Jan. 31, 2007
Alumna Von Blumroeder Will Play Works By UI Faculty And Alumni Feb. 11
The University of Iowa Center for New Music (CNM) will present pianist and UI alumna Patricia von Blumroeder performing works by UI faculty and alumni at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Von Blumroeder's recital, which is part of the centennial celebrations of the UI School of Music, will be free and open to the public.
Von Blumroeder will play six works on the recital:
-- "Memory Pieces" (1992-1997) by UI alumnus David Lang;
-- "Fantasy & Toccata" (1997) by Richard Hervig, the founding director of the CNM;
-- "Intervals" (1967) by D. Martin Jenni, who taught composition at the UI for more than 30 years until his retirement in 1999;
-- "Tango" (2000) by Michael Eckert, a member of the music theory and composition faculty;
-- "Meditation" (1999) by David Gompper, the current director of the CNM; and
-- "Oggetti -- Omaggio a Morandi" (Objects -- homage to painter Giorgio Morandi, 2003) by Jeremy Dale Roberts, who was a visiting faculty member 1999-2000.
Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's Bang on a Can festival and composer-in-residence at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He holds degrees from Stanford University, the UI and Yale. His work has been performed by the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Kronos Quartet, among others. His music is recorded on the Sony Classical, BMG, Point, Chandos, Argo/Decca, CRI and Cantaloupe labels.
Lang wrote, "I was friends with all the dedicatees of (these) pieces . . . and I have very personal memories of my dealings with them that I don't want to fade. Each of these little pieces highlights some aspect of my relationship with each friend. I hope this will help me hold on top these memories just a little while longer."
Hervig studied composition with Philip Greeley Clapp at the UI and joined the faculty in 1955. Upon his retirement in 1988 he was appointed to a post at the Julliard School. His compositions, most of which are instrumental and tonal, show a disciplined approach to standard forms. The "Fantasy & Toccata" began as a Toccata, written for the composer's 80th birthday concert at Merkin Hall, New York City, in 1997; the Fantasy was added in 1998.
A person of many interests, Jenni received a bachelor's degree in music from DePaul University, a master's in medieval studies from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in music composition from Stanford. In 1968 he joined the faculty of the UI, where he taught composition, led a group dedicated to the performance of Gregorian Chant, and wrote many works for the CNM and his faculty colleagues. Jenni died in 2006, and the CNM presented a memorial concert in his honor last September.
"Intervals" was written for Viola Haas, a teacher at De Paul who was eager to develop the ears of her piano students. "'Intervals' invites them to listen to emerging sonorities," Jenni wrote.
Eckert studied composition with J. R. Ronsheim at Antioch College and with Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago. His awards for composition include the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, a Charles E. Ives Scholarship from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in composition and the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award.
"Tango" was written as an occasional piece for "The Nazi Drawings Project," a CNM concert arranged in 2000 at the UI Museum of Art in honor of printmaker Mauricio Lasansky. Eckert wrote, "The idea for a piece of this character was suggested in part by two Lasansky pictures in the UI Museum, the woman in blue with a small dog and 'Woman with a Lute,' as well as by the artist's Argentine origins.
Gompper has been professor of composition and director of the Center for New Music at the UI since 1991. His compositions are performed throughout the United States and Europe, and he has taught, presented lectures, and performed around the world. For more information, see http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/THEORYgompper.htm. More information about the Center for New Music is available at http://www.uiowa.edu/~cnm/.
"Meditation" was commissioned by and is dedicated to Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City, where it was premiered by the composer in 1999. It was extensively revised in 2006.
Roberts recently retired as head of composition at the Royal College of Music, London. His compositions have been performed worldwide at the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals, the Venice Biennale, the Diorama de Geneve, and the festivals of Avignon and Paris.
"Oggetti -- Omaggio a Morandi" is a collection of short pieces. Roberts has written that it "was begun some years ago, and should perhaps be regarded as a work in progress, or repository, to which other items will almost certainly be added in time. This matches the life-work of the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi -- 'the man who painted jugs'-- who first turned his attention to the austere, modest forms of still-life around 1918, and who continued to remain constantly and unswervingly absorbed in his vision even in the last months of his life in 1964.
Von Blumroeder studied piano at the University of Idaho, the UI and the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik in Freiburg, Germany. Concerts, radio broadcasts and television appearances in Europe and America have given her a reputation as an artist who does not confine herself to the traditional piano literature, but has a keen interest in the new music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
In 2005 she premiered David Gompper's "Inside Cage," which was performed together with John Cage's "Sonatas & Interludes" at the music festival "AVANCE" in Mainz, Germany. She has been acclaimed in performances of works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez and Cage, which she has performed as a guest artist at music festivals in Paris, Lille, Leipzig, Hamburg, Salzburg, Fribourg and Zagreb, at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt am Main and at the Berliner Festwochen.
Established in 1906, the UI School of Music will celebrate its centennial throughout the 2006-07 academic year. The celebration will feature a series of concerts throughout the year, many of them presenting new compositions commissioned from UI alumni for the occasion. The full schedule of centennial events can be found online at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/centennial/centennial.htm.
Part of the UI Division of Performing Arts, the CNM supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guest artists. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks. Visit the CNM Web page at http://www.uiowa.edu/~cnm/
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