CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Release: Sept. 8, 2000
Meridian Trio, a UI faculty guest ensemble, will play Beethoven, Bloch
and Ravel Sept. 22
(BROADCASTERS: Rene Lecuona is pronounced RAY-nee leh-QUO-nah.)
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Meridian Trio, featuring pianist Rene Lecuona of
the University of Iowa School of Music faculty with violinist Davis Brooks
and cellist Kurt Fowler, will perform music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Ernest
Bloch and Maurice Ravel on a faculty/guest concert at
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 in Clapp Recital Hall. The concert will be free and
open to the public.
A relatively new ensemble, the Meridian Trio gave its public debut concert
on the UI campus in October 1999. The musicians had met at a recording session
in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the previous January and found the experience of playing
together so enjoyable that they decided to present a series of concerts during
the 1999-2000 season. Since that initial series of concerts they have continued
to perform together as an established ensemble.
Three works are on the program for the Sept. 22 concert: Beethoven Trio
in E-flat major, op. 1 no. 1; Three Nocturnes for trio by Ernest Bloch; and
the Trio in A minor of Maurice Ravel.
The Beethoven Trio was the composers very first published composition,
part of a set of three trios written around 1793-94. Composed when Beethoven
was still living in Bonn, Germany, the trios were probably selected for his
first publication because they represented a particularly popular performance
form among the young composers aristocratic patrons.
There is a well-known story that Beethoven performed the trios for Haydn,
who was on his way to, or from, his visit to London in 1794-95.
"The Trio in E-flat is a wonderful example of Beethovens early
style, full of youthful exuberance and playfulness," Lecuona said. "Blochs
Nocturnes, which range in mood from nostalgic and peaceful to darkly menacing,
will provide a dramatic contrast to the high-spirited Beethoven Trio."
"To finish the program we will play the virtuosic and evocative Ravel
Trio, which uses the full range of instrumental colors. I particularly like
the way Ravel uses the low register of the piano," she said.
Composed in 1914, the Trio is one of Ravels most accessible pieces.
Although he is often paired with Debussy as an Impressionist, Ravel was actually
much more classical in style and outlook. In this respect, the Trio is characteristic
of his music, in that an emphasis on sound and instrumental color is combined
with an underlying structure based on classical models and a preference for
Lecuona maintains an active teaching and performing schedule at the UI School
of Music, including frequent collaborations with her faculty colleagues. Since
joining the faculty in 1990 she has appeared in more than 55 on-campus concerts.
She is featured on several CD recordings, including one with double bassist
Diana Gannett of chamber music by Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. In a
recent review of the CD in Bass World, Lecuonas performance on the recording
was described as "magnificent."
Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United
States, South America and the Caribbean. Most recently she performed and presented
master classes in Mexico. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance
in Weill Recital Hall in 1993, and she has appeared as concerto soloist with
orchestras in New York and Iowa. As an Artistic Ambassador for the United
States, she has given concerts and master classes in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador
and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals and given master
classes at many universities in Brazil.
An advocate of 20th-century music, Lecuona has appeared as solo pianist
and chamber musician in concerts of the UI Center for New Music. Her 20th-century
repertoire includes several premieres of new works. Martin Jenni, recently
retired from the UI School of Music, has written two solo piano works for
Brooks comes from a diverse musical background as soloist, pedagogue, orchestral
musician, studio musician, concertmaster on Broadway, conductor and chamber
musician. Recently appointed associate concertmaster of the Indianapolis Chamber
Orchestra, Brooks was a member of the Mostly Mozart Orchestra at Lincoln Center
for 10 years, and the New York Chamber Symphony. He currently teaches violin
at Butler University in Indianapolis. An active and committed chamber musician,
he is currently a member of the Linden String Quartet. He is a founding member
of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, a period instrument ensemble. He has
been concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of New England, the Harrisburg
Symphony and the Waco (Texas) Symphony.
Fowler teaches at Indiana State University and is principal cellist of the
Terre Haute Symphony. He has performed throughout the United States and in
Europe as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Fowler has served
as principal cellist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the Binghamton
Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota
Music Festival, and the Heidelberg Castle Festival in Germany. He is a founding
member of the Timaeus Ensemble, a six-member chamber ensemble that specializes
in 20th-century music, and is the cellist for the Chicago 20th-Century Music
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