CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Iowa City IA 52242
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Trombonist Gier will play contemporary works on faculty recital Oct.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Trombonist David Gier from the University of Iowa
School of Music will play four works by living composers on a UI faculty
recital at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Appearing with Gier on the recital, which will include several works
for small ensembles, will be David Greenhoe, trumpet; Maurita Murphy Mead,
clarinet; Daniel Moore, percussion; and pianist Kirk Corey, the recent
recipient of a doctorate in composition from the UI. Their performance
will be free and open to the public.
The four pieces on the program will be "Conversations" for
trombone and piano by John La Montaine; Concerto a Tre for Clarinet, Trumpet
and Trombone of Robert Starer, with the orchestra part arranged for piano
by the composer; "La Femme a Barbe" (The bearded lady) for trombone
and piano by Jose Berghmans, and "Rebellion" for trombone, percussion
and piano by Stephen Rush.
Gier, who is presenting his third faculty recital since coming to the
UI in 1995, said the program reflects his continuing interest in exploring
pieces for trombone with unusual combinations of instruments.
"I'm always seeking pieces with unusual instrumentation,"
Gier said. "Pieces that aren't written for a standard group, like
the brass quintet, are often only played once and then set aside because
there is no permanent ensemble that can keep them in its repertoire. I've
already collected more than 300 pieces, and I'm still looking for more."
John La Montaine began his musical career as a celestist and pianist
with the NBC symphony under Toscanini. In 1958, the Ford Foundation commissioned
La Montaine to compose a work for the National Symphony Orchestra, and
the resulting Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was awarded the Pulitzer
Prize in 1959. In 1961 his "From Sea to Shining Sea" was performed
by the National Symphony at the Inauguration concert of President John
Conversations was originally conceived for clarinet and piano, but,
the composer said, they "were so composed that they might be realized
in terms of a variety of instruments. Successive versions utilize the particular
physical and expressive qualities of the chosen instruments." Bryon
Peeble, co-principal trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, assisted
with the trombone version.
Starer was born in Vienna in 1924 and came to the United States in 1947.
His symphonic works have been performed by Dmitri Mitropolous, Leonard
Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf and other leading conductors. His prolific catalogue
includes four operas, ballets for John Butler and Martha Graham, and numerous
concerti, symphonies and chamber works.
The Concerto a Tre for Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone and Strings was composed
during the spring of 1954 and premiered on Nov. 22 of the same year. In
1962, Martha Graham choreographed her "Secular Games" to the
music of the Concerto a Tre.
"La Femme a Barbe" is the fourth movement of a set of pieces
for different solo instruments with chamber orchestra, "Scenes from
a Traveling Circus". "La Femme a Barbe," the movement for
solo trombone, surrounds a section depicting circus atmosphere with passages
of lyric sadness.
Stephen Rush is music director for the dance department and director
of the Digital Music Ensemble at the University of Michigan. His music
has been performed worldwide, including recent premieres in London, Berlin,
Toronto, New York City and Ascencion, Paraguay. As a performer, Rush has
frequently appeared playing works of modern American composers and has
presented jazz concerts with his own trio at Lincoln Center.
Rush has written about "Rebellion" that it was composed in
the early 1980's, "a time when the 'one-planet' style -- sometimes
called eclecticism -- was the order of the day. This explains the criss-cross
influences found in 'Rebellion', that of Ghanaian drumming and George Crumb.
In this way my music could be easily likened to the Hindu faith, which
openly accepts many approaches to God, while carefully trying to strive
for ultimate perfection."
The newest member of the brass faculty at the UI School of Music, trombonist
David Gier came to the UI in August 1995. A graduate of Yale and the University
of Michigan, he has taught at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Central
Connecticut State University.
He began his professional career in New England as a member of the Springfield
(Mass.) Symphony and Orchestra New England. He has performed with numerous
professional ensembles, including the New Haven, Hartford, Waco and San
Angelo symphonies, and Keith Brion's Peerless Sousa Band. He is currently
principal trombone of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Gier performed with the trombone quartet Slide
Chamber Players, the winner of the 1989 Shoreline Alliance for the Arts
Chamber Music Competition. At the UI he teaches trombone students, coaches
brass chamber ensembles, and performs as a member of the Iowa Brass Quintet.
Greenhoe has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music and the principal
trumpeter of the Quad City Symphony since 1979. He is also chair of the
brass area at the UI and plays first trumpet in the UI Iowa Brass Quintet.
He is active as a soloist and recitalist, and during summer seasons he
performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post
he has held since 1975.
Mead is in her 15th year teaching clarinet on the faculty of the UI
School of Music, where she is also associate director for undergraduate
studies. She has been principal clarinet of several Midwestern orchestras,
including the Cedar Rapids Symphony. As a chamber musician she has appeared
with the Cleveland Quartet and other ensembles. Her recent "On The
Fence" performances, combining jazz, jazz-influenced compositions
and classical works on a single program, was a featured recital at the
Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and it was followed by "Over the Fence,"
an entire jazz program.
A nationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore holds
the position previously occupied by long-time UI percussion teacher Thomas
L. Davis, who retired last spring. Prior to coming to the UI, Moore helped
lead the SkyRyders Drum and Bugle Corps, taught percussion at Montana State
University and studied for a doctorate in percussion at the University