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Bells to Begin OBU Recital Season Aug. 28

August 25, 2003

Admission is free.

Richard Bell grew up in Norman, Okla., and began his cello studies with Marjory Cornelius in the 1960s. He earned his bachelor's degree in music under Charles Wendt at the University of Iowa and his master of music degree under Alan Harris at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

He is associate principal cellist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio. He also performs in solo and chamber music concerts and is a member of the Seraphin Trio (violin, viola, cello), which carries on an active performing schedule throughout the year. Richard also combined an extensive private studio of about 10 cello students with teaching on an adjunct basis at Otterbein University.

Digby Bell joined the piano faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 1953. Upon his retirement in 1990, he was named professor emeritus. Since coming to Oklahoma, Digby has been active in music as a teacher and as a solo and chamber music performer.

He was a member of the University Trio for 10 years and performed numerous times with the Oklahoma City Symphony under the baton of Guy Fraser Harrison. Several of those performances were broadcast worldwide through the Armed Forces Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

Digby Bell has been active in the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association and has held numerous offices in both organizations. He and his wife, Carol Ann, who is associate professor of piano at OBU, are well known throughout the state as a duo piano team.

The program will open with the Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1, by Beethoven, followed by the first Suite for Solo Cello, Op. 72, by Benjamin Britten, and the Sonata in F Major, Op. 99, by Brahms.

The Beethoven sonata is cast in only two movements. The first movement opens with a beautiful, intimate and rather slow introduction that leads to a lively march-like allegro. The second also has a slow introduction in two parts, first a very slow adagio and then a return to the theme of the introduction to the first movement, followed by a lively allegro vivace that brings the sonata to a close.

The Britten is the first of three suites for solo cello, all written for Mystislav Rostropovich. Typically, it contains a great deal of brilliant writing for the cello, using many different instrumental effects.

The Brahms sonata is full of the romantic fervor one associates with Brahms. It is a lively, passionate and energetic work.