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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 17, 2005

UI Symphony And Choruses Perform Levin's Completion Of Mozart Mass Nov. 30

The University and Iowa Symphony and Choruses will perform a new completion of an old torso -- Mozart's monumental Mass in C minor, K427, started in 1782 but never completed -- when they present "The Genius of Amadeus" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30 in Hancher Auditorium.

Timothy Stalter, UI director of choral activities, will conduct.

The version to be performed is a completion by scholar/performer Robert Levin that was commissioned for next year's 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth and first performed in Carnegie Hall in January of this year. Levin's version is based on careful study of all of Mozart's relevant manuscripts, and includes approximately 25 minutes of added music derived directly from Mozart.

Following the Carnegie Hall premiere of this new version, critic Allan Kozinn wrote in the New York Times, "The result was a glorious, fully Mozartean vision of a complete Mass, most of it Mozart's in one way or another, and the rest of it as inspired a guess as we're likely to hear."

For the Nov. 30 UI performance, student soloists will be sopranos Tara Warfield, Kristen Kufeldt and Kelsey Williams; tenor David Puderbaugh; and bass Jonathan Meadows. UI choral organizations participating in the concert are Kantorei and the University Choir, which perform under Stalter's direction; Camerata, conducted by Timothy J. Dickey; and the Women's Chorale, conducted by Anne Lyman.

The performance will be the third of the University Symphony's 2005-06 "Signature Series" of concerts in Hancher Auditorium. Remaining concerts in the series are:

--Feb. 15: "Classical Brazil," opening with the Overture to "Il Guarany" by Brazilian composer Carlos Gomez, followed by UI faculty soloists in Frank Martin's jazzy Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments and a solo saxophone work with UI alumnus Eugene Rousseau.

--March 29: "Thoroughly Modern Masterworks," a program of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Samuel Barber's choral-orchestral "Prayers of Kierkegaard."

Mozart brought the unfinished Mass in C minor with him on a famous visit to his father in Salzburg. It was his first trip home since he had settled in Vienna and married Constanze Weber. The trip was an opportunity for him to mend fences with his father, who had opposed both developments. Portions of the Mass were performed in Salzburg during that visit, with the demanding soprano solos sung by Constanze -- either as a peace offering to the father, or as a demonstration of her musical abilities, depending on one's interpretation.

After returning to Vienna, Mozart never had an occasion to complete the Mass. He didn't forget the music, however, using portions of it for a cantata he wrote for performances during Lent in 1785. There were several attempts to complete the torso during the 20th century, but none of them has been considered definitive.

The latest reconstruction of the C-minor Mass was commissioned by the Maria and Robert A. Skirnick Fund for New Works at Carnegie Hall, New York. The first performance of this version was conducted by Helmuth Rilling on Jan. 15, 2005, in Carnegie Hall. Rilling has taken this version on tour in Europe, and in the Mozart year 2006 he will bring the Mass to the city of its original destination, performing it at the Salzburg Festival.

Currently the Dwight P. Robinson Jr. Professor of Music at Harvard University, Robert Levin is known as a distinguished concert pianist and for his creative Mozart scholarship. He has appeared as a soloist on piano, fortepiano and harpsichord with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others.

In 1991 Levin performed in Hancher Auditorium with the Academy of Ancient Music. He played a Mozart concerto on the program, improvising the cadenzas in the style of Mozart -- an unusual feat today, and one for which he is especially known.

As a distinguished musical scholar, Levin has devoted much of his work to the reconstruction of Mozart fragments, including the Sinfonia Concertante for four winds, the Requiem, and now the C-minor Mass. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and President of the International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany.

"Mozart has been called the most universal composer in the history of Western music," explains Levin, "because he used every genre prevalent during his lifetime and cultivated it deeply. Beethoven wrote one opera, Mozart wrote some 20; Beethoven wrote five piano concertos, Mozart wrote 23. Mozart wrote for every imaginable combination: arias, ensembles, oratorios, operas, songs, trios, duos and so on."

Stalter joined the UI faculty as director of choral activities in 1999. He directs Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music, teaches graduate conducting courses, and administers the graduate program in choral conducting. He has research interests in teaching conducting to undergraduate and graduate students and historical music performance practices. 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 appeared as tenor soloist with Apollo's Fire, the Newfoundland Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in France, the Robert Shaw Chamber Choir in Atlanta, the Classical Music Seminar and Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. He has recorded as tenor soloist with conductor Robert Shaw on two compact discs released on the Telarc label.

Prior to coming to the UI, Stalter was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Goshen College in Indiana. He received a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with renowned choral conductor Robert Fountain, and a master's from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Don Moses, who was UI director of choral activities in the 1980s.

Individual tickets to University Symphony concerts are $8 (UI student and youth $3; senior citizen $6) and are available from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Tickets can be purchased singly, or as part of a package with other events presented by the Division of Performing Arts. Details on discount packages are available in a brochure available in the Hancher box office lobby, or from the division's marketing office at 319-335-3213. As detailed in the brochure, patrons who purchase tickets to four, five or six events will receive a 20-percent discount; purchasing tickets for seven or more events earns a 25-percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office school-year 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 also may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Hancher box office Web site: http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.

Hancher box office 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.

The Division of Performing Arts is part of 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.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa/photos.html.