including performances in Russia, Korea and Spain.

Stalter joined the UI faculty as director of choral activities in 1999. He directs Kantorei, teaches graduate conducting courses, and administers the graduate program in choral conducting. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, he frequently presents clinics and workshops in choral conducting around the United States.

In addition to conducting and teaching choral music, Stalter is active as a tenor soloist in the United States and abroad. A specialist in the music of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, he is known for his performances as the Evangelist in the Passions of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schuetz. He has recorded as tenor soloist with conductor Robert Shaw on two compact discs released on the Telarc label.

"Handel in Iowa 2003" is sponsored by the American Handel Society, with support from the Perry A. and Helen Judy Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction. University of Iowa sponsors are the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Division of Performing Arts and the School of Music, the Department of Classics, International Programs, the Opera Studies Group, the 18th- and 19th-Century Interdisciplinary Colloquium, and Interdisciplinary Programs/Sexuality Studies. The First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City is a co-sponsor of the Festival.

For more information on the American Handel Festival, visit the "Handel in Iowa" web page at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/handel_conf/handel_home.htm. Registration is available online, or through the UI Center for Conferences & Institutes, (319) 335-3141.

The American Handel Society web page can be found at http://www.americanhandelsociety.org/ .

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American Handel Festival: Handel in Iowa 2003
Schedule of Events

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2003

7:30 p.m. Harper Hall: University of Iowa 18th & 19th Century Colloquium Lecture, "Handel meets Nero: Hamburg, Venice and Imperial Rome," Wendy Heller, speaker


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2003

8:30 a.m., Voxman Music Building: Registration

9 a.m., Harper Hall: First paper session, "Handel's Oratorio: Reception and Interpretation."
Graydon Beeks, Ilias Chrissochoidis and Minji Kim, speakers.

10 a.m., Voxman Music Building: Bassoon master class by Michael McCraw.

10:45 a.m., Harper Hall: Second paper session, "Theatrical Handel," Suzanne Aspden, Kenneth McLeod and Stephanie Heriger, speakers.

1:30 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: "Organ Concertos of Handel -- Performance Possibilities," a workshop and concert by William Gudger, Delbert Disselhorst and students from the UI School of Music with the Maia String Quartet

4:30 p.m., Lasansky Room, UI Museum of Art: UI Musicology Colloquium and American Handel Society Howard Serwer lecture, Terence Best, speaker


SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2003
9 a.m., Harper Hall: Panel on "Handel, Music and 18th-Century Sexuality." James Saslow, presenter, with Ellen Harris, Wendy Heller and Roger Freitas.

10:45 a.m., Harper Hall: Panel on The New "Gloria." John Roberts, Anthony Hicks and Gregory Barnett, speakers.

3:30 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Concert of chamber music by Handel, John Christopher Pepusch, Christoph Schaffrath, Josepf Bodin de Boismortier and Antonio Vivaldi. Michael McCraw, bassoon; Martha Ronish, flute; Volkan Orhon, double bass; Graydon Beeks, Donald Burrows and William Gudger, keyboards; Graydon Beeks, and Ellen Harris, vocalists.

8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Kantorei and UI Chamber Orchestra, Timothy Stalter, conductor. Handel's "Dixit Dominus" and "Gloria"


SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2003
10:30 a.m., Harper Hall: Third paper session, "Performance Traditions," Antonius Bittmann and Donald Burrows, speakers; and "Handel and the Body," Thomas McGeary and David Hunter, speakers

1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, Iowa City (2701 Rochester Avenue): Pre-concert lecture on "Israel in Egypt," Annette Landgraff , speaker

2 p.m., First Presbyterian Church: Concert of Handel's choral and chamber music, featuring "Israel in Egypt," Part II

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu. Conference organizer Robert Ketterer may be contacted at (319) 335-2327, robert-ketterer@uiowa.edu.