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Release:Oct. 4, 2002

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Tse is pronounced CHAY. Chancler is pronounced CHAN-suh-ler.)


Saxophonist Kenneth Tse, who joined the faculty of the University of Iowa School of Music in August, will perform two works written for him as part of his UI faculty debut recital program, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Tse’s recital, with pianist Rose Chancler, will be free and open to the public.

The pieces written for Tse are both sonatas for alto saxophone and piano, one each by American composers John Cheetham and David DeBoor Canfield. Other works on the program are “Lamento et Rondo” by Pierre Sancan; “Holy Roller” by Libby Larsen; “Caprice en forme de valse” (Caprice in the form of a waltz) for unaccompanied saxophone by Paul Bonneau; “Klonos” by Piet Swerts; and arrangements of the “Chants d’Auvergne” (Songs from the Auvergne region) by Joseph Canteloube, arranged for alto and soprano sax and piano by Ito Yasuhide.

Although this will be Tse’s first recital as UI faculty, it is not his first appearance in Iowa. In 1996 he played a recital and presented a master class at Simpson College, in 1998 he played a guest recital at the UI, and in 2000 he appeared as soloist with the Des Moines Symphony. The change in status to faculty artist, he said, doesn’t change his approach to the performance.

“I always like to connect with the audience,” Tse said. “I just want them to enjoy the music. It doesn’t really matter who the audience is.”

Nevertheless, Tse feels that it is important the he will be the first full-time, permanent faculty in saxophone performance at the UI School of Music. “I am thankful for the university’s support, and I hope this will help gain recognition for classical saxophone in this region,” he said.

In America, he noted, saxophone is regarded as a jazz and pop instrument -- although “jazz is a style that can be played by any instruments, from steel drums to strings,” he said. “The saxophone was invented in France in the 19th century as a classical instrument, for military bands and orchestras, so that was its original use. It was not until the 1920s that it was used for dance bands and big bands in America.”

Three of the pieces on the Oct. 17 program -- the pieces by Cheetham and Canfield that were written for Tse, plus the piece by Larsen -- were included on a CD that Tse recently recorded for Crystal records.

Cheetham, who is well known as a composer for brass instruments and concert bands, recently retired from the University of Missouri, where Tse has also taught. Tse asked him to write a piece for saxophone.

“One of his concerns was not to write something that only a few professionals could play,” Tse said. “He always said he is a very practical composer who writes practical music, and he wanted something that was accessible to both the performer and the audience. Since this is not a terribly difficult piece, I hope that it will become a standard piece for saxophonists to play.”

Canfield heard Tse perform when he was a student at Indiana University and wanted to write for him. He personalized the score in several ways: making a theme out of the letters of Tse’s last name, which, using a system of musical symbols turned into the notes C-E-flat, E natural, and including a variation on one of Tse’s favorite hymn tunes, “Great is thy Faithfulness.”

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.

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.” A Saxophone Journal article observed, “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.”

Tse studied at Indiana University with the internationally acclaimed American artist and teacher Eugene Rousseau, who is a UI graduate. He 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, < http:// >.

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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