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Release: May 17, 2002

UI School of Music appoints three new studio faculty in musical performance

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Agrell is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable: “a-GRELL.” Volkan Orhon is pronounced as written: VOLE-cahn ORE-hahn. Tse is pronounced “Chey.”)

The University of Iowa School of Music has appointed three new members of its studio faculty for the 2002-03 academic year: Jeffrey Agrell in horn, Volkan Orhon in string bass, and Kenneth Tse in saxophone.

Kristin Thelander, director of the UI School of Music, commented: “We feel very fortunate to have three such terrific musicians and teachers join our faculty for the coming year. All three are established professional artists who also have distinguished careers as teachers. I look forward to having them join the rest of our outstanding faculty for the coming year.”

Agrell has been a visiting faculty in the School of Music, teaching horn, directing the Horn Choir, coaching chamber music and performing with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he was a member of U.S. Army Bands and was associate principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra 1975-2000, playing symphonic music, opera, operetta, ballet, musicals and choral music. 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 works have appeared on CD and have been broadcast on radio and television nationally and internationally. His “Rhythm Suite for Clarinet and Marimba” won First Prize in the 2000 composition contest of the International Clarinet Association.

At the 2001 Workshop of the International Horn Society in Kalamazoo he gave a clinic on non-jazz improvisation and performed his “Night Sonata” for horn, piano, bass, and percussion, which is revolutionary in its integration of written and non-jazz improvised material. Another recent piece in this style, “September Elegy” for natural horn and piano, was performed at the Infinite Respect Conference at the University of Iowa in January 2002, and was a winner in the “Beyond 9-11: Arts in Iowa” project.

Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell was a guest artist/clinician at the Midwest Horn Workshop in 2002. During the summer of 2002 he was a featured artist and clinician at the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival and a coach for the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong. He was on the editorial staffs of two brass journals, writes two regular columns for Horn Call, and has some 60 published articles to his credit. He is currently working on a multi-volume method that integrates traditional technique with aspects of improvisation, jazz, and contemporary music. He offers regular workshops for regional high school horn players and is sponsoring a contest for young horn soloists from Iowa.

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.

Orhon’s professional career spans a wide variety of solo, orchestral and chamber music performing and teaching across the country and around the world. He has played with internationally recognized musicians including double bassist Gary Karr and the Emerson String Quartet. He has performed as soloist with orchestras across the country, including the El Paso Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Connecticut Orchestra, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, Cortlandt Chamber Orchestra and Northern Westchester Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his solo playing, he has been a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Opera Orchestra and a freelance musician throughout New England. He recently completed a European tour with the Fazil Say and Kudsi Erguner Jazz Quartet, performing at the Montreux, Paris, Antibes, Montpellier, Istanbul and Izmir jazz festivals.

Orhon was a finalist and prizewinner in the Concert Artists Guild Solo Competition in New York City, and was the co-first place winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. He was the first double bass player ever to win the Grand Prize overall and first prize for double bass at the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition.

Orhon was born and raised in Turkey. He began playing the double bass at the age of 12, and spent much of his youth touring Europe. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Ankara State Conservatory, he became a member of the Ankara Presidential Symphony Orchestra. He came to the United States in 1991 to continue his studies with Karr at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Conn., where he received an Artist Diploma and master’s degree.

Orhon has served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts, Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford, and Summer Strings Music Festival in Pocatello, Idaho. Orhon is a D’Addario Diamond Performing Artist and performs exclusively on D’Addario Strings.

More information is available on Orhon’s web page, at

As a Yamaha performing artist and Vandoren endorsed artist, Tse is an active international performer and clinician. He has given performances and master classes in many parts of Asia, Europe and the United States. Many composers have written pieces for Tse, including saxophone sonatas, saxophone concerto, solo and chamber works by David DeBoor Canfield, John Cheetham, and Leonard Mark Lewis.

Upon his 1996 Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Times heralded Tse as “a young virtuoso” and the Herald Times described his playing as “virtuosic brilliance” with a “beauteous, ever-so-smooth voice.” Saxophone Journal wrote, “Every aspect of saxophone performance has been refined to the ‘nth’ degree: His ability to bring out the lyricism of any line no matter how active or convoluted is breath taking.”

A former student of the internationally acclaimed American artist and teacher Eugene Rousseau, Tse has appeared as a soloist with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, Indiana University Wind Ensemble, Baylor University Wind Ensemble, Emory University Wind Ensemble, Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and Des Moines Symphony, among others. He has solo compact disc recordings on Crystal Records, RIAX Records, and Enharmonic Records. He is currently the membership director for the North American Saxophone Alliance.

More information about Tse is available on his web page, at http://

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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