CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 9, 2001
Center for New Music to premiere piece
written for Voxman
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University
of Iowa Center for New Music will present three world premiere performances
-- written by or for current and former UI faculty members -- on a free concert
at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
In addition to UI faculty and student
performers of the Center for New Music (CNM), the Feb. 25 concert will feature
bassoonist Kim Walker and the New Opus Trio, an ensemble of Eugenia Moliner,
flute, Christine Rutledge, viola, and Denis Azabagic, guitar.
World premieres on the program will
-- "Elegies and Dances" by Martin-Beatus
Meier, which was commissioned in honor of the 87th birthday of Himie Voxman,
the former director of the UI School of Music, performed by the CNM Ensemble;
-- "Hamadryad" for alto flute, viola
and guitar by Jeremy Dale Roberts, who was a visiting faculty member at the
UI School of Music 1999-2000, performed by the New Opus Trio; and
-- "Life-Drawing" for flute and tape
by Lawrence Fritts, the director of the UI Electronic Music Studios, performed
by Tadeu Coelho.
Walker will be the featured performer
with the CNM Ensemble in "Life of the Party: A Concerto for Bassoon and 16
Friends," which was written for her by Don Freund.
A flexible organization devoted to
the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the CNM is directed by
David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the
UI School of Music. Part of the new UI Division of Performing Arts, the center
supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students
of the School of Music, and presents concerts of recent music by guests artists.
Meier, a native of Bern, Switzerland,
has lived and worked in the United States since the early 1960s. Now retired
from tenured positions at the University of Texas and Washington State University,
he continues to be active as a composer.
"Elegies and Dances" was commissioned
for Himie Voxman by his son, Bill Voxman, and Joanne Reece. Meier said, "It
has been an honor to invent this music for Himie Voxman, with whom I had the
pleasure to read duo music a few years ago, and who is known for his dedicated
and enlightened work in the clarinet world.
"The composition follows a zigzag
path alternating between pensive and whimsical domains. The idea of interplay
among such opposites, and of doing so in a framework of folk music-like tonalities
and structures, enticed me upon hearing a live performance of Klezmer music.
Thinking in symmetric phrases, transparent textures and predictable pitch
sets made for a novel but delightful enterprise."
Roberts recently retired as the distinguished
head of composition at the Royal College of Music in London. Recognized as
one of England's most important composers. Roberts has had works performed
throughout Europe, including performances at the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals,
the Venice Biennale, the Diorama de Geneve, and the festivals of Avignon and
He wrote about the origin of "Hamadryad,"
"When Christine Rutledge -- one of my colleagues at the UI last year -- asked
me to write a trio for her group, I was delighted. It was an extremely enticing,
not to say seductive, line-up of instruments -- flute, viola and guitar --
and I was very keen to write for these particular players.
"The inclusion of the guitar, with
its more restricted range and more muted dynamic range, colored my whole approach.
I decided to bring all three instruments into its orbit: the use of an alto
flute, instead of the more brilliant ordinary flute, biased the whole conception
towards a rather shadowy texture."
Fritts has been director of the Electronic
Music Studios at the UI School of Music since 1995. He has composed for a
wide variety of electronic and computer media, including concrete tape, instruments
and tape, voltage-controlled and MIDI-controlled analog and digital synthesizers,
and digitally processed instruments. His recent works for tape and instruments
utilize real-time computer sound transformation technology. His music has
been performed at festivals and conferences in the U.S. and broadcast in the
United States, Canada, South America and Europe.
Freund is chair of the Composition
Department at Indiana University. He has composed more than 80 performed works,
ranging from solo, chamber, and orchestral music to pieces involving live
performance with electronic instruments, music for dance and large theatre
works. He is also active as a pianist, conductor and lecturer.
Of "Life of the Party" he wrote, "Life
of the Party was inspired by the incomparably vivacious personality and astounding
virtuosity of Kim Walker.
"This composition could be described
as an instrumental mini-opera with two identifiable layers of musical activity.
One layer is the 'Party Music,' a series of 'songs' in varied vernacular styles
which recede into the background to allow the more intimate party 'chats'
to be heard."
The characters of the mini-opera are
represented by instruments. The bassoon and its date, the contrabassoon, show
up at a party, and before long engage in "small-talk" with the other woodwinds.
Each of the 'Party Music' songs -- identified by style, including "Hard Rock,"
"Techno," and "Cool Jazz" -- leads to an "intimate chat." The scenario ends
with movements headed "Soliloquy: Broke-up," "Ballad: Make-up" and "Finale:
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 major orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal
Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
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 and Hummel, and Wolf-Ferrari; previously
undiscovered solo works from the Baroque and Classical bassoon repertoire,
which she researched in European libraries; and arrangements for the female
bassoon quartet "Queens of the Night," whose repertoire extends from Scheidt
Within the contemporary realm, she
is actively enlarging the bassoon's repertoire, working with the composers
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, Sofia Gubaidulina, Richard Rodney Bennett,
David Baker and others.
Coelho joined the UI music faculty
in 1997. An international touring artist sponsored by the Miyazawa Flute Company,
he has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the
Americas. He has performed as first solo flutist with the Santa Fe Symphony,
the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany and the Spoletto Festival Orchestra in Italy.
In the summer of 1996 he was invited to play with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood
under conductors Bernard Haitink, Robert Shaw and Robert Spano.
Coelho's performances have consistently
earned high critical praise. Following a series of concerts in Brazil, one
critic commented that "there is no doubt about his virtuoso abilities, topped
with a degree of musicianship that was magnificent and complete."
The Center for New Music was founded
in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The center promotes
the performance of new music by providing a core group of specialists in contemporary
performance techniques. Its programming has included world premieres as well
as acknowledged contemporary masterworks.
In November, 1998, an east-coast tour
by the Center included a performance at Merkin Hall in New York City and by
invitation at the final performance of the Region I Conference of Society
of Composers, Inc., at Connecticut College in New London. In 1986 the center
received the Commendation of Excellence from Broadcast Music, Inc., the world's
largest performing rights organization, and it has received grants from the
Aaron Copland Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Gompper joined the music theory and
composition faculty of the UI School of Music in 1991. He has received numerous
awards for his academic and musical achievements, including the Charles E.
Ives Prize for composition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts
and Letters and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the
The Center for New Music and the School
of Music are part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of
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