CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
NOTE TO EDITORS: Please note that the performance time for the concert
on April 7 differs from that given in calendars and other publications
provided by Arts Center Relations, and all other previous listings. The
time in the release -- 8 p.m. -- is correct. The previously announced time
of 7:30 p.m. has changed due to changes in the planned internet connection
for the performance. Please make note of this change, and if possible,
incorporate the correct time into all calendars and event listings.
UI School of Music performance will feature simultaneous world premiere
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A nationwide simultaneous world premiere and a University
of Iowa faculty ensemble playing a 20th-century masterpiece will be two
parts of a single unusual program for a free concert beginning at 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 7 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
For the premiere, the UI will be one of nine colleges and universities
around the United States presenting simultaneous world premiere performances
of "Sea Dreams," a concerto for two horns and winds by composer
David Maslanka. The premiere, part of an unusual collaborative project,
will be presented on the UI campus by the University of Iowa Chamber Wind
Ensemble, conductor Myron Welch and horn soloists Kristin Thelander and
An innovative and somewhat experimental aspect of the premiere will
be the live broadcast of the audio from each of the nine performances through
a worldwide web site at Arizona State University, at the URL <http://concerto.asu.edu>. The premiere
of "Sea Dreams" is scheduled to begin at approximately the same
time in all locations, 9:30 Eastern Standard Time, or 8:30 at the UI.
Prior to the UI performance of "Sea Dreams," Welch will conduct
members of the UI School of Music faculty in a performance of "Suite
-- Histoire du Soldat" (The Soldier's Tale), an influential 1918 composition
by Igor Stravinsky, considered one of the 20th century's most important
Performing "The Soldier's Tale" will be School of Music faculty
members Maurita Murphy Mead, clarinet; Richard Lottridge, bassoon; David
Greenhoe, trumpet; David Gier, trombone; Daniel Moore, percussion; Leopold
La Fosse, violin; and Diana Gannett, string bass. Welch is director of
bands at the UI. Thelander is a member of the School of Music faculty.
Herrick, who teaches at the University of Northern Colorado, will perform
as a guest artist.
David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Mass., and studied at the New
England Conservatory, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Salzburg Mozarteum
and Michigan State University. A member of the music faculty at Kingsborough
College of the City University of New York for more than 20 years, he now
lives and works in Montana. Several of his works for band have been performed
by the UI Symphony Band in the past few years.
"Sea Dreams" grew out of Maslanka's childhood in New Bedford,
the whaling port of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." As the composer
explains it, "The sea has been a part of me forever. I was riveted
by 'Moby Dick' when I first read it at age 15. The mundane aspects of the
book -- the pictures of the varying ocean moods, the minute descriptions
of the ship and of whaling gear -- sprang to life for me as powerfully
as the titanic struggles with the white whale.
"As I began to think deeply about the concerto for two horns, powerful
images of the sea began to side one more time."
Although it is a descriptive piece, inspired by specific thoughts and
scenes from the composer's imagination, it is also a concerto in three
movements. According to Maslanka, "the first is a double movement
with a very serious and intense opening, and a released and joyous conclusion.
The opening depicts the great ocean storm and the conclusion, joy in deliverance.
"At the beginning of the second movement I have written in the
score the words 'moonlight on the quiet sea.' The third movement parallels
the structure of the first. The opening, like its counterpart, is serious
and intense -- a message from the heart. Its conclusion is a rousing dance
music. Throughout the concerto there is the sense of transformation at
work: the movement through terror, loss and death to an exhilarated joy
In addition to the UI, premiere performances will take place at Arizona
State University, Florida State University, Ithaca (N.Y.) College, University
of Alabama, University of Missouri -- Kansas City, University of North
Texas, University of Oregon and Western Michigan University. The nine schools
are co-commissioners of the score along with the Interlochen Arts Academy,
which will perform "Sea Dreams" later.
When Stravinsky wrote "A Soldier's Tale" in 1918, World War
I was at its height. With most of the major cultural institutions in Europe
closed down, the composer had the idea of writing a piece that could be
played by a small group in modest circumstances. He collaborated with Swiss
author C.F. Ramuz on a tale about a soldier who encounters the devil --
in Stravinsky's piece as in many legends, playing a fiendish fiddle --
and undergoes a struggle between good and evil.
The original piece calls for three actors, a female dancer and a 7-piece
instrumental ensemble. In this form the first performance was given in
Lausanne, Switzerland, Sept. 28, 1918, under the direction of the great
Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet. This multi-media version of the score
is not performed today as often as the suite -- essentially the main musical
numbers separated from the narrative and the dancing.
"The Soldier's Tale" was one of several pieces composed during
or immediately after World War I that are considered the beginning of the
neo-classical style in music. Some, like "The Soldier's Tale,"
Stravinsky's "Octet" and Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire,"
used smaller instrumental groups that led to a generally lighter texture
than most music of the pre-war late Romantic style. Others,including Stravinsky's
ballet "Pulcinella" -- based on 18th-century piano pieces --
and Prokofiev's "Classical" Symphony, were more overtly inspired
by the music of the Classic era in music. Taken together, these pieces
represented a move away from the overblown, intensely emotional style of
the late Romantic period and led to a major stream of 20th-century music.
Herrick is professor of music at the University of Northern Colorado
in Greeley. He has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Colorado
Springs Symphony, Central City Opera and the Western Opera Theatre. Since
1984 he has served as principal hornist with the Colorado Ballet and Denver
Chamber Orchestra. For the past 25 summer seasons, he has performed with
the Peter Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon, serving as
principal horn for the past 17 seasons.
Besides his performances at Britt, Herrick's summer schedule has included
the Colorado, Idaho and Sun Valley music festivals and the Four Corners
Opera Association. From 1990-1994 he was horn instructor for the International
Music Camp held at the Peace Gardens on the border between North Dakota
and Manitoba. Since arriving at University of Northern Colorado in 1973,
Herrick has made the first recording of the David Amram Concerto for horn
and wind orchestra with the UNC Wind Ensemble and has performed as soloist
with all the major performing ensembles on the UNC campus.
Thelander joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1989. Active
as both soloist and chamber musician, she is a member of the Iowa Brass
Quintet. During the summer she performs with the Britt Festival Orchestra
in Jacksonville, Ore. Previously she was on the music faculty at the University
of New Mexico, and she was a member of the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the
Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony and the Four Corners Opera Festival
in Durango, Colo.
Thelander was the first prize-winner in the 1981 American Horn Competition,
and she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, South
Korea and the People's Republic of China. She has been a featured artist
at many regional and international horn workshops in recent years. Her
research on horn music of the early 19th century led to her interest in
performing on the valveless natural horn of that period. Her first solo
recording featuring early 19th-century music for natural horn and fortepiano
was released in 1992 by Crystal Records.
Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980. In addition to
conducting the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, Welch teaches courses
in instrumental methods and conducting and is coordinator of the Iowa Honor
Band and the All-State Music Camp. Prior to joining the UI faculty he was
director of bands and coordinator of music education at Wright State University
in Dayton, Ohio. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Michigan
State University and a doctorate in music education from the University
Welch is past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the
Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association.
He is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands
throughout the Midwest.