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KU Wind Ensemble to welcome guest composer for November concert

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


LAWRENCE-The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble will welcome notable guest composer Michael Torke and perform two of his works on Monday, November 7, 2011, 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center of Kansas.

Conducted by Paul W. Popiel, the KU Wind Ensemble will begin the concert with Morton Gould’s Fanfare for Freedom and move into Javelin, a work by guest composer Torke that was originally commissioned in orchestral form by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad in celebration of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary. Javelin will be conducted by Dr. Matthew O. Smith of the University of Kansas. The ensemble will then perform Copland’s Quiet City, featuring Professors Steve Leisring on trumpet and Margaret Marco on English horn. Sarah Labovitz will conduct H. Owen Reed’s La Fiesta Mexicana, and the concert will conclude with the premiere of Michael Torke’s Mojave, Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble, featuring Professor Ji Hye Jung on marimba. This work was arranged by the composer for Professor Jung and Paul W. Popiel.

Tickets to this concert will be $7/general admission and $5/students and seniors and can be purchased at the Lied Center Box Office, 785-864-2787 or www.lied.ku.edu

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. MUSIC.KU.EDU

MICHAEL TORKE ~ Resident Composer

With his two best known early pieces, Ecstatic Orange and Yellow Pages, written in 1985 while still a composition student at Yale, Michael Torke practically defined post-Minimalism, a music which utilizes the repetitive structures of a previous generation to incorporate musical techniques from both the classical tradition and the contemporary pop world. At 23, Torke cut short his graduate study to begin his professional career in New York City, where he was soon signed by Boosey and Hawkes (the publisher of Stravinsky and Copland), became an exclusive recording artist with Argo/Decca Records, and began his five-year collaboration with Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet. Highlights since then include: Color Music (1985–89), a series of orchestral pieces that each explore a single, specific color; Javelin, recorded both for Argo and for John William’s Summon the Heroes, the official 1996 Olympics album; Four Seasons, a 65-minute oratorio commissioned by the Walt Disney Company to celebrate the millennium and premiered by Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic; Strawberry Fields, whose “Great Performances” broadcast was nominated for an Emmy Award; and two evening-length story ballets, The Contract, and An Italian Straw Hat, for James Kudelka and the National Ballet of Canada. In 1998 Torke was appointed Associate Composer of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Naxos released an album including Rapture, his percussion concerto, and An American Abroad, a tone poem, both of which were commissioned and performed by the RSNO. In 2003 Torke founded Ecstatic Records and acquired the rights to re-issue the Decca/Argo catalog of his works. The boxed set of the complete recordings was selected by The New York Times as one of the top Classical albums of the year. Two new releases occurred in 2005: Strawberry Fields, and An Italian Straw Hat.

Upcoming projects include Senna, an opera commissioned by English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera/ Lincoln Center Theater, and a rock version of Coronation of Poppea, commissioned by Chatelet in Paris, with a co-production at Madrid’s Teatro Real.


Ji Hye Jung is assistant professor of percussion at the University of Kansas and lecturer in percussion at Cleveland State University. Born in South Korea, Ms. Jung began concertizing at the age of nine. She has performed over 100 concerts as a soloist with every major orchestra in Korea. Soon after relocating to the United States in 2004, Ms. Jung garnered consecutive first prizes at the 2006 Linz International Marimba Competition and the 2007 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition in Baltimore. Ms. Jung frequently performs with many of today’s most important conductors and instrumentalists. She has performed as soloist with David Robertson conducting an all-Messiaen program in Carnegie Hall. Shortly after, Ms. Jung made her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony under the direction of its Music Director Hans Graf. Recently, Jung has presented solo recitals and master classes at the Curtis Institute, Peabody Conservatory, Rice University, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, the Grachtenfestival in Holland, Beijing’s Central Conservatory and at universities throughout the United States. Jung has commissioned and premiered new works by several important composers, such as Michael Torke, Kevin Puts, Alejandro Viñao, Paul Lansky, John Serry, Lucas Ligeti, and Jason Treuting. Jung is also principal percussionist with the west coast-based Camerata Pacifica, with whom she will premier Bright Shengʼs Marimba Quartet in 2012 and a newly revised version of his marimba concerto in 2014. Professor Jung completed a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, both under the tutelage of Robert van Sice. As an artist endorser, she represents Pearl/Adams instruments, Vic Firth sticks, and Zildjian cymbals.


Steve Leisring came to teach at KU in 2003 after 14 seasons as a member of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, considered Spain’s preeminent orchestra in the 1990’s. During this time, Steve performed throughout Europe with over 100 world-class artists, and can be heard on more than 30 CDs, many of which received international acclaim such as the Gran Prix de la Academie Francaise du Disque Lyrique, Cannes Classical Award in France, and ‘Premios Ondas, Spain’s Grammy equivalent. Since coming to KU, Steve continues his work as an orchestral musician, performing frequently with the Kansas City Symphony, Lyric Opera and Ballet, including all of the 2011 opening events played by the KC Symphony in the new Kauffman Center. He has also performed with the Dallas and Milwaukee Symphonies in the US; the Gothenburg (Sweden) Symphony under Neemi Jarvi, and the Tokyo Symphony in Japan. He can be heard on What Did You Dream? (OA2 records) with the Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra. Last November he performed as soloist with the Harbin Symphony in China, and later at the 2011 China International Trumpet Conference in Shenyang, where he was co-chair of the Artist Committee. Professor Leisring’s true passion is teaching. Two of his first students in Spain, Antonio Marti and Adan Delgado, went on to become principal trumpet of the Tokyo Symphony in Japan, and principal of the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid, respectively. Mr. Delgado was the first Spanish trumpeter to be named to the European Youth Orchestra in more than 25 years (only four are selected from 23 countries). More recently, KU trumpet students have won international and national awards and gone on to perform with the Dallas Brass, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony, Kansas City Lyric Opera, and various U.S. military bands, as well as being named public school teachers and to university faculty positions. Others have gone on to prestigious music programs, law school, medical school and MBA programs, for which Leisring is equally proud. The KU Trumpet Ensemble, under Leisring’s direction, toured China in 2008 at the invitation of the US/China Cultural Educational Foundation, and performed in Australia at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in 2010 with the generous sponsorship of Reach Out Kansas, Inc. Steve has given master classes in major music schools throughout the world, including cities of Helsinki, Riga, Beijing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Taipei, and the Universities of North Texas and Illinois among others in the United States. He is an Edwards Trumpet artist.


The Kansas City Star describes Margaret Marcoʼs oboe playing as “wistful and utterly engaging,” while the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports “Marco’s deft and lilting expression ...was often reminiscent of a soprano’s operatic aria.” Margaret Marco’s “utterly engaging” performances have been heard in Europe, South and Central America, Canada and the United States. Her musical appointments have included principal oboe of the Orquesta Sinfònica de Maracaibo, in Venezuela, the Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy, the Rome Festival Orchestra, Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and many others. Margaret is the associate professor of oboe at the University of Kansas where she has taught since 1998. Her teachers include Ray Still, Grover Schiltz, Dan Stolper, Mark Weiger, Dean Sayles and Nancy Ambrose King. She holds degrees from Northwestern University, The University of Iowa and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where she earned her doctorate in June 2001. Ms. Marco is co-principal of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and performs frequently with the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Lyric Opera, and the Kansas City Ballet Orchestra. She has served as artist/faculty at the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, the Mozartissimo Chamber Music Festival in Madrid, Spain, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee, the Midwestern Music Academy in Lawrence, KS, and as artist in residence at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose. She was invited to perform at the International Double Reed Society Conferences from 2005-2011 and serves on its executive committee as chair of the Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Oboe Competition. As a member of the trio Allégresse, Ms. Marco can be heard on the CDs Allégresse; music for flute, oboe and piano, Fresh Ink and her solo CD Hidden Gems: Oboe Sonatas of the French Baroque.






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