CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 16, 2000
University Symphony features organist and string bass player in summer
concert June 28
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Symphony will feature the organ
and the double bass, two instruments not often heard in concerto performances,
when it presents its annual summer concert on the UI campus, at 8 p.m. Wednesday,
June 28 in Clapp Recital Hall.
The concert, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will be free and
open to the public.
The concert will open with the Concerto for Double Bass of Serge Koussevitzky
played by Valdir Claudino, a recent graduate of the UI School of Music. It
will be followed by the Organ Concerto of Francis Poulenc performed by Robert
Triplett, who is a visiting faculty member at the School of Music as well
as director of music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City and distinguished
artist in residence at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon.
After intermission, the orchestra will play Beethoven's Symphony No 8 in
F major, op. 93.
Koussevitzky was one of the most influential musicians in America during
the first half of the 20th century. He served as director of the Boston Symphony
1924-49, and during that time he commissioned and premiered new pieces by
Igor Stravinsky, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Howard Hanson
and many other important composers. He was also a mentor to young American
musicians who went on to successful careers, among them Leonard Bernstein.
Koussevitzky began his career playing double bass in the Bolshoi Theater
Orchestra in Moscow and later earned a great reputation as a virtuoso bass
player. His Double Bass Concerto was written with the assistance of the Russian
composer Reinhold Gliere and premiered by Koussevitzky in Moscow in 1905.
The French composer Francis Poulenc was associated with a group of modernist
composers in Paris in the early years of the 20th century, although he personally
favored a neo-classical style and avoided the more radical forms of musical
experimentation. Consequently his music has always been considered highly
accessible. He wrote songs, piano pieces and several sacred choral works.
His organ concerto, written in 1938, is considered a minor masterpiece.
The organ in Clapp Recital Hall was built as part of the original building
in 1972 and renovated in 1998-99 by the makers of the original instrument,
the Casavant firm of Canada. As part of the instrument's renovation , a new
solid-state combination action system was installed that allows the storing
of more than 3,000 stop combinations, giving the player extraordinary resources
in performance. The recent work on the instrument was done by Carroll Hanson,
Casavant representative and curator of organs at the UI.
Triplett has appeared as recitalist throughout the United States and for
national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. The
author of numerous professional articles and several published compositions,
he has taught at Maryville (Tenn.) College and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill. His performances have been featured on the nationally syndicated
radio program "Pipedreams."
His CD recording of performances on the four-manual, 65-rank Moller-Casavant
organ at Cornell College was issued by Centaur records. Fanfare magazine praised
the recording as "imposing and eloquent . . . full of virtuosity and
panache," while the French magazine Diapason noted Triplett's "infallible
and easy virtuosity, suppleness, precision and absolute fidelity to the spirit
of the text."
In conjunction with his musical activities, Triplett maintains a second
career as a stage-fright consultant. His presentations have attracted a wide
range of fellow stage-fright sufferers, including actors, teachers, musicians,
ministers, athletes, business professionals, doctors, civic leaders and even
two airplane pilots. His book, "Stagefright: Letting It Work for You,"
has met widespread critical acclaim.
Claudino recently completed a master's degree in double bass performance
at the UI School of Music, where he studied with Diana Gannett. During the
summer he will be teaching master classes and performing at festivals in Brazil,
and next year he will resume a position as principal double bass player of
the Belo Horizonte University Orchestra, the Musicoop String Orchestra, and
the Filharmonica Nova in Brazil.
Prior to coming to the UI to study, Claudino had extensive professional
experience in Brazil. He performed as a soloist with the Minas Gerais University
Orchestra, the Musicoop String Orchestra and the Filharmonic Nova. He studied
bass performance at the Tatui Conservatory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and earned
a bachelor's degree from Minas Gerais University.
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.
Jones is a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities Mayors'
Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional Leadership
and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He has also been
selected Musician of the Year by Sigma Alpha Iota, a music honorary society.
He has conducted all-state and festival orchestras in 46 states and five Canadian
provinces. He has been conductor-in-residence at the North Carolina School
of the Arts and the University of Miami (Fla.).
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/.