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Press Release

Contact: Joelle Park
(412) 268-5765

For immediate release:
November 13, 2001

Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Gives Nod to the Bard

PITTSBURGH-Carnegie Mellon School of Music presents the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic in concert on Friday, November 16 at 8 p.m. in Oakland's Carnegie Music Hall. The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, an ensemble of the School of Music and Orchestra-in-Residence at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, gives a nod to the classic works of William Shakespeare in the performance's program.

Friday's concert features Juan Pablo Izquierdo conducting the orchestra in three brilliant showpieces. Guest artist Don Wadsworth from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama is the narrator. The program includes selections from Sergei Prokofiev's colorful ballet, "Romeo and Juliet." The selections depict scenes from Shakespeare's well-known play, and the drama of one of the world's great love-stories. The orchestra also performs "Hamlet," by British composer William Walton. Wadsworth narrates the piece. It was composed for the1948 film of the same name starring Laurence Olivier. "Hamlet" was chosen for this concert to celebrate the centennial of Walton's birth. The third piece on the program is "Le valse," by Maurice Ravel. "Le valse" is a choreographic poem, considered one of the twentieth century's remarkable showpieces for orchestra.

The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic presents several orchestral works and concertos annually under the direction of Juan Pablo Izquierdo. The orchestra is featured regularly in live broadcasts on WQED-FM, 89.3, and in the radio series "International Music from Carnegie Mellon." The orchestra can also be heard on compact discs on the Mode and New Albion record labels. Izquierdo, Director of Orchestra Studies in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon, has an international career, conducting major orchestras in Europe and South America—including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and those in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Dresden, Leipzig, Madrid, Paris, and Brussels; and the BBC Glasgow, Holland Radio Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. He has been principal conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon and the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra which he reorganized and conducted until 1986.

Izquierdo began his career conducting Chile's National Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1966 he won First Prize in the Dimitri Mitropolous International Competition for Conductors, and was named assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Izquierdo's interpretations of the Viennese masters of the nineteenth century continue a long-standing European tradition and reflect the brilliance of his teacher and mentor, Hermann Scherchen. He is also known internationally for his bold interpretations of avant-garde music of the twentieth century. As music director for the Philharmonic, Izquierdo has presented the orchestra in works by Iannis Xenakis (Carnegie Hall, New York), Edgar Varese (Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.), Olivier Messiaen (Symphony Hall, Boston), and Giacinto Scelsi (Carnegie Hall, New York).

Narrator Don Wadsworth, Professor of Voice and Speech in the School of Drama, has coached voice-work in numerous theater and feature film productions including "Dominick and Eugene" starring Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta, the Disney films "Passed Away" with Bob Hoskins and "The Cemetery Club," coaching Olympia Dukakis, Ellen Burstyn, Danny Aiello and Diane Ladd. He also worked on "Iron Maze" with Bridget Fonda, Stephen King's "The Dark Half" and "Pulp Fiction." As an actor Wadsworth has been featured in the PBS television film "Clarence Darrow" with Kevin Spacey and "Breathing Lessons," a Hallmark Television film, starring Joanne Woodward and James Garner. He has performed in many dramas and musicals including "Fame," "Cabaret," the national tour of "Camelot" playing Merlyn to Stacy Keach's King Arthur.

At the City Theater he recently played Samuel Pepys in a production of an award-winning new play entitled "Compleat Female Stage Beauty." A veteran of more than 20 Shakespeare productions, Wadsworth has played a wide variety of roles including Malvolio in "Twelfth Night," Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and the Fool in "King Lear." He studied with both Cicely Berry, the Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Patsy Rodenberg, the Voice Director of the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain. A member of the Screen Actor's Guild, Actor's Equity and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, his voice is on hundreds of regional and national radio and television commercials. Wadsworth was named Best Actor for the Air Awards for his work in radio.

This year, Watchword Productions releases a Bible video—the entire New Testament— featuring Wadsworth as the solo voice. The concert will be broadcast live by WQED-FM (89.3). For more information call the School of Music Concert Office (412) 268-2383.

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