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Release: August 30, 2002


The directors of the music schools at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University have borrowed from the world of sports to create a unique “home-and-away” musical exchange between the two institutions.

Horn player Kristin Thelander from the UI and pianist Sue Haug from ISU will play the same concert program on both campuses, with the Iowa City performance coming at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 -- the day after the annual UI-ISU clash in football -- in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

Thelander and Haug will play three pieces on the Sept. 15 concert: “Cornucopia: A Sheaf of Miniatures” by Thomas Dunhill; “Deep Remembering” by Dana Wilson; and the Sonata of Joseph Rheinberger. They will perform the same program on the ISU “home field” in Ames on Sept. 8.

Thelander explained the origin of the program: “I met Sue Haug in the fall of 2000 at the annual convention of the National Association of Schools of Music, which is attended by virtually all executives of accredited music schools in the country. We enjoyed each other immensely, and talked about performing together.

“Last spring we got serious about it, and planned these recitals at Iowa State and Iowa around the time of -- but not during! -- the annual football game between the two rivals.

“As administrators, we find that our schedules often get filled with non-musical activities, so we are enjoying this opportunity to continue making music, along with our administrative duties at our respective schools.”

“As the horn player, I got to pick the music, but I wanted to make sure Sue would enjoy our repertoire as much as I did. I suggested this particular program because I think it includes some particularly satisfying pieces for both the pianist and the hornist.”

“Cornucopia” is one of several solo works for wind instruments that Dunhill wrote for the British publisher Boosey & Hawkes. Commissioned in 1941, these included pieces for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn. “Cornucopia” -- a play on the Latin for “horn of plenty” -- is a suite of small pieces that display the lyrical qualities of the horn, with colorful accompaniments by the piano. They were dedicated to horn player Frank Probyn, who was Dunhill’s colleague on the faculty of the Royal College of Music in London.

Thelander heard the premiere of Dana Wilson’s “Deep Remembering” at the 1996 International Horn Symposium in Eugene, Oregon. “Even on first hearing, I knew this was a piece I wanted to perform,” she said.

“I was particularly attracted to the music because of Wilson’s effective use of pitch-bending and sliding from one pitch to another, created by combinations of half-valve and hand-muting techniques. These ‘modern’ effects are closely related to natural horn techniques, and I find it interesting to employ the right hand techniques of the historical natural horn in new ways. The piano also uses some extended techniques, including tone clusters and inside-the-piano techniques.”

According to the composer, the movements’ titles come from a passage in Anne Sexton’s love poem “Kiss”:

“…Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.”

Wilson is Professor of Composition at Ithaca College in New York. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and East Asia. They have received several awards, including the International Trumpet Guild First Prize, the Sudler International Composition Prize, and the Ostwald Composition Prize.

Rheinberger studied and taught organ and composition at the Munich Conservatory in the late 19th century. He was a conservative romantic composer who avoided the modern ideas of his time, as represented by the works of Wagner and Liszt, while writing symphonies and chamber music in traditional forms.

His Sonata for Horn and Piano is the only late romantic work of its kind, and thus was hailed as a valuable addition to the horn repertoire when it was rediscovered in the late 1960s. It captures the Romantic ideal of the horn, from the noble and heroic first movement, to the lyrical slow movement, to the energetic and extroverted finale.

“The partnership of the horn and piano is unmatched in any other work from its time,” Thelander commented, “and therefore it is one of the most satisfying works in the horn repertoire.”

Thelander joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1989 and was elected director of the School of Music in 2000. Active as both soloist and chamber musician, she is a member of the Iowa Woodwind Quintet. As a guest artist she performed a solo with the Chinese National Opera Orchestra for the opening concert of the International Horn Symposium held in Beijing in July, 2000. During the summer she performs with the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival in East Aurora, New York.

She was the first prize-winner in the 1981 American Horn Competition, and she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, South Korea and the People’s Republic of China. She has been a featured artist at many regional and international horn workshops in recent years, and she performed as soloist with the La Crosse Symphony, the Heartland of America Air Force Band, the Lake Agassiz Concert Band, the Britt Festival Orchestra, the Iowa Baroque Orchestra, the Greeley (Colo.) Philharmonic and the Santa Fe Symphony. She has recorded solo and chamber music for Crystal Records, CRI, Vienna Modern masters and Centaur Records.

Before coming to Iowa Thelander was on the music faculty at the University of New Mexico, and she was a member of the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Symphony. She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin.

Haug is head of the Department of Music at Iowa State University, where she teaches piano and piano pedagogy. She has been on the ISU music faculty since 1975 and has served as department head since 1991. She holds undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa.

Haug performs regularly as soloist and accompanist. Most recently she and colleagues at ISU have developed and toured with an original music-dramas on the life and music of Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Nadia Boulanger.

Haug's research has focused most recently on sight-reading at the piano and cognitive psychology as it applies to the learning of music. Her articles have been published in the American Music Teacher, Clavier, and Keyboard Companion magazines, and she has been invited to give presentations at national meetings of the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and Sigma Alpha Iota. In addition to her work at ISU, she teaches piano in her home studio and is active as an adjudicator and clinician. She is past president of the Iowa Music Teachers Association and is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music Commission on Accreditation.

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

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