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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 21, 2007

Orhon will present the double in bass in diverse chamber settings Dec. 8

Volkan Orhon, the double bass professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a concert of chamber music for the bass with a variety of other instruments -- with the help of fellow UI faculty members as well as UI staff and a students -- at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

In an ongoing search for new and interesting musical repertoire for his instrument, Orhon likes to present the bass in a variety of chamber music settings. In this case, the starting point of the program was an old but newly published quintet for double bass with violin, viola, cello and piano that Orhon discovered at a chamber music festival.

"Putting this chamber concert is always a fun project for me, because you never know what kind of program you will get at the end," Orhon said. "I usually have a piece in mind at first and work the rest of the program around it.

"This concert the piece that I have planned on doing is a brand new piece from the early 20th century that was published recently by Ralph Vaughan Williams' widow. I was introduced to this piece last year at the Tucson Winter Chamber Music festival and fell in love with it instantly.

"Since the chamber literature is so limited for bass, knowing a piece that has a substantial bass part is wonderful. It was written early in Williams' career and he decided not to publish the work. But after his death in 1958, his widow decided to publish some of his early music and this great quintet was one of those pieces."

Performing the Vaughan Williams Quintet with Orhon will be School of Music faculty members Katie Wolfe, violin; Christine Rutledge, viola; Hannah Holman, cello; Volkan Orhon, bass; and Alan Huckelberry, piano.

With the Quintet as centerpiece of the concert, Orhon has programmed a variety of other chamber works that include the double bass:

--"Five Short Pieces" for flute, trumpet, percussion and bass by Laird Addis, UI professor emeritus of philosophy. For this performance, Orhon will be joined by UI faculty members Nicole Esposito, flute, and Dan Moore, snare drum and wood block; and doctoral student Brian Umlah, trumpet.

--Duets for violin and double bass by 18th-century composer Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, performed with UI faculty member Scott Conklin, violin.

--Mozart's Duo in B-flat major for two bassoons, performed by Orhon on double bass with bassoonist Benjamin Coelho from the School of Music faculty.

--"Tango" for bassoon trio, performed by Orhon, Coelho and Orhon's wife, Susan, who is a bassoonist and staff member at the School of Music.

Volkan Orhon joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002. His professional career spans a wide variety of solo, orchestral and chamber music performing and teaching across the country and around the world. Among other honors, he was the first double bass player ever to win the Grand Prize overall and first prize for double bass at the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition. For more information see or

Information on music faculty members may be found on the School of Music Web site at

Susan Orhon is assistant manager of marketing for the UI Division of Performing Arts. As a bassoonist she performed with regional orchestras in Connecticut, including the New Britain Symphony and the Connecticut Virtuosi. She has a bachelor's degree from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and a master's degree from the UI.

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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 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),