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L'Ensemble Pennetier to Perform for
UW-Eau Claire's Artists Series Oct. 24

RELEASED: Oct. 10, 2006

L'Ensemble Pennetier
L'Ensemble Pennetier

EAU CLAIRE — L'Ensemble Pennetier will perform a concert of music for two pianos and percussion Tuesday, Oct. 24, as part of the Artists Series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall of Haas Fine Arts Center.

The celebrated L'Ensemble Pennetier is a unique two-piano/percussion ensemble made up of world-class musicians from France. The trio will be joined by American percussionist Chris Thompson for the stunning and infrequently heard Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion by Bela Bartok, a tour de force for all players. The Artists Series program will also include Claude Debussy's beloved "Prlude l'aprs midi d'un faune" transcribed for two pianos; Etude No. XII for piano and percussion by Maurice Ohana; "Ignescence" for percussion by the Japanese composer Yoshihisa Taira; and a transcription of Maurice Ravel's "La Valse."

The group's director, pianist Jean-Claude Pennetier, is a first-prize winner in many competitions, including the Gabriel Faur, the International Montral Competition and the International Geneva Competition. In 2002, he had the great honor of being named a Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur. Recent recital appearances have included performances in Paris, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Munich, Copenhagen, New York and Los Angeles, and a tour of Central America. He also records and tours worldwide as a member of the Paris Piano Trio.

Pianist, composer, actress and orchestral conductor, France Pennetier studied at the Conservatoire National Suprieur de Musique de Paris where she was awarded first prize in piano, in chamber music, in harmony, and in piano accompaniment, as well as honors in counterpoint and composition. She made her debut as head of singing at the Nice Opera in 1963, and throughout her career she has devoted herself to contemporary music as well as classical repertoire. Since 1969, she has been affiliated with the principal Paris conservatories and, with her husband, Jean-Claude Pennetier, writes transcriptions of musical stage works.

Born into eminently musical surroundings, Georges Pennetier studied at the conservatory in Cergy-Pontoise, playing both traditional percussion instruments and finger drums of all sorts. In 1991, he discovered dance working with the choreographer Stephane Ripon and became president of the organization Fou de Bassan, where he began work in composition and research in "rhythm/movement." He is presently a professor of percussion and accompanist for contemporary African dance at the cole de Musique et Danse in Trappes.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chris Thompson was the winner of the 2001 Kent-Atwater Concerto Competition in Los Angeles and held the principal timpanist position for two years simultaneously with both the American Youth Symphony and Young Musicians Foundation's Debut Orchestra. In the summer of 2001 Thompson was an academy member of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, under the direction of Charles Dutoit, and in 2004 he returned to Japan on tour with the Line C3 Percussion Group, of which he is a founding member. He also has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Festival, and many other organizations across the United States. He holds a master's degree from the Juilliard School and currently resides in Brooklyn, where he spends his free time writing techno music.

Tickets are $15 for the public, $13 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $5 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center and also will be sold at the door.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

The Artists Series is supported in part by grants from the Chippewa Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Heartland Fund Program and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

-30-

JS/NW

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