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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 12, 2005

UI Camerata Will Perform 'Music About Music' Oct. 23

The University of Iowa Camerata Singers will present "Music About Music," a free concert that ranges from the Renaissance to contemporary times, at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be directed by Timothy Dickey and will feature oboe soloist Mark Weiger. Both are members of the UI School of Music faculty.

"The theme of the concert is 'Music about Music,' both topically and philosophically," Dickey said.

The complete program will feature eight pieces in three sets. First will be: "An die Musik" (Ode to music) by Franz Schubert; "Musica, Dei donum optimi" (Music, the best gift of God) by Olando de Lassus; and the traditional spiritual "Lil' David, play on your harp."

Two pieces will comprise the second set: "Sing, sing ye muses" by English Renaissance composer John Blow, conducted by UI graduate student Tim Pahel; and "There is Sweet Music Here" by Stephen Chatman, featuring Weiger.

The final set will have three titles: "Gamelan" by Murray Schaefer; " 4' 33" " (Four minutes and 33 seconds) by John Cage; and the "Geographical Fugue" of Ernest Toch.

"The first two sets include music in which the subject is music itself," Dickey said. "This ranges from an arrangement of Schubert's famous ode to Lassus' paean to 'Music, the best gift of God.' It features a set of four madrigals set by contemporary Canadian composer Stephen Chatman, to musical texts of Blake, Shelley and Tennyson.

"The third and final set comprises three pieces which philosophically ask the question, 'What is music?' In Schaeffer's 'Gamelan,' the choir imitates the sounds of a Southeast Asian instrumental ensemble, while the 'Geographical Fugue' uses the effects of speech to create the music. The centerpiece of this section is a performance of John Cage's ' 4'33",' in which everything heard is the music -- except the musicians!"

Dickey joined the UI faculty in 2003 as assistant director of choral activities in the School of Music, directing Camerata, teaching the history of choral literature and advising doctoral students. He did his doctoral work in musicology at Duke University, received master's degrees in choral conducting from the University of Connecticut and the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Mass. He also has attended the Royal School of Church Music at Sarum College in Salisbury, England.

Before coming to the UI, Dickey worked with the choral program directed the Collegium Musicum at Duke University and has served as associate conductor at the University of Connecticut. He also founded and directed choral ensembles at Amherst College and Duke University. His dissertation research in Siena and Florence, Italy, was supported by an Advanced International Travel Fellowship from Duke and a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from Duke's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Since coming to Iowa in 1988, Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions, won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY), performed double concertos with the Chicago Symphony's former principal oboist, Ray Still, and presented solo recitals with many other notable oboists.

Weiger is a founding member of the double reed quartet WiZARDS!, which has released three CDs to critical acclaim, toured 18 states and presented educational residence programs throughout the West and Midwest. As the first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador through the U.S. Information Agency, Weiger performed recitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Sri Lanka. The Tel Aviv News commented: "The quality of collaborative artists in the US Artistic Ambassador program is now unparalleled. On balance, [they] were perhaps the most successful Artistic Ambassadors USIS has ever programmed."

Following the New York premiere of the Bernard Rand Concertino, New York Times critic Paul Griffiths praised Weiger's "mellifluous oboe playing" and critic Gerald Gabel wrote, "Weiger's virtuosic abilities were a perfect match for this difficult work. . . . not since Heinz Holliger in his prime have we heard an oboist with his control and mastery." He has solo and chamber music recordings out on the CRS, Crystal, Chandos and Centaur CD labels.

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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