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Release: March 23, 2001

Student soloist and student composition highlight UI Chamber Orchestra concert April 8

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University Chamber Orchestra will feature two students -- one a soloist and the other a composer -- on a concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 8 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The concert, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will be free and open to the public.

Flutist Kara DeRaad Santos, winner of the All University 2000-2001 Concerto/Aria Competition at the University of Iowa School of Music, will play the Concerto for flute by Jacques Ibert. A graduate student, Santos studies flute with UI faculty member Tadeu Coelho.

Also on the program will be the world premiere of "The Insane Mother," a cantata by UI graduate student Katerina Stamatelos, with faculty soloists Susan Jones, soprano; Katherine Eberle, mezzo-soprano; and Stephen Swanson, baritone; and graduate student Kyle Gassiott, string bass.

Jones and the University Chamber Orchestra will open the concert with the Overture to "Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail" (The abduction from the seraglio) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Stamatelos was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She studied piano at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, the Pireus (Greece) and Vienna conservatories and Kent State University. She was a Panhellenic Piano Competition winner and has made solo appearances with the major orchestras in Greece.

She has given solo and chamber music recitals in Austria, Canada and the United States, and on Greek National radio and television. She has extensive experience in piano teaching at the graduate level and is enrolled in the doctoral program in piano performance in the UI School of Music. She is also a master’s degree student in composition. She recently started composing and her first two works were performed at major concerts in Thessaloniki. Her more recent compositions have been performed at the UI and at the Midwest Composers’ Symposium in 1997 and 1998.

"The Insane Mother" is based on a poem by Dionysios Solomos, who was considered the national poet of Greece in the 19th century. It tells the story of a mother who loses her sanity after the death of her two children.

"To dare to write music for this incredible poem was an instantaneous decision, based on the fact that the poem is music itself," Stamatelos wrote. "To follow the traces of insanity in musical forms intrigued me greatly.

"I decided to write a work that would operate through several different but coinciding structures: the soloists and chorus, who follow the natural structure of the poem; the double basses as a symbolic ‘wall of death’; the orchestral strings as a web of indifference, representing the objectivity of the cosmos; and three flutes, the only instruments allowed to be expressive, following the poet’s inclination to present suffering through nature."

Santos is a master’s student in the UI School of Music and a teaching assistant in Coelho’s flute studio. She was a semi-finalist in the 2000 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and won second prize in the 1997 National Flute Association Orchestral Audition and Master Class Competition. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan.

Ibert, a winner of the Prix de Rome at the Paris Conservatoire, was for a number of years director of the French Academy in Rome. Versatile and prolific, he wrote operas, ballets and music for the theatre, cinema and radio, in addition to vocal and instrumental works, all well crafted with particularly idiomatic handling of wind instruments. The Flute Concerto, written in 1934, is a useful addition to solo repertoire for an instrument whose possibilities the composer well understood. Ibert’s music is full of humor and color and exhibits elements of both impressionism and classicism.

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.

Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland) and other orchestras around the world. 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.).

Jones holds a Master of Fine Arts in music from the UI and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

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