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NOTE TO EDITORS: William LaRue Jones can be contacted at (319) 335-1628, or by e-mail at

University of Iowa Symphony plays music of Respighi, Barber, Bizet Nov. 11

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Symphony will play three works for small orchestra in a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be directed by William LaRue Jones. Featured soloists in a performance of the "Capricorn Concerto" of Samuel Barber will be members of the UI School of Music faculty: Tadeu Coelho, flute; Mark Weiger, oboe; and David Greenhoe, trumpet.

Other works on the program will be Suite No. 2 of the "Ancient Airs and Dances for Lute" by Ottorino Respighi and the Symphony in C by Georges Bizet.

All three works on the symphony program look back in time in one way or another. Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances" are based directly on music of the 16th and 17th centuries; Barber's "Capricorn Concerto" follows the model of the Baroque concerto grosso; and Bizet's Symphony in C is a student work that closely follows the model of the Classical symphony.

Respighi is best known for his large, colorful tone poems for virtuoso orchestra, including "The Fountains of Rome" and "The Pines of Rome." But Respighi also had a great interest in older music. He edited and arranged a great deal of music by Baroque composers, including Monteverdi, Vatali and Paisiello. Apart from the "Ancient Airs and Dances," his orchestral works based on earlier compositions include "The Birds," an orchestral suite based on lute and harpsichord music, and "La boutique fantasque" (The fantastic toy shop), a ballet based on piano music by Rossini.

Respighi composed three suites for small orchestra of "Ancient Airs and Dances for Lute," the first in 1917, the second in 1924 and the third in 1932. The second suite consists of four movements, taken from diverse sources.

Barber wrote the "Capricorn Concerto" during World War II, while he was employed at the Office of War Information. The music, however, contains no reference to the grim times when it was written, consisting largely, as the composer said, of "cheerful noises."

The title refers to Capricorn, a home that Barber owned together with his fellow composer and companion Gian Carlo Menotti and where he did most of his composing for many years. Although Barber insisted that "there is no program for Capricorn Concerto," there is in fact a manuscript score with very specific captions: The orchestra represents the house; oboe, flute and trumpet represent Menotti, the composer and poet Robert Horan, respectively; and the coda describes "Sunday afternoon on the terrace."

Bizet's youthful Symphony in C -- written in 1855 when the composer was just 17 -- was forgotten until it was discovered in the library of the Paris Conservatory in 1933. Although it is a student work, the Symphony in C is an engaging and well crafted piece that not only shows Bizet's understanding of his Classical models, but also looks ahead to the composer's later achievements. It is scored for the small orchestra of the late 18th century, with pairs of woodwinds, trumpets and horn but no trombones. The structure is that of Bizet's models, four movements in the conventional order and with perfectly clear internal organization.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. He is conductor of the Bloomington (Minn.) Symphony and has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland) and other orchestras around the world.

Coelho joined the UI music faculty in 1997. He has previously taught at the University of New Mexico and more recently has been visiting professor at the Ino Mirkovich music academy in Croatia. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the Americas. He has performed as first solo flutist with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany and the Spoletto Festival Orchestra in Italy. In the summer of 1996 he was invited to play with the Boston Symphony under conductors Bernard Haitink, Robert Shaw and Robert Spano.

Weiger has performed in 38 states, Canada, England, France and Austria, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions and won second prize at the Lucarelli International Competition. He has served as the principal oboist for the orchestras and music festivals across the country. The first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador through the U.S. Information Agency, Weiger performed recitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Sri Lanka. He has recorded for the CRS, Chandos and Vox CD labels.

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. Prior to coming to Iowa, Greenhoe was a member and soloist of "The President's Own"
-- the United States Marine Band in Washington D.C. He has also performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Rochester (N.Y.) Philharmonic and the Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Philharmonic.

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