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Israeli conductor Uriel Segal to join IU School of Music's orchestra program for the 2004-05 season

EDITORS: Uri Segal will be available to speak to reporters during his visit to Bloomington on Tuesday (February 17). To arrange for an interview, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or rpiurek [at] indiana [dot] edu (rpiurek@indiana.edu) .

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- It already boasts the nation's most active orchestra program, performing 34 concerts in the 2004-05 school year.

Now that the Indiana University Bloomington's School of Music has added celebrated Israeli-born conductor Uriel "Uri" Segal to its ranks as principal guest conductor for the 2004-05 season, it may have cemented its status as one of the world's elite destinations for orchestral study and performance.

"With Uri joining us, I believe we now possess the premier collection of resident orchestral conductors worldwide," said School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards. "Uri's presence in Bloomington will benefit our students immensely, and he promises to bring the same passion and excitement to IU's orchestral performances that he has delivered on some of the world's biggest stages."

Segal had been music director of the Louisville Orchestra since 1999. A native of Jerusalem, he also is the music director of the summertime Chautauqua Festival in upstate New York and conductor laureate of the Century Orchestra Osaka in Japan. The Century Orchestra Osaka has quickly become one of Japan's leading orchestras since its inception in 1989.

Segal's international career was launched after he won 1st prize in the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in New York in 1969. Following that, he served as Leonard Bernstein's assistant with the New York Philharmonic from 1969 to 1970.

Over the past four decades, Segal has conducted many of the leading orchestras nationally and worldwide. Abroad, he has appeared with the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid, Spain; Beethovenhalle Orchestra in Bonn, Germany; Hamburg Symphony in Hamburg, Germany; Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the symphonies of Tokyo, Quebec and Basel, Germany. He has recorded for Decca and EMI. A recent CD of music by Robert Schumann, made with the Century Orchestra Osaka, has been released by Toshiba EMI.

In coming to IU, Segal will join a list of equally accomplished conductors who have all made their mark on the world stage. The list includes:

- Thomas Baldner, former chief conductor of the Rheinisches Kammerorchester in Cologne, Germany and guest conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra.

- Paul Biss, professor of violin who has conducted symphonies and operas worldwide and performed at major classical music festivals including Ravinia, Marlboro, La Jolla, Lockenhaus and Casals.

- David Effron, former head of the orchestra program at the Eastman School of Music from 1977 to 1998. Effron, who served on the New York City Opera conducting staff for 18 years, boasts a repertoire of over 100 operas. He has conducted in Europe, Taiwan, Israel, Mexico and Canada as well as throughout the United States.

- Irme Pallo, chair of the department of instrumental conducting, who made his conducting debut in 1973 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has conducted major opera companies and symphony orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Saint Louis Opera, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera, Berlin State Opera, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the Israel Philharmonic.

The IU School of Music features six orchestras, including the Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, University Orchestra and an All-Campus Orchestra for non-music majors. The orchestras are directed on a rotating basis by faculty and guest conductors.

For more information about the Indiana University School of Music, visit http://www.music.indiana.edu/.