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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2005

UI Bass Workshops Culminate In Feb. 26 Concert

A workshop for young double bass players will culminate with an unusual performance of solo and ensemble pieces, all for the largest member of the string-instrument family, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus. The concert will be free and open to the public.

This will be the second year for the workshop, which is organized by Volkan Orhon, professor of double bass at the UI School of Music. The workshop is geared toward elementary through high school students. With separate sessions for grades 4-7 and 8-12, material will be presented that is appropriate for the age and skill of all participants.

"This is our second annual Iowa City Bass Day," Orhon said. "Last year we had a great turnout for our first annual workshop.

"The workshop will present student-friendly information about double bass performance issues such as audition preparation and fingering and bowing techniques, as well as solo and orchestral master classes. We also will form bass ensembles in the afternoon for the chamber music concert featuring students and faculty.

"In addition to myself, the workshop will host two guests this year: David Murray, who is the associate professor of double bass at Butler University in Indianapolis; and Leland Tolo, who is a retired professor of double bass from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford (Conn.)."

Orhon said that the program for the concert would not be known until the participants show up and start working together. "We usually find out what we are playing the day of the event," he said.

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.

Murray has an international reputation as a solo bassist and teacher. He is currently associate professor of bass at Butler University and principal bassist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He also plays as principal bassist with Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Ill., and at the Bear Valley Music Festival in northern California. Before coming to Indianapolis, he was instructor of bass at West Texas A&M University and principal with the Amarillo Symphony. He has been a member of the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and also toured twice with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Murray's first private teacher was bass virtuoso Gary Karr, with whom he studied in high school and at the Hartt Music School in Connecticut. Summers were spent at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival, where he won the 1981 concerto competition. In Los Angeles in 1988 he won the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Solo Competition. He has made solo appearances, both in recital and with orchestra, and given clinics and master classes throughout the United States, his native Canada, and in South Korea, Brazil, Israel, Scotland and Holland.

Tolo earned his degrees from the University of Minnesota, the University of Louisville, and the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich, Germany. He is also the recipient of Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst Stipendiat.

He has performed with Louisville Symphony, Muenchener Bach Orchester, Munich Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Waterbury Symphony and others. A professor of double bass and music theory (retired) at The Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, he also performs on viola da gamba.

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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