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University of Iowa News Release

March 2, 2004

Solo Side Of Bassoon Celebrated In March 10 UI Concert

Benjamin Coelho teaches bassoon at the University of Iowa School of Music, and he will continue a series of performances showcasing a little-heard side of his instrument -- as virtuoso soloist rather than sonorous foundation to the wind section -- with a faculty chamber concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Joining Coelho will be the Maia String Quartet and double bassist Volkan Orhon, all members with Coelho of the School of Music faculty. The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet -- violinists Amy Appold and Margaret Soper Gutierrez, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- is heard frequently on campus. Orhon has offered his own solo recitals.

Coelho and his colleagues will play four works, ranging from collaborative chamber music to showy, soloistic virtuosity:
-- Serenade for bassoon and string trio by Bernhard Heiden;
-- "Variations on a theme by Paganini," based on the 24th Capriccio for solo violin, composed for solo bassoon by Maurice Allard;
-- "Anjo Breve" (Small angel) for bassoon and string quintet, written for Coelho by Argentinian composer Gerardo Dirie; and
-- the American premiere of "Fasonett" for bassoon and string quintet by Eberhard Eyser.

Born in Germany, Bernhard Heiden studied with Hindemith in Berlin before immigrating to the United States in 1935. A long-time faculty member at Indiana University, his prolific output includes orchestral works and opera in addition to numerous solo and chamber compositions.

Maurice Allard studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he was awarded the first prize as a performer. He also won First Prize in the Geneva International Competition in 1949. In the same year he become the principal bassoonist at the Paris Opera, a position he held until his retirement in 1987. He served as bassoon professor at the Paris Conservatory from 1957 to 1988.

A native of Argentina, Gerardo Dirie is an accomplished composer, conductor, performer, scholar, educator and arts administrator. After studies in Argentina, Dirie came to the United States in 1987 on a Fulbright Fellowship and a Monica Mourier Archibald Grant to study composition at Indiana University, where he earned masters and doctoral degrees.

Dirie met Coelho when they were both students at Indiana and working with the Latin American Music Center there. They became good friends, and looked for an opportunity to work together on a new piece for bassoon. After Coelho came to Iowa, the commissioning program of the UI Center for New Music made that possible with "Anjo Breve." The score uses two contrasting images drawn from Brazilian literature, the small angel of Carlos Drummond de Andrade's poem "Anjo" (Angel) and a scene from "Tent of Miracles" by Bahian novelist Jorge Amado.

Dirie wrote, "Although these images are very rich indeed, my hope is that the audience could simply enjoy the contrast of free flowing gestures and active, energetic, and driving music."

Eberhard Eyser was born in Marienwerder in what was then East Germany. He studied in Hannover in West Germany and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In addition to working as a composer, he also plays the viola and enjoys conducting his own works. A prolific composer he has written works for orchestra, opera, ballets, wind and vocal music, and electronic music. The title "Fasonet" is derived from the German word for bassoon (fagot) and string quintet.

Coelho has worked extensively as performer and teacher of bassoon, in both the United States and his native Brazil. He was a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, with whom he played a sold-out concert in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. The quintet won various chamber music competitions including Artists International, Coleman, and Monterey Peninsula chamber music competitions. As a soloist, Coelho has played recitals and concertos in Brazil, the United States, Canada and Portugal.

In Brazil, Coelho has played principal bassoon with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, the Grupo de Musica Contemporanea of Minas Gerais and the Gramado Woodwind Quintet. He taught bassoon at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, where he served as the elected vice-dean of the School of Music.

Orhon's professional career spans a wide variety of solo, orchestral and chamber music performing and teaching across the country and around the world. He has played with internationally recognized musicians including double bassist Gary Karr and the Emerson String Quartet. He has performed as soloist with orchestras across the country, including the El Paso Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Connecticut Orchestra, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, Cortlandt Chamber Orchestra and Northern Westchester Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his solo playing, he has been a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Opera Orchestra and a freelance musician throughout New England. He recently completed a European tour with the Fazil Say and Kudsi Erguner Jazz Quartet, performing at the Montreux, Paris, Antibes, Montpellier, Istanbul and Izmir jazz festivals.

Orhon joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002. He has served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts, Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford, and Summer Strings Music Festival in Pocatello, Idaho. Orhon is a D'Addario Diamond Performing Artist, and performs exclusively on D'Addario Strings.

Founded in1990, the Maia Quartet has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. In 1999 they gave a concert at the German Embassy in Washington, in honor of the Czech Republic's entry into NATO. In recent years they have collaborated with other leading chamber musicians around the world, and they have had summer teaching engagements at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Austin Chamber Music Festival, the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and the Cedar Rapids Symphony School. Prior to coming to Iowa, they also taught on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory.

The quartet has gained wide recognition for its educational outreach activities. It has participated in a three-year project in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival under a grant from the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation aimed at building adult audiences. The members of the quartet have shared their love of music with children under the auspices of Young Audiences, Inc., and the Midori Foundation, and they have given performances for families with children at Lincoln Center and the U.N. School in New York.

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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NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Coelho is pronounced "Quail-yo."