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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 9, 2007

UI Faculty Musicians Try To Hurry Spring With Feb. 23 Recital

Violinist Scott Conklin and pianist Alan Huckleberry -- faculty members in the University of Iowa School of Music -- will engage in some hopeful programming by playing Beethoven's "Spring Sonata" on their faculty recital, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in Clapp Recital Hall.

Their performance will be free and open to the public.

"'Spring' is definitely wishful thinking for the weather we have been experiencing, but maybe our performance can hurry up the season a little," Conklin said. "That said, this piece is one of the greatest sonatas for violin and piano -- or I should say piano and violin, since the title of this Beethoven masterwork lists the piano first and in reality the pianist is as much a soloist as the violinist."

In addition to Beethoven's Sonata, the program will feature "The Stream Flows" for solo violin by Bright Sheng and the Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor, op. 75, by Camille Saint-Saëns.

The Chinese-born Sheng teaches at the University of Michigan. Known for combining Chinese and western influences in his music, he has been called "a fresh voice in cross-cultural music" and "an innovative composer who merges diverse musical customs in works that transcend conventional aesthetic boundaries." In 2001 he was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant."

The two parts of "The Stream Flows" illustrate Sheng's eclectic approach: The first is based on a renowned Chinese folk song and the second is an up-tempo country dance.

Conklin describes Saint-Saen's Sonata as "both beautiful and rousing. It has one of the most memorable and exciting finishes I have ever heard in a piece of music. At the end of the third movement there is an extended stretch of blazing unison runs that is exhilarating, treacherous and over the top. It is certainly a firework of a piece that is enjoyable for all!"

Conklin joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2005. An honorary "Kentucky Colonel, he has performed as a violin soloist with the Louisville, Nashville and Berlin symphony orchestras. He is a first place winner of the Music Teachers National Association Competition and was a featured artist at the 2004 MTNA National Conference. He regularly performs as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player and has appeared on a wide variety of concert series and college campuses throughout the country. For more information, see

An active solo pianist and chamber musician, Huckleberry joined the UI faculty in 2003. He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France and the United States. He is also a prizewinner of numerous national and international piano competitions, including the first prizes in the German National Competition and the University of Michigan concerto competition. For more information, 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

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-RESOLUTION PHOTOS of Conklin may be found at, and of Huckleberry at