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University of Iowa News Release


April 23, 2007

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Piano Duo Performs At UI May 2

The Steinbach & Helvey Piano Duo -- consisting of University of Iowa alumnus Richard Steinbach and Howard Helvey -- will present a free performance as guests of the UI School of Music at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, in Clapp Recital Hall.

Steinbach, a music faculty member at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, and Helvey, the organist/choirmaster of historic Calvary Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, have performed together as a piano duo since 1997. Their repertoire embodies a broad spectrum of two-piano and four-hand music, from early Bach and Mozart to contemporary works by Aaron Copland and John Corigliano.

Their program for the May 2 concert will be similarly eclectic:

-- the Sonata in D Major, K. 448/375a, for piano, four-hands by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart;

-- Three Preludes for Piano by George Gershwin, performed by Steinbach;

-- the "Danzon Cubano" (Cuban dance) of Aaron Copland;

-- an arrangement by Robert Schultz of Cootie Williams' and Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight";

-- "Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik" (A little midnight music, a play on the title of Mozart's famous serenade "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik") by George Crumb, performed by Steinbach; and

-- "Variations on a Theme by Paganini" by Witold Lutoslawski.

Steinbach has performed extensively as both soloist and collaborative artist throughout the United States, Canada, Peru, France, Italy, Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan and the People's Republic of China. As the grand prizewinner in the 1995 France Piano International Competition in Paris, he performed his solo debut recital at the Salle Cortot in Paris in January 1996.

Steinbach received a doctorate in piano performance from the UI, as well as a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado and master's from the Eastman School of Musica. He has released two solo recordings on the Towerhill label and a CD of new American works for voice and piano with soprano Diana Guhin Wooley.

Working from his home base in Cincinnati, Helvey is in demand as a guest choral composer, conductor and speaker. He is well known for his published and commissioned choral works, many of which have been featured on recordings, national network and PBS television broadcasts, and in concert venues including New York's Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the White House and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

A Missouri native, Helvey holds a bachelor's degree in composition from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in composition and piano performance from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.

The duo has presented concerts in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Madison, Kansas City, Houston, St. Louis, Aspen, Cincinnati, Toronto and London, England. They appeared by invitation as duo artists at the national meeting of the Music Teachers National Association convention.

Widening their exposure through television appearances in the United States and Canada, the Steinbach/Helvey duo was recently featured in a nationally televised PBS Christmas special. They recently released a duo CD on the Towerhill label that includes the "Variations on an Original Theme" by Schubert as well as many original arrangements by Helvey.

See more information on the duo at

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 319-541-2846;

HIGH-RES PHOTOS of the duo: