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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 24, 2004

Iowa Horn Quartet, An Ensemble of Equals, Gives Debut Concert Dec. 12

The Iowa Horn Quartet, an ensemble including University of Iowa faculty and students, will make its debut appearance in a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

Members of the group are Jeffrey Agrell, horn professor in the UI School of Music; Patrick Creel, a doctoral horn student in the School of Music; Peter Kortenkamp, a doctoral physics candidate at the UI who has an bachelor's degree in horn performance and who plays assistant first horn in the Des Moines Symphony; and UI sophomore horn major Dani Reynolds.

Although the four members of the quartet range from an undergraduate student to a faculty member, they perform together as equals, Agrell said. "We trade off on parts to share the difficulties and spell each other," he explained.

"This is our first concert as the Iowa Horn Quartet. For the future we intend to play outreach concerts at schools and through the UI ArtsShare program. In the meantime, our first concert includes of a wide variety of contrasting and exciting music."

The complete program for the Dec. 12 concert will be:
-- "Fanfare for Barcs" by Kerry Turner;
-- Fugue in C minor by J.S. Bach, arranged arr. L.E. Shaw;
-- Four Quartets -- "Night," "An Old German Song," "A Popular Song" and "The Hunt" -- by Alexander Tcherepnine;
-- "The Blessing and the Honor" by George Frideric Handel, arranged L.E. Shaw;
-- "Americana" by Kerry Turner, comprising "The West," "The War" and "Hoedown"; and
-- "Frippery" No. 36 by L.E. Shaw.

"Fanfare for Barcs was written by award-winning composer/hornist Kerry Turner for his ensemble, the American Horn Quartet (AHQ)," Agrell wrote in a description of the program. "This has been the premiere horn quartet in the world for the past decade. Turner writes much of the group's material, and nearly all of it is virtuoso music -- very challenging to play and a delight for audiences.

"Turner has provided the horn world with a large quantity of excellent music since the inception of the AHQ, but perhaps the man who has done the most for horn repertoire in the past half-century is Lowell Shaw, whose compositions, arrangements, and transcriptions appear in the vast majority of horn ensemble programs around the world.

"This concert features two of his arrangements -- the Bach Fugue in C minor and Handel's 'The Blessing and the Honor,' as well as a composition -- his Frippery No. 36. Shaw was a jazz band arranger while in the military in the 1950s. During a long career as second horn in the Buffalo Symphony, he turned out three dozen jazzy pieces for horn quartet that he called 'Fripperies'.

"The biggest and most virtuoso piece on the program is Kerry Turner's 'Americana,' which features three movements with very distinctive American musical flavors: 'The West,' 'The War' and 'Hoedown.' The piece is like many of Turner's works: melodious, toe-tapping, and dazzling."

Agrell joined the UI School of Music faculty in 2000 after a 25-year career as symphony musician. At the UI he teaches horn, directs the Horn Choir, teaches introduction to improvisation and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he associate principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra 1975-2000, playing symphonic music, opera, operetta, ballet, musicals, choral music and chamber music.

Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell has performed and given clinics and lectures at regional, national and international workshops. An avid writer, he was on the editorial staffs of two brass journals for decades, writes two regular columns for the Horn Call, the journal of the International Horn Society, and has some 60 published articles to his credit. He is currently working on a multi-volume method that integrates traditional technique with aspects of improvisation, jazz and contemporary music.

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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