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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 12, 2006

Jazz/Classical Pianist Donal Fox Will Be Soloist For Concert Oct. 25

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra and UI Symphony Band will continue their 2006-07 series of shared concerts, presented as part of the centennial celebration of the UI School of Music, with a concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the UI Hancher Auditorium.

Like other concerts in the series, the Oct. 25 event will feature premieres of new works written for the centennial by UI alumni. William LaRue Jones will lead the Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of "Fragments" for improvised piano and orchestra by T.J. Anderson, featuring prominent jazz and classical pianist Donal Fox as soloist. The orchestra will also perform John Corigliano's "Gazebo Dances."

Myron Welch will conduct the Symphony Band in the premiere of Andrew Boysen's "Frenzy." Other works performed by Welch and the band will be "Celebration" by Philip Sparke and the Symphony for Band of Donald McGinnis, which was written as a UI doctoral dissertation in 1952.

The concert will be recorded by Iowa Public Television for future broadcast.

The remaining shared concerts of the UI Symphony Orchestra and UI Symphony Band will be Wednesdays Feb. 21 and May 2, both in Hancher Auditorium. In another Centennial Concert, the UI Symphony Orchestra and Choruses will present Verdi's "Requiem" with alumni soloists in Hancher Nov 29.

Anderson's "Fragments" is subtitled "A J.S. Bach/T.S. Monk Fantasy." Anderson noted that "the concept of combining Bach and Monk was introduced to me by my former student Donal Fox.

"The work begins with an introduction and is followed by three episodes with solo cadenzas introducing the episodes. Through free cadenzas, modal and chordal improvisation, the work has references to both Bach and Monk. ... My constant formula for 'Fragments' has been J.S. Bach + T.S. Monk = T.J. Anderson."

Fox has commented on the concerto, "There are very few notes for the piano so I have to improvise the entire concerto with the orchestra. That will be a real challenge."

Boysen said that the title of his work, "Frenzy" "refers both to the active and intense nature of the pieces as well as to my own frenzied state of mind during its composition.

"It meant a great deal to me to write a piece for the UI. My sister and I are third generation Hawkeyes, as both of our parents and two of our grandparents attended the institution. I grew up watching Iowa football and basketball and always wanted to march in the Hawkeye Marching band, like my father.

"As I considered the commission, I reflected on my experiences in the Symphony Band and my growth as a student while at the university ... 'Frenzy' ... is really intended as a tribute to the musicians of the Symphony Band and their wonderful conductor, Myron Welch."

Established in 1906, the UI School of Music will celebrate its centennial throughout the 2006-07 academic year. The celebration was inaugurated Sept. 9 with a highly successful Centennial Gala Showcase Concert and will feature a series of concerts throughout the 2006-07 academic year, many of them presenting new compositions that were commissioned from UI alumni for the occasion. The concerts, including performances by UI faculty and many of the major ensembles of the School of Music, are listed on the Web at www.uiowa.edu/~music/centennial/centennial.htm

Donal Fox is internationally acclaimed as composer, pianist and improviser in both the jazz and classical fields. His numerous awards include a 1997 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition, a 1998 Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), and 1999, 2001 and 2003 nominations for a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts.

His innovative "Jazz Duet Series" has included concerts, recordings, and collaborations with artists including Oliver Lake, John Stubblefield, Billy Pierce, David Murray, Elliott Sharp, Regina Carter, Andrew Cyrille, Stefon Harris, Al Foster, Gary Burton and John Patitucci. Fox served as the first African American composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony. He has been a special guest artist at the Library of Congress in a program recorded by National Public Radio, and a visiting artist at Harvard University.

In the 2003-2004 season Fox was a featured concert artist with the American Composer Orchestra "Improvise Festival!", where he gave the New York premiere of T.J. Anderson's piano concerto "Boogie Woogie Concertante," written specifically for him. In the same season he held artist-in-residence posts at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Northern Ireland and the Oberfaezer Kuenstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. The founding director of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with professional, festival, collegiate and student ensembles throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. See: www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/CONDjones.htm

Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980 and is a Collegiate Fellow in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association, Welch is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout the United States. See www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/CONDwelch.htm

Tickets for the Oct. 25 concert by the UI Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Band are $10 ($7 for seniors; $5 for UI students and youth), and are available at the Hancher Auditorium Box Office.

If purchased together with other tickets for events presented by the UI Division of Performing Arts -- the Mainstage season of University Theatres, the annual Dance Gala performances, ticketed School of Music concerts in Hancher Auditorium and a production by the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater -- tickets to the concert may be eligible for a series discount.

The events are detailed in a Division of Performing Arts brochure that is available at the Hancher Auditorium Box Office, in the UI Theatre Building and from the division's marketing office at 319-335-3213. As explained in the brochure, patrons who purchase tickets to four, five or six events will receive a 20-percent discount; purchasing tickets for seven or more events earns a 25-percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu .

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <hancher-box-office@uiowa.edu>.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. ou may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. YTo receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 319-541-2846; peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.