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University of Iowa News Release

April 8, 2004

Eberle Presents Vocal Recital Based On Research Project April 19

Mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle will present an unusual voice recital, the outcome of a semester's research project supported by the University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, with pianist Laura Silverman and violinist Amy Appold, at 8 p.m. Monday, April 19, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Admission to the program will be free.

The musical program will feature a collection of 20th- and 21st-century works for solo voice, and piano or violin accompaniment set to English texts, including the world premiere of "Natural Language," a new piece commissioned by Eberle from Lawrence Fritts, head of the Electronic Music Studio in the UI School of Music.

The performance of "Natural Language" also involves the display of digital images created by Sue Hettmansperger, a member of the painting faculty at the UI School of Art and Art History.

Other works on the program will be a group of songs by English composer Rebecca Clark, the song cycle "Ladies of Their Nights and Days, A Musical Tour" by American composer Richard Pearson Thomas, and "Primavera Porten?a" by Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla.

The recital, however, will be more than the sum of its programmatic parts. It is one of Eberle's activities associated with her participation this spring semester in the Obermann Center's Interdisciplinary Research Semester, "Sounding the Voice," which was inspired in part by the UI's history as a center for the study of the voice in its many different uses.

"The aims of the Obermann seminar are to cross-fertilize diverse approaches to the voice and to better understand the modern explosion of the study and propagation of the voice," Eberle explained. "Five faculty were chosen to gather at the Obermann Center to pursue their own work and to exchange ideas on the voice.

"My project is threefold, including the preparation and presentation of this recital, the preparation of an article on perceptual acoustic assessment models for vocal pedagogy and the hosting of a meeting for the National Association of Teachers of Singing to discuss assessment models, which took place in March."

The cross-disciplinary aspect of the project is most evident in the world premier of Fritts' "Natural Voice." Eberle explained the origin of this new work:

"The commission began with the idea of me singing duets with myself," she said. "Sheila Chandra, an Indian singer who produces her own music‚ inspired our idea of percussive sounds which one could produce with tongue, lips or teeth as a basis for a rhythmic theme. In May of 2003, I went into the UI Anechoic Chamber -- a truly soundproof room with no reverberation -- and recorded a variety of vocal improvisations in both speech and song. Fritts took these sounds and created a vocal accompaniment, which will play while I sing along in the premiere.

"I then approached Hettmansperger to create a painting -- 'Chimera V' -- to be displayed during my recital program. Her work with Fritts impressed me deeply. Visual art for me has always been fascinating, but for me it is enhanced even more when viewed while listening to music."

"This exploration of fundamental congruities of artistic expression visually, musically and linguistically is at the heart of the Obermann Semester project. I want to see what is the 'Voice of the painting' and how does it relate to the 'Voice in the music' or in this case, the many voices of Katherine Eberle. How does the art image shift over time as the colors of my many voices change constantly?"

As part of the Obermann Center project, Eberle will perform the same program at Winona State University April 18th.

Eberle has performed internationally in opera, concert and solo recitals. The Atlanta Constitution wrote, "Katherine Eberle was a standout. More than any other performer, she showed what it takes for a solo performer to command the stage."

In the past 10 years, Eberle has performed in more than 45 professional engagements with orchestras, choral organizations and chamber music groups. Concert credits include solo performances with symphonies in Detroit, Lansing and Saginaw, Mich.; and Atlanta, Macon, Rome, and Valdosta, Ga.

Eberle made her New York debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1994. She served as an Artistic Ambassador for the United States State Department in 1994 and 1995. She has given more than 50 solo recitals as a guest artist in 18 states and in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Korea, Peru, St. John and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Trinidad, and Tobago.

Eberle's extensive performing schedule has not deterred her active work as a clinician and master class teacher. Since 1990 she has given college-level master classes in the United States, Argentina, Korea, Peru and Brazil. She has appeared as guest lecturer at the Summer Vocology Institute at the National Center for Voice and Speech and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Her high school-level vocal workshops in Iowa have introduced young, aspiring artists to her teaching. In recent summers she has given master classes at the UI All State Music Camp.

Eberle holds a bachelor's degree from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, a master's from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. Before coming to the UI she taught at the University of Georgia School of Music for five years, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp for seven years. More information on Eberle can be obtained at her website,

Silverman is coordinator of the accompanying department of the School of Music at the University of Akron, a position she has held since 1989. She received both bachelor's and master's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, with additional studies at the Aspen Music Festival. She was a prizewinner in both the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition and the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition. She was also selected by the United States Information Agency to represent the country as an Artistic Ambassador and toured South America and Australia. Silverman is an active collaborator and versatile pianist and has worked with distinguished soloists throughout the country.

Appold is a founding member and first violinist of the Maia String Quartet. Her extensive performing experience also includes positions with the Youngstown and Canton symphonies and the Isabella Gardner Museum Chamber Orchestra in Boston and solo performances with the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony and the Bach Ensemble of Baltimore. She won first place in the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition and subsequently performed a concerto with the Cleveland Institute Symphony.

Prior to their appointment at the UI, Appold and the other members of the Maia Quartet were the quartet in residence for the Acadiana Symphony in Lafayette, La., serving as first-chair players in the orchestra's string sections. The members of the quartet have also served on the chamber music faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Appold has a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute and a masters degree from the Peabody Conservatory. With the mother members of the Maia String Quartet she held a two-year graduate quartet-in-residence fellowship from the Juilliard School.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the UI encourages scholarly interaction to explore broad frontiers of knowledge and investigate complex ideas and problems. Obermann Scholars are stimulated by informal exchange of ideas with scholars from other disciplines and by uninterrupted blocks of time in which to pursue their research. Obermann Scholars have published numerous scholarly books and articles and have won millions of dollars in competitive external research funding for projects started at the Center.

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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