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Release: Sept. 19, 2000

Oboist Mark Weiger will discuss his world travels for 'Saturday Scholars' program Sept. 23

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mark Weiger, a professor in the University of Iowa School of Music, will discuss the life of the traveling musician in "Oboe on the Road" at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 in Room 40 of Schaeffer Hall on the UI campus.

The program, part of the UI College of Liberal Arts "Saturday Scholars" series, is free and open to the public. In a preview of his presentation, Weiger will be a guest on "Iowa Talks" on WSUI radio, AM-910, at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22.

As an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency, Weiger traveled to Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Jordan and Israel. In addition to providing contact with musicians and audiences in these countries, the travels led to recording contracts and many more engagements for performances. In his program, Weiger will discuss his experiences on the road as an artistic ambassador, and the oboe as a tool for international understanding.

"Saturday Scholars," developed by Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, gives members of the public a chance to hear about the latest teaching and research innovations by professors in the college. The sessions last about an hour, including a 20-30 minute presentation followed by time for questions. Refreshments are served.

Future lectures in the series are will be:

--"Yesteryear’s Wonderlands: How Amusement Parks Introduced Modernism to America," with Lauren Rabinovitz, professor of American studies and cinema and comparative literature, Saturday, Oct. 7;

--"All that Jazz: Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington" with Horace Porter, professor of African-American world studies and English, Saturday, Oct. 14; and

--"Eye, Brain, and Mind" with Steven Luck, associate professor of psychology, Saturday, Oct. 21.

All presentations begin at 10 a.m. in Room 40, Schaeffer Hall, the southeast building on the UI Pentacrest.

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 First 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.

Weiger is a founding member of the double reed quartet Wizards!, which has released three CDs to critical acclaim, toured 18 states and presented educational residence programs throughout the West and Midwest. As 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."

Following the New York premiere of the Bernard Rand Concertino, New York Times critic Paul Griffiths praised Weiger’s "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 solo and chamber music recordings on the CRS, Crystal, Chandos and Centaur CD labels.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact College of Liberal Arts in advance at 335-2610.