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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 18, 2005

Graduate Students Conduct As UI Orchestras Present Joint Concert Dec. 4

The Philharmonia Orchestra and All University String Orchestra (AUSO) from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert with student conductors at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The conductors -- Jason Hooper, Alec Mariani, Jeremy Starr, Sam Stapleton and Enaldo Oliveira -- are graduate students working with William LaRue Jones, the director of orchestral studies at the UI School of Music.

The program for the Dec. 4 concert features works form the 17th and 18th centuries, including music by composers who were prominent figures in their lifetimes but who are little known today.

The program was selected in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, to be celebrated next year. Works were selected from the 17th and 18th  centuries by composers who preceded Mozart, as well as two of Mozart's less familiar opera overtures.

For the first portion of the program, the AUSO will perform four pieces by composers who represent the French Baroque, the English Baroque, the German Baroque and the Mannheim School. All were influential in their lifetimes, but they are little known today outside of music history classes:

-- The Ballet Suite from "Le Triomphe de l'Amour" (The triumph of love) by Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) with Jeremy Starr, conductor;

-- Chacony in G minor by Henry Purcell (1659-1695), with Sam Stapleton, conductor;

-- the Symphony in A major of Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758) with Alec Mariani, conductor; and

-- Mannheim Symphony No. 2 in A major by Johann Stamitz (1717-1757) with Jason Hooper, conductor.

After intermission, the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Enaldo Oliveira will perform the overtures to Mozart's "Idomeneo," K366, and "La Clemenza di Tito," K621.

Although he was born in Italy, Lully became the leading figure in French music for much of the late 17th century. A favorite of King Louis XIV, he led music at court, established a virtuoso string ensemble that became the model for orchestral playing throughout Europe, and he composed ballets and operas that glorified the French monarchy.

The leading composer of the English Baroque, Purcell grew up in the shadow of Westminster Abbey. As a child he sang in the Chapel Royal, and at the age of 20 was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey. His music, including choral works, music for the theater and various instrumental works, is still well known in England.

As a law student at the University of Leipzig in the early 18th century, Fasch dabbled in composition without formal training, eventually becoming well enough known to receive commissions for operas. After receiving formal training in music he became Kapellmeister to the Court in Zerbst. Fasch was as well known in his day as his friend and early inspiration Telemann, and copies of his manuscripts were widely distributed, even being found in the collection of J. S. Bach.

Stamitz was director of one of the best and most important orchestras in mid-18th-century Europe, at the court in Mannheim, Germany. Known for the quality of its players, the Mannheim orchestra and the composers associated with the court helped establish the symphony as a major form of musical expression. Stamitz is credited with more than 60 symphonies, 100 orchestral trios, concertos for violin, flute, oboe, harpsichord and clarinet and numerous chamber works.

"Idomeneo," composed in 1780, and "La Clemenza di Tito," composed in 1791, are respectively the first and last -- and the least known -- of Mozart's mature operas. Both are serious operas, written in a style that in Mozart's lifetime was considered old-fashioned and that was reserved for formal court occasions. Because they are cast in a more rigid form, they have not been as popular as Mozart's comic operas. However, they both contain much beautiful music, which is reflected in the overtures.

Oliveira has a bachelor's degree in violin performance from Santa Marcelina College in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a master's degree from Sao Paulo University. He served as string coordinator at Tom Jobim Music University and as pedagogical coordinator of the Guri Project for the Cultural State Secretary of Sao Paulo. He is a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at the UI, where he studies with Jones. Since 2003, he has been manager of the University of Iowa Orchestras and co-director of the All-University String Orchestra. He recently became music director of the Saint Ambrose University Community Symphony Orchestra and music director for the Greater Cedar Rapids Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Mariani has a bachelor's degree in music education from the State University of New York College at Potsdam and a master's degree in double bass performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, the Saginaw Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Northern New York. Mariani taught orchestra in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area at both the High School and Middle School level for eight years between 1997-2005. He currently plays in the Cedar Rapids Symphony while studying at the UI School of Music with Volkan Orhon for a doctorate in double bass performance and with William LaRue Jones for a master's degree in orchestral conducting.

Stapleton received his bachelor's degree in violin performance from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He has spent the past two years teaching private and group Suzuki violin lessons in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids and playing with the Cedar Rapids and Dubuque Symphonies. Samuel has performed with orchestras in Italy, Germany and Austria. He was concertmaster of a world youth symphony in Matsumoto, Japan. This fall marks his first semester studying with Jones for a master's in orchestral conducting.

Starr received his bachelor of music degree from Brigham Young University, where he served as concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra. While in Utah, he played in the first violin section of the Orchestra on Temple Square, the performing and recording volunteer orchestra for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. During the summers of 2002 and 2003, he led the Idyllwild Festival Orchestra as concertmaster and has played in the Wichita Symphony. This is his second year studying with Jones in the master's degree orchestral conducting program.

Hooper transferred to the UI School of Music from Oklahoma State University. There, he studied conducting with Richard Prior while teaching lessons in the horn studio, teaching undergraduate music theory and serving as the associate conductor of the Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra. Hooper also headed the student chamber recitals and conducted ensembles in the student composers' concert. He received a bachelor's degree in horn performance from Oklahoma State in 2003. At the UI he is studying orchestral conducting with Jones in the master's degree program.

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.