Classical

wikipedia

Jean Sibelius "created Finnish national identity in music." Asked to characterize their culture, Finns "invariably mention… ‘our Sibelius.’” But

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

Iowa Public Radio is pleased to bring you two special live broadcasts this January featuring the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The first broadcast showcases several cast members in a snapshot Studio One performance on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at noon. The second is Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa live broadcast of the opera from the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

Iowa State Center

Updated 1/30/2015: André Watts, interviewed prior to his planned performance with the Des Moines Civic Music Association, will be unable to perform on the 31st due to a sudden illness. The Civic Music Association is coordinating further details. The original post continues below.

Ring in the New Year with a host of Iowa arts events around the state. The January Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Dr. Don Simonson, ISU’s Professor of Music and Voice Division Chair, and Sara Compton, the Outreach Coordinator for Iowa State Center, talking about the Metropolitan Opera National Council Iowa District Auditions
  • Captain Jason Plosch, Commander and Conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America from the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, discussing upcoming Iowa concerts featuring the Midwest Winds Woodwind Quintet
  • Operatic star Sydney Mancasola, sharing details about her career and her January 11th recital hosted by the Des Moines Metro Opera Guild
  • Internationally acclaimed pianist, André Watts, outlining his upcoming January performance celebrating  the 90th Anniversary of the Des Moines Civic Music Association
  • And William Ferrara, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s guest stage director, revealing details about the CROT’s January production of Mozart’s, Don Giovanni.
Indiana University School of Music

Where can you hear a full hour of Baroque Christmas music by Manuel de Sumaya - the greatest Mexican composer of the era? And the St. Olaf Christmas Festival? And Handel's Messiah led by one America's foremost choral conductors, Betsy Burleigh? (That's her picture.) You got it - on IPR Classical! Here's our Christmas Day classical schedule:

Christoph Müller-Girod / Chor.com via Flickr

After wcfso's Messiah and the live Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, IPR Classical's Christmas Eve programming continues all day and evening with everything from Brubeck to Whitacre - including some outstanding Iowa events!

 

Since 1918 - a month after the Armistice - King's College, Cambridge has celebrated Christmas Eve with "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols." And since 1928  - even during World War II, when the stained glass windows had to be removed for safety - the event has been broadcast live. You can hear the 2014 Festival as it happens on (what for us is ) Wednesday at 9 AM on IPR Classical. The Festival was meant to be innovative, so every year , in addition to old favorites, the choir commissions a new choral piece.

wcfsymphony

IPR's Holiday programming continues with two homegrown Iowa classics: from Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Handel's Messiah with the wcfso and Metropolitan Choir (at 7 PM), and from Decorah, this year's "Christmas at Luther" broadcast, titled "And on Earth, Peace" (at 8 PM).  The Messiah excerpts were recorded at a community sing held at the Gallagher-Bluedorn last weekend - join us for the highlights at 7!

wikipedia

I was working on a post about a fascinating footnote to American cultural history: that half of our popular Christmas songs were written by my people, the Jews.  Before I'd made it through the first draft, I tuned to Iowa Public Radio and discovered that I'd been scooped by Here & Now, to which I can only say, "Phew!" Here is their "A Goyische Christmas to You," about a show done annually by pianist/vocal coach extraordinaire Steven Blier.

Orchestra Iowa

Join Iowa Public Radio and Orchestra Iowa in celebrating this year's winter celebrations with Orchestra Iowa's 2013 Holiday Spectacular concert on Saturday, December 20 at 4 p.m., Sunday, December 21 at 3 p.m., and again on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. Orchestra Iowa performs holiday favorites including Carol of the Bells, Leroy Anderson's A Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride, and carols like The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Deck the Halls.

wcfsymphony

      Please join Iowa Public Radio Classical as they ring in the holidays with selections from Handel’s famous oratorio, The Messiah. The wcfsymphony and Metropolitan Chorale joined forces to present their SING concert, which was led by the wcfsymphony’s Artistic Director and Conductor Jason Weinberger. This concert was to commemorate the Metropolitan Chorale’s 60th Anniversary and the wcfsymphony’s 85th. Guest soloists for the program were Leia Lensing and Megan Grey, University of Northern Iowa students.

Des Moines Metro Opera

This Christmas Eve, settle in with a cup of egg nog or hot chocolate as Iowa Public Radio brings you a holiday classic, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Performed by the Des Moines Metro Opera and recorded in December of 2013. This one act opera depicts the three Wise Men stopping for shelter at the home of a poor mother and her crippled son, Amahl, as they journey to find the newborn Child. Soprano Julie Makerov performs the role of the mother, and middle school boy soprano Pierce Mansfield portrays her son, Amahl. Bass-baritone W.

Antonio Stradivari, the master violin maker whose instruments sell for millions of dollars today, has been dead for nearly three centuries. Only 650 of his instruments are estimated to survive.

But the forest where the luthier got his lumber is alive and well. And thanks to the surprising teamwork of modern instrument makers and forest rangers, Stradivari's trees are doing better than ever.

Iowa Public Radio is pleased to present the final Symphonies of Iowa broadcast for 2014. The encore broadcast will feature the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks 7: Season Finale – Brahms, Grosvenor & Afternoon of a Faun performance. This statewide broadcast can be heard Monday, December 8 at 7 p.m.  Tune in to hear The Des Moines Symphony’s triumphant final concert of their 2013-2014 season. The program opens with Roman Carnival Overture.

Margareta Mitchell

In 2014, two American composers whose name begin with "John" and end with "Adams" were surprised to find themselves in front-page headlines. One of them,  John Luther Adams, says he never imagined that he'd win the Pulitzer Prize - but it was bestowed in April on his orchestral work Become Ocean (here's the All Things Considered story).

wikipedia

Recently I invited you to vote for the 3 classical works you wish everyone could experience at least once - the "Musts" you'd urge your friends to put on their bucket lists. The votes are in, and you can hear Iowa's Top 10 picks on my show Sunday from noon to 4 PM.  I'll tell you what won, and of course I'll play samples from outstanding recordings. (Later I'll post the list with links and information.) Join me - as you'll hear, Iowa's recommendations are awesome!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are lots of ways to say thank you today that don't include turkey or cranberry sauce. For example, there is music.

(SOUNDBITE OF FELIX MENDELSSOHN ORATORIO, "ELIJAH")

CHORUS: (Singing in German).

Brucemore

December is packed with holiday arts events. This month’s Iowa Public Radio Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Brucemore Mansion’s Manager of Interpretation and Collections Jessica Peel-Austin sharing details about the historic site’s holiday events and the mansion’s Skinner Player Pipe Organ Preservation Project
  • University of Northern Iowa Panther Marching Band director Dr. Danial Galyen previewing the band’s upcoming performance in the London New Year’s Day Parade
  • Daniel Kleinknecht talking about the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s January production of Mozart’s master work, Don Giovanni
  •  Iowa State University’s professor Janice Baker reveling in Stephens Auditorium’s 34th annual Nutcracker Ballet Performance
  • And Cedar Falls artist and illustrator Gary Kelley discussing his children’s book “Harlem Hellfighters,” which was selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 best children’s books of the year
Orchestra Iowa

Don’t forget to include Iowa Public Radio Classical in your Thanksgiving celebration this year, as we present a rebroadcast of Orchestra Iowa’s 2014 Brucemorchestra concert. Our Performance Iowa broadcast will air on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

uri-golomb.com

 Welcome to IPR's Classical CD Review Page! Check in weekly for new reviews by IPR staff and friends near and far.

Des Moines Symphony

In honor of Veterans Day and our nation’s veterans, Iowa Public Radio is pleased to present highlights from the Des Moines Symphony’s 21st annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert which was recorded July 3rd on the West Terrace lawn of our state’s capital building. The performance will feature patriotic favorites, a tribute medley to Glenn Miller, and a performance of the National Anthem by Samuel Nolte the winner of the “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” contest.

Dan Eldon

As you start to plan for Thanksgiving, prepare to mark your calendars with these exciting arts events already happening this month in Iowa. The November Iowa Arts Showcase features:

·         Kathy Eldon on the life and photographs of her son, Dan Eldon, currently on display at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in “The Restless Spirit: American Art from the Collection”

·         Iowa Public Radio’s producer Tony Dehner delving into the Cedar Valley House Concerts, hosted by Darice Mangin.

public domain/ wikipedia

As promised, the classical Halloween countdown continues - thanks for your input!  Yesterday I posted eight picks; here are five more classical scares to bring my total Web count up to 13. Most of these pieces (and a few others) will get an airing Friday, either during my shift (1-5 pm) or before or after; meanwhile, here are some youtube versions.

wikepedia

It's that time again! If you have any classical-music Halloween favorites, write to us at classical@iowapublicradio.org. Tonight I'll post a few possibilities just to get the conversation started; tomorrow night I'll post a few more. Then, on Friday afternoon, tune in to hear what we end up with! To start things off:

Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October series comes to a dramatic close with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s thrilling performance of Bizet’s Carmen. Their production, originally broadcast in January of this year at the Parmount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, will air at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 1st and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 2nd on IPR Classical.

Luther College

Opera in October features a Puccini double header this weekend with Opera at Luther’s productions of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, airing on Saturday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m.

Steve Bowbrick via flickr.com

His series on the 50 greatest symphonies is unsurpassed; his guide to contemporary music is unequaled; his book on conductors, Music as Alchemy, is the best of its genre. Tom Service is among the finest music writers

Des Moines Metro Opera

This week on Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October, the Des Moines Metro Opera provides glorious singing and musical mayhem with Rossini’s comedic Le Comte Ory. Their 42nd Festival Season production of Le Comte Ory will air at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 18 and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 19.

Des Moines Metro Opera

This summer the Des Moines Metro Opera presented their 42nd Festival Season at Blank Center for the Performing Arts on the Simpson College campus in Indianola. The mainstage performances included Verdi’s La Traviata, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory. Heggie’s work, based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, tells the story of a nun acting as a spiritual guide to a death-row inmate who was found guilty of murder. It offers a haunting inside look at capital punishment in America. Here is what Opera News and Opera Today had to say about the Des Moines Metro Opera's production:

Des Moines Metro Opera

This week’s Opera in October features the Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, performed by the Des Moines Metro Opera as part of their 42nd Festival Season, airing at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 11 and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 12.

When the Folias Duo came to Iowa, the husband-wife pair's first stop was Cedar Falls, where they played a live set in IPR Classical's Studio Two. They'd been on the road for seven hours, but their zest was irresistible. Try it: here's a video of their IPR performance of Cumparsita Vals,  a waltz-time reimagining of the classic tango La Cumparsita by Argentine composer Pablo Aslan:

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