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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 27, 2007

OctOBOEfest will celebrate founder's 20th year at the UI Oct. 12-14

OctOBOEfest, a biennial celebration that was started at the University of Iowa, returns for a weekend of concerts, master classes, workshops and the celebration of founder Mark Weiger's 20th year at the UI School of Music, Oct. 12-14.

OctOBOEfest was founded by Weiger (photo, left) in 1992. "This weekend marks the ninth OctOBOEfest, described as 'the biennial celebration of all things oboe,'" Weiger said. "Hoping to appeal to everyone, musician or not, the event will host several concerts open to the public, as well as provide several opportunities for oboists to hone their craft."

The founder and director of the festival, Weiger will perform on several of the public concerts. Featured guest artists this year will be Gordon Hunt, currently principal oboe in the Philharmonia and London Chamber Orchestras; Peter Cooper, a prizewinner in the Tokyo International Oboe Competition who has been a soloist with orchestras in Asia, England and the United States; and Bert Lucarelli, a faculty member at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford who has been hailed as "America's leading oboe recitalist" by the New York Times.

Performers from the UI School of Music faculty will be David J. Nelson, conducting the UI Chamber Orchestra, pianist Alan Huckleberry and the Maia String Quartet.

Other performers during the weekend will include pianist Marcelina Turcanu, an alumna of the UI School of Music, and the winners of the 2005 Midwest Oboe Competition: Mark Fitkin, a UI alumnus who is a scholarship student at the New England Conservatory, the winner in the college division; and Vicki Roloff, a high school senior from Urbana, Ill., who is the winner in the high school division.

The three principal OctOBOEfest performances will be open to the public free of charge:

--8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Clapp Recital Hall: Opening Night Gala Recital, featuring Weiger and guest artists Hunt, Cooper and Lucarelli, as well as winners of the 2005 Midwest Oboe Competition and pianists Alan Huckleberry and Marcelina Turcanu. The program will include works by Serge Rachmaninoff, Benjamin Britten, Emile Paladilhe and Michael Head. The program will also feature Weiger playing Robert Sibbing's "Ballad, Blues and Rag" for oboe and piano.

--8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in Clapp Recital Hall: Maia String Quartet & Friends in Concert. The Maia Quartet -- quartet in residence at the UI School of Music -- will play a serenade by Mozart and a quartet with oboe by J.C. Bach. A new double reed quartet, Sorcerers, will perform "Variations on a 16th-Century Dutch Melody" by Gilman Collier, and the 2005 competition winners will give the world premiere performance of a newly commissioned work by UI student Stuart Breczinski, written in honor of Weiger's UI anniversary.

--3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, in Clapp Recital Hall: Concerto Concert, featuring Nelson and the UI Chamber Orchestra in a concert that will showcase the Mozart Concerto in C major, Handel's "Entrance to the Queen Of Sheba" for two oboes and orchestra, and a dazzling new concerto by David Mullikin.

"Many programs have tried to imitate Iowa's OctOBOEfest, but few have succeeded," Weiger said. "In the end, most cannot afford having so many events, guests and people in motion. Let's face it, getting an orchestra, a professional string quartet, guest artists, a host of master classes, and the most significant oboe competition west of New York City is a lot for anyone or any institution to survive. Iowa does it with great fanfare, a grin and a pinch of humility.

"The oboe is an instrument that can express more than any other woodwind instrument," he said. "It is so unique, so personal, only the truest poets play it well. As such, it is a contest, a true physical experience, and an emotional display of the highest levels. I invite all to come witness and explore its glory and appeal!"

Taking place during OctOBOEfest, the Midwest Oboe Competition is open to college and high school oboists from Iowa and all its contiguous states. The top prizes start at $1,000, with the first prize also getting $1,000 off a new oboe. "This is the most significant oboe competition in the nation," Weiger said. "Every past winner has gone on to great things in the field of music. The event has gained support from every major oboe maker and many distributors."

OctOBOEfest will also feature a host of exhibits with the latest in instruments, gadgets, recordings, music, books and tools for oboists.

Hunt is recognized as one of the world's leading oboists and enjoys an extensive career throughout the world as a soloist and conductor. In addition, he has a distinguished orchestral career. Currently principal oboe in the Philharmonia and London Chamber Orchestra, he has previously held the same position in the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has also played as guest principal with the Berlin Philharmonic. Hunt broadcasts frequently on radio and television and has made numerous recordings. For more information, see Hunt's Web page,

Lucarelli has appeared extensively as soloist with internationally known orchestras and chamber music groups throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He has performed and recorded with some of the world's leading conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Fiedler, Kiril Kondrshin, Josef Krips, James Levine, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Artur Rodzinsky, Sir Georg Solti, Leopold Stokowski and Igor Stravinsky.

He has made recordings for Koch International, Vox, BMG Classics, Well-Tempered, Lyrichord, MCA Classics, Musical Heritage Society, Pantheon Stradivari and Special Music. Among his many recordings to his credit is the Oboe Concerto written for him by John Corigliano and premiered by him with the American Symphony Orchestra to a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall. The New York Daily News wrote that Lucarelli "has proven his pre-eminence among oboists today."

Principal oboist of the Colorado Symphony since 1993 and faculty member of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Cooper has also held positions as associate principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony and principal oboist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. He frequently plays as guest principal oboist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota and has recorded and toured with them. In 2007 he also performed and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony. For more information, see his Web page,

OctOBOEfest 2007 is made possible because of the trust and support of Carlos Coelho Oboes of Indianpolis; F. Loree Oboes of France; Charles Double Reeds of New Hampshire; Sharon's Oboe Shoppe in Virginia; Rigoutat Oboes of France; TrevCo Music in Florida; Crystal Records in Washington; Strasser-Marigaux Oboes of France; Eble Music in Iowa City; Nora Post, Inc. in New York; Miller Marketing in Pennsylvania; and Kristin Thelander, director of the School of Music.

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy; presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York; been a finalist in nine international competitions; won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY); performed double concertos with the Chicago Symphony's former principal oboist, Ray Still; and presented solo recitals with many other notable oboists. For more information, see

Nelson is currently professor of music education at the UI. He is the founding director of the UI Division of Performing Arts and former director of the School of Music. As a violinist and conductor, he performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Austin (Texas), Omaha, Quad-City and Madison symphony Orchestras, and served as associate concertmaster of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony. 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 resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet participates in a series of chamber music concerts on campus each year. Its members -- violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- are all members of the School of Music faculty. More information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, can be found online at

A native of Romania, Turcanu gave her first public recital at the age of eight and at 12 performed Mozart's D-minor Piano Concerto with the Kishinev Philharmonic Orchestra. She graduated from Kishinev and Bucharest conservatories with highest honors. She is a winner of numerous national and international piano competitions including the Dinu Lipatti International Piano Competition and the Tallin International Piano Competition. In 2000 she was awarded the first prize in the Art Song Competition in Ohio. She has appeared in recitals and concerto performances throughout the former Soviet Union, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Scandinavia, Germany and the United States. She is a graduate in piano performance from the UI School of Music.

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 CONTACTS: Mark Weiger, School of Music/OctOBOEfest,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),

PHOTOS are available at

OTHER INFORMATION: OctOBOEfest event schedule; all events in the Voxman Music Building:


--8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Opening Night Gala Recital


--9 a.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Midwest Oboe Competition, College Division.
--9 a.m., Harper Hall: Master Class with Gordon Hunt.
--11 a.m., Opera Rehearsal Room: Open Double Reed Ensemble Reading.
--2 p.m., Choral Room: Master Class for the Young with Elizabeth Young.
--2 p.m., Harper Hall: "Poulenc from the Piano," Alan Huckleberry.
--3 p.m., Harper Hall: Master Class with Peter Cooper.
--8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Maia String Quartet & Friends in Concert.


--9 a.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Midwest Oboe Competition, High School Division.
--9 a.m., Harper Hall: Master Class with Bert Lucarelli.
--11 a.m., Opera Rehearsal Room: Open Double Reed Ensemble Reading.
--2:30 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall Lobby: Double Reed Ensemble Performance.
--3 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Concerto Concert with UI Chamber Orchestra, David Nelson, conductor.