CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 20, 2002
UI SYMPHONY BAND AND FLUTIST ROBERT DICK PERFORM OCT. 2
University of Iowa Symphony Band and conductor Myron Welch will be joined
by the groundbreaking flutist and composer Robert Dick for a free concert
at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Currently a visiting faculty member at the UI School of Music, Dick will
perform Howard Hansonss Serenade with the band. Other works on the program
will be the Moorside March by Gustav Holst; Parable for
Band by Vincent Persichetti; Danza de los Duendes (Dance
of the goblins) by Nancy Galbraith; Fete-Dieu a Seville by Isaac
Albeniz, transcribed for band by Lucien Cailliet; and Masque by
A visiting faculty member at the UI School of Music for the 2002-03 academic
year, Dick is internationally known as a performer, composer and improviser.
He describes himself as a musician with 21st century skills and 18th
century attitudes who continues the tradition of virtuoso composer/performers
like Chopin, Paganini and Jimi Hendrix.
Howard Hanson was director of the Eastman School of Music for 40 years and
the 1944 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in music. He wrote the Serenade in 1945
as a wedding present for his bride. The gentle, flowing lyricism of the Serenade
is typical of the neo-Romantic style for which Hanson was known. The original
version for flute, harp and strings has been transcribed for flute, harp and
19 winds by New York arranger Ruth Anderson.
One of Americas most important composers and music educators in the
20th century, Persichetti taught and was chair of composition at the Juilliard
School in New York. He wrote many works in a wide variety of genres, of which
his symphonies, his works for piano and works for band are considered most
significant. His style combined elements of classicism, Romanticism and modernism,
particularly combining lyrical melodic lines with contemporary tonal harmonies
and vigorous rhythm. He wrote a series of 24 parables for a variety of instruments
and ensembles, of which the Parable for Band was the ninth. It was written
for the Drake University Band and premiered in Des Moines in 1973.
Composer Nancy Galbraith has written that her Danza de los Duendes
refers to elfin beings who are mischievous and mean spirited, victimizing
children at play during siesta when their parents are asleep or inattentive.
Hiding in trees and bushes, los duendes are often blamed for minor and sometimes
major recreational accidents and are thought to be the spirits of dead children.
The work was arranged for winds by the composer after acclaimed orchestral
performances by the Argentinean Orquesta Sinfonica de Tucuman and the Pittsburgh
In his program notes, English composer Kenneth Hesketh quotes a definition
of masque as a form of revel in which mummers or masked
folk come, with torches blazing, into the festival hall uninvited and call
upon the company to dance and dice. He continues, The above description,
I think, can also serve as a description to the piece. The main theme is certainly
bravura and is often present, disguised, in the background. . . . Colorful
scoring with a dash of wildness is the character of this piece -- I hope it
may tease both player and listener to let their hair down a little.
Robert Dick has received critical acclaim world wide for both his technical
accomplishment and his groundbreaking creativity. The Washington Post wrote,
Dick held the audience in rapt attention with his spellbinding virtuosity,
and critic Bill Shoemaker wrote in JazzTimes, There are few musicians
that are truly revolutionary. Robert Dick is one of them.
As a performer, Dick is particularly known for his mastery of extended techniques
on the flute and for the high intensity of his concerts, which have earned
a reputation as the Hendrix of the flute. A highly versatile player,
he also performs Classical repertoire and has recorded the Telemann Fantasies
for flute alone.
As an improviser, Dick is a member of groups based both in New York and Europe.
His multifaceted musical life also includes work on redesigning the flute
itself. He is currently collaborating with Bickford Brannen of Brannen Brothers
Flutemakers on the development of the Robert Dick Glissando Headjoint,
which does for the flute what the whammy bar does for the electric
As a composer in the classical world, Dick is one of only two Americans ever
to be awarded both Composers Fellowships and a Solo Recitalist Grant
by the NEA. His current projects include a performance piece, The Psychological
Sonata, in collaboration with performance artist Rinde Eckert, an Iowa
City native and UI graduate.
Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980. In addition to conducting
the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, Welch teaches courses in instrumental
methods and conducting, and is coordinator of the Iowa Honor Band. He was
recently named a Collegiate Fellow in the UI College of Liberal Arts in recognition
of years of distinguished teaching, research and service to the college.
Prior to joining the UI faculty Welch was director of bands and coordinator
of music education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He has bachelors
and masters degrees in music from Michigan State University and a doctorate
in music education from the University of Illinois.
Welch is past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the Big
10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association. He is
a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout
the United States.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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