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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Alain Barker
IU School of Music

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News about the Indiana University School of Music

EDITORS: For more information on any of the following stories, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or, or Alain Barker, IU School of Music, at 812-856-5719 or For more news and events at the IU School of Music, go to:

IN CELEBRATION OF JUAN ORREGO-SALAS: He is one of the most important figures in the history of contemporary Latin American music. Along with contemporaries such as Aaron Copland and Mexican composer Carlos Chavez, Indiana University Professor Emeritus of Music Juan Orrego-Salas introduced music-lovers to the joy and richness of Latin American classical music. The IU Latin American Music Center will celebrate the 85th birthday of Orrego-Salas, its founder and champion, during the colloquium "Composer and Community" on Dec. 4-5 at the Simon Music Center. The colloquium will bring together composers, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, musicians and arts directors from across the world. Orrego-Salas fostered "a movement of Pan-Americanist composers" and ushered in "an era in which composers from the South and North collaborated with each other," said LAMC visiting associate director Ricardo Lorenz, who was a student of Orrego-Salas' at IU from 1983-87. Lorenz credits his teacher, who was born in Chile in 1919 and founded the LAMC in 1961, with promoting a side of Latin American music that many people are not aware of. "Even today, so-called Latin American popular music overshadows the richness of Latin American classical music," he said. LAMC Director Carmen Helena Tellez will lead the IU School of Music's Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, University Singers and Chamber Orchestra in the premiere of Orrego-Salas' composition La ciudad celeste (The Celestial City) during a concert on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. in Auer Concert Hall. For more details about the colloquium or the LAMC, go to Lorenz can be reached at 812-855-2991 or

BIRTWISTLE'S WORLD: Sound the trumpet! Actually, make that 36 muted trumpets. On Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. in Auer Concert Hall, the Indiana University New Music Ensemble will perform two works by one of Britain's most celebrated and original composers, Harrison Birtwistle, including the U.S. premiere of Placid Mobile, a short fanfare for 36 muted trumpets. Birtwistle, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, is widely acknowledged as one of the leading European figures in contemporary music. His compositions are renowned for their modern aesthetic, mythical power, emotional resonance and complexity. They're "spiky, very rhythmically energetic, visceral and powerful," said David Dzubay, professor of music composition in the IU School of Music and director of the New Music Ensemble. "They're very complex, but there's a level of energy on the surface that lets even the first-time listener latch on to something." Birtwistle is expected to arrive in Bloomington before the performance to work with students. The New Music Ensemble's concert will also include a work by Chicago-based composer Augusta Read Thomas. Dzubay can be reached at 812-855-5833 or For more information on the New Music Ensemble, go to

NO ORDINARY "NUTCRACKER": Students in the Indiana University Ballet Theater know not to expect all sugar plums and fairies when it comes to performing Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. "It's not an easy one," said Professor of Music Jacques Cesbron, the choreographer for this year's show. "The choreography is so technically difficult that it keeps the work exciting and challenging for the students, and for us, too." Watching new students tackle these challenges makes IU's annual performance special, Cesbron said. Giving those students opportunities to learn from the nation's top dancers makes it even more special, he added. This year's Nutcracker cast will dance alongside one of the premier ballerinas in America, Julie Kent, a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Kent, who starred in the movie Center Stage (2000), will come to Bloomington to coach students during the week leading up to the performance. She will be joined on stage by the New York City Ballet's Damien Woetzel. Woetzel starred in the film version of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (1993) and, that same year, appeared in the PBS Dance in America presentation of Dinner with Balanchine. Performances of The Nutcracker are scheduled for Dec. 3-5 at the Musical Arts Center. Cesbron can be reached at 812-855-6787 or