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Release: Oct. 12, 2001

Iowa Woodwind Quintet Features World Premiere Oct. 27

The Iowa Woodwind Quintet will present the world premiere of a new piece written for the University of Iowa faculty group by American composer Amelia Kaplan, as past of a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday ,Oct. 27 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The Iowa Woodwind Quintet has been in existence at the UI School of Music since about 1932. Its current members -- Tadeu Coelho, flute; Mark Weiger, oboe; Maurita Murphy Mead, clarinet; Kristin Thelander, horn; and Benjamin Coelho, bassoon -- are all members of the UI School of Music faculty.

In addition to Kaplan's "(Almost) Like a Bat Out of Hell," the quintet will perform the Quintet No. 2 by Frigyes Hidas; "Roaring Fork" by Eric Ewazin; and the Wind Quintet No. 2, op. 46, by Miguel del Aguila. They will also perform the Divertissement for wind quintet and piano by Albert Roussel with pianist Shari Rhoads, the coach accompanist of the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater.

Kaplan was a visiting faculty member of the UI School of Music last year. During her visit, the UI Center for New Music presented a concert featuring two of her works. While she was at the UI, Kaplan got to know the members of the Iowa Woodwind Quintet, and they commissioned a new piece from her.

Weiger said that the brief piece that resulted from the commission -- only about 3 minutes in length -- "is intended as a bit of humor, reflecting what she sees as our personalities, and is supposed to go like a bat out of hell!"

Kaplan received her doctorate in music composition from the University of Chicago, where she also received a master's degree in composition and in music history and theory. She was the recipient of a Whiting Dissertation Fellowship, which she used to study at the Milan Conservatory in Italy. Her music has been performed in the United States and Europe.

Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas was born in Budapest in 1928. Although his style is loosely tied to Hungarian folk song, his three woodwind quintets -- written in 1921, 1929 and
1978 -- demonstrate the strong influence of American jazz. His many trips to the United States have brought him to Iowa on several occasions.

The Quintet No. 2 makes distinctive use the of individual characteristics and idiosyncratic personalities of the five wind instruments. The jazz influence is evident in the use of unusual effects, including finger snapping and sliding glissandos, as well as unique meters, dance forms and vivid instrumental colors.

The French composer Albert Roussel came from a very wealthy family. After an early naval career, he went to study composition at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he later became a teacher. In 1909 he made a tour of India and Indo-China, and he drew on that experience in writing a Hindu opera-ballet, and several of his works make us of deliberately exotic material.

While the Impressionist influence is readily discernible in Roussel's early works, his later works became more spare and astringent, like Ravel's neo-Classical pieces. The Divertissement, Op. 6 for winds and piano -- an early work -- is greatly influenced by his teacher Vincent d'Indy.

"Roaring Forks" was commissioned by the Borealis Wind Quintet, who premiered the work during their 1993 tour of the US. The valley of the Roaring Fork River in Colorado is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rocky Mountains. This work evokes such scenes with movements titled "Whitewater Rapids," "Snowmass Lake" and "At the Summit."

A faculty member of the Juilliard School in New York, Eric Ewazen has received many composition awards and prizes, and his works have been performed and commissioned by many chamber ensembles, soloists, and orchestras in the US and overseas.

American composer Miguel del Aguila was born in Uruguay. Having moved to the United States in 1978, he earned his BA from the San Francisco Conservatory. While his studies subsequently took him to Vienna, he returned to California in 1992. In 1994 he was nominated as Los Angeles' "resident music man of the year" by the Los Angeles Times and chosen to "cap the list of our Top 10 people to watch" by The Star.

Written in 1994, his Wind Quintet No. 2 received its premiere performance in 1995. In that same year the work was awarded a Kennedy center Friedheim Award for excellence in chamber music composition. The work involves four movements which are programmatically suggestive by their titles: "Back in Time," "Heaven," "Under the Earth" and "Far Away."

Tadeu Coelho joined the UI music faculty in 1997. 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 Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy. His CD recording of the music of Brazilian composers was released on Tempo Primo in 1995, and he also recorded works by Thomas Delio on 3D Classics.

Weiger has performed in 38 states, Canada, England, France and Austria and, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York. Since coming to Iowa, he has been principal oboe with several orchestras. The first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador through the U.S. Information Agency, Weiger performed recitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Sri Lanka. He is a member of the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, the Bear Lake Festival in Utah, and WIZARDS!, a double reed quartet. He has recorded for the CRS, Crystal, Chandos and Centaur CD labels

Mead 's many solo invitations have included International Clarinet Association conferences, the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the Southeastern Clarinet Workshop and the conference of the College Band Directors National Association. She has been principal clarinet of several Midwestern

orchestras, including the Cedar Rapids Symphony. As a chamber musician she has appeared with the Cleveland Quartet and other ensembles. She has recorded a CD of Brazilian choros with pianist Rafael Dos Santos, a UI alumnus.

Active as both soloist and chamber musician, Thelander is also director of the UI School of Music. During the summer she performs with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Ore. Previously she was on the music faculty at the University of New Mexico, and she was a member of the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony and the Four Corners Opera Festival in Durango, Colo. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, South Korea and the People's Republic of China.

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. He has played with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro and the Grupo de Musica Contemporanea of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He taught bassoon at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, where he served as the elected vice-dean of the School of Music.

Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 2000. She earned her degree in accompanying and has completed post-graduate studies in opera coaching/conducting at the University of Southern California. Before arriving at the UI she taught music history at the Musikhochschule (Music conservatory) in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads has also been Kapellmeister at the Lucerne Theater and conductor/coach at the opera theater in Darmstadt, Germany. She was coach at the Barcelona and Madrid opera theaters.

Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima and Montserrat Caballe with whom she worked exclusively as coach/accompanist and orchestrator. She has accompanied master classes with a number of renowned artists including singer Gerard Souzay, cellist Lynn Harrell and violist William Primrose, and served as staff accompanist for the Francesco Vinas (Barcelona, Spain) and Munich International competitions.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.