Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 14, 2007

UI Center For New Music Presents Four World Premieres March 4

The University of Iowa Center for New Music will present the world premieres of four new chamber pieces by alumni of the UI School of Music on their concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 4, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Part of the year-long Centennial Celebration at the School of Music, the concert will be free and open to the public. The celebration features a series of concerts throughout the year, many of them presenting premieres of new works commissioned from UI alumni.

A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the Center for New Music is directed by David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the UI School of Music.

The works on the March 4 concert were all commissioned for the Centennial Celebration and completed within the past year. They are:

-- Piano Quintet by Joseph Dangerfield, a member of the faculty at Coe College in Cedar Rapids who received a doctorate in composition from the UI;

-- "4" for piano quartet by John Allemeier, who teaches at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and received a doctorate in composition from the UI;

-- "Momenta" for violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano and marimba by David Maki, a member of the faculty at Northern Illinois University who received a master's degree in composition from the UI; and

-- "A Tempered Wish" for violin and chamber ensemble by Ching-chu Hu, a member of the faculty at Denison University in Ohio who received a master's degree in composition and a Master of Fine Arts in conducting from the UI.

"A Tempered Wish" will be performed by violinist Scott Conklin from the School of Music faculty, with the CNM Ensemble conducted by Gompper.

Each of the composers has written about his piece. While the sources of inspiration and the styles of their pieces vary greatly, all four composers expressed gratitude for the honor of being asked to write a work for the Centennial Celebration.

Dangerfield wrote of his Piano Quintet, "The melodic, harmonic and formal structures of the work are all informed by the interval of a perfect fourth. Rather than using the interval as a way of structurally offsetting key areas contrapuntally, I exploited the interval's chameleon-like tonality and layered closely related key areas to create vertical configurations that are rich in timbre and melodic content."

Allemeier wrote, "The title ('4') refers to the number of movements and the number of performers. For me, the main challenge in writing this piece was to reconcile the relationships between the different movements. The first two movements are complete ideas, independent from one another. The third movement, which starts as a fugue, functions as the development section for the entire piece. . . . The final movement is more of a coda . . . and restates material from the previous three."

"Before I started writing 'Momenta,' I reflected on my time at Iowa," Maki wrote. "I realized that in all aspects of my life, that experience was a crucial launching point. The momentum was so great that it caused my family and me to pull up roots and begin the next phase of our lives. As I started working on this composition, I found myself gravitating towards a more chromatic language than I have been writing -- a language much like I was using as a student here. . . . The piece is in two large sections, from slow to fast with a few wrinkles in between."

Hu explained that "'A Tempered Wish' deals with Chinese sounds I recall from my childhood. Many a weekend morning I would wake up with Chinese folk, orchestral and operatic music reverberating throughout the house. I've always appreciated the inflections, the energy and the 'feel' of Chinese folk music and wanted to capture that for the violin. (The piece) has three contrasting sections. The first has a slower folk music feel. The trumpet signifies the second section, which recalls the bright and nasal colors of a Chinese opera. This is followed by a faster folk-song conclusion."

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 symphonies. 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

Gompper has been professor of composition and director of the Center for New Music at the UI since 1991. His compositions are performed throughout the United States and Europe, and he has taught, presented lectures, and performed around the world. For more information, see More information about the Center for New Music is available at

Established in 1906, the UI School of Music will celebrate its centennial throughout the 2006-07 academic year. The full schedule of centennial events can be found online at

The CNM was founded in 1966 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Today, the center supports its own performing ensemble, including both faculty and students of the School of Music. Its programming has included world premieres as well as acknowledged contemporary masterworks.

The March 4 concert is the seventh performance of the 2006-07 season of the CNM. For more information, visit the CNM Web page at

The Center for New Music and the School of Music are units 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.

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; Program contact: David Gompper, 319-335-1626;