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University of Iowa News Release

April 28, 2005

Orhon And Gannett Will Give Double-Double-Bass Recital May 9

Volkan Orhon, the current double bass professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, will be joined by Diana Gannett, who held that position from 1992 to 2001, for an unusual recital for two double basses -- a musical double-double -- at 8 p.m. Monday, May 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their joint performance will be free and open to the public.

The program will feature arrangements for two double basses that Gannett created in dialogue with Orhon, ranging from traditional Scottish songs to George Frideric Handel harpsichord pieces to a piano etude by Frederic Chopin. It is part of a long-term project to increase both the double bass duo literature and increase access in general for bassists to music of some of the historically great composers.

In a project description, Gannett wrote, "A wealth of musical experience has opened up to us in doing this project. Piano literature in particular is a treasure trove of pieces by great composers. By becoming, in effect, the right and left hands of the piano, many Handel and Scarlatti Sonatas can now be readily transcribed for two basses, since we can provide both the bass and the treble voices.

"Since we both have a full range of bass to treble, we've been creative in parsing out the fun parts so that there is more of a sense of dialogue between the two basses, as opposed to a solo and accompaniment texture."

In addition to the UI performance, they will play the same program at the University of Michigan and at the 2005 convention of the International Society of Bassists in Kalamazoo, Mich.

The complete program, made up entirely of arrangements for two double basses, will be:

--Sonata No. 16 by Domenico Scarlatti.

--Suite in E minor by Handel.

--"Gnossiennes" 1, 2 and 3 by Erik Satie.

--Three pieces by Jean de Sainte-Colombe.

--Two traditional Scottish songs.

--The Etude in C-sharp minor, op. 25 no. 7, by Chopin.

--Sonata No. 6 by Luigi Boccherini.

"Diana and I decided to do this project about a year ago and things have been moving pretty steadily since than," Orhon said. "Even though we were in two different places and really busy with teaching and performing, we managed to swap files over the Internet back and forth to finish these arrangements.

"I think the idea of making and playing these arrangements will open new doors and show today's bass players that there are many more opportunities in transcribing pieces for other instrument. We also would like to make these arrangements available for bass players by recording and publishing them.

"It has been a delightful experience to work with Diana and I am really looking forward to these performances."

Orhon's professional career spans a 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. During the summer he teaches at the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont. 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.

Gannett has been on the faculty of the University of Michigan since the fall of 2001. A graduate of the UI School of Music, Gannett returned to the UI to teach double bass 1992-2001. The past president of the International Society of Bassists, she hosted the 1999 ISB convention at the UI School of Music.

As a teacher and performer she has had an active career including appointments at Yale University, the Hartt School of Music, Oberlin College and the University of South Florida. She has been principal double bass of the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Black Hills Festival Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival and the Bronx Symphony, and been a member of the New Haven and New Jersey symphonies.

As a chamber musician she has performed with members of the Guarneri, Emerson, Laurentian and Stanford string quartets and the Borodin Trio. Her frequent solo appearances have included many premieres and solo improvisations as well as traditional repertoire. She has recorded a solo CD, "Ladybass."

At the UI Gannett studied with Eldon Obrecht, whom she succeeded on the faculty. She also studied with Stuart Sankey at the Aspen Music Festival and with legendary double bass virtuoso Gary Karr at Yale. While at Yale she earned a masters and doctorate -- the first Yale doctorate awarded in double bass.

Gannett will perform May 9 on a bass that she built with extensive help from James Reck of Reck Violin Shop in Coralville.

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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