May 7 recital features Agrell as composer, performer, improviser

Horn player Jeffrey Agrell, a faculty member in the University of Iowa School of Music, will be featured as composer, performer, and classical improviser in a free recital at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 7, in the University Capitol Centre Recital Hall.

He will be joined by faculty pianist Réne Lecuona, percussionist Dan Spencer, pianist Aura Strohschein, and Evan Grulke on horn and percussion.

Agrell’s compositions are “Ode to Arkady” for horn and percussion, “September Elegy” for natural horn and piano, and variations on “How Dry I Am” for two horns. He will also perform “Moon Lilies” for horn and piano by Lydia Busler-Blais, the Sonata for horn and piano by Samuel Adler, and “Lamento d’Orfeo” for horn and piano by Volker David Kirchner.

Agrell stresses that although his performance includes improvisation, the music is classical rather than jazz.

“Ode to Arkady” is dedicated to Russian improvising hornist Arkady Shilkloper and is completely improvised, with percussion accompaniment. “September Elegy” was Agrell’s personal response in music to the tragic events of 9/11. The four variations on the first four notes of “How Dry I Am” are labeled “Perky,” “Murky,” “Quirky,” and “Herky.”

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