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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 13, 2005

OctOBOEfest, Biennial Celebration Of All Things Oboe, Returns To UI Oct. 28-30

OctOBOEfest 2005, the latest go-round of the biennial celebration of all things oboe that was started at the University of Iowa, will feature a weekend of local and guest artists in concerts, master classes and lectures, competitions for college and high school students, oboe exhibits and double-reed ensemble activities -- all of these in three days, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 28-30.

OctOBOEfest was founded in 1992 by Mark Weiger, the professor of oboe at the UI School of Music. "Every other year OctOBOEfest brings to our campus the country's best oboists performing some of the world's best oboe music -- as well as a little fun," Weiger says.

"It is also an invitation to the general public to hear good music, meet some amazing musicians and enjoy all the School of Music has to offer with its excellent concert halls, strong faculty and talented students."

The founder and ongoing director of the festival, Weiger will perform on several of the public concerts. Featured guest artists this year will be Chicago Symphony principal oboist Alex Klein; Los Angeles Philharmonic solo English horn player Carolyn Hove; Regents Professor of Music and coordinator of woodwind instruction at the University of North Texas, Charles Veazey; and Elizabeth Young, faculty member at Eastern Kentucky University and a UI doctoral candidate in oboe performance.

Performers from the UI School of Music faculty will be William LaRue Jones, conducting the UI Chamber Orchestra, and pianist Shari Rhoads.

The three principal OctOBOEfest performances will be open to the public free of charge:

--8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in Clapp Recital Hall: Opening Night Gala Recital with Weiger, pianist Shari Rhoads from the UI, and 2003 Midwest Oboe Competition winners.

--8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in Clapp Recital Hall: the UI Maia String Quartet with guest artists.

--3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, in Clapp Recital Hall: Concerto Concert, featuring Jones and the UI Chamber Orchestra with oboe soloists Weiger, Klein, Hove and Veaze.

"Having so many oboists together, and having so much oboe music played, provides an experience you can't usually find in Iowa or the Midwest," Weiger says. "Through this event oboe students are introduced to the great artists in the oboe community, and they have the opportunity to develop new professional relationships, new ideas and higher standards. OctOBOEfest is designed to foster fellowship and strengthen the quality of oboe playing and teaching in Iowa."

Taking place during OctOBOEfest, the Midwest Oboe Competition is open to college and high school oboists from Iowa and all its contiguous states. The top prizes start at $1000, with the first prize also getting $1000 off a new oboe and a $200 gift certificate for music.

"Last year's first-prize winner in the college division was a UI undergraduate who is now doing graduate work at the Berlin Hochschule," Weiger said. "The first-prize winner of the high school division was from Chicago and is now studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

"The second-prize winner of the college division, Mark Fitkin, is an Iowan and the second-prize winner of the high school division, Stuart Breczinski, is a Minnesotan. Both are now UI students, and will be joining me on stage for the Opening Night Gala. These are absolutely and truly the exceptional oboists of the region, who have the most promising futures ahead of them."

"Elizabeth Young, our most recent oboist to gain employment in the field, will be returning to share her skills and enthusiasm in a master class for the young, the old, the novice and the professional on Saturday afternoon. Since my arrival at Iowa, every oboist who has completed their degree program at Iowa has gotten a job. Elizabeth happens to be the most recent to do so.

"OctOBOEfest will also feature a host of exhibits with the latest in instruments, gadgets, recordings, music, books and tools for all to explore."

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.

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. Following the New York premiere of the Bernard Rand Concertino, 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.

As principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Klein has worked with the world's top conductors, soloists and living composers. He appears regularly as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony as well as other orchestra and performs regularly with the chamber music festivals of Seattle and Santa Fe, teaches on the faculty of Northwestern and Roosevelt Universities, as well as being the tutor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago oboe section. His many recordings as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player have been released on many different labels.

Hove joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as solo English horn in 1988. Her solo performances have included a recital on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, performances with the La Jolla Chamber Music Society, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Society and the Philharmonic New Music Group. She is presently a faculty member at California State University, Long Beach and is serving on the Executive Committee of the International Double Reed Society.

Veazey has held full-time positions with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Northern Michigan University and West Texas State University. He has served on the executive board of the International Double Reed Society and served as chair of the Fernand Gillet Young Artist Competition. He has had students earn jobs with the orchestras of Cleveland, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, Honolulu, Oakland, Ft. Worth, Houston Opera/Ballet Orchestra, Dallas Lyric Opera, Dallas Opera Association and other orchestras. Others are presently teaching at universities across the United States.

Young was previously oboe instructor at Coe College and Kirkwood Community College in Iowa and at Snow College in Utah. She has served in the Orchestra for the US Olympics, the Cedar Rapids and Dubuque symphonies and served as the oboe teaching assistant at the UI. She has taught at the Wyoming Young Musicians Festival, performed in recital at the 2005 International Double Reed Society conference, traveled to Europe and performed on tour through South Korea.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with a wide array of professional, festival, collegiate and student ensembles throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, ranging from the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minneapolis Pops to the Penang (Malaysia) Symphony, the Antofagasta (Chili) Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra of Lucerne (Switzerland). Jones has conducted more than 70 all-state orchestras with additional festival/clinics in most of the 50 states and Canadian provinces.

OctOBOEfest 2005 is made possible through the generous support of Eble Music of Iowa City; Rigoutat Oboes of France; F. Loree Oboes of France; Nora Post Oboes in New York; Gail Warnaar Music in Vermont; TrevCo Music in Florida; Kristin Thelander, director the UI School of Music; Reck Violin Shop of Coralville; Fox Products in Indiana.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

OTHER INFORMATION: OctOBOEfest event schedule:

Friday, Oct. 28

8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Opening Night Gala Recital, with Mark Weiger, oboe; Shari Rhoads, piano; and the 2003 The Midwest Oboe Competition Winners. Reception to Follow

Saturday, Oct. 29

9 a.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Midwest Oboe Competition, College Division

9 a.m., Harper Hall: Master Class with Charles Veazey

11 a.m., Opera Rehearsal Room: Open Double Reed Ensemble Reading

2 p.m., Harper Hall: Warm-ups for All with Elizabeth Young

3 p.m., Harper Hall: Master Class with Alex Klein

8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Concert by Maia String Quartet and Guests


9 a.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Midwest Oboe Competition,High School Division

9 a.m., Harper Hall: Master Class with Carolyn Hove

11 a.m., Opera Rehearsal Room: Open Double Reed Ensemble Reading

1:30 p.m., Harper Hall: Double Reed Ensemble Concert

3 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Concerto Concert

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,