The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 28, 2004

Iowa Woodwind Quintet Goes Hollywood In Nov. 14 Concert

The Iowa Woodwind Quintet from the University of Iowa School of Music will perform music by one of the most successful Hollywood composers of the 1960s and '70s as part of a wide-ranging concert of original music for winds at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Hollywood will be represented on the program by Lalo Schifrin, the composer of television theme music for "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." and "Mission: Impossible," as well as music for many feature films, including "Cool Hand Luke," "Kelly's Heroes" and "Dirty Harry."

The Argentine-born Schifrin also had an historic impact in the jazz and classical worlds. As a young man he studied composition at the Paris Conservatory by day and played jazz in Paris nightclubs by night, once wrote for Dizzy Gillespie's big band and composed several classical pieces. The Iowa Woodwind Quintet will play his "La Nouvelle Orleans" from 1987.

Other works on the concert will be somewhat more standard classical repertoire, while covering a range of styles. They will be:

--The early 19th-century Quintet, Op. 68, Nr. 2, by Franz Danzi, one of the first composers to write for the now-standard woodwind quintet.

--The Serenade for wind quintet from around 1943 by the Austrian Karl Pilss.

--The Wind Quintet from around 1942 by the idiosyncratic British composer Sir Malcolm Arnold.

Danzi spent his career as cellist, conductor and composer in the service of German princes in Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, from the late years of the 18th century until his death in 1826. He was a prolific composer of operas and sacred music as well as more than 75 pieces of chamber music. By training and inclination he was more of a classical than a Romantic composer, and his works -- always attractive and well crafted -- were considered conservative and old-fashioned by the end of his life.

Pilss was born 1902 in Vienna where he studied piano, music theory and composition. By 1932 he became an assistant to the choir director at the Vienna State Opera and professor of piano and music theory at the Vienna Conservatory. From 1934 to 1966 he was a choir leader with the Salzburg Festivals, and from 1941 he worked as a vocal coach at the Vienna State Opera. He died in 1979, having left 85 works for winds or brass, 10 orchestral works, 19 songs and 34 works for choir. His pictorial-graphic work is just as extensive: 100 designs, nine sketch books, 70 water colors, pastel and chalk designs and 15 oil paintings.

Arnold, often identified as England's most irascible composer, has been active from the Second World War onwards. Fiercely anti-war, he is said to have shot himself in the foot to avoid service. He completed his Wind Quintet on December 20, 1942, at the height of World War II, for the principal wind players of the London Philharmonic, in which he was principal trumpet, although it was not published until 2002.

Arnold's music is rhythmically vital, sometimes melodically brutally sparse and colored by a flair for orchestration. Known for his use of popular music styles, Arnold is also capable of riotous humor. There is no shortage of jazz-inspired ideas or color or even mockery within the quintet, in which the composer recognizes the capabilities and personalities of the individual instruments.

The Iowa Woodwind Quintet has been in existence at the UI School of Music since about 1932. Its current members -- Tamara Thweatt, 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.

Thweatt came to the UI in 2003. She was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2000-2002 and has also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and many regional ensembles. She has studied the Baroque flute and has performed the solo flute part in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with the Michigan Chamber Players. She also enjoys chamber music of all styles and periods, and has performed George Crumb's "Vox Balaenae" (The voice of the whale) at Interlochen, Mich.

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions and won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY). 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 has recorded for the CRS, Crystal, Chandos and Centaur CD labels.

Mead has performed by invitation at 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 had made several recordings, including two CDs of Brazilian choros with pianist Rafael Dos Santos, a UI alumnus.

Thelander joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1989 and was elected director of the School of Music in 2000. Active as soloist and chamber musician, she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, South Korea and the People's Republic of China. As a guest artist she performed a solo with the Chinese National Opera Orchestra for the opening concert of the International Horn Symposium held in Beijing in July of 2000. During the summer she performs with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Ore.

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.

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.

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