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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 14, 2003

Student Conductors Lead Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra Concert March 2

The Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a concert under student conductors at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. Double bassist Volkan Orhon from the UI faculty will be a featured soloist for the concert, which will be free and open to the public.

Two works will be performed. Graduate student Ju Cheol Wang will conduct the Concerto in G major for flute and orchestra "Pour Potsdam" (for Potsdam) by Johann Joachim Quantz. Wang made the string bass arrangement of this concerto, which will be played for the first time by Orhon.

Jean Montes, a graduate conducting student and orchestra manager for the University Symphony, will conduct Joseph Haydn's famous "Surprise" Symphony, No. 94 in G major.

Quantz, perhaps the greatest flute virtuoso of his time, wrote many more than 200 works for the flute. Many of them, including the G Major concerto, were written at the Potsdam court of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick was a great music lover, and himself a fine flutist.

Quantz was Frederick's flute teacher for many years, and from 1741 until his death he was employed as a member of the King's excellent court orchestra. Quantz probably composed this concerto for himself, although it is possible that Frederick performed the solo part at one the concerts that occurred frequently at his palace.

Haydn's Symphony 94 was composed for the first of the composer's two concert tours to London in the years 1791-95. The trips to London occurred near the end of Haydn's long and productive life, after his retirement from his job as a court musician to the Esterhazy family of Hungary and Austria. The concert promoter Johann Peter Salomon arranged for the two tours, which capped Haydn's international fame. The toast of London, Haydn was celebrated as composer, performer and dinner guest during his visits.

The most famous of the 12 symphonies Haydn wrote for the two London trips was the Symphony in G major, known for the "surprise" that takes place in the slow movement. The tale is well known: Haydn, frustrated by the aristocrats who dozed off during his concerts, inserted a loud drum-stroke punctuating an otherwise gentle phrase to jolt them awake. It's a pretty good story, and there might be some truth to it -- Haydn himself apparently circulated a rumor in London that the drum stroke was intended to "make the ladies scream." However, years later the composer simply said "it was my wish to surprise the public with something new, and to make a debut in a brilliant manner."

In that Haydn undoubtedly succeeded. The symphony's first performance in London on March 23, 1792, was greeted, Haydn reported, "with countless bravos," and the "Surprise" Symphony has remained Haydn's most popular work ever since.

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 <ur-acr@uiowa.edu>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.