University of Iowa News Release
March 24, 2006
University of Nebraska Brass Quintet Will Perform At UI April 3
The Faculty Brass Quintet from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, will present a free concert at 8 p.m. Monday, April 3, in Harper Hall of the University of Iowa Voxman Music Building.
The quintet will perform as guests of the brass area at the UI School of Music. Members of the group -- Darryl White and K. Craig Bircher, trumpets; Carolyn Barber, horn; Scott Anderson, trombone; and Craig Fuller, tuba -- are on the faculty at the UN School of Music. They will be joined by two additional guest artists from the Omaha Symphony: UI alumnus Jay Wise, bass trombone, and Mary Bircher, harp.
The program for the concert will be:
-- Music for Brass Instruments by Ingolf Dahl, for the quintet and bass trombone;
-- Concertino for Brass Quintet and Harp by Rayner Brown;
-- Quintet by Michael Kamen; and
-- Four Sketches for Brass Quintet by Anthony Plog.
The University of Nebraska Brass Quintet is dedicated to the performance of original repertoire works for brass quintet. Recent concerts have featured works by Eric Ewazen, Jan Bach, Witold Lutoslawski, Juraj Filas, Rayner Brown, Anthony Plog, Desire Dondeyne, Ingolf Dahl and Michael Kamen. The group has had a touring presence within the state of Nebraska as well as the Midwest region.
The quintet's 2006 spring tour program features works that are new to the quintet. "We are especially excited about performing the Rayner Brown with Mary Bircher and the Ingolf Dahl with Jay Wise," their press materials state. "Neither of these works are performed as frequently as perhaps they deserve. . . . We have dedicated ourselves to the performance of original repertoire and were so taken with these pieces that we decided to take them on the road!"
Dahl was an American composer, conductor, pianist and music educator of Swedish-German parentage. After studies in Germany and Switzerland, he left Europe in 1938 and settled in Los Angeles. The range of his musical activities included works for radio and film studios, composing, conducting, giving solo piano concerts and lecturing. He joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in 1945 and remained there until his death.
In addition to teaching composition, conducting and music history, Dahl directed the USC symphony orchestra. His output as a composer was fairly small; his varied career provided little time for composing, and he wrote slowly and meticulously.
Brown was born in Des Moines but spent most of his life in Southern California. He received both a bachelor's and master's degree from USC and taught for 30 years at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. He was a church organist for 45 years and served as dean of the Los Angeles Chapter and state chairman of the American Guild of Organists. He wrote more than 200 works that are performed throughout the United States and in Europe.
Kamen was a pioneer in the rock/classical fusion genre, forming the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble in the late 1970s. His eclecticism and crossover talent has been the trademark throughout his career, working as a classical composer, rock arranger and songwriter, and, primarily, film composer. In the late 1980s and '90s, Kamen's motif-driven action scoring was influential in Hollywood, particularly his scores for the "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon" films. Later he wrote the scores for "Don Juan DeMarco" and "Mr. Holland's Opus." At his death in 2003 he had written music for more than 75 feature films. The Brass Quintet was commissioned by the Canadian Brass and completed just prior to his death.
Plog began studying music at the age of 10, and by 19 he was an extra trumpet with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas and Claudio Abbado. He was principal trumpet with the San Antonio Symphony and associate principal with the Utah Symphony before he moved to Europe to play solo trumpet with the Malmo Symphony in Sweden. As a soloist, he has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan.
Plog's compositions have been performed in more than 30 countries. He has written a great deal of brass music, and his compositions have been required pieces for a number of international brass competitions. Since 1993 he has been a professor at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik (State Music Conservatory) in Freiburg, Germany.
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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