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Music from a new CD will be played by oboist Mark Weiger on Feb. 19

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Music from an upcoming CD recording of little-known works for oboe and piano will form the program for a free public recital by oboist Mark Weiger and pianist Arthur Rowe at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Weiger has a grant for a series of CD recordings of music by "Kleinmeistern" -- German for "little masters" -- from the classical period through the 20th century. He and Rowe will record the first of the CD series with the UI recording studios just prior to the Feb. 19 recital.

The recital program will feature three works that cover the historical span of the planned series, with works by Jacques Christian Michel Widerkehr from the Classic period, late 18th and early 19th century; Julius Roentgen from the late Romantic period and early 20th century; and Martin Grabert from the late 19th to mid-20th century.

Closing the recital, but not on the recording, will be the Trio of Madeleine Dring. Joining Weiger and Rowe for that performance will be flutist Anita Miller-Rieder.

The term "Kleinmeistern" is used in music history to describe composers of solid accomplishment who have been successful in a limited area of musical composition. They might be of local renown, or have been active in a limited field of composition and thus are less familiar to the public than composers of more extensive accomplishments. Nevertheless, their best music is often worthy of performance and recording.

Widerkehr was active as a cellist and composer in Paris, during some of the most tumultuous years in that city's history. He settled there in 1783, staying through the revolution and subsequent upheavals, until his death in 1823. He was known primarily for his works for winds, but he wrote a great deal of chamber music and several revolutionary hymns.

Roentgen spent most of his professional life in Amsterdam, where he taught piano and founded the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music, which he directed for many years. Although he is little known today, he composed a large output of 21 symphonies, seven piano concertos, 14 cello sonatas and other works.

Grabert was educated at the Royal Institute for Church Music in Berlin and served from 1895 as a church organist. Naturally, most of his compositional work church music: cantatas, fantasias and variations for organ. Among his limited output of chamber music, the Sonata in G minor is his only work for oboe and piano.

Dring was a pianist, composer and teacher whose piano tutors are still in use in England. The wife of oboist and publisher John Lord, she wrote several works for oboe and piano and other chamber music for winds.

Since joining the faculty of the UI School of Music, Weiger has been principal oboe with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, and the Southwest Virginia Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, he has performed in 38 states, Canada, England, France and Austria, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York and been a finalist in nine international competitions.

He is the first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador, through the U.S. Information Agency. Later this spring he is scheduled to present recitals in Israel, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and New Zealand. He is a member of the Iowa Woodwind Quintet, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, the Bear Lake Festival in Utah, and WIZARDS!, a double reed quartet. He has recorded for the CRS, Chandos and Vox CD labels.

A former member of the UI School of Music faculty, Rowe is currently teaching at the University of Victoria in Canada. Since winning Canada's first St. Lawrence Award in Music in 1982, his performing career has taken him to cities throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Acclaimed equally as soloist and chamber musician, Rowe is a founding member of several chamber music ensembles. He has performed at music festivals in Canada, the United States and France.

Rowe's performances and his recordings on the ebs, Fanfare, GM and Innova labels have garnered many enthusiastic reviews of his playing. The London (Ontario) Free Press wrote that he has "a special presence in performance (and) inner musicality that is heightened by a seemingly effortless technique." Reviewing Rowe's New York recital, a New York Times critic described "a kind of execution tinglingly alive to the shape and contribution of each phrase."

Miller-Rieder is a visiting professor in the UI School of Music. She performs both modern and historical flutes. She is a member of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, plays with the Chicago Symphony and is a member of the Lake Forest (Ill.) Symphony. She is also a member of the Kithara Trio with cellist Jill Kaeding and harpist Faye Seeman. The trio has premiered commissioned works and will be a featured ensemble at the 1997 National Flute Association convention in Chicago.

Miller-Rieder performed in recital at Orchestra Hall in Chicago as a winner of the Rose Faye Thomas competition, sponsored by the Chicago Musicians Club of Women and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Centenniary Committee. She also was a winner of the 1995 Baroque Flute Artist competition sponsored by the National Flute Association.