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Release: Nov. 1, 2002


NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Coelho is pronounced “QUAIL-yo.”

Bassoonist Benjamin Coelho, a faculty member at the University of Iowa School of Music, will include two unaccompanied pieces on a program of 20th-century music for bassoon at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Coelho will perform four pieces with pianist Shari Rhoads, in addition to the solo pieces. His faculty recital will be free and open to the public.

“This program brings together six composers of the 20th century,” Coelho said. “However, these composers did not use the atonality and extended techniques that are typical of many 20th-century composers. In fact, these compositions are all quite melodic and pleasing to the ear.

“The idea that runs through all of the pieces is the use of a folk song or dance melody that expresses each composer’s nationality. So in the whole program, you will hear melodic lines that represent national styles from Germany, England, Brazil, France and the United States.”

The six pieces will be, in program order:

-- the Sonata op.71 for bassoon and piano by French composer Charles Koechlin, written 1818-19;

-- “Music for solo bassoon,” by Dutch composer Bernard van Beurden, written in 1987;

-- the Sonata for Bassoon and piano by German composer Theodor Hlouschek, written in 1967;

-- “Ciranda das sete notas” (Ciranda of seven notes) for bassoon and piano by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, written in 1933;

-- Etude Number 5, “Streets of Laredo,” for solo bassoon by American composer John Steinmetz; and

-- the Sonata in F major for bassoon and piano by English composer William Hurlstone, written in 1904.

Koechlin was an influential figure in Parisian musical life of the early 20th century. He helped found the Independent Music Society, created to promote new music and to oppose the conservative institutions of the French musical establishment. Although Koechlin was not a popular composer he was respected as a theorist and teacher. His Bassoon Sonata was written in 1918-1919 but was not performed until 1938 and first published in 1990.

A native of Amsterdam, van Beurden has been an active part of the Dutch new music scene. In the 1980s he taught at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music and founded an ensemble of 10 accordions whose repertoire consisted entirely of contemporary music. Now working exclusively as a composer, he has written works for radio, television and theatre; chamber, choral and orchestral music. “Music for solo bassoon” was written in 1987 and is based on a French folk dance from the Middle Ages.

Villa-Lobos was one of the most original and most prolific of 20th-century composers. His style shows the strong influences of native Brazilian music blended with traditional European compositional techniques. His “Ciranda of seven notes” was originally written or bassoon and strings. A ciranda is a children’s dance. Villa-Lobos uses the seven notes of the C major scale for the theme, transforming this simple material into his typical Brazilian melodic and rhythmical style.

Steinmetz is principal bassoonist of the Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles Master Chorale, a member of the ensemble XTET and a frequent contributor to movie soundtracks. He is also a board member of Chamber Music America, the national service organization for chamber musicians, and a consultant to the computer scientists of the Media Research Group at Walt Disney Imagineering.

His Etude No. 5 comprises eight variations on the well known song “The Streets of Laredo.” The variations are reminiscent of the Baroque style, with an abundance of florid ornamentation. “This piece is sure to remind us of the cowboy songs of yesteryear,” Coelho said. “At the end of the piece the high pitched melody especially reminds us of a whistling campfire song.”

Coelho has worked extensively as performer and teacher of bassoon, in both the United States and his native Brazil. He was a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, with whom he played a sold-out concert in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. The quintet won various chamber music competitions including Artists International, Coleman, and Monterey Peninsula chamber music competitions. As a soloist, Coelho has played recitals and concertos in Brazil, the United States, Canada and Portugal.

In Brazil, Coelho has played principal bassoon with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, the Grupo de Musica Contemporanea of Minas Gerais and the Gramado Woodwind Quintet. He taught bassoon at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, where he served as the elected vice-dean of the School of Music.

Coelho started studying bassoon at the age of 10 at the Tatui Conservatory in his native Brazil. He graduated with honors from the State University of New York at Purchase and received a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He is currently completing a doctorate at Indiana University.

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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