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University of Iowa News Release

March 12, 2004

UI Philharmonia Orchestra Performs March 28

The Philharmonia Orchestra from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert with student conductors at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 28 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Four graduate students in the conducting program of the UI School of Music will each lead the orchestra in one piece:
-- John Winzenburg will conduct "Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky, orchestrated by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov;
-- Valdir Claudino will conduct "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Saens;
-- Margaret Licon will conduct "Three Dance Episodes" from the ballet "Rodeo" by Aaron Copland; and
-- Enaldo Oliveira will conduct the Symphony No. 1 in C major, op. 21, by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Famous from its use in the Disney's animated film "Fantasia," "Night On Bald Mountain" is Rimsky-Korsokov's orchestrated version of an intermezzo from Mussorgsky's unfinished opera "Sorochintsy Fair." The intermezzo was based on an earlier symphonic poem by Mussorskgy. The composer gave an account of the program of the work in a letter to Rimsky-Korsakov:

"At the head of my score I've put its content: 1. Assembly of the witches, their talk and gossip; 2. Satan's journey; 3. Obscene praises of Satan and 4. (Witch's) Sabbath. . . . The form and character of composition are both Russian and original." Not included in this description is the sudden interruption of the nocturnal orgy by the village church bell, which signals the onset of daybreak and disperses the demons, and the subsequent musical depiction of dawn.

"Danse Macabre" is based on a poem in which Death is represented as a gruesome fiddler. The work was popular during the Saint-Saens' lifetime and has remained popular ever since. There are two main themes, one of which contains the first notes of the "Dies Irae" chant from the Mass for the Dead, while the other evokes the atmosphere of a tragic waltz. These two themes eventually join together in a continuous whirling.

Copland took the "Dance Episodes" from his 1942 ballet "Rodeo," which was commissioned by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and was originally subtitled "The Courting at Burnt Ranch." "Rodeo" is one of Copland's most American-sounding works, in part because he used folk tunes taken from "Our Singing Country" by John A. and Alan Lomax and Ira Ford's "Traditional Music of America." The three episodes to be performed are "Corral Nocturne," "Saturday Night Waltz" and "Hoe-Down."

Among the most revered works of symphonic music, Beethoven's nine symphonies encompass the transition from the late 18th-century Classical style to the 19th-century Romantic style. When the young Beethoven settled in Vienna in 1792, the Viennese Classic period was at is height. In that context he strove to make his mark on the Viennese public with his first major works and when he gave his first benefit concert, including the newly finished First Symphony, on April 18, 1800.

In many respects, the First Symphony follows the Classical model closely -- the size of orchestra; the number, style and form of the movements; and the tonal plan. At the same time, Beethoven introduced many innovations that make it stand out for its originality still today, even in the face of Haydn's more than 100 symphonies, Mozart's 40 symphonies and the many thousands of other works of the period that are no longer played.

Winzenburg is in his third year of the doctoral program in orchestral conducting at the UI. He received a master's degree in choral conducting from the University of Minnesota in 1999. He conducted both choirs and community/high school orchestras in the Twin Cities area before moving to Iowa City. Winzenburg also holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies from Hamline University and spent eight years in China, Japan and Taiwan as a language student, journalist and jazz/rock musician.

A native of California, Licon received bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, Fresno, and a doctorate in choral conducting from Arizona State University. She served as director of choral activities at Glendale Community College in Arizona and as director of music at Wenatchee College in Washington. Licon has also served as minister of music in churches in California, Arizona and Washington. She began the UI doctoral program in orchestral conducting with William LaRue Jones in the fall of 2002.

Oliveira has a bachelor's degree in violin performance from Santa Marcelina College in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a master's degree from Sao Paulo University. He served as string coordinator at Tom Jobim Music University and as pedagogical coordinator of the Guri Project for the Cultural State Secretary of Sao Paulo. He is in the doctoral program in orchestral conducting at the UI, where he studies with Jones. He has recently been appointed as the music director and conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra at the Greater Cedar Rapids Youth Orchestras.

The Philharmonia Orchestra is part of the orchestra program of the UI School of Music, which includes the University Symphony and three chamber orchestras. William LaRue Jones is director of orchestral studies at the UI School of Music.

The UI 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.

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