CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 9, 2001
Two bassoonists will be featured with
UI Chamber Orchestra Feb. 25
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The bassoon is not
often featured in concertos, but the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra
will have not one but two bassoon soloists when it presents its next free
concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
In fact, there will be three bassoonists
on stage, since the concert will be under the direction of William LaRue Jones,
who began his musical career as a bassoonist and still performs occasionally
with his UI faculty colleagues.
The bassoon soloists will be guest artists
Kim Walker, who teaches bassoon at the Indiana University School of Music,
and Benjamin Coelho, who teaches bassoon at the UI School of Music.
Walker will be featured in a piece written
for her, "Trilogy for Bassoon" by David Baker. Together, Coelho and Walker
will perform the Concerto in F major for two Bassoons by Viennese classical
composer Johann Baptiste Wanhal. And the orchestra alone will open the concert
with the well known "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" by Claude Debussy.
David Baker is distinguished professor of music and chair of the Jazz Studies
Department in the Indiana University School of Music. He is the recipient
of many honors, including Down Beat magazine's New Star, Lifetime Achievement
and Jazz Education Hall of Fame awards; the National Association of Jazz Educators
Hall of Fame Award; and the National Endowment for the Arts American Jazz
Masters Award. He is the conductor and artistic director of the Smithsonian
Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
Baker has written more than 2000 compositions
and has been nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Awards. He is
president-elect and past vice president of the International Association of
Jazz Educators, president of the National Jazz Service Organization and senior
consultant for music programs for the Smithsonian Institution.
A contemporary of Joseph Haydn, Wanhal
was born in Bohemia in 1739. After studies in Italy, he spent most of his
professional life in Vienna, where he was well known as an accomplished organist,
violinist and cellist. Although his works are little known to the public,
he earned an enduring place in music history in 1785, when he played cello
in an informal string quartet that introduced Mozart's quartets to the composer's
father, along with Haydn (first violin), Carl Dittersdorf (second violin)
and Mozart (viola).
Wanhal composed more than 700 works including
nearly 100 symphonies, an equal number of quartets, chamber music for strings
and wind instruments, numerous sonatas and occasional pieces for violin, viola
and solo piano, and chamber concertos for violin, cello, keyboard, flute,
clarinet and bassoon.
One of the most familiar pieces in the
orchestral repertoire, Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" was
inspired, not as is often imagined, by a mythological pastoral scene, but
rather by Stephane Mallarme's symbolist poem "Afternoon of a Faun." Thus,
the musical work is at least one step removed from the woodland scene it is
often thought to describe.
The opening melody on the flute is vaguely
descriptive, in the sense that the faun -- a figure from Greek mythology,
half goat and half man -- is often portrayed playing pan pipes. In all other
respects the music follows its own logic entirely, although the piece has
become so familiar to audiences that its indistinct harmonies seem highly
expressive of the faun's lazy, dreamy state.
Walker is chair of the woodwind department
of the Indiana University School of Music. Before taking that position, she
spent 17 years in Europe, performing internationally and teaching at the Geneva
She has performed as first bassoonist
with several major European orchestras. Appearances at international festivals
including Ravinia, Schleswig-Holstein, Lucerne, Hong Kong, Sydney, Monte Carlo,
Prades, Marlboro, Wolf Trap, Newport and others throughout Europe, have established
her as an internationally known soloist. Her extensive list of CD recordings
include concertos by Mozart, Strauss, Hummel and Wolf-Ferrari; previously
undiscovered solo works from the Baroque and Classical bassoon repertoire;
and arrangements for the female bassoon quartet "Queens of the Night," whose
repertoire extends from Scheidt to Elvis.
Coelho has worked extensively as performer
and teacher of bassoon, in both the United States and his native Brazil. He
was a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, with whom he played a
sold-out concert in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. As a soloist, Coelho
has played recitals and concertos in Brazil, the United States, Canada and
In Brazil, Coelho has played principal
bassoon with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro,
the Grupo de Musica Contemporanea of Minas Gerais and the Gramado Woodwind
Quintet. He taught bassoon at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo
Horizonte in Brazil, where he served as the elected vice-dean of the School
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 has appeared as a guest conductor
with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and other orchestras
around the world. He has conducted all-state and festival orchestras in 46
states and five Canadian provinces.
The School of Music is part of the Division
of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.
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