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Release: Nov. 24, 1999

Sintchak to present saxophone recital in variety of contexts

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Matt Sintchak will play "Primarily Premieres," a University of Iowa faculty recital featuring the saxophone -- which he teaches at the UI School of Music -- in a variety of instrumental contexts at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The program will include three world premieres among works that showcase the saxophone as a solo instrument, with piano, with electronic accompaniment, and as part of an instrumental ensemble. Assisting Sintchak will be UI faculty members Dan Moore, percussion, and Mark Weiger, oboe; and guest artists Brook Cuden, piano, and Angela Wyatt, alto saxophone.

The recital will be free and open to the public.

The complete program of Sintchak's recital will comprise six works:

-- the world premiere of "Energy Drink I" for solo alto saxophone by Mark Engebretsen.

-- "Distances Within Me" for alto saxophone and piano by John Anthony Lennon.

-- the world premiere of "Orthogonality" for alto saxophone and tape by UI faculty member Lawrence Fritts.

-- a share of a world-wide premiere of the Sonata for alto saxophone and piano by Gunther Schuller.

-- "Cross Currents" for alto saxophone, oboe and marimba, by Charles Rochester Young.

-- "Invocation and Dance" for soprano and alto saxophones by Warren Benson.

"Energy Drink I" was written for Sintchak, specifically for the Dec. 9 performance. It is the first in a planned series of high-speed, virtuoso solo works for a variety of instruments by Engebretson, who teaches music theory at the State University of New York, Fredonia.

Another completely new work, "Orthogonality" was written for Sintchak during the fall by Fritts, who is the director of the UI Electronic Music Studios. Fritts created a tape, generated from digitally processed saxophone pitches and key clicks, which were transformed into the sound of a percussion ensemble. The tape is played as an accompaniment to a live saxophone performance.

Schuller's Sonata for alto saxophone and piano was commissioned by a consortium of saxophonists from around the world through the World-Wide Concurrent Commissioning Fund. The fund was organized by Kenneth Radnofsky, who was Sintchak's saxophone teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music. During a single week, Schuller's Sonata will be premiered by at least 50 saxophonists around the world.

In a written introduction to his score, Schuller stresses that the Sonata should not be approached as saxophone solo with secondary piano accompaniment. Rather it should be a "truly integrated, symbiotic duo, with both parts equivalent in all aspects, especially harmonically."

A prolific self-taught composer as well as a French horn player, conductor, broadcaster, editor, jazz historian, writer, teacher and administrator, Schuller is best known for his concept of "third-stream" music, a term he coined in 1957 to describe the synthesis of jazz and art music.

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 across the United States and performed with the Hartford and Portland symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic, and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on two tours to Japan.

Sintchak has studied at Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and the Paris Conservatory in France. He recently completed his doctorate in saxophone performance with a Performer's Certificate from Eastman.

A member of the piano faculty at Luther College in Decorah, Cuden is also a doctoral student and graduate assistant in piano in the UI School of Music. She has won the Music Teachers National Association State Collegiate Piano Competition and the Iowa Federation of Music Clubs State Piano Competition. During the past summer she received a scholarship for study at the Aspen Music Festival.

Wyatt teaches in the Eagan, Minn., public schools and at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. A founding member of the Ancia Saxophone Quartet, she holds a masters degree in saxophone performance from Northwestern.

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions, and won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY). 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.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic and multi-percussion, he is considered a "total percussionist." As a soloist, he has developed a unique new style of marimba performance, using a MIDI set-up that allows him to create layers of electronically triggered and natural acoustic sounds. For the past 12 years he has toured as a member of the Britain/Moore Duo.

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