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Release: Oct. 17, 2002

FLUTIST ROBERT DICK TRANSCENDS PRECONCEPTIONS IN UI RECITAL NOV. 1

Flutist and composer Robert Dick, a visiting faculty member at the University of Iowa School of Music, will trace a musical journey extending all the way from J.S. Bach to music inspired by sacred flute music of New Guinea, with a dizzying array of stops in between, on a free faculty recital at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Dick will perform with pianist Ksenia Nosikova, also from the UI School of Music faculty.

Dick is internationally known as a performer, composer and improviser. He describes himself as “a musician with 21st century skills and 18th century attitudes” who continues the tradition of virtuoso composer/performers including Chopin, Paganini and Jimi Hendrix.

His UI debut faculty recital typifies his approach to musical performance. Listing the apparent extremes on the recital program -- Bach and New Guinea -- hardly does justice to the breadth of Dick’s musical interests or the eclecticism of the whole program.

In addition to Bach’s Sonata in E-flat major, Dick will play “Le Merle Noir” (The black bird) by contemporary French mystic Olivier Messiaen, who often fills his scores with transcribed bird song; Dick’s own arrangement of a virtuosic Paganini Caprice for violin; Frederick Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor; three of Dick’s own avant-garde compositions -- “T Might Equal C to the Tenth” for bass flute, “OR” for flute alone and “Greenhouse” for flute alone; and the Sonata for Flute and Piano, op. 94, by 20th-centurty Russian composer Sergei Prokofieff

“There is no conflict in programming so broadly,” Dick asserted. “I've chosen this music because each work will serve to introduce and to illuminate the others. Very many years ago I left preconceptions about music and about the flute behind, and haven’t ever missed them.”

“This program is designed to be a musical journey that goes to places both familiar and highly exotic. It ranges from the Baroque to the blues, approached from the viewpoint of Jimi Hendrix's guitar style transmogrified through the flute, chords, slides, wild transformations of sound -- you name it.

“I'm part of the tradition of the creative virtuoso, thus music by Paganini -- played with all the chords -- and the Hendrix-inspired blues. My music also has roots in both western classical and world music. These can be heard in the bass flute work "T Might Equal C to the Tenth" whose original inspiration was the Sacred Flute music of New Guinea, and in the baroque and classical pieces by Bach, Chopin and Prokofieff.

“This concert will provide a rich new experience for listeners. Anchored in several traditions, it will also fly with new aesthetics and sounds to new places. I am very much looking forward to introducing myself to the Iowa City musical community and to collaborating with the marvelous Ksenia Nosikova in this program.”

Dick has received critical acclaim world wide for both his technical accomplishment and his groundbreaking creativity. The Washington Post wrote, “Dick held the audience in rapt attention with his spellbinding virtuosity,” and critic Bill Shoemaker wrote in JazzTimes, “There are few musicians that are truly revolutionary. Robert Dick is one of them.”

As a performer, Dick is particularly known for his mastery of extended techniques on the flute and for the high intensity of his concerts, which have earned a reputation as “the Hendrix of the flute.” His concerts typically include performances on flute, alto flute, bass flutes in C and F, and the giant, stand-up contrabass flute. A highly versatile player, he also performs Classical repertoire and has recorded the Telemann “Fantasies” for flute alone.

As a composer in the classical world, Dick is one of only two Americans ever to be awarded both Composers’ Fellowships and a Solo Recitalist Grant by the NEA. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the city of Zurich, the Philharmonie in Cologne, and many others.

As an improviser, Dick is a member of groups based both in New York and Europe. Based in Europe is the A.D.D. Trio (with Steve Arguelles, drums and Christy Doran, electric guitar); and in New York, he is a member of the ambient band King Chubby (with Ed Bialek, keyboards and samplers and Will Ryan, percussion).

Dick’s multifaceted musical life also includes work on redesigning the flute itself. He is currently collaborating with Bickford Brannen of Brannen Brothers Flutemakers on the development of the “Robert Dick Glissando Headjoint”, which does for the flute what the “whammy bar” does for the electric guitar.

Dick’s current projects include solo recitals and residencies, duo concerts with pianist Anthony de Mare and a performance piece, “The Psychological Sonata,” in collaboration with performance artist Rinde Eckert, an Iowa City native and UI graduate whose works have routinely been presented at the UI.

Nosikova, who joined the UI faculty in 1998, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States Europe and South America. She gave her New York debut performance in 1996 in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has been an invited guest soloist with symphony and wind orchestras in Colorado, Louisiana and Iowa. In addition she has been invited to perform at international festivals in Munster, France; Rimini, Italy; and Rovin, Yugoslavia; as well as the Aspen and Sarasota Music Festivals in the United States.

A critic in the Boston Globe wrote, “Nosikova again displayed impressive musicianship,” and in Alsace, France, a review noted, “her performance is brilliant, full of grace and the most astonishing precision.”

In addition to international appearances in France, England, Brazil and Argentina, she has performed as a guest artist at several American universities, including the universities of Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. She has presented a solo recital on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago and undertaken a recital tour of the United Kingdom. Recently she recorded the first solo CD of Franz Liszt’s “Years of Pilgrimage.”

She has been a prize winner in numerous piano competitions, including the Frinna Awerbach International Piano Competition in New York, the Alabama International Piano Competition, and the Ibla International Piano Competition in Italy, to which she has returned as a jury member. She has received two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the Central Investment Found for Research Enhancement at the UI.

Nosikova received a masters degree with high honors from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia and a doctorate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has been invited to perform with renowned artists in numerous international master classes.

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>.