Classical

Classical
1:45 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Hear "Brucemorchestra! An American Salute" Live TONIGHT at 7:00

Conductor Tim Hankewich and Orchestra Iowa perform on the lawn of Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids for Brucemorchestra 2012.
Credit Carl Bromberg / Visions Photography

Live from the front lawn of Brucemore mansion in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa is pleased to bring you Orchestra Iowa’s Brucemorchestra! An American Salute concert on Sunday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m. 

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Classical
4:56 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

National Broadcast of "Rock Island Line" Friday

Composer Jacob Bancks of Augustana College, whose "Rock Island Line" will be broadcast nationally with the Quad City Symphony.

Earlier this year I posted about "Iowa orchestras making music about Iowa " - and one work discussed was Rock Island Line by Jacob Bancks, commissioned and premiered by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and broadcast on IPR's Symphonies of Iowa. Bancks, who teaches at Augustana College, told me that

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Classical
10:07 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Voices Meet Music in New Ways on 5 CDs

Composer Erin Gee
Credit http://ledouxclaude.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/une-annee-nouvelle-rencontre-avec-erin-gee/

In what ways could music relate to the human voice without Auto-Tune or even, necessarily, language - or, for that matter, even singing? New classical CDs are exploring a fascinating range of possibilities, and several are either by or about Iowans. In reverse chronological order, here are five standouts:

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Classical
7:26 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

September IAS Features Symphony Seasons, Iowa Composers Forum Concert, Documentary Series, and more!

Maestro Joseph Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.
Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

As summer winds down, Iowa’s arts scene is gearing up for another year of unforgettable performances. The September Iowa Arts Showcase outlines:

  • The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season, with Maestro Joseph Giunta
  •  The Iowa Composers Forum’s Fall Festival Concert on October 4, with ICF President and Luther College Resident Composer Brooke Joyce
  • The Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s 100th Anniversary Season, with executive director Ben Loeb
  • UNI’s William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series, with acclaimed director and guest Lucy Walker
  • Hancher Auditorium’s 2014-15 season, with executive director Chuck Swanson

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Classical
11:07 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Which IPR Stream Would Beethoven Listen To?

He would have cranked up his radio louder and louder as his hearing got worse, but there's no doubt that if public radio had existed, Beethoven would have been an addict. And according to Jan Swafford, "People who knew Beethoven said politics was his favorite subject." So in addition to IPR Classical, I'd bet LvB would have had a preset for IPR's News/Talk stream. Do you seriously think this man would have missed an episode of All Things Considered?

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Classical
4:42 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Simon Estes Speaks about His Life & Work

Dr. Simon Estes
Credit simonestesfoundation.org

In May, Simon Estes came to IPR to talk about his life and work, and one hour seemed way too short! His history is extraordinary: his grandparents were slaves, his father was a miner in Centerville, IA , then a major coal town, and he grew up to become one of the world's greatest opera singers. He broke many color barriers, including becoming the first black man to sing lead roles at the Bayreuth Festival (founded by Richard Wagner to showcase his operas). Dr.

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Classical
3:52 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

August IAS brings in "Hollywood in the Heartland" exhibit, wcfsymphony, C.Y. Stephens, OI, and more!

A still from "The Music Man," featured in the "Hollywood in the Heartland" exhibit.
State Historical Museum of Iowa

With the new school year and opening artist series performances gracing stages all across the state, Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase wants you to be in the right place at the right time. This month’s features include:

  • Iowa State Historical Society’s “Hollywood in the Heartland” exhibit, with curator Leo Landis
  • The wcfsymphony’s upcoming 2014-15 concerts, with their conductor Jason Weinberger;
  • The Silver Anniversary of the Hearst Center for the Arts, with UNI Professor Emeritus, Dr. George F. Day chatting about poet James Hearst;
  • C.Y. Stephens’ Artist Series for their 2014-15 season, with Patti Cotter,  Development and Sponsorship Manager, and Sara Compton, Programming Outreach Coordinator;
  • And Orchestra Iowa’s upcoming 2014-15 season, with their music director Tim Hankewich.
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Classical
12:57 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Iowa's Symphonies Make Their Own Music This Season With New Commissions

Composer Steve Heitzeg with Maestro Joseph Giunta after the Des Moines Symphony premiers Heitzeg’s work “Symphony In Sculpture”. The Des Moines Symphony has commissioned Heitzeg to compose a sequel to that work this season.

Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa showcases an encore broadcast of the wcfsymphony’s “Spaces: Mahler 1 and World Premiere” concert this week. The program, which includes two Canzon by Gabrieli and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 also features the world premiere of a new work by composer Brooke Joyce called Une Cité Moderne. Brooke currently serves as the Composer-in-Residence at Luther College and is the newly elected president of the Iowa Composers Forum.

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Classical
1:51 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

July IAS spotlights Nordic Fest, Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, UI Summer Opera, and more!

Decorah's junior "Nordic Dancers" taking part in the Grand Parade at Nordic Fest
Ellen Macdonald

Tune in to Iowa Public Radio Classical as you pack the van for this summer’s music festival offerings. Arts events featured on this month’s Iowa Arts Showcase include: 

  • Nordic Fest, with Martha Griesheimer and Randy Schissel
  • Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, with Hunter Cappoccioni
  • University of Iowa Summer Opera’s production of “Patience,” with Nicholas Wuehrmann
  • And Sleepy Bones Allison, aspiring middle school blues guitarist

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Classical
6:42 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Notable Classical Violinists Under 45: A List

In my post Is Parity Time Here for the Classical Violin? I mention a list I put together of classical solo violinists born after 1970, which I said illustrates my thesis that the field has attained gender parity. I mentioned, however, that the list is provisional - the best I could come up with from my perch in northeast Iowa - and that I welcome your input. Let me know what I missed, but meanwhile, here's the list:

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Classical
6:41 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Is Parity Time Here for the Classical Violin?

Midori Goto, born in Japan in 1971, one of the women who has reached the pinnacle of today's violin profession. (She also does serious educational outreach work, as in this picture.)
Credit http://www.midoriandfriends.org/

To paraphrase my previous post, if you think women have it bad in classical music, take a look at supposedly contemporary arts like film, literature, rock, jazz, and country.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:51 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, Versatile Spanish Conductor, Dies At 80

The versatile Spanish conductor Rafael Frübeck de Burgos.
Morten Abrahamsen

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 11:44 am

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Classical
3:49 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

HEAR: ChamberFest Dubuque Live IPR Set!

Michael Gilbertson, the award-winning Dubuque-raised composer.
Credit michaelgilbertson.net

Listen below to a podcast of a live set from our studio Monday featuring four stellar young musicians from ChamberFest Dubuque.  Dubuque native Michael Gilbertson founded the festival in 2009; since then his compositions have won the Israel Prize and major awards from ASCAP and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and have been performed by the Washington National Opera, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, a

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Classical
4:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Live Broadcast of Des Moines Symphony's annual Yankee Doodle Pops

Maestro Joseph Giunta conducts the Des Moines Symphony on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol.
Credit Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Live from the West Terrace of Iowa’s State Capitol, Iowa Public Radio Classical is pleased to present the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s 21st annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert on Thursday, July 3, 2014.

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Classical
10:22 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

Ukrainian Pianist Margaryta Golovko Wins First Prize in Midwest International Piano Competition

First place winner Margaryta Golovko smiles to the audience after accepting her award in the inaugural Midwest International Piano Competition.

Congratulations to Margaryta Golovko, winner of the inaugural Midwest International Piano Competition! After competing this past week with nineteen other pianists in the senior division from eleven different countries, Margaryta is the winner of a $10,000 cash prize, a CD recording with the Blue Griffin label, a concerto performance with the wcfsymphony on November 1, 2014, and an optional 2-year professional management contract with Heartland Concert Artists.

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Classical
10:13 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Three Finalists Face Off this Saturday for $10,000 in Midwest International Piano Competition

Midwest International Piano Competition founders stand with the three finalists of the senior division. (Back row, L to R: Tomer Gewirtzman, Israel; Dmitri Vorobiev, founder; Sean Botkin, founder; Margaryta Golovko, Ukraine. Front row: Elina Akselrud, Ukraine)

While sixteen of the greatest young senior division pianists from around the world begin to pack their bags, Elina Akselrud, Tomer Gewirtzman, and Margaryta Golovko are preparing for the final round of the senior division of the Midwest International Piano Competition, and the chance to win $10,000. Iowa Public Radio speaks with Midwest International Piano Competition founders Dmitri Vorobiev and Sean Botkin. Hear the two University of Northern Iowa Piano Professors describe the origins of this inaugural event as they give us a peek behind the scenes.

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Classical
12:59 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Junior Division Finalists Selected in the Midwest International Piano Competition

Midwest International Piano Competition founders Dmitri Vorobiev (at podium, L) and Sean Botkin (R) stand amongst the competitors at the opening ceremony last Sunday.
Credit University Relations / University of Northern Iowa

Twenty-six young, world-class pianists from across the globe have been competing this week in the inaugural Midwest International Piano Competition. Iowa Public Radio speaks with the founders of the competition, Dmitri Vorobiev and Sean Botkin. Hear the two University of Northern Iowa Piano Professors describe the origins of this inaugural event as they give us a peek behind the scenes. 

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Classical
6:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Mikado Mayhem: Live from Studio One with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre!

Cast members of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre swing by Studio One: (from L to R) pianist Tony Nickle, Lauren Henderson-Turner, Arthur Beutel, Jessica Pray, Robin Bradley, Heather Youngquist, Daniel Lopez, and director John Hollins.

Iowa Public Radio Classical recently headed to Studio One with singers from the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Mikado production. The Young Artist cast, along with conductor John Hollins and pianist Tony Nickle, performed selections from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta while giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of their upcoming performances at the historic Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids. 

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Classical
4:45 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Performs Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Dubuque Symphony Orchestra

Jon Nakamatsu, 1997 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, performs Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra on Iowa Public Radio's Symphonies of Iowa.
Credit Sarah Shatz

To become a Van Cliburn gold medalist, what kind of piano should you learn on? Steinway? Yamaha? Jon Nakamatsu’s international career began on the keys of a humble toy organ. Concerned that at the age of four he would never be serious about playing the piano, Jon’s parents did not want to invest in an expensive instrument he would not use. Jon steps up to perform one of the most challenging pieces in the piano repertoire with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.

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Classical
9:35 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Beethoven, Brahms, & 'Rock Island Line" from QCSO

Composer Jacob Bancks of Augustana College

Join us Monday at 7 PM to hear the Quad City Symphony in Beethoven, Brahms, and ... Bancks. In March, the orchestra premiered a work by local composer Jacob Bancks specifically about the Quad Cities.

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Classical
12:50 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Live Broadcast of Top Notch Pianists in Midwest International Piano Competition Finals, June 7 at 5

Three of the world’s best young pianists will be competing in the finals for the first ever Midwest International Piano Competition, hosted by the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Music at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7.  Iowa Public Radio’s Jacqueline Halbloom and Al Schares will host a live Performance Iowa broadcast, presenting taped interviews with the finalists and commentary from the competition founders, UNI’s Assistant Professor of Piano Dmitri Vorobiev and Associate Professor of Piano Sean Botkin between the concerts.  

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Deceptive Cadence
4:35 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

The 85 musicians in the Santa Cecilia Orchestra are paid professionals who play with other symphonies and in Hollywood studios.
Courtesy of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:53 am

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

"I brought my dad, my stepmom," she says, "my sister, my brother and my sister's cousin ..."

That's the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

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Classical
3:20 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

June Showcase Hosts Sister Prejean and Jake Heggie, CROT's "Mikado", the 5 Seasons Chamber, & more!

An instructor works with a group of harpists in a workshop at the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival

School is out for the summer with just enough time to catch up on arts events across the state on Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase. Our June edition features:

  • Sister Helen Prejean, humanitarian, author, and activist, discussing the evolution of her “Dead Man Walking,”
  • Michael Gilbertson, Artistic Director of ChamberFest Dubuque, discussing the evolution of his “Juilliard in June” program into the new multiple concert series and workshop event.
  • Daniel Kleinknecht, artistic director of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, talking about the CROT’s“Mikado”  production,
  • Stephanie Wagor, festival artistic director, and Jason Weinberger, conductor and chamber music coach, sharing details about the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival
  • And composer Jake Heggie, talking about the unusual circumstances of his first opera based on Sister Helen Prejean’s book.
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Classical
11:21 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

How Exceptional IS Classical's Woman Problem? Pt. 1

Call me George: the woman who wrote Middlemarch.

NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas just wrote a scathingly brilliant post about the “fat-shaming” of the gifted Irish mezzo Tara Erraught by a plague of British critics, who sounded like teenage boys as they dissed not Erraught's singing but the supposed flaws of her body.

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Classical
8:11 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Jets, Sharks, & Historical Performance Now

Period instruments or modern - why not both? Violinist Rachel Barton Pine
Credit Andrew Eccles

When sworn enemies shrug and say, “What was THAT about?” it’s worth noticing, especially when they add, “You know, you’re making some good points.”  Something like that may be happening in classical music performance.

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Classical
6:00 am
Sun May 11, 2014

From Beethoven to Prairie Home, Bella does it all

Violinist and Des Moines Symphony guest soloist Bella Hristova.
Credit Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Avery Fisher Career Grant Winner, violinist Bella Hristova, soloed with the Des Moines Symphony in April of this year. She performed Beethoven’s magnificent Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61.

Bella is the guest artist on this week’s edition of Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series featuring the Des Moines Symphony’s Giunta Conducts Beethoven: Eroica concert.

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Classical
1:38 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

One of Frank Lloyd Wright's, and Iowa's, Best-Kept Secrets

Cedar Rock house
Credit Iowa Department of Natural Resources

In 1950 famed architect Franck Lloyd Wright completed constructing one of his most comprehensive Usonian-styled homes called Cedar Rock. The house, perched high above the Wapsipinicon River is located in the Cedar Rock State Park outside of Quasqueton. Agnes and Lowell Walter, former owners of the Iowa Road Building Company, commissioned Wright to build a “modest home to be designed and built on a limestone bluff” on the Wapsi River. Lowell wanted to show that a beautiful house could be constructed in his home town without having to go to Florida or California.

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Classical
11:41 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Hear as the WCFSymphony "takes us there"

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Join us tonight at 7PM to hear the wcfsymphony premiere a work by Decorah-based composer Brooke Joyce and perform Mahler's First Symphony. Below are my impressions of the April concert (which I posted here on April 9th) - tune in and see what YOU think!

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Classical
7:57 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Hear: Vedenyapin Sings Yiddish Songs at IPR

Yuri Vedenyapin of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, where he lectures on Yiddish folklore and culture.
Credit Yuri Vedenyapin

Before there was "Who's on first?" there was the similar routine, "Weinstein? Einstein!" by the Yiddish standup team Dzigan & Schumacher.

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Classical
7:54 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Russian-Yiddish In-Studio Set at IPR @2:30 PM

Singer Yuri Vedenyapin, who teaches Yiddish language and culture at Harvard's Davis Center, and has also taught at Columbia, Moscow State University, and the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. He studied in Moscow at the Schepkin School of Acting and the Maimonides Jewish Academy; his doctoral thesis is on Yiddish stand-up comedy.
Credit Yuri Vedenyapin

Russian-born singer/scholar Yuri Vedenyapin - a renowned expert in Yiddish folklore - will be in our studios Wednesday with Russian-guitar virtuoso Oleg Timofeyev to introduce us to the little-known repertory of Russian songs in Yiddish.

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