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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Alain Barker
IU School of Music

Music Notes

News from the Indiana University School of Music

Oct. 20, 2004

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

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STARKER IN HIS OWN WORDS: Indiana University Distinguished Professor of Music Janos Starker is universally acknowledged as one of the world's greatest musicians. The Hungarian-born cellist arguably is also the premier teacher of his instrument. But Starker's famed expressiveness isn't limited to the stage and the studio. In his new memoir, The World of Music According to Starker, which was released Monday (Oct. 18) by Indiana University Press, the Grammy award-winning musician offers a witty, wry and colorful commentary on the music world. Starker takes the reader on a tour of life as an internationally famous musician who has spent as much time in the trenches (orchestra pits, recording studios and teaching studios) as he has in the limelight. "The wide variety of my experiences allowed me to view the music world from a somewhat different angle than what the starry-eyed youth envisions," Starker said. "I was asked whether I aimed at a change of perception of the public about me. Not at all. I aimed at a change of perception about the music world as such." The book is packaged with a bonus CD featuring Starker's last traditional cello recital that took place at the University of Chicago on May 3, 2002. It includes Starker's only recording of the Strauss Sonata in F, Opus 6. To speak with Starker, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or

ADDRESSING THE "WAGNER CONTROVERSY": How much did Richard Wagner's music and writings inspire the ideology of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers? How much did the legendary composer's belief in a nationally and racially superior German spirit affect his music? And how, in the midst of a resurgence in anti-Semitism, can we discuss, study and stage Wagner's visions, considering their role in the Holocaust? Wagner's great-grandson, Gottfried Wagner, will discuss the "Wagner Controversy," the composer's impact on arts and politics, his reception in the period since World War II, and how we might approach his works today in a lecture on Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall, Room 124. IU musicology professors Joanna Biermann and Halina Goldberg are available to discuss Richard Wagner's music and ideology. "Wagner talked about foreign influences, especially Jewish influences, pervading and polluting the country," said Biermann, who teaches a course on music in Germany during the Third Reich. Goldberg said, "Wagner was one of the main authors and propagators of this ideology. So for those of us who love music separate from its ideological meaning, he presents a dilemma. How do I teach these operas to my students? Do I just concentrate on the music, which is fabulous, or do I deal with the ideology at a time when we're facing some major political and global events and questions?" Biermann can be reached at 812-855-8278 or Goldberg can be reached at 812-855-7096 (office), 812-323-8631 (home) or Note: Wagner will discuss the collaborative works of Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Club of the Indiana Memorial Union.

SCHOOL OF MUSIC MEETS THE MET: Call it the Big Red Apple. New York City's famed Metropolitan Opera and Metropolitan Museum of Art will host several of the IU School of Music's finest in the weeks and months ahead. Alumna Angela Brown, who made her debut at Carnegie Hall in June, will make her Met Opera debut on Oct. 29 in the title role of Aida. For more on Brown, the 1997 Met Opera National Council Auditions winner, read the IU feature, Dates with Destiny, at

Photo by: Christian Steiner

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World-renowned pianist Andre Watts, the recently appointed Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music, will perform a series of concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, titled The Art of Andre Watts. The first concert is scheduled for Nov. 20. For more on Watts' appointment to the School of Music, go to

Distinguished Professor of Music Menahem Pressler and the legendary Beaux Arts Trio have launched a three-year Beethoven project at the museum. The project will present all of Beethoven's trios, sonatas for piano and violin, and sonatas for piano and cello. The next concert will be Dec. 10. The trio is celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2004-05. For more about Pressler and the trio, go to

Violinist Miriam Fried, the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Music, will join her son, accomplished pianist Jonathan Biss, on stage at the museum for a performance of Mozart sonatas on Nov. 18. Fried is considered one of the world's preeminent violinists, while Biss is one of classical music's rising young stars. Biss studied at IU with piano chair Evelyne Brancart. For more about Fried, go to For more about Biss, go to

To speak to any of the performers listed above, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or, or Alain Barker, IU School of Music, at 812-856-5719 or