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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations
rpiurek@indiana.edu
812-855-5393

Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music
abarker@indiana.edu
812-856-5719

Last modified: Monday, January 23, 2006

Mozartís 250th birthday is cause for celebration, discussion at IU Jacobs School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 23, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Who was Mozart? A boy genius who never grew up? A divinely inspired composer? A vulgar lout? All of the above?

An evaluation of the composer's choral output might offer some clues into the many mysteries of Mozart, whose 250th birthday will be celebrated around the world on Friday (Jan. 27). The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will pay tribute to the composer -- and perhaps answer a few long-standing questions -- with an international conference on Mozart's choral works and several performances, including the Indiana premiere of the Mass in C minor as reconstructed and completed by celebrated pianist and Mozart scholar Robert Levin.

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's University Singers, who will participate in the first performance in Indiana of Mozart's "Mass in C minor" as reconstructed and completed by celebrated pianist and Mozart scholar Robert Levin.

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The celebration at the Jacobs School will begin with the Mozart Society of America's third biennial conference, Feb. 10-12. During the conference and in subsequent days, the school will present performances of Mozart's best-known choral works, Requiem and Mass in C minor. Both works were left unfinished at the time of Mozart's death in 1791 at age 35.

"Mozart proved to be a master of almost every kind of music he tried his hand at, but choral music plays an especially important role," said Daniel R. Melamed, associate professor of musicology in the IU Jacobs School and local chair of the Mozart Society of America conference. "Mozart's choral music also has been a big part of his image over the last two centuries. This is perhaps best illustrated by the myths and mysteries surrounding his Requiem, left unfinished at his death. This work, along with some of the music of the Mass in C minor -- also incomplete but not for such tragic reasons -- are frequently used to cultivate Mozart's dark side, particularly in films (Amadeus, The Triplets of Belleville). This is a one-sided view of the composer, but at least it balances the image of the overgrown boy genius."

The conference is open to the public but requires a registration fee. It will include research presentations on Mozart's choral repertory by scholars from across the United States and Europe. For registration and other information, go to http://mypage.iu.edu/~dmelamed/MSA/program.htm.

Several of the Jacobs School's top singers and instrumentalists will celebrate the 250th anniversary with the first performance in Indiana of the Mass in C minor, as completed by Robert Levin, on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. in Auer Hall. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will feature the University Singers, University Chorale and University Orchestra under the direction of William Jon Gray.

Additional performances of the Mass in C minor are scheduled for Lafayette, Ind., on Feb. 12 and Indianapolis on Feb. 15. Those performances are part of IU's "Moveable Feast of the Arts" initiative, which is designed to showcase the university's cultural resources to IU campuses and communities across the state.

On Feb. 12-13, the school's Pro Arte Singers, directed by John Poole, will present Mozart's Requiem with the newly formed IU Classical Orchestra, directed by Stanley Ritchie. The performance of the Requiem will follow the traditional 18th-century completion of the score by Mozart's students Franz Xaver SŁssmayr and Joseph Eybler. The Sunday performance will be at 2 p.m. The Monday performance will be at 8 p.m. Both performances are free and open to the public and will take place in the Jacobs School's Auer Hall.

The Pro Arte Singers and the Classical Orchestra will perform the Requiem at the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Convention in Chicago on Feb. 16.

Here is a summary of the upcoming events related to the Mozart Society of America conference. All events are free and open to the public.

Feb. 10-12, IU Jacobs School of Music -- Mozart Society of America presents "Mozart's Choral Music: Composition, Contexts, Performance." Registration begins at noon on Feb. 10. For more information, go to http://mypage.iu.edu/~dmelamed/MSA/program.htm.

Feb. 11, 5 p.m., Auer Hall, Bloomington -- University Singers, University Chorale and University Orchestra, conducted by William Jon Gray, Mass in C minor.

Feb. 12, 2 p.m., Auer Hall, Bloomington -- Pro Arte and Classical Orchestra, conducted by John Poole, Requiem.

Feb. 12, 4 p.m., St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Lafayette, Ind. -- University Singers, University Chorale and University Orchestra, conducted by William Jon Gray, Mass in C minor. Hosted by the Bach Chorale of Lafayette.

Feb. 13, 8 p.m., Auer Hall, Bloomington -- Pro Arte and Classical Orchestra, conducted by John Poole, Requiem.

Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Indianapolis -- University Singers, University Chorale and University Orchestra, conducted by William Jon Gray, Mass in C minor. Hosted by St. Luke's United Methodist Church.

Media wishing to talk to any of the participants in the Mozart celebration at the Jacobs School should contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, 812-855-5393 or rpiurek@indiana.edu, or Alain Barker, IU Jacobs School of Music, 812-856-5719 or abarker@indiana.edu.