CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 21, 2000
Bowling Green faculty to present UI guest recital of 20th-century viola
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A faculty duo from Bowling Green State University in
Ohio will present a program of 20th-century music for viola and piano at 3
p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.
The performers -- violist Nancy Buck and pianist Laura Melton -- are appearing
as guests of the UI School of Music. Their performance will be free and open
to the public.
Their program comprises five pieces: "Passacaglia" by Rebecca
Clarke; "Pastoral" by Elliot Carter; the Sonata of George Rochberg;
William Bergsma's "Fantastic Variations on a Theme from 'Tristan'"
and the Sonata ,Op. 11 no. 4, of Paul Hindemith.
Buck is quick to point out that, although the pieces all come from the 20th
century, they do not conform to any stereotype of "difficult" contemporary
"For one thing, the repertoire spans most of the century," she
said. "The Hindemith piece comes from 1919, Rebecca Clarke from 1941,
Carter later in the '40s, Bergsma from the 1960s and Rochberg from 1979."
The styles cover an equally wide range of 20th-century possibilities.
"Hindemith's Sonata is generally conservative and is one of his early
works for viola," Buck explained. "This Sonata is quite impressionistic,
taking off from the harmonic language of Debussy and Ravel. At the other end
of the century, Rochberg wrote music that is post-Romantic, extending the
harmonic language of Brahms.
"Clarke, a British violist who came to the United States in the 1940s,
writes so well for the viola, since it was her instrument. Her 'Passacaglia'
is a short, enjoyable piece that is a great recital opener. It really captures
the viola's true character and range of sound.
"The piece by Bergsma is probably the most challenging, for both the
player and the listener. It was commissioned by the Harvard Musical Association
for William Primrose, who was a great violist. In this piece there is a challenge,
too, trying to find that theme from 'Tristan.' It's actually pretty obscure
-- you just don't hear any obvious quotes from Wagner."
Buck teaches viola and is assistant chair of music performance studies at
Bowling Green. She holds a bachelor's degree in violin performance from the
Oberlin Conservatory and a master's degree in viola performance from the Cleveland
Institute, where she was a teaching assistant for the respected viola teacher
Heidi Castleman. She has presented recitals throughout Europe and the United
States and performs regularly with the Toledo Symphony and the Michigan Chamber
Symphony. She is also a member of the Bowling Green String Quartet.
Melton is a new member of the Bowling Green faculty. She was a prizewinner
in several international competitions, including the Clara Haskil Competition
in Switzerland and the Mendelssohn Competition in Germany. She has performed
with the National Symphony, the orchestra of the Freiburg (Germany) Musikhochschule
and the San Francisco Chamber Players. Melton holds a doctorate from Rice
University, a master's degree from the University of Southern California and
a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland.
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 http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.