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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2006

Shaham Conducts And Solos With Academy of St. Martin In The Fields March 3

Violinist Gil Shaham will be both conductor and soloist in a concert by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 3 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

Shaham will be in the soloist in Mozart's Violin Concert No. 5 in A major, known as the "Turkish" concerto. The performance is part of the worldwide celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.

Other works on the program will be Arensky's Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky and Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence."

Only in his mid-30s, Shaham is already internationally recognized as a veteran virtuoso of the violin. Born in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., and raised in Israel, he began his studies at the age of seven and made his orchestral debut with the Jerusalem Symphony and Israel Philharmonic at the age of 10.

Continuing his studies at the Juilliard School in New York, he made two dramatic, highly praised appearances in 1989 when he took over on a day's notice for an ailing Itzhak Perlman.

Since then his career has blossomed, and he has been acclaimed consistently for his performances with the leading U.S. orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. Recitals and other orchestral engagements have taken him to music capitals worldwide and he is a regular visitor to summer festivals including Aspen, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart and the Salzburg Festival.

His recording of the Barber and Korngold concertos with Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy award in 1995 and he won a Grammy in 1999 for a another recording with Previn. His 1999 recording of Bartok's Second Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony earned two Grammy nominations.

He has also won the Cannes Classical Award, the Prix de la Nouvelle Academie du Disque, the Ritmo Prize and France's Grand Prix du Disque.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields -- one of the world's most-recorded ensembles -- was formed in 1958 as a small, conductorless chamber ensemble, based in the elegantly porticoed 18th-century church on the east side of Trafalgar Square in London. Led by one of the leading Baroque violinists of the day, Neville Marriner, and attracting some of the finest players in London, the orchestra at first concentrated on repertoire from the Baroque era, developing a style of performance that launched the 1960s Baroque revival and paved the way for today's myriad period-instrument ensembles.

The ensemble's concept recalls the various concert-giving societies that flourished in 18th-century London -- including not only the original Academy of Ancient Music but also the Royal Academy of Music, for which Handel wrote many of his finest works.

Only two years later the Academy of St Martin in the Fields had secured its first recording contract, with the independent L'Oiseau-Lyre label, the beginning of a discography that now boasts more than 500 entries, making the Academy the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world. In 1997 it was chosen to play at the official hand-over ceremony in Hong Kong, and more recently it opened the first subscription series at the new Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

The March 3 concert is supported by Sandy Heistad through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $50/45/40; UI student $45/15; youth $35/31.50/28.

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. 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/media05.html