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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 2, 2004

David Spies Plays UI Tuba Recital Feb. 9

David Spies, visiting professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Iowa School of Music, will join with UI graduate student Marcelina Turcanu for a free concert of music for solo tuba with piano at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

In a program ranging from arrangements of Baroque works for violin to contemporary music written for tuba, Spies and Turcanu will play seven pieces:
-- "Introduction and Allegro Spiritoso" by Jean Baptiste Senaille, arranged for tuba and piano by Philip Catelinet;
-- Sonatina for tuba and piano by Halsey Stevens;
-- "Scherzo" by James Wintle;
-- "Three Easy Pieces" by Paul Hindemith;
-- "Romance" by Alexander Scriabine;
-- "Romance," op. 35 no. 6, by Reinhold Gliere; and
-- "Sultry and Eccentric" by James Grant.

A musician in the court of Louis XV, Senaille introduced Italian methods of performance into the French school of violin playing. The "Introduction and Allegro Spiritoso" originates from a collection of 50 violin sonatas composed by Senaille.

The American scholar and composer Halsey Stevens wrote the first major English-language biography of the influential 20th-century Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. He also wrote several remarkable pieces for brass instruments, including sonatas for both trumpet and trombone. The Sonatina of 1960 shows similarities to Bartok's style, in both rhythm and sound. It has become a staple of the tuba and bass-trombone repertoire.

Wintle teaches music theory and composition at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. His works have been performed by leading chamber music ensembles and soloists, including concerts and recitals at Merkin Hall, Yale University, Mannes School in New York, and Carnegie Hall in New York City, as well as international performances in Australia, Germany, France, Switzerland, and China.

His "Scherzo" is a new piece that was premiered by Spies at the 2003 Texas Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas. The UI recital will be only the second performance of the work.

Hindemith composed "Three Easy Pieces" in 1938 originally for cello and piano. This brief and accessible work entered the tuba and bass trombone repertoire when it was recorded by tubist Toby Hanks of the New York Brass Quintet in the early 1970s.

In contrast to the late-20th-century works on this program, the two Romances by Alexander Scriabine and Reinhold Gliere, originally composed for horn and piano, provide an opportunity for the tuba to be heard in a lyrical setting.

Grant's "Sultry and Eccentric" is the product of a collaborative commissioning project involving 50 tubists from throughout the world. It was given its world premiere June 1, 2000, at the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, by Mark Nelson, tuba, and Jan Grimes, piano. "Sultry" harkens to a jazz "torch song," while "Eccentric" superimposes schizophrenic rhythmic and melodic activities between tuba and piano.

Spies currently teaches euphonium and tuba, coaches brass chamber music and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet as a visiting faculty member at the UI School of Music. Spies previously served for seven years on the faculty of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, during which time he also taught at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Spies is an active performer and teacher throughout the United States. In addition to numerous solo recitals, he has performed with the Milwaukee, Cedar Rapids, Fort Worth, Shreveport, Richardson, New Haven and Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestras, Dallas Wind Symphony and U.S. Coast Guard Band. As principal tubist with the North Texas Wind Symphony he has recorded 10 compact disks for the Klavier Wind Recording Project, several recordings with the First Brigade Civil War Brass Band of Watertown, Wisc., and recordings for both Centaur and Mark Records.

A freelance musician in Dallas-Fort Worth for nearly a decade, he has performed with popular artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, LeAnn Rimes, Roy Clark and James Taylor. An active chamber musician as well, Spies has performed with the New York Woodwind Quintet, Meridian Arts Ensemble and the Canadian Brass.

Currently the managing editor for the International Tuba-Euphonium Association (ITEA) web site, Spies is also a reviewer for the "New Materials" column of the ITEA Journal. He was twice selected Outstanding Graduate Student in Instrumental Studies at the University of North Texas, where he completed his doctorate. He is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yale University, where he was awarded the first Artist Diploma ever to be received by a low brass musician.

A native of Moldavia, Turcanu gave her first public recital at the age of 8 and at 12 performed Mozart's D-minor Piano Concerto with the Kishinev Philharmonic Orchestra. She graduated from Kishinev and Bucharest Conservatories with highest honors. To further her teaching career she was given the opportunity to assist major teachers at the St. Petersburg, Kiev and Moscow conservatories. She is currently a student of Uriel Tsachor in the UI School of Music.

Turcanu is a winner of numerous national and international piano competitions including the Dinu Lipatti International Piano Competition and the Tallin International Piano Competition, and she received the prestigious Prince De Lambrino Award in 1997. In 2000 she was awarded the first prize in the Art Song Competition in Ohio. She has appeared in recitals and concerto performances throughout the former Soviet Union, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Scandinavia, Germany and the United States.

Turcanu has been a faculty member at the Kishinev Institute of the Arts, Kishniev Rachmaninoff College, Porumbesco College and the Enesco Conservatory in Bucharest. She has also been coach/accompanist for the Kishniev and Bucharest opera houses. A frequent adjudicator for local and national piano competitions and festivals, she has also taught master classes in Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Haiti and 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 on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.

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

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,