Mojo Risin’ at Iowa’s Obermann Center

Two members of the music theory faculty, Matthew Arndt and Jennifer Iverson have recently been honored as Fellow-in-Residence at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. This award gives them a space to work on their research and writing at the Obermann Center, the chance to share and discuss work with other Fellows, $1000 for research, and the opportunity to apply for funding for interdisciplinary projects. Dr. Iverson is working in the same space that Dr. Arndt worked in in the fall (see photo), because it has the best mojo. During his Fellowship, Dr. Arndt completed the manuscript for his book project, “With God!”: The Musical Thought of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg. Dr. Iverson is working on three article projects, discussing the dawn of electronic music at the WDR studio in Cologne, John Cage‘s 1954 visit to West Germany, and the disabled body in electronic music.

mojo risin

Composer Aaron Perrine (PhD, composition, 2014) wins prestigious Sousa-Ostwald Award

Aaron Perrine–who successfully defended his dissertation and graduated with a Ph.D. in composition in Spring 2014–recently won the prestigious Sousa-Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association for his 2013 wind ensemble composition Pale Blue On Deep. The award, which carries a cash prize of $5,000, is a highly selective honor that places Perrine in the company of some of the most accomplished wind ensemble composers active today, including John Mackey, Michael Daugherty, Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Anthony Iannaccone, Yo Goto, and Michael Gandolfi.

Perrine, who is a previous winner of the also highly competitive Outstanding TA Award from the University of Iowa, will begin a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa in Fall 2014.
Congratulations on your many successes, Aaron!!

James Bungert (MA, theory, 2006) finds much success

James Bungert, who studied at University of Iowa for his Masters degree in music theory (2004-2006), has recently had a spate of impressive accomplishments. His article “Bach and the Patterns of Transformation” (after Laurence Dreyfus’s Bach and the Patterns of Invention (1996)), is slated for publication in Music Theory Spectrum in fall of 2015 (37/2). That’s the premier theory journal in the field! James, who is at the tail end of his Ph.D. in music theory at University of Wisconsin at Madison, is also thrilled to have landed a tenure-track job teaching music theory and music history at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, to begin Fall 2014. Congratulations, Jim, we’re proud!

Shih-Ni Sidney Prim presents at AMS-Southeast

Ph.D. candidate Shih-Ni Prim presented a paper titled “Maurice Abravanel and Gustav Mahler: The Reception of Early Mahler Recordings by Abravanel and the Utah Symphony Orchestra” at the 2014 AMS-Southeast Chapter Spring meeting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The audience was interested in learning about Maurice Abravanel, another Mahler champion besides Leonard Bernstein in the 1960s.

Anne of Green Gables and the Lost Art of Recitation

Marian Wilson Kimber has recently written about the role of poetic recitation in concert life at Musicology Now, the blog of the American Musicological Society.  Wilson Kimber has also been posting materials from the history of elocution on her tumblr, Elocutionary Arts. Follow her on Twitter: @MWilsonKimber.

Catching Up at Annual Meetings

The annual meetings of the American Musicological Society (AMS), Society for Music Theory (SMT), and Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) are great places to share new research and keep current with scholarship. They’re also great opportunities to reconnect with former students, colleagues, and old friends. Below are Iowa alums Kimberly Beck, Joseph Matson and Michael Accino at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Pittsburgh in November. Please visit the “Alumni” tab to read more about where our former students have been placed and where they are now working.


Nathan Platte to lead film music workshop

In late October Nathan Platte will join forces with Colin Roust (Roosevelt University) at the College Music Society in Cambridge, Mass., where they will lead a pre-conference pedagogy workshop on film music. From there Nathan will travel to Syracuse University to participate in the “Belfer Audio Archive at 50” Symposium. The weekend includes performances, screenings, lectures, and guest appearances by the Kronos Quartet and music writer Alex Ross (The New Yorker). Nathan will give introductory remarks before a double feature of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Spellbound (1945). He will also present a paper that explores the use of preview scores or “temp tracks” in both films.

Jennifer Iverson recently presents at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival

Jennifer Iverson recently presented “Ligeti and the Evolution of Klangfarbenmelodie” at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival. The paper traces the dual lineages for the reception history of “sound-color-melody”, from Schoenberg and Webern through Adorno to Ligeti. A notable scholar and analyst in his own right, Ligeti both received and advanced the discourse around Klangfarbenmelodie in his scholarship and in his compositions. Iverson’s analysis shows that Ligeti used a rather Schoenbergian notion of Klangfarbenmelodie in Lontano (1967) while he developed ideas from the mid-century discourse around Webern’s music in the opening of the Cello Concerto (1966). Celebrating the 90th year of Ligeti’s birth, the festival brought together leading scholars, performers, and enthusiasts of his music.

Matthew Arndt recently attends retreat for the Psalm 103 Project

Matthew Arndt recently attended a retreat for the Saint John of Damascus Society’s Psalm 103 Project and took part in a public presentation entitled “Networks of Echoes: Collaboration, Community, and Creativity in the Musics of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.” The Society has commissioned six composers, including Doctor Arndt, to collaboratively set Psalm 103 (Septuagint numbering) for mixed chorus. The composers met October 11–12, 2013, in Bloomington, Indiana, and came up with ways to integrate their music. At the public presentation on October 12, they spoke about their work on the project and had Ensemble Bdeniye, conducted by Christopher Grundy, present pieces representing their different musical traditions. You can see videos of the event here.

Photo, from left to right: Richard Toensing (composer), Matthew Arndt (composer), Kurt Sander (composer), Richard Barrett (Artistic Director), Franklin L. Hess (Executive Board Member), Harold Sabbagh (President), Vicki Pappas (Vice President), Laura Willms (Secretary and Education Director), Alexander Khalil (composer), Tikey Zes (composer), Brian Rogers (Treasurer), and John Michael Boyer (composer).


Marian Wilson Kimber gives talk for opening meeting of the Beethoven Club

On October 3, musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber gave a talk on the siblings Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn for the opening meeting of the Beethoven Club in Cedar Rapids.  The club’s theme for the year is “Musical Families.”

Wilson Kimber has also published an article about Carl Davis’s score for the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. [,id=16232/].  In September she attended the Minneapolis general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, which celebrated the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel.