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Release: May 3, 2002

‘Prunes and Encores’ will be the subject of horn player Jeffrey Agrell’s recital May 14

Jeffrey Agrell, the horn teacher at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a program with the unlikely sounding title “Prunes and Encores” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Agrell’s UI faculty recital, performed with pianist Shari Rhoads, will be free and open to the public.

Everyone knows what encores are, but “prunes” is not a word often associated with music. “The term was coined by Norwegian horn virtuoso Froydis Ree Wekre,” Agrell explains. “She says, ‘whatever a prune may be to an American, to a European a prune is a small, sweet delight.’ The prunes selected here are just that: catchy or melodious, short, one-movement pieces.

“The first and last pieces on the program resound with the sounds and rhythms of the age-old association of the horn, the hunt. Three others are beautiful, lyrical works by famous classical composers. One is bluesy, and two are just flat out fast as the dickens.

“In any case, there is something here for everyone -- just the thing to provide a welcome change from the intensity of final exam week.”

The complete program of “Prunes and Encores” will feature, in order, the Rondo in B-flat by Arnold Cooke; “Canto Serioso” by Carl Nielsen; “Blues Essay” by Richard Maltby; “La Basque” by Marin Marais ; “Soiree en Mer” by Camille Saint-Saens, as arranged by Agrell; “Canon in Octave” by Jean Francaix; “Romance” by Saint-Saens; and “Hunter’s Moon” by Gilbert Vinter.

Agrell is a faculty member in the School of Music, where he teaches undergraduate horn, directs the Horn Choir, coaches chamber music and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he was a member of U.S. Army Bands from 1970 to 1973 and was associate principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra from 1975 until 2000. During that time he also performed chamber music throughout Europe.

Agrell began composing and arranging during his college years and played jazz guitar and electronic music in the 1980s. For the past decade he has had a steady stream of commissions from professional chamber music ensembles. His Rhythm Suite for Clarinet and Marimba was the winner of the 2000 composition contest of the International Clarinet Association. His works have appeared on CD and have been broadcast on radio and television nationally and internationally.

Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell was a guest artist/clinician at the 2001 Workshop of the International Horn Society and at the Midwest Horn Workshop in 2002. He will be a featured artist and clinician at the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival beginning three days after this recital. This summer he will be a coach for the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong.

Agrell has degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He did further studies at the Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales in Montreux (Switzerland) and at the Basel Conservatory. He has been on the editorial staff of two international brass journals and has more than 60 published articles to his credit.

Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 2000. She earned her degree in accompanying and has completed post-graduate studies in opera coaching/conducting at the University of Southern California. Before arriving at the UI she taught music history at the Musikhochschule (Music conservatory) in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads has also been Kapellmeister at the Lucerne Theater and conductor/coach at the opera theater in Darmstadt, Germany. She was coach at the Barcelona and Madrid opera theaters.

Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima and Montserrat Caballe with whom she worked exclusively as coach/accompanist and orchestrator. She has accompanied master classes with a number of renowned artists including singer Gerard Souzay, cellist Lynn Harrell and violist William Primrose, and served as staff accompanist for the Francesco Vinas (Barcelona, Spain) and Munich International competitions.

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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