CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 17, 2001
Photo: The Meridian Trio --pianist Rene
Lecuona of the University of Iowa School of Music faculty, violinist Davis
Brooks and cellist Kurt Fowler -- will perform "Over the Top," a
new work written for them by visiting UI faculty member Amelia Kaplan, as
part of a free public concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Clapp Recital
Hall on the UI campus.
The Meridian Trio Will Perform A Free Concert Jan.
Meridian Trio, featuring pianist Rene Lecuona of the University of Iowa School
of Music faculty with violinist Davis Brooks and cellist Kurt Fowler, will
perform "Over the Top," a new work written for them by visiting
UI faculty member Amelia Kaplan, as part of a free public concert at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
The Meridian Trio gave its public debut concert on
the UI campus in October 1999. The musicians had met at a recording session
in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the previous January and found the experience of playing
together so enjoyable that they decided to present a series of concerts during
the 1999-2000 season. Since that initial series of concerts they have continued
to perform together as an established ensemble.
All three members of the group have active careers
as both performers and teachers, so they have to carefully coordinate their
very full schedules to find time for their concert appearances. Lecuona teaches
at the UI and performs around the world; Brooks is on the faculty of Butler
University in Indianapolis and is associate concertmaster of the Indianapolis
Chamber Orchestra; and Fowler teaches at Indiana State University and is principal
cellist of the Terre Haute Symphony.
In addition to Kaplans "Over the Top,"
the Jan. 30 concert of the Meridian Trio will include the Piano Trio No. 1
in D minor, op. 63, by Robert Schumann; and an arrangement for piano trio
of Arnold Schoenbergs late-Romantic classic "Verklaerte Nacht"
Amelia Kaplan is in her second year as a visiting
faculty member at the UI School of Music. Her music has been programmed by
the UI Center for New Music, and her "Bat Out of Hell" was recently
premiered by the Iowa Woodwind Quintet.
"Unlike most of my works," Kaplan wrote,
"Over the Top is not influenced by extra-musical ideas; but
like my more recent works it is an exploration of gesture and large scale.
On the surface, Over The Top is quite conventional: a moderately
fast first movement, a slow second movement, a scherzo-like third movement,
followed by a very fast final movement. All of the material for the piece
is introduced in the first movement, and most of the individual motives are
built out of a four note set (G, G#, F,A).
"The title comes from the fact that in each of
the movements all gestures are to be grossly exaggerated in a sort of reference
to romanticism, of which the (piano trio) genre itself is a product."
Kaplan received a doctorate in music composition from
the University of Chicago, where she studied with one of the 20th centurys
legendary composer/teachers, Ralph Shapey. She was the recipient
of a Whiting Dissertation Fellowship which she used for study at the Milan
Conservatory Her music has been performed around the United States and in
Considered one of Schoenbergs greatest works,
"Verklaerte Nacht" (Transfigured night) was composed in 1899 for
string sextet and arranged for piano trio by Edward Steuermann, a close friend
and associate of the composer, in 1932. It was inspired by a lyric-narrative
poem of the same title by the Austrian expressionist poet Richard Dehmel and
written in an emotionally intense, highly chromatic late Romantic style.
Although written for a chamber ensemble, the score
is virtually a symphonic poem that closely follows the structure of the literary
text, with an introduction, coda and apotheosis. Knowledge of the poems
narrative, in which a woman makes a confession to her lover and the night
is transfigured by his forgiving love, is not necessary for the listener,
since Schoenbergs powerfully expressive music stands on its own.
Lecuona maintains an active teaching and performing
schedule at the UI School of Music, including frequent collaborations with
her faculty colleagues. Since joining the faculty in1990 she has appeared
in more than 65 on-campus concerts. She recently performed in the Goodman
Hall at Lincoln Center with UI soprano Rachel Joselson. As an Artistic Ambassador
for the United States, she gave concerts and master classes in Argentina,
Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals
and given master classes at many universities in Brazil. She recently recorded
two major chamber works of the composer Hans Gal with UI violinist Annette-Barbara
Vogel and cellist Fulbert Slenczka, and she recorded many of the songs of
Arthur Honegger with Joselson.
Brooks comes from a diverse musical background as
soloist, pedagogue, orchestral musician, studio musician, concertmaster on
Broadway, conductor and chamber musician. He was a member of the Mostly Mozart
Orchestra at Lincoln Center for 10 years, and the New York Chamber Symphony.
He previously taught at Baylor, Wayne State, the University of Wisconsin at
Eau Claire, and Bucknell, in addition to maintaining a private studio for
27 years. He is also a member of the Linden String Quartet.
Fowler has performed throughout the United States
and in Europe as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. He has
served as principal cellist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the Binghamton
Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota
Music Festival and the Heidelberg Castle Festival in Germany. He is a founding
member of the Timaeus Ensemble, a six-member chamber ensemble that specializes
in 20th-century music, and is the cellist for the Chicago 20th-Century Music
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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