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April 4: Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Bids Farewell to Director in Kennedy Center Concert, April 29


Eric Sloss                                

Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Bids Farewell to
Director in Kennedy Center Concert, April 29

Orchestra Will Perform Works by Varèse, Scelsi and Stravinsky

PITTSBURGH—The Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic will give an emotionally charged performance at 8 p.m., April 29, when it bids farewell to its music director for the past 17 years, Juan Pablo Izquierdo, at the famed John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. For his final concert, which will take place in the center's Concert Hall, Izquierdo selected infrequently played works by Edgard Varèse (Arcana) and Giacinto Scelsi (Quattro Pezzi), as well as the Stravinsky favorite, "The Rite of Spring."
Juan Pablo Izquierdo "We are delighted that the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic has the opportunity to play in the Kennedy Center," said Noel Zahler, head of the School of Music. "Music Director Juan Pablo Izquierdo, who is retiring after 17 years of building the orchestra, has selected a unique program of Stravinsky and lesser-known masterpieces by Scelsi and Varèse."
Also, at 7 p.m., April 28 at the Italian Cultural Institute in the nation's capital, Carnegie Mellon Professor Donna Amato will re-premiere a 1943 Scelsi piano sonata that has not been performed since Nikita Magaloff premiered it in 1946. Carnegie Mellon Professor Franco Sciannameo will give a pre-concert lecture on Scelsi. A violinist, Sciannameo worked under Scelsi's supervision from 1964 to 1968, recording the composer's third and fourth string quartets.
Izquierdo, who studied conducting with contemporary music specialist Hermann Scherchen, and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic have specialized in contemporary music and the orchestra is accustomed to taking on the challenging work of Varèse and Scelsi. For Mode Records, Izquierdo and the orchestra have recorded Varèse's Amériques and an entire disc of orchestral and choral works — many never recorded — by Scelsi.
Izquierdo and the orchestra's talents have not gone unnoticed. The group won a Diapason d'Or in 2007 for a Mode recording of music by George Crumb, including Izquierdo's arrangement of "Black Angels" for string orchestra. In 2008, Izquierdo will begin recording Schoenberg's complete chamber arrangements with Carnegie Mellon for Mode.  
Tickets range from $15 to $25 and are available through the Kennedy Center at 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600. For other information, contact Carnegie Mellon's Eric Sloss at 412-268-576 or or visit
The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic is made up of graduate and undergraduate students from 35 states and 19 countries. The orchestra claims alumni in the New York Philharmonic, Chicago and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others.
The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic is the orchestra of the Carnegie Mellon School of Music. In addition to performing regularly at Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall, the orchestra performed an all-Hindemith program in 2007 at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Messiaen's Turangalila-Symphonie at Symphony Hall in Boston and Scelsi at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2000, of which New York Times critic Paul Griffiths wrote, "[Izquierdo] carefully built and balanced the sounds that made the majestic and awesome performance of the final work."
Many of the School of Music's faculty are principals and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Past guest conductors include Sir Andrew Davis and Erich Kunzel, who since 1991 has led the annual Memorial Day and Fourth of July concerts in Washington, D.C.

(Pictured above is Juan Pablo Izquierdo.)