CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 1, 2002
NEW STRING BASS FACULTY AT UI PLAYS MUSIC FROM RECENT CD NOV. 12
Orhon, the new string bass faculty member at the University of Iowa School
of Music, will play music from a recently recorded CD as part of his UI debut
recital, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
The program will include music for solo double bass as well as accompanied
pieces, performed with pianist Rosemary Chancler. The recital will be free
and open to the public.
Orhon, who was born and raised in Turkey, joined the UI faculty at the beginning
of the fall semester. His extensive 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 and performed as soloist
with orchestras across the country.
In addition to his solo playing, Orhon 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.
The first half of the Nov. 12 program, played with piano, will comprise four
pieces: the Chaconne by contemporary composer Armand Russell; Introduction
and Gavotte by 19th-century bass virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini; Minstrel's
Song by Alexander Glazunov; and Bottesinis Tarantella.
After intermission Orhon will play all music for unaccompanied bass: Eclore
by Nicholas Walker; an arrangement of the Adagio for Strings by American composer
Samuel Barber; the world premiere of Tom Schuttenhelms Notes from
Uncommon Ascent, a piece that Orhon commissioned; and the Capriccio
No. 2 for Solo Double Bass by David Anderson.
I have a rather unique CD coming out in the beginning of November,
Orhon said. The recording features bass ensembles in which I have recorded
all the tracks -- ranging from 2 to 13 parts -- a particularly tricky thing
The CD has a couple of pieces that I arranged from other instruments,
like Handels Cello Sonata in G minor, one of J.S Bachs chorale
preludes and the Aria from Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras
No. 5, originally written for eight cellos.
The recital includes two pieces from the CD, the Barber Adagio for
String and Schuttenhelms Notes from Uncommon Ascent.
Schuttenhelm explained that the title not only refers to the notes
on the musical page, the C-sharps, the E-flats, etc. but also to the recording
of the process, almost like a scientists notes. It also refers to an
incomplete work, a sketch if you will, of a much larger project -- a reassessment
of the capabilities and sound possibilities of the instrument. In writing
this piece I experienced my own bias of the bass turn on itself and made a
note of it.
While it would have been easy to rest on a tradition of composing for
four stringed instruments (the classical string quartet) or to retreat into
experimentation and extended techniques of the modernists, I chose to find
the sounds and characters of the instrument and of the player.
Part of the process involved turning it upside down, literally. The
instrument usually relegated to the bottom is released and allowed to ascend
to the top to have lyrical lines and melodic outbursts, gestures usually reserved
for the higher members of the string family, while the other parts, all basses,
speak crisply and clearly in support of their own. Other times the bottom
is the bottom --resounding and growling at levels unreachable on any other
instrument except the piano.
The form of the piece is a deliberate attempt to measure and balance
these aspects -- highs and lows, traditions and developments, through contemplation
(prelude and interlude) and celebration (dance).
The composer of many virtuosic pieces for the double bass, Bottesini lived
during the height of the 19th-century Romantic era. He was a successful opera
composer and conductor who conducted the premiere of Verdis Aida
and whose own operas played at the major Italian opera houses around the world.
As a double bass virtuoso, Bottesini stunned audiences in Europe, South America
and the United States. His technique was so dazzling that he was known as
the Paganini of the double bass. His music has become an essential
part of the virtuoso bass repertoire.
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
his bachelors 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 masters degree.
Orhon was a finalist and prize-winner 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.
Prior to joining the UI faculty Orhon 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 DAddario Diamond
Performing Artist, and performs exclusively on DAddario Strings.
Chancler has performed throughout the United States as both a soloist and
a collaborative artist. She has played concertos and recitals in Alaska, New
York, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Oklahoma and Massachusetts. She has
played chamber music performances with notable artists, including Paul Rosenthal,
Jeffrey Solow and Harvey Pittel. She has been an invited guest artist and
teacher at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and at Magisterra!, the first
UI International Chamber Music Festival and Academy in May, 2000.
She has held teaching positions at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and
the Baylor University School of Music, and she has been faculty accompanist
at the Chautauqua Institution. She holds a bachelor's degree in piano performance
from the University of Texas at Austin, and masters and doctoral degrees in
piano performance and literature from the Eastman School in Rochester, NY.
At Eastman her teacher was Rebecca Penneys, who was guest of the UI Piano
Festival in 1999.
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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