University of Iowa News Release
Oct. 7, 2004
Premieres Will Be Among Works On Oct. 18 Program Of Modern 'Three B's'
David Greenhoe, trumpet faculty member at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present "Three B's, for Crossing into the 21st Century: New Music for Trumpet and Piano by Berners, Blank and Brownlow" with pianist Kazuo Murakami at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Their recital program will be free and open to the public.
The title of Greenhoe's program refers to a famous characterization, popular since the 19th century, of J.S. Bach, Beethoven and Brahms as the "Three B's" of German music.
The three works on Greenhoe's program are all very recent: receiving its premiere performance, John Berners' Trumpet Concerto was completed this year; another premiere, Allan Blank's "Moods of Imagination" was composed in 2002; and "Robert J. Brownlow's "Six Miniatures for trumpet and piano" was composed in 1998.
"There is a lot of new music for trumpet that I've wanted to explore, and as these three pieces presented themselves to me, playing them became a personal mission," Greenhoe commented. "The challenge of figuring out how to make a piece work -- to find the core, and to find the technical facility to bring it to life. That's what I live for. I found these pieces to be worth the challenge and it has been an energizing and satisfying project for me to work through."
Berner's Concerto for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra -- performed in an arrangement for trumpet and piano -- started, the composer said, "with the trumpet's knack for imitating human sounds, like the cry of a baby." In fact, Berners said, "by playing into a plunger or making a wah-wah effect with a mute, the trumpet can make a whole assortment of strange sounds, most often heard in jazz.
"These sounds can be funny, or powerfully expressive. . . . While sound effect techniques are used rather sparingly in this piece, they are important to the story line of the concerto. The first movement is the story of a birth, and the following movements are related to childhood.
"I offer my sincere gratitude and appreciation to both (Greenhoe and Murakami) for their work in preparing this piece, and for the pleasure I have had in working with them."
Berners is an adjunct faculty member at the UI School of Music His works have been played by the Detroit Symphony, the Boston Symphony brass section, the Tanglewood Festival Brass, Kalamazoo Symphony, Brave New Works, the Michigan Chamber Brass and many college ensembles. His music has been recorded by pianist Alan Huckleberry, the Millar Brass Ensemble and Boston's Old South Brass.
Violinist and composer Allan Blank studied at the Juilliard School of Music, Washington Square College, the University of Minnesota and the UI. He was a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and is currently professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he taught from 1978-1996.
"Moods of Imagination" was composed for Greenhoe. Blank described the score as a set of experiences summarized by the titles of the movements: "Fantasy," "Whimsy," "Meditation" and "Assertive." His intention is to allow the titles to stimulate the imaginations of the listeners and the performers.
A graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Brownlow received masters and doctoral degree from the UI, where he was a trumpet student of Greenhoe. He currently teaches music theory and composition at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and is active as a performer. He is also on the composition faculty during the summer at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Mich.
Brownlow said that his "Six Miniatures" was inspired by a variety of sources, ranging from the Renaissance composer Josquin DesPrez to "Third Stream" music that occupies a place between jazz and classical styles. In spite of the diversity of styles, the six movements " are inter-connected in a variety of ways and are therefore, not intended to be performed as individual pieces or in smaller groupings."
Greenhoe has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music and the principal trumpeter of the Quad City Symphony since 1979. He is also chair of the brass area at the UI and plays first trumpet in the UI Iowa Brass Quintet. He is active as a soloist and recitalist, chamber musician and free-lance trumpeter in many varied musical venues. During summer seasons he performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post he has held since 1975.
Prior to coming to Iowa, Greenhoe was a member and soloist of "The President's Own" -- the United States Marine Band in Washington D.C. -- and a member of the music performance faculty at Ball State University in Indiana. He has also performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Rochester (N.Y.) Philharmonic and the Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Philharmonic.
Kazuo Murakami was born in Tokyo, Japan, and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world. He has studied at Kyoto City University of Arts, New England Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the UI School of Music studying with Uriel Tsachor.
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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