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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2006

Sept. 29 UI Guest Recital Will Feature Music For Soprano And Horn

The unusual combination of soprano and horn with piano will be featured in a free guest recital for the University of Iowa School of Music at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building.

The performers are faculty members at West Virginia University: horn player Virginia Thompson, an alumna of the UI School of Music who has taught at the UI as well as Coe, Cornell and Grinnell colleges; soprano Rebecca Turner (photo, left), a recent member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duesseldorf, Germany; and pianist Christine Kefferstan, who has an active performing career as soloist, chamber musician and accompanist.

Works featured on the program will be:

 -- "Huntsman, What Quarry?" by Simon Sargon, on a text by Edna St. Vincent Millay; -- "Auf dem Strom" (On the river), a setting of a poem by Ludwig Rellstab by Franz Schubert;

-- a series of songs on texts by great English poets by Roger Quilter;

-- a set of three settings of popular spirituals by Jacquelyn Sellers; and

-- "Waldhornruf" (Hunting horn call) by 19th-century German composer Vincenz Lachner.

Thompson is a recitalist specializing in new music. She is a former president of the International Horn Society (IHS) and has performed on many IHS symposium programs. She has held positions in several metropolitan U.S. orchestras. Before pursuing a career in higher education, she performed with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, Mexico.

Turner came to singing by way of the piano.  Following her training as a pianist, she began vocal training in order to become better equipped as a vocal coach. This led her to pursue a degree in vocal performance, and after four short years of study she landed her first professional contract as a member of the solo ensemble with the opera company of Bremen, Germany, where she performed for four years before moving to Duesseldorf.

With more than 500 performances to date, she has an extensive repertoire with leading roles in operas by Wagner, Weber, Verdi, Puccini, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, Tchaikovsky and Britten. In addition to Bremen and Duesseldorf, she has performed in the opera houses of Frankfurt, Cologne, Hannover, Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Kiel and Muenster, Germany; Graz, Austria; Basel, Switzerland; and the Shanghai Grand Theater in Shanghai, China. She has also sung major concert works and performed recitals in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Named 'Outstanding Teacher of the Year' by the West Virginia Music Teachers Association, Kefferstan teaches graduate and undergraduate piano majors and a number of pre-college students at West Virginia University. In 2001 she was recognized by the division of music for her excellence in teaching. She has been invited to give classes, lectures and recitals throughout the United States. In 2006 she co-presented a lecture-recital on Mozart for The College Music Society National Conference in San Antonio, and in 2003 she gave a presentation on Ravel's  "La Valse" for the Music Teachers National Association National Convention in Utah. Her articles on teaching have appeared in Keyboard Companion, Clavier and Piano Quarterly.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

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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;