CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Unusual duo of saxophone, guitar will play UI faculty/guest recital
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- What may be the only standing duo for saxophone and
Duo Nouveau of saxophonist Matthew Sintchak and guitarist Matthew Ardizzone,
will present a University of Iowa faculty/guest recital at 8 p.m. Monday,
March 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Their performance will feature the world premiere of "Paintings
of Max Ernst" by
Yoshihisa Hirano, a score commissioned by Duo Nouveau.
The program will also include their own arrangements of works from an
eclectic group of sources: Spanish composer Enrique Granados, jazz pianist/composer
Chick Corea, Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and the tango super-star
composer/performer Astor Piazzolla.
The duo will be joined by UI faculty members Tadeu Coelho, flute; Mark
Weiger, oboe; and Carole Thomas, piano; and guest artist Gretchen Johnson,
harp; to perform Villa-Lobos' "Sextuor Mystique" (Mystic sextet).
The duo got its start when Sintchak -- now a member of the UI School
of Music faculty -- and Ardizzone were sharing a teaching studio as graduate
students at the Eastman School of Music. As Sintchak explains it, "what
started as studio-mate tolerance evolved quickly in friendship and then
The duo made its debut at Eastman's Summer Concert Series in Kilbourne
Hall in 1995 and has appeared on the series every summer since. They have
also performed extensively in
New York and will be expanding to Iowa and Illinois -- including the
National Saxophone Conference in Chicago -- this year.
With such an unusual instrumental combination, the duo's biggest problem
is repertoire. When they got started there was virtually no extant literature
for saxophone and guitar. There are basically two options for overcoming
a lack of music to play, and the duo has taken both of them: They have
commissioned and premiered several new works for saxophone and guitar,
and they have made their own arrangements of extant works for other media.
The world premiere on the March 9 program represents the duo's second
commission from Japanese composer Hirano. A composer for concert, dance,
film and radio, Hirano studied composition at Eastman, where he met Sintchak,
as well as at the Juilliard School. His teachers have included the highly
respected composers Joseph Schwantner and Christopher Rouse. He has won
many awards, including first prize in New York's New Music for Young Ensembles
Composers' Competition and the Axia Tape Competition for composers in Japan.
Their arrangements are collaborative, with each performer contributing
his own ideas. After each player has made a rough start on his own part,
they gradually work out the details in an
on-going, collaborative process that is part rehearsal and part arrangement
of the original work.
At this point Duo Nouveau has a substantial body of arrangements to
choose from, but they continue to add new works.
Arrangements on the March 9 program will include the "Valses Poeticos"
(Poetic waltzes) of Granados, originally composed for piano solo. A group
of seven waltzes with an introduction and coda, they clearly show the influence
of Spanish popular song.
Chick Corea's "Children's Songs" were written in two sets,
15 for Fender Rhodes keyboard and five for acoustic piano. The composer
wrote that any of the songs can be played on either instrument, and he
also encouraged expanding the pieces through orchestration, an encouragement
the duo was quick to seize upon in making their arrangement. Corea also
wrote that the set is intended to "convey simplicity as beauty, as
represented in the spirit of a child."
The best known piece by Villa-Lobos, the fifth of his "Bachianas
Brazilieras" (Brazilian piece in the style of Bach), was originally
composed for soprano and eight cellos. The composer later arranged the
popular piece for voice and guitar for Andres Segovia, and the duo simply
adapted the voice part for saxophone to make their own arrangement.
After Villa-Lobos' "Sextuor Mystique," the program will conclude
with Piazolla's "Histoire du Tango" (History of the Tango), originally
written for guitar and flute.
A visiting professor at the UI, Sintchak has previously taught at the
University of Hartford; Nazareth College and Roberts Wesleyan College in
Rochester, N.Y.; and at Eastman., where he won a 1996-97 Teaching Prize.
An avid performer of contemporary music, Sintchak has also given traditional
solo recitals on the East Coast and performed with Hartford and Portland
symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic, and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble
on two tours to Japan. He has also performed with several alternative groups
including the Jupiter Saxophone Quartet, the first honors/scholarship saxophone
ensemble in the history of the New England Conservatory of Music.
Sintchak studied at Boston University, the New England Conservatory,
and the Paris Conservatory on a grant from the Beebe Foundation. He recently
completed his doctorate in saxophone performance with a Performer's Certificate
Ardizzone is on the faculty of Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. As
soloist he has won top prizes at the 1997 Stotsenberg International Guitar
Competition in Malibu, Calif., and the 1995 Rantucci Guitar Competition
in Buffalo, N.Y. He has given solo recitals at Bowling Green (Ohio) State
University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ithaca (N.Y.) College's Winter
Guitar Festival, and in Worcester and Shrewsbury, Mass. In addition to
his performances with the Duo Nouveau, he plays chamber music with flutist
In May 1997 Ardizzone became the first guitarist to receive a doctorate
from the Eastman School of Music.