CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 8, 2002
UI Chamber Orchestra features student concerto competition winners April
The two winners of the 2001-2002 All-University Concerto/Aria Competition
at the University of Iowa School of Music will be showcased on a concert by
the UI Chamber Orchestra at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14 in Clapp Recital Hall
on the UI campus.
The co-winners came from the woodwind and keyboard areas of the contest.
From the woodwind area, Joan Blazich will be the soloist in the Clarinet Concerto
of Aaron Copland, conducted by UI doctoral conducting student Lucia Matos;
and from the keyboard area, Agnes Wan will be the soloist for the Piano Concerto
No. 2 in F minor of Frederic Chopin, conducted by William LaRue Jones.
Blazich and Wan are graduate students in the School of Music, majoring in
their respective performance areas.
The 2001-2002 All-University Concerto/Aria Competition was held in November
2001. The competition was open to all students enrolled in a performance studio
in the School of Music, with the recommendation of their studio faculty. Following
an initial round of competition, nine entrants were selected for a final round
of competition, from which the two winners were selected.
The competition judges were four retired music faculty: Charles Wendt, Edward
Kottick and Eldon Obrecht from the UI and Marcella Lee from Cornell College.
Blazich is currently pursuing a masters degree as a student of Maurita
Murphy Mead while serving as a performance associate with the UI Center for
New Music. Blazich was first-prize winner in the 2002 James F. Jakobsen Graduate
Forum Humanities Division for research papers, and won first prize in the
1997 Durham Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition. She completed her
undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
receiving a bachelors degree with honors. Her principal teachers include
Mead and Donald Oehler.
Currently a first-year doctoral student in piano performance, Wan studies
with Uriel Tsachor and holds a teaching assistantship in piano. Born in Hong
Kong, she holds a bachelors degree from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing
Arts and masters degrees in piano and music therapy from Loyola University
in New Orleans. At Loyola she received awards as Outstanding Graduate Student
and Outstanding Keyboardist, and was included in the "2001 Whos
Who among Students in American Universities/Colleges." As a 1999 concerto
competition winner she performed with the Loyola Chamber Orchestra. She gave
her formal debut recital in Hong Kong in June 2001 and has also become a board-certified
Aaron Copland is widely regarded as the most "American" of composers.
Through such deliberately nationalist works as the ballets "Appalachian
Spring," "Rodeo" and "Billy the Kid," and
such patriotic works as the World-War-II vintage "Fanfare for the Common
Man" and the evocative "Lincoln Portrait," he achieved wide
popularity with American concert audiences.
But that is only one side of a complex composer, who also wrote abstract
instrumental works that have no national agenda. Among these is the Clarinet
Concerto, composed in 1948 for the great jazz player Benny Goodman.
An eclectic musician, Goodman had strong fundamental training on the clarinet
and wide-ranging interests. One of the first "cross-over " artists,
he played Mozart with the Budapest Quartet and the Boston Symphony, and he
commissioned concertos from several leading composers, including Copland and
Paul Hindemith. Copland certainly treated Goodman as a soloist of the highest
level: The concerto is one of the most challenging showpieces in the clarinet
repertoire, requiring virtuoso technique and great musical sensitivity.
Lucia Matos was born in Ourinhos, S.P, Brazil. She received a bachelors
degree in music from the University of Campinas, Brazil. From 1997 to 1998
she worked as assistant conductor at the Campinas Symphony Orchestra and University
of Campinas Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 she was awarded with a Brazilian scholarship
from CAPES for continuing her studies. She received a masters degree
in orchestral conducting from the UI, and she is currently completing the
requirements for a doctorate as a student of UI Symphony conductor William
LaRue Jones. She has conducted the Des Moines Symphony, Americana Symphony
and Campinas Symphony Orchestra.
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.
Jones 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. He has been conductor-in-residence
at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Miami (Fla.).
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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