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University of Iowa News Release

April 2, 2004

Huckleberry Will Perform As Solo Pianist, Chamber Musician And Accompanist April 13

Alan Huckleberry will present an unusual piano recital, performing as soloist, chamber musician and accompanist, all on the same program, when he presents his second University of Iowa faculty recital at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Huckleberry will be assisted by cellist Anthony Arnone and soprano Rachel Joselson -- fellow faculty members at the UI School of Music -- and by flutist Nicole Esposito, a guest artist, on the recital. Their performance will be free and open to the public.

Huckleberry came to the UI as a visiting faculty member last fall. His previous recital, in February of this year, also combined solo and chamber performances.

"Once again I will be featuring chamber music, vocal accompanying, and solo performances," Huckleberry said. "In this concert I will be focusing on works by American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries."

The complete program will be:
-- the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Seymour Shifrin, the oldest piece on the program, from 1948, performed with Arnone;
-- the Sonata for Flute and Piano of 1987 by Lowell Liebermann, with Esposito;
-- "Zoot Suite" for piano solo, written for Huckleberry in 2001 by John Berners;
-- a set of songs by George Gershwin, performed with Joselson, together with the 1973 solo piano transcriptions of the same songs by pianist Earl Wild; and
-- "Sleepwalker's Shuffle" and "Nightmare Fantasy Rag" from William Albright's "Dream Rags" for piano solo, composed in 1970.

Huckleberry described his program, writing that it "starts off with a cello sonata by Seymour Shifrin. This is a work of great passion, commitment and honesty. Unfortunately we seldom hear it in our concert halls."

"This is followed by the flute sonata by Lowell Lieberman. This work has become a staple in the flute repertoire. From the hauntingly lyrical beginning to the bombastic climax, it is sure to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

"The second half of the program starts out with a work that was written for me by John Berners. This will be the first Iowa performance. Berners wrote this for me as part of a radio/CD project in Germany, sponsored by the West-German Radio Station (WDR) in Cologne, featuring 'crossover' music from Michigan. You will find a rag, an homage to bar-room pianists and an incredible boogie-woogie!

"The American pianist Earl Wild is well known for his many transcriptions. Many of the favorites are the transcriptions of Gershwin songs. Normally pianists simply play these transcriptions, but I have decided to pair them with their original songs. This creates a unique 'give-and-take' between the singer and the pianist.

"Finally, the concert will end with two crowd pleasers: two rags by William Albright. These rags are a true tour-de-force, including, possibly, the longest rag ever written."

Huckleberry is an active solo pianist and chamber musician. He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France and the United States. He is also a prizewinner of numerous national and international piano competitions, including the first prizes in the German National Competition and the University of Michigan concerto competition.

As a chamber musician Huckleberry was the featured pianist at flutist Amy Porter's 2003 summer workshop at the University of Michigan. For the past three summers he has been the faculty chamber music coordinator and faculty pianist for the University of Michigan's All-State program at Interlochen. Prior to his appointment this fall at the UI, Huckleberry taught at the Cologne Conservatory in Germany, the University of Michigan, and at Albion College in Michigan.

Esposito is currently the principal flute of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and also performs with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. As an orchestral musician, she has performed under some of the worlds leading conductors, including James Conlon, David Zinman, Gunther Schuller, Robert Spano and Andrew Litton. She has been the Piccolo Fellow for the Aspen Music Festival and also principal flute of the Ohio Light Opera, with whom she can be heard on three recordings by Albany Records. Other summer festivals she has participated in include the Brevard Music Center and the National Orchestral Institute.

Esposito was the first piccolo player ever admitted to compete in the prestigious Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition, and has also been a finalist in the National Flute Associations Piccolo Artist Competition. Recently she won the Mathilda Heck Woodwind Award at the WAMSO Competition, sponsored by the WAMSO Minnesota Orchestra Volunteers Association in Minneapolis. She has a bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she won first prize in the 2001 Concerto Competition, and she recently completed her master's degree at the University of Michigan.

Arnone is a founding member of the Meriden Trio and the Sedgwick String Quartet, which regularly performs at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. He was principal cellist of the Madison Symphony in Wisconsin 1996-2001, was a member of the Orchestra Philharmonique de Nice and the Wichita Symphony and was principal cellist of the Spoleto Festival in Italy 1992-1997.

Arnone has taught master classes and performed across the country and currently teaches summers at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and the Stonybrook Music Festival in New York.

Before joining the School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997, Joselson spent 13 years in Europe performing in opera and concert with theaters and orchestras in Darmstadt, Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn, Basel, Barcelona, Bilbao, Braunschweig, Brussels, Kiel, St. Gallen, Trier and other cities in Germany, Switzerland and Spain. In this country she has appeared in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Madison, Johnson City, Tenn., and New Brunswick, N.J.

In the 1995-96 season she had her first engagement at the Metropolitan Opera, and was engaged by London's Covent Garden for their 1992 Japan tour with Mozart's "Don Giovanni."

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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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Arnone is pronounced "ar-NO-nay"