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University of Iowa News Release


University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 22, 2006

Composers Workshop At UI Presents Student Works Oct. 1

The Composers Workshop from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a concert of new student works at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. The concert will be free and open to the public.

The Composers Workshop is a collaborative project between composers and performers in the UI School of Music. It is devoted to the performance of music written at the UI and aims to foster greater co-operation and interplay between composers and performers in the Iowa City area.

The workshop is directed by David Gompper, professor of music in the theory and composition department of the School of Music and director of the Center for New Music.

The program on Oct.1 will feature five works by graduate students in the composition program of the School of Music. As is usual for concerts by the Composers Workshop, the works are highly varied in style and instrumentation.

--"An Excursion with BECA" for clarinet, piano, violin and cello by George Hufnagl uses the four pitches represented by the letters B, E, C and A. Hufnagel said his goal "is to present various possibilities of the set using different compositional techniques. In addition, I attempt to restrict the pitch material so as to discover the amount of harmonic variety possible in both the vertical and horizontal realms."

--Fugue for piano solo by Peter Juffernbruch was written in 2003 and has been  performed twice before. The score uses both fugal and non-fugal techniques that work with and against each other.

--"Aquasphere" is an electroacoustic work by David De Vasto. In composing "Aquasphere," the composer writes, he wanted to create "wet and fluid sounds that swirl with a variety of motion and color. I also wanted to 'stretch' time from a listening standpoint, and realize the music as if listening under water."

--Three Movements for Piano Trio by T.A. Davis was originally titled "Three Emotions," and each movement was written with a distinct emotion in mind. "This was the first conscious sign of me pushing the limits of my own harmonic language as a composer," Davis writes. "I was composing this piece at a time of personal distress and confusion, and if ever there was a time to question and temporarily abandon my old harmonic language, this seemed like it."

--"Ellisonia" for saxophone quartet by John Griffin takes its inspiration from the works of author Harlan Ellison, and the movement titles are drawn from the names of Ellison's short story collections. The music is not programmatic or based on specific stories, however, but is instead meant to convey the feelings and ideas that the titles themselves evoked.

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;