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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 8, 2007

Coelho's Feb. 25 Program Will Help Bassoonists Meet Daunting Challenge

Bach wrote solo pieces for flute, Beethoven for cello and Brahms for clarinet. But none of them wrote solo pieces for bassoon -- which leaves bassoonists short of music by the great classical composers for their recitals.

Benjamin Coelho -- bassoonist and faculty member in the University of Iowa School of Music -- wants to make up the shortage, and so he will play his own arrangements of music written for flute, cello, oboe and clarinet on a faculty recital with pianist Uriel Tsachor at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their performance will be free and open to the public. The four works on the program will be Coelho's arrangements of J.S. Bach's Flute Sonata in E-flat major, BWV 1031; Beethoven's Cello Sonata in D major, op. 102 no. 2; Robert Schumann's Three Romances for oboe, op. 94; and Brahms' Clarinet Sonata in F minor, op. 120 no. 1.

"In seeking to be expressive artists, bassoonists are faced with a daunting challenge," Coelho said. "With a few exceptions the bassoon literature is lacking in those masterworks that not only challenge the performer, but also attract and engage the audience.

"The bassoon is an instrument with a large palette of tone colors, ranging from rich and vibrant to expressively evocative, which, together with its large range, makes it one of the most versatile instruments. These pieces on our recital allow the bassoon to express its innate melodic voice and deep resonance.

"We will record the program later this spring and we hope to release the CD by the end of the year," he added.

Coelho noted that arranging music as he has done is nothing new. "Throughout history musicians have always transcribed works from other instruments," he said. "It was especially common during the Baroque period. Many composers transcribed their own and other composer's music."

A member of the UI faculty since 1998, Coelho has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, teacher and clinician in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Portugal, France, Romania, Australia, Canada and Czech Republic. As a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, he performed on concert tours throughout the United States. For more, see:

Uriel Tsachor joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 1988. A Steinway artist, he was a winner of the Bosendorfer Empire International Competition in 1986 and the Busoni Competition in 1985, and a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in 1983. Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung described him as "A musician who pursues piano playing as a vehicle for musical poetry." See:

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

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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;

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