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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 25, 2010

Hancher presents 'Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony,' featuring Orchestra Iowa

The University of Iowa's Hancher will present the world premiere of "Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony," featuring comedic artist Tomáš Kubínek and Orchestra Iowa, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 in the West High School Auditorium in Iowa City. The performance will be repeated at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7 in Sinclair Auditorium on the Coe College campus in Cedar Rapids. Hancher is the work's producer and commissioner.

The program started as a dream for Kubínek. He first worked with Hancher in 2006, participating in Spot-The Hancher Family Arts Adventure. While touring in Italy in 2008, he envisioned a collaborative project with an orchestra. When he approached Hancher Executive Director Chuck Swanson with the idea, Swanson immediately thought of Orchestra Iowa. Kubínek and Orchestra Iowa Music Director Timothy Hankewich have been working on the project for a year and a half, crafting a one-of-a-kind symphonic and comedic production designed to appeal to both newcomers and longtime concertgoers.

Kubínek's internationally acclaimed solo performances play to packed theaters around the world. A collision of theater and old-time music-hall, his exuberant one-man show is equal parts comic brilliance, virtuosic vaudeville and irresistible charm. A self-styled "Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible," he has appeared in more than 30 countries on five continents and has been seen by millions of people in standing-room-only appearances at theaters, opera houses, international festivals of theater and humor, in television specials, and on Broadway.

In addition to the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids performances, Kubínek and Orchestra Iowa will perform the new work at Luther College in Decorah on Saturday, Nov. 6, and at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City on Saturday, Nov. 13. Kubínek will then perform the work with the Omaha Symphony on Saturday, Nov. 20; the Omaha performance is the first of what Kubínek hopes will be many presentations of "Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony" with orchestras around the country and around the world.

In addition to his work with Orchestra Iowa, Kubínek will participate in an ambitious two-week residency during which he will primarily perform for at-risk youth. Kubínek is committed to instilling a sense of optimism and creative possibility in the minds of young people.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28 at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Kubínek will present an illustrated, humorous and factual account of his travels, life, and work in connection to his Czech roots. He will also discuss his family's escape from the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and how his culture and traditions of physical theater, clowning, and puppetry have continued to inspire and inform his work. The event is free and open to the public.

"Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony" and Kubínek's residency are supported by an anonymous family foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa West Foundation, ACT, Rockwell Collins, Betty Winokur, the Community Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and the Hancher Partners.

Tickets are $39/34/24; college student $39/34/10; senior citizen $39/34/24; youth $39/30/24 from the Hancher Box Office (335-1160, 1-800-HANCHER, for the Iowa City performance and from the Orchestra Iowa Box Office (366-8203, 800-369-TUNE, for the Cedar Rapids performance.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037,; Christy Frost, Orchestra Iowa, 319-366-8206,; Diana Baculis, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 319-362-8500,

RESIDENCY EVENTS CONTACT: For a complete list of residency activities and sites, contact Hancher Education Programming Director Erin Donohue at 319-335-0009 or