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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 17, 2004

Pianist Voro Plays UI Guest Recital Sept. 28

Irina Voro, a classical pianist whose emotional performances have been hailed as "one of a kind," will present a free guest recital at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Harper Hall of the University of Iowa Voxman Music Building.

Her eclectic program avoids the best-known Romantic piano repertoire, featuring instead lesser known works from the 18th to the 20th century. It also includes a style of performance that Voro has created on her own, what she calls "l'Excital."

Made up of "lexis," meaning "word," and "recital," "l'Excital" combines classical music with Voro's personal poetic narratives and imaginative sound and visual effects to accent particular compositions. The narrations by Voro were recorded by Shannon Christy, and are played back while Voro performs the music being discussed.

Voro said that the idea of personalizing the recital in this way came to her during one of her performances. "I felt like explaining to the people what I 'saw' in that music, and the audience's response afterwards was simply amazing! It turned out that the people appreciated the music even more after I told them my rather personal story about it. . . . I realized that that might be a way to revitalize the interest for classical concerts, to do (elegantly) away with the 'stiff and stuffy' part of the genre. Music is philosophy in sounds. Why not let people overtly tap into the performer's imagination and use it as a starting point for their own flights of fancy?"

The complete musical program for the Sept. 28 recital will be:

-- Rondo-Espressivo by C.P.E. Bach;

-- Sonata -Fantasy # 2, Op. 19 by Alexander Scriabin;

-- "Prelude, Fugue and Variations" by Cesar Franck, as transcribed for piano by the early 20th-century piano virtuoso and teacher Harold Bauer;

-- "Lotus Land," Op. 47 #1 by Cyrill Scott;

-- "Basso-Ostinato" by Rodion Schedrin;

-- Sonata #4, Op. 30 by Scriabin; and

-- four of the Moments Musicaux, op. 16, by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The New York Concert Review comments on one of Voro's performances, "The secret of Voro's formula is that it practically hooks you onto thinking along her lines. . . . (Her) images are too salient, too believable, and too memorable to be easily forgotten. . . Everything -- musicality, technique and a powerful drive -- was there!"

And in Russia, Piatigorskaya Pravda reported that "The public was enthralled. . . . (After the concert) people were queuing to greet her for a whole hour."

Called "one-of-a-kind" by a radio critic, Voro is no stranger to the concert circuit. In recent years she has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist in Europe, the Far East, Russia, Canada, and the United States. She has been a soloist with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, l'Orchestre Philharmonique du Grand Montreal, Kislovodsk (Russia) Symphony Orchestra, Stavropol Symphony Orchestra, Lawton (Oklahoma) Symphony Orchestra and the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

Her Carnegie Hall debut of "l'Excital" in September of 2000 was received to an enthusiastic standing ovation.

When not on stage, Voro is an artist/teacher at the University of Kentucky. She was born in Russia and graduated with high distinction from the Saratov Consevatoire. She then moved to Canada, where she received her doctorate in piano performance from l'Universite de Montreal. She has been a prize-winner in several competitions, including the International Louise McMahon Music Competition (1998). 

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

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact 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: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.