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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 29, 2004

Kremerata Baltica Prepares In Iowa City For Carnegie Hall

The Grammy Award-winning Kremerata Baltica, the chamber orchestra selected by distinguished Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer from among the finest young musicians in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will perform "Shostakovich and Beyond" at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

During its visit to Iowa -- in the midst of a high-profile U.S. tour -- the orchestra will also spend three days rehearsing at the UI in preparation for a Nov. 20 concert in New York's Carnegie Hall. The orchestra will come to Iowa City after its Nov. 13 Chicago Symphony Hall concert, rehearse for two days in the UI Music Building, travel to Omaha for a Nov. 17 concert, and return to Iowa City to rehearse and perform on the Hancher stage on Nov. 18.

The Hancher concert will feature two late works by Shostakovich -- the Chamber Symphony in C minor and the Symphony No. 14 -- and will open with "Wie de (alte) Leiermann" by Leonid Desyatnikov, a young Russian composer whose work Kremer has championed. Desyatnikov has written for opera, ballet and voice, as well as several instrumental works and numerous film scores.

The Shostakovich works come from the end of the composer's life -- the Symphony No. 14, with two vocalists, directly contemplates mortality. Kremer selected the Desyatnikov work to represent the next generation of Russian composers, laboring in the shadow of Shostakovich's monumental creations.

The Carnegie Hall concert two days later will feature both the Shostakovich works on the Hancher program.

Founded in 1997, Kremerata Baltica -- with 27 members, most in their 20s -- has become the most distinguished cultural ambassador for the Baltic countries since their liberation from Soviet domination. The three countries share in providing financial support to the organization.

A Los Angeles Times review commented, "Kremer and his new string orchestra, made up of extraordinary young players from the Baltic States . . . are special. . .  They animate everything their bows touch."

In a career of more than three decades, Kremer has come to be regarded as one of the world's greatest violinists, noted for his searching intellect and individual style.

After studying with David Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory, he launched his career by winning prestigious competitions including the 1976 Queen Elizabeth Competition, the Paganini International Competition and the Tchaikovsky International Competition.

Kremer has appeared on virtually every major concert stage with the most celebrated orchestras of Europe and America. He has collaborated with the foremost conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Christoph Eschenbach, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Valery Gergiev, Claudio Abbado and Sir Neville Marriner

An exceptionally prolific recording artist, Kremer has made more than 100 albums, many of which brought him awards and prizes including the Grand prix du Disque, Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, the Ernst-von-Siemens Musikpreis, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Premio dell' Accademia Musicale Chigiana, the "Triumph Prize" and in 2001 the "Unesco Prize." In February 2002 he and Kremerata Baltica were awarded with the Grammy for their Nonesuch recording "After Mozart" in the category Best Small Ensemble Performance.

John and Ellen Buchanan, and the UI Hospitals and Clinics are the local sponsors of the Kremerata Baltica concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $40/35/30; UI student $36/15; senior citizen $36/31.50/27; youth $28/24.50/21.

The concert will be preceded by a dinner in the Hancher Cafe. Advance reservations are required -- seating is limited -- and the cost is $25.

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.hancher.uiowa.edu.

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: hancher-box-office@uiowa.edu.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher/media.html