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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 7, 2006

Chanticleer Opens Hancher 2006-07 Season Sept. 28 With 'Love's Messengers'

Chanticleer, San Francisco's renowned "Orchestra of Voices," will open the 2006-07 performing arts season presented by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium with "Love's Messengers," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.

Though the ensemble is based in San Francisco, Assistant Music Director Matthew Oltman hails from Iowa, so a 5:30 p.m. dinner has been planned that will be a fusion of tastes from the City by the Bay and the Hawkeye State. Reservations are required.

The program, combining the words of poets and the music of composers from medieval times to the present day, will feature a Hancher co-commission -- excerpts from "Purple Syllables," an Augusta Read Thomas composition featuring the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Other composers include Palestrina, Gesualdo, Poulenc, Brahms, Vaughn Williams and Tavener.

Following intermission, Chanticleer will present a selection of world folk songs, popular music and spirituals.

The Grammy-winning 12-man ensemble -- which takes its name from the maligned "clear-singing" rooster of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales -- is America's only full-time classical chorus. In the spring of 2006 Chanticleer was one of five American leaders in contemporary music to be honored by the American Music Center.

Hailed by the New Yorker magazine as "America's favorite choral ensemble" and praised by the Los Angeles Times for its "luxurious perfection," Chanticleer's 2006-07 schedule includes more than 80 concerts in 22 states, including appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall under the auspices of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Cathedrals of Saint Louis and Philadelphia and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. A tour of European summer festivals in July will see the ensemble in France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

More than a quarter century of performances and nearly 30 recordings have built Chanticleer a worldwide reputation as an unequaled "orchestra of voices," providing impeccable interpretations of works ranging from Renaissance polyphony to jazz, from gospel to new music. Chanticleer was even heard on the soundtrack of the recent Jack Black film "Nacho Libre."

Famed choral conductor Robert Shaw called a Chanticleer performance "one of the most beautiful musical experiences of my life," and the New York Times called Chanticleer "an ensemble with first-class security, persuasive stylistic command and a charming on-stage demeanor."

Augusta Read Thomas is a member of the music faculty at Northwestern University and the Tanglewood Music Center, and she has been composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Her recent compositions have been premiered by the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble and other prominent ensembles and festivals.

Honors have come to her from organizations including the Siemens Foundation, ASCAP, BMI, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Columbia University (Bearns Prize), the Naumburg Foundation, the Fromm Foundation and Chamber Music America.

Thomas's work has been featured on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," as well as on Minnesota Public Radio's "The Composer's Voice."

The Chanticleer concert is sponsored by CRST International and Darlene and Michael McNulty through the University of Iowa Foundation. Media support comes from KDAT-FM.

Tickets for Chanticleer are $34/31/28; UI student $30.60/15; senior citizen $30.60/27.90/25.20; youth $23.80/21.70/19.60. Dinner tickets are $26. Discounted concert tickets are available as part of volume purchases: A simultaneous purchase of five events or more qualifies for a 15-percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 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:

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:

To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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,


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