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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Iowa City IA 52242
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e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 29, 2000

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Coelho is pronounced QUAIL-yo. Tadeu is pronounced tah-DAY-oo)

Six UI music faculty will be featured soloists in two 'concerted symphonies' by Mozart Oct. 15

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra will feature six faculty members from the UI School of Music in two works by Mozart, in a free concert under the direction of William LaRue Jones, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The relatively short orchestral program will comprise two "sinfonie concertante," or "concerted symphonies," by Mozart -- a type of concerto for more than one instrument and orchestra that was popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

First on the program will be Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for violin and viola, K.364, with violinist Amy Appold and violist Christine Rutledge. Following a brief intermission, the orchestra will perform the Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for winds and orchestra, K. 297b, with flutist Tadeu Coelho, oboist Mark Weiger, bassoonist Benjamin Coelho and horn player Kristin Thelander.

Characterized by melodic variety, tuneful themes in major keys and a lighthearted quality, the sinfonia concertante first appeared in Paris. Starting around 1770, French composers satisfied the Parisian audience’s fondness for virtuoso display by soloists and colorful orchestral sounds with numerous sinfonie concertante that are largely forgotten today.

Composers at the court in Mannheim, Germany, soon took up the sinfonia concertante as a means of showing off the abilities of their orchestra, which was renowned as the best in Europe. Mannheim was especially famed for its outstanding wind players, who were often featured in these works. From Mannheim the genre spread throughout Europe until it fell out of fashion around 1830.

It was on a trip through the musical capitals of Europe in 1777-79 that Mozart visited both Mannheim and Paris and came in contact with the sinfonia concertante. He wrote the Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola in 1779 in Salzburg, soon after his return from that trip -- probably to show that he and the Salzburg orchestra were as good as any musicians in Europe.

The work provides soloistic opportunities for both players, since the two instruments mostly play in dialogue. Often the viola takes over phrases first played by the violin and varies them in some way, before the two instruments join together for the ends of sections.

The Sinfonia concertante for winds was written earlier, probably for the players in the Mannheim orchestra. The work has been the subject of considerable discussion among musical scholars. Because its origin is undocumented, and it is in some ways an uncharacteristic work for Mozart, there is question how much, if any, of the Sinfonia concertante is actually by Mozart. According to one theory, the score was reconstructed by a later composer from Mozart’s original solo parts; another theory is that Mozart himself rewrote parts of the piece to avoid similarities to another composer’s work.

Whatever the facts of its origin, the Sinfonia concertante for winds remains popular with both wind players and audiences. The composer -- whoever that is -- makes much out of the interplay among the individual instruments, allowing each performer to shine as a soloist as well as bringing them all together in a cohesive quartet.

Appold is a founding member and first violinist of the Maia String Quartet. Her extensive performing experience also includes positions with the Youngstown and Canton symphonies and the Isabella Gardner Museum Chamber Orchestra in Boston and solo performances with the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony and the Bach Ensemble of Baltimore.

Rutledge joined the UI faculty in 1998. She has appeared as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the United States and abroad. Her performances and recordings with the Notre Dame String Trio have earned glowing reviews from The Strad, Fanfare and other music publications. Her solo performances have included those before her professional peers at three international viola congress meetings.

Tadeu Coelho joined the UI music faculty in 1997. An international touring artist sponsored by the Miyazawa Flute Company, he has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the Americas. He has performed as first solo flutist with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany and the Spoletto Festival Orchestra in Italy. In the summer of 1996 he was invited to play with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood.

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions, won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (N.Y), and presented solo recitals with many notable artists.

Benjamin Coelho has worked extensively as performer and teacher of bassoon, in both the United States and his native Brazil. He was a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, with whom he played a sold-out concert in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. As a soloist, Coelho has played recitals and concertos in Brazil, the United States, Canada and Portugal.

Thelander joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1989 and was elected director of the School of Music in 2000. She was the first prize-winner in the 1981 American Horn Competition, and she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, South Korea and the People’s Republic of China. She has recorded solo and chamber music for Crystal Records, CRI, Vienna Modern masters and Centaur Records.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland) and other orchestras around the world. He has conducted all-state and festival orchestras in 46 states and five Canadian provinces.

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/.