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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 27, 2007

UI Chamber Orchestra opens 2007-08 season with Donizetti, Schubert and Beethoven

The University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra will present a free concert of Classical and early Romantic music at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. David J. Nelson will conduct.

The concert will feature three popular works from roughly the first half of the 19th century. The latest work will be first on the program -- the lighthearted overture to the comic opera "Don Pasquale" by Gaetano Donizetti, first performed in Paris in 1843. The remainder of the program will run in reverse chronological order.

Second will be Franz Schubert's Symphony in B minor, known as the "Unfinished" Symphony, composed in 1822 but not performed until 1865. It is not known with any certainty why Schubert failed to finish this famous work, which he set aside six years before his death in 1828. The score of the two completed movements -- one in moderate tempo and one that is slower -- was given by Schubert to a friend, who kept it until the first performance several decades later.

The final work on the program will be Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C major, op. 21, composed at the very end of the 18th century. Firmly based in the Classical style of Haydn and Mozart, the First Symphony was written for Beethoven's first major concert in Vienna, presented in April 1800. The concert, which included the first performance of Beethoven's popular Septet, was a success, although the symphony was criticized for the prominence of the wind instruments.

"It's an honor to be back on the podium for concerts with the Chamber Orchestra," Nelson commented. "For five or six summers through the mid-1990s, James Dixon invited me to conduct the orchestra while he was on summer break. It was always a thrill.

"This year the current conductor, William Larue Jones, is on leave during parts of the academic year, and once again, I am pleased to have been invited to conduct the Chamber Orchestra. I look forward to working with the students as they perform some of the great orchestral repertoire for the Iowa City audience."

Nelson is currently professor of music education at the UI. He is the founding director of the UI Division of Performing Arts and former director of the School of Music. As a violinist and conductor, he performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra; the Austin (Texas), Omaha, Quad-City the Madison symphony orchestras; and served as associate concertmaster of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony. For more information, see:

A graduate student ensemble, the UI Chamber Orchestra is based on the standard orchestra of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Its repertoire covers a broad range from the Classical and early Romantic period to contemporary works. The Chamber Orchestra presents two or more concerts each semester.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music Web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit 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 CONTACTS: David J. Nelson, School of Music,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),