Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Last modified: Thursday, January 18, 2007

Next course? A “Philharmonic” feast (rioting not allowed!)

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Jan. 18, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Moveable Feast of the Arts will present its next offering on Jan. 27 when the IU Philharmonic Orchestra travels to New Albany, Ind., for a performance featuring music -- now considered masterful, but once the cause of controversy -- of the great Russian composers Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The 7:30 p.m. concert at IU Southeast's Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center is free to all IUS students, staff and faculty, as well as all other students in the area under the age of 18. Admission for the general public is $5.

The IU Philharmonic Orchestra is the premier orchestral ensemble of the world-renowned IU Jacobs School of Music. Its appearance at IUS is being sponsored by the Moveable Feast of the Arts initiative, which showcases the university's cultural resources to Hoosier communities and IU campuses across the state.

Professor of Music David Effron, who will conduct the orchestra, fully supports the music school's participation in the Moveable Feast. "When you are one of the top music schools in the world," he said, "it is important to let all geographical areas experience the great talent that we attract to IU."

With Effron at the helm, the musical itinerary for the concert at IUS includes Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4, two works that, at least initially, met with little praise. According to A History of Western Music, edited by IU musicologist J. Peter Burkholder, the premiere of The Rite of Spring, in May 1913, was greeted by a riot, though the audience's reaction was likely caused more by Vaslav Nijinsky's shocking choreography than the unpredictable, disorienting music. After enduring cries of "ta gueule!" ("shut up!") and facing an uproar that began even before the curtain was drawn, Stravinsky left the hall in a rage. "I have never again been that angry," he wrote years later. "The music was so familiar to me; I loved it, and I could not understand why people who had not yet heard it wanted to protest in advance."

Rachmaninoff's concerto, which premiered in 1927 in Philadelphia, was criticized for being too difficult to listen to and not consistent with the composer's previous darker works. Some criticized his efforts to incorporate jazz elements, inspired by George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, into what would be his final piano concerto. In more recent years, though, several major orchestras have explored the daring originality and jazzy quality of this piece, and American audiences have enjoyed comparing it to the composer's other piano concertos. The piece also continues to be frequently performed in Russia.

Featured as piano soloist for the Rachmaninoff concerto will be Adam Piotr Zukiewicz, winner of the Jacobs School of Music piano concerto competition.

Bloomington audiences will be able to hear the same performance on Wednesday (Jan. 24) at the IU Jacobs School's Musical Arts Center. The performance, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 8 p.m.

The Philharmonic's performances this month follow a showcase presentation on Dec. 19 in Chicago at the Midwest Clinic, an international gathering of many of the world's finest music educators.

Tickets for the New Albany performance may be purchased online at

For more information about events at the Ogle Center, visit

For more information about the IU Jacobs School of Music, go to

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