CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Iowa City IA 52242
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Release: Sept. 8, 2000
The Flint Hills Trio from Emporia State University will present UI guest
concert Sept. 18
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Flint Hills Trio, a faculty chamber ensemble from
Emporia State University in Kansas, will present a University of Iowa guest
concert at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Their performance will be free and open to the public.
Members of the trio are Angela McComas, flute; Allan Comstock, bassoon;
and Marie Miller, piano. Founded in 1995, the group performs a wide variety
of repertoire ranging from the Baroque period -- roughly 1600 to 1750 -- to
the 20th century. As an ongoing project, the trio commissions at least one
new work per year.
The trio takes its name from the Flint Hills of Kansas, where Emporia State
University is located.
For the Sept. 18 concert, the Flint Hills Trio will play four works: the
Sonata in C major, BWV 1033 of J.S. Bach; the Trio in G major, WoO 37 of Ludwig
van Beethoven; "Bachianas Brasileiras" No. 6 for flute and bassoon
by Heitor Villa-Lobos; and the first movement of the Trio for flute, cello
and piano by Bohuslav Martinu.
Bachs eight sonatas for flute and continuo are among the most popular
works in the flute repertory. Recent scholarship, however, suggests that three
of them were written by other composers. The Sonata in C Major, BWV 1033,
was probably written by one of Bachs students, perhaps under the supervision
of Bach himself. The sonata comprises the typical four-movement Baroque sonata
scheme of andante, allegro, adagio and minuet.
Beethovens Trio in G Major, WoO 37, for piano, flute, and bassoon,
like many of his earliest works, lay forgotten for many years. First published
in 1888, it dates from Beethovens tenure as court organist in Bonn sometime
between 1786 and 1790. It was written for members of one of Bonns noble
families. Judging by the demands placed upon the performers the family must
have included some very talented musicians. The Trio comprises three movements
and reflects Mozarts influence on the young Beethoven.
Villa-Lobos was one of the most original of 20th-century composers. His
style combines the music of his native Brazil with traditional European compositional
techniques. Today he is widely considered one of the landmark composers of
the 20th century. His stature was reflected in the comments of Leonard Bernstein,
who said that "he was not only a great composer but also a great Brazilian
and an eminent personality of the world artistic community."
Among his finest and most characteristic works are the "Bachianas Brasileiras."
The composer wrote, "The Bachianas Brasileiras, comprising
nine suites, were written in homage to the great genius of J.S. Bach. They
were inspired by the musical atmosphere of Bach in respect to harmony and
counterpoint, and by the melodic atmosphere of the folk music of Brazils
northeastern region . . . (For the sixth suite) I chose the combination of
flute and bassoon to suggest the old Brazilian serenade for two instruments."
Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu was born in a church bell-tower in the town
of Policka, East Bohemia in 1890. He played the violin as a child and studied
on and off at the Prague Conservatory, but with little success. After moving
to Paris in 1923 he gradually became known in progressive music circles across
Europe. In 1940 Martinu and his wife fled the city only four days ahead of
the German army, leaving behind most of his scores. Within a year they had
moved to the United States, where he remained for several years.
Martinu was an extremely prolific composer, producing works in every musical
genre. The Trio for flute, cello, and piano -- performed by the Flint Hills
Trio with bassoon in place of cello -- dates from the summer of 1944, while
the composer was living in Ridgefield, Conn. The work was praised by American
composer Virgil Thompson as "a gem of bright sound and cheerful sentiment."
McComas holds degrees in flute performance from the University of Kansas
and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where she
is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in flute. McComas is the flute instructor
at Emporia State University (ESU) and maintains private teaching studios in
Lawrence and Olathe, Kansas; she has also recently taught flute at Baker University
and Pittsburg State University (Kan.). She is the principal flute of the Topeka
Symphony Orchestra and co-principal of the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra.
Comstock is professor of double reeds and director of orchestras at ESU.
He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Western Illinois University,
and the University of Memphis. He has performed in numerous orchestras and
chamber ensembles in Oregon, New York, Illinois, Tennessee and Kansas. He
is a member of the ESU Chamber Players and the ESU Woodwind Quintet and is
the director of the Emporia Symphony Orchestra and the ESU Chamber Orchestra.
Miller, a pianist and elementary music specialist, holds degrees from Florida
State University, Northwestern University, and Silver Lake College. She has
taught elementary music in Wisconsin and held university positions at Silver
Lake College, Southeast Missouri State University, Florida State University
and ESU, where she serves as Chair of Music. Miller is active as a soloist,
chamber musician, and ensemble performer.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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