CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 1, 1999
Semi-annual OctOBOEfest celebration of the oboe returns
to UI Oct. 15-17
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- OctOBOEfest, the semi-annual celebration
of the oboe and oboe music, will return to the University of Iowa for a series
of free concerts, workshops and a competition for high school oboe players
Oct. 15-17 at the UI School of Music.
Founded in 1992 by UI oboe faculty member Mark Weiger,
OctOBOEfest is held at the UI in alternate years. As its name indicates, it
is always held around the middle of October -- or "Octoboe," as Weiger prefers
to call the 10th month.
This year's celebration will include performances
and workshops by guest artists from across the United States, as well as guests
from as far away as the People's Republic of China -- the husband-and-wife
duo of oboist Chen Changzhang and violinist Cai Minchhu from the Wuhan Conservatory
Other guests participating in OctOBOEfest will be
Henry Schuman from the Manhattan School of Music, Kevin Schilling from Iowa
State University, Kevin Vigneau from the University of New Mexico and Stacey
Willer Berk from the Des Moines Symphony.
Public performances are always a major part of the
OctOBOEfest celebration. This year, two resident faculty ensembles from the
UI School of Music will participate -- the Iowa Woodwind Quintet and, the
Maia String Quartet -- as well as the UI Center for New Music, the UI Chamber
Orchestra, and several individual faculty artists.
Performances open to the public free of charge will
--8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in Clapp Recital Hall:
Contemporary music for oboe, featuring the UI Center for New Music, David
Gompper, director, with Mark Weiger;
--2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in Harper Hall of the
Voxman Music Building: Iowa's professional oboists in recital, featuring
Mark Weiger, Kevin Schilling and Stacey Willer Berk;
--3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in Harper Hall:
University of Iowa student oboists in recital;
--8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16 in Clapp Recital Hall:
Chamber music concert, featuring the Maia Quartet with assisting artists
Henry Schuman, Kevin Vigneau and Mark Weiger;
--2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, in Clapp Recital Hall:
Oboe concerto concert, featuring the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra
conducted by UI graduate students Beverly Everett and Lucia Matos, with
oboe soloists Kevin Vigneau, Chen Changzhang, Cai Minchhu, Henry Schuman and
Mark Weiger; and
--8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, in Clapp Recital Hall:
"Recital a Tutti": (final concert), featuring UI faculty, students and
If that seems like a lot of oboe music in one weekend,
that's the point, Weiger says. "Having so many oboists together, and having
so much oboe music played, provides an experience you can't usually find in
Iowa or the Midwest" he says. "It is a bit of both oboe hell and an oboe party
-- some of the very best solo and chamber repertoire ever written over the
centuries can be heard right smack in the middle of Iowa in all of 3 days!"
In all seriousness, Weiger adds: "Through this event
students are introduced to excellent role models, and gain first-hand experience
working and networking with the major educators and performers on their instruments.
OctOBOEfest is designed to foster fellowship and strengthen the quality of
oboe playing and teaching in Iowa."
Then, returning to his humorous manner, he says, "We'll
have guest oboists from New York, China, New Mexico and Iowa joining forces
to conspire against the odds just to share their tales, scales and ales."
Although it is less than 10 years old, OctOBOEfest
has already been a big success. Weiger says that nearly 800 people attended
the first OctOBOEfest in 1992, and over the brief history of the event the
guests have included many of the leading oboists and wind ensembles from across
the United States.
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, won Second Prize in the Queens
Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY), performed double concertos with the
Chicago Symphony's former principal oboist, Ray Still, and presented solo
recitals with many other notable oboists.
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. The Tel Aviv News commented: "The quality of
collaborative artists in the US Artistic Ambassador program is now unparalleled.
On balance, [they] were perhaps the most successful Artistic Ambassadors USIS
has ever programmed."
After he presented the New York premiere of the Bernard
Rand Concertino, New York Times critic Paul Griffiths praised his "mellifluous
oboe playing" and critic Gerald Gabel wrote, "Weiger's virtuosic abilities
were a perfect match for this difficult work. . . . not since Heinz Holliger
in his prime have we heard an oboist with his control and mastery."
He has recorded for the CRS, Crystal, Chandos and
Centaur CD labels. Three new CDs are scheduled for release in 1999-2000: "Oboe:
An Ambassador's Voice," "Romantic Kleinmeistern" and "Classical Kleinmeistern."
Henry Schuman has been principal oboist with the Brooklyn
Philharmonic, Westchester Philharmonic and Opera Orchestra of New York and
guest principal with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. A founding member of the
Clarion Quintet and Soni Ventorum Quintet, he is also a former member of the
Casals Festival and Symphony of the Air. He has performed internationally
with orchestras, chamber music ensembles and major music festivals. He has
recordings on CBS, RCA and Vanguard, and has given master classes across the
United States. He serves on the faculty at City University of New York, Indiana
University and Manhattan School of Music, and has served as visiting faculty
at institutions around the world.
Kevin Vigneau, has enjoyed an international career
as an orchestral player, soloist, teacher and chamber musician. He currently
performs with the New Mexico Woodwinds, the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, the
Albuquerque Baroque Players and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. In the
past he has played with the Opera Company of Boston Orchestra, under the direction
of Sarah Caldwell, the Alea III Contemporary Ensemble and the American Wind
Symphony. He was principal oboe of the Cape Opera Orchestra and Cape Town
Symphony Orchestra in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Metropolitan Orchestra
of Lisbon, a unique project in Lisbon, Portugal, that integrates solo recitals,
chamber music, orchestra concerts and teaching at the National Academy of
Orchestral Studies. As a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center he played under
conductors Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.
Stacey Berk has degrees in music from Western Illinois
University and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. From 1995-99,
she performed as oboist of the United States Air Force Band of the West, stationed
in San Antonio, Tex. While in the band, she performed in the Concert Band,
Chamber Players and Five Star Winds woodwind quintet. She also composed and
arranged music for the various ensembles and was a frequent soloist. From
1997-99 she served as the oboe instructor at Our Lady of the Lake University,
San Antonio. New to Iowa, she composes, teaches, and performs as second oboist
with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.
Kevin Schilling is an associate professor of music
at Iowa State University where he teaches oboe, bassoon, theory and chamber
music. He has been principal oboe in the Des Moines Symphony, has performed
in the Modesto and Stockton (Calif.) symphonies and is currently principal
oboe in the Central Iowa Symphony. He is an avid proponent of period-instrument
performance and has performed baroque oboe with early music groups such as
the Telemann Society at University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and Lyra Concert
of Minneapolis, and is a founding member of the Baroque Orchestra of Iowa.
He plays the oboe, baroque oboe and bassoon with ISU colleague Lynn Zeigler
(organ and harpsichord) as the duo Basically Baroque.
OctOBOEfest is sponsored by Carlos Coelho Oboes of Indianapolis,
Midwest Musical Imports of Minneapolis, Nora Post of New York, West Music
and Eble Music of Iowa, Gail Warnaar Music of Vermont, and the UI. Additional
support for the High School Oboe Competition has been provided by Carlos Coelho
Oboes, Midwest Musical Imports and West Music.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at
The web page of OctOBOEfest is at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/oboefest.html.
Iowa's OctOBOEfest 1999
Program of Events
FRIDAY, OCT. 15
8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall Contemporary music for oboe:
UI Center for New Music, David Gompper, director, with Mark Weiger, oboe.
SATURDAY, OCT. 16
9 a.m., Harper Hall Chamber music master class: Henry
Schuman, Manhattan School of Music
2 p.m., Harper Hall Iowa's professional oboists in
recital: Mark Weiger, the UI; Kevin Schilling, Iowa State University; and
Stacey Willer Berk, Des Moines Symphony
3:30 p.m., Harper Hall University of Iowa student oboists'
8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall Chamber music concert: Maia
Quartet and guest artists
SUNDAY, OCT. 17
9 a.m., Harper Hall Fourth Iowa High School Oboe Competition
9 a.m., Choral Room Oboe master class: Kevin Vigneau,
University of New Mexico
2 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall Concerto concert: University
of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, Beverly Everett and Lucia Matos, conductors, with
8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall Recital a Tutti: UI faculty,
students and guest artists