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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
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
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
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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Classical
8:33 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

What's YOUR Favorite Shakespeare Music?

William Blake's 1786 painting of Oberon, Titania, and Puck - painted before Mendelssohn defined them musically!
Credit wikipedia

It MAY be SHAKEspeare's BIRTHday, SO they SAY, and WHAT muSIcian can reFRAIN from PLAY? That is (to drop the iambic pentameter) from the fun of listing favorite Shakespeare-inspired classical works? Below are a couple of lists from other sources, followed by my own additions and comments. What would make YOUR list? Let us know on our Facebook page or on twitter @IPRClassical, or by email (bsherman@iowapublicradio.org)  - and whatever you choose, Happy Shakespeare Day!

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Classical
10:05 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Trio 826 Residency: the IPR Studio Session

Trio 826 in IPR's Studio One in Cedar Falls, Nov. 13, 2013
Credit Barney's phone

What led three awesome soloists - Julia Bullard (viola), Hannah Holman (cello), and Susanna Klein (violin) -  to form an ensemble, and why did they call it "Trio 826"? Hear the answers, and examples of their superb playing, in the live session they broadcast from IPR's studio last fall.

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Classical
10:31 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Art Joins Science in "Crossroads Project"

Composer Laura Kaminsky

Tonight at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, the award-winning composer Laura Kaminsky, painter Rebecca Allen, physicist Robert Davies, and The Fry Street Quartet will join forces for an interdisciplinary exploration of climate change called The Crossroads Project. It's part of a

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Classical
5:30 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Play It Again And Again, Sam

Rick Blaine, the sentimental tough guy in Casablanca, pined for "As Time Goes By."
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 7:57 am

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Classical
12:51 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

OI Shines in LvB, Dmitri, Barber & Mozart

Luke Witchger, the violin soloist in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, K. 362
Credit Orchestra Iowa

Mozart was 23 when he wrote a concerto so rich that not even he would ever surpass it. It's for Violin and Viola (K. 364) and when Orchestra Iowa performed the work recently,  instead of bringing in touring soloists, they shined the spotlight on their own  first violinist Luke Witchger and principal violist Lisa Ponton.  They were amazing:

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Classical
10:57 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Is This London (or Paris)? No, It's Iowa!

Just an ordinary weekend in Iowa: Sure, if you were in London you could hear the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's Beethoven and Bruckner, and next weekend, see Sadler's Wells dance a Stravinsky double-bill. But think of the traffic and the cost of living! Meanwhile, here in Iowa? This month's Iowa Arts Showcase, which you can hear Saturday at 11 or 5, gives some in-depth background, but meanwhile  - check it out:

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Classical
10:44 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Eyes & Ears on Osmo: Sibelius 5 tonight @6

Finnish conductor Osmo Vanska with the Minnesota Orchestra
Credit Greg Helgerson

When someone shouted "Osmo, come home,” it touched off "five minutes of clamorous applause, which quickly turned rhythmic." That demonstration was in Minneapolis this weekend, says the New York Times, which adds: "since management lifted its 16-month lockout of the players" of the Minnesota Orchestra "over a contract dispute, in January, the musicians have typically been greeted as conquering if

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Classical
10:12 am
Sun March 23, 2014

In The First Violins — At Least For One Night

Conductor Jeffrey Grogan led a motley — but very happy — assembly of professional, student and amateur musicians at the New Jersey Symphony's #OrchestraYou project in Newark, N.J. Saturday.
Fred Stucker Courtesy of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:24 pm

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Classical
3:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Happy Bach's sort-of Birthday!

It's Bach's Birthday! - or is it? The calendars in Eisenach on the day of his birth read March 21st, but back in 1685 Thuringians were  still using the Julian calendar, so our equivalent date is "March 31st," ("equivalent" in being about ten days after the vernal equinox). But old habits die hard, especially addictive ones, and Bach is by far my primary addiction. How about if we just party for ten days?

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Classical Music in the Afternoon
7:12 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Hear Zingaresca's In-Studio Set at IPR

Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov ("Zingaresca") performing in conjunction with O Porrajmos Education Society in Cedar Rapids
Credit Photo by Ciuin Ferrin; used with permission

Two masters of the Russian 7-string guitar, Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov, came into our studios last November to play original and traditional music. They told Barney Sherman about composing Roma music in Moscow, performing with Eugene Hutz at Madonna's birthday party, and reading a scene in Dostoevsky that connects Roma and Klezmer musicians. And they demonstrated the special sound and style of their instruments.

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Classical Music in the Afternoon
7:08 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Hear Fathom's In-Studio Renaissance Set

Fathom in IPR's Studio One in Cedar Falls, February 28, 2014
Credit Barney Sherman

If you missed the in-studio live set of Renaissance music by Fathom, not to worry - Fortune has smiled on you! You can listen to the mp3 with the widget below or to a WAV file at this link.  The group performed music written from the 1400s through February, 2014 (by Mary Larew, a native of Iowa and member of Fathom), all of it focused on the theme of Lady Luck. The six members of Fathom each have distinguished careers in early music (and in some cases, new music as well). They are:

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Classical
6:09 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Trio Settecento Italian Baroque in Ames

Trio Settecento
Credit triosettecento.com

Join us Saturday at 7AM or Sunday at 6PM to hear selections from the Ames concert by one of today's leading Baroque ensembles, Trio Settecento. Violin virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine, cellist/ gambist John Mark Rozendaal, and harpsichordist David Schrader perform music of the Italian Baroque as guests of Ames Town and Gown. The broadcast is part of our University Concert series.

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Classical
5:44 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Kristallnacht Commemoration Monday @7

Children at the Terezin death camp
Credit Orchestra Iowa

There's another chance to hear wcfsymphony’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom that some believe marked the beginning of the Final Solution. The concert was organized by Jason Weinberger, who tells Jacqueline Halbloom about his four grandparents, all of whom survived Nazi camps, and leads a host of musicians and speakers from around the community. Participants included Hunter Capoccioni, Cedar Valley Chamber Musicians, the Metropolitan Chorale, the Wartburg Choir, the Cedar Valley Youth Honor Chorus, Brian Pfaltzgraff, and Lee Nelson.

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Classical
8:36 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Tallis Fantasia, Scottish Fantasy from DMSO

The Des Moines Symphony and Joseph Giunta in a warmer, dryer season!
Credit Des Moines Symphony

Hear Joe Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and a lesser-known gem, based on Scottish folk melodies, Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. The soloist in the Bruch is the award-winning young Japanese violinist Fumiaki Miura. Also on the program: Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier suite. The broadcast, on Sunday at 12 noon and Monday at 7PM, is part of our Symphonies of Iowa series, produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

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Classical
10:06 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Met's "Woman Without a Shadow" @Noon

Christina Goerke in her breakthrough role as the woman without a shadow at the Met.
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Richard Strauss scored "Die Frau ohne Schatten" for, count 'em, 164 instruments; the percussion alone include "glass harmonica, 4 timpani, 5 Chinese gongs, cymbals, snare drum, rute, sleigh bells, bass drum, tenor drum, big field drum, triangle, tambourine, 2 castanets, tamtam, whip (slapstick), xylophone, glockenspiel, bells, 2 celestas." Budgets alone would make performance rare, as do scenery challenges (like a golden waterfall and, we're not making this up, children singing out of a frying pan).

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents DMSO's Scottish Fantasy and Rosenkavalier Concert

Credit S. Takehana

  Join Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa for the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s performance with Fumiaki Miura, a young Japanese violinist as he makes his debut with the Des Moines Symphony.  Miuara, winner of the international Joseph Joachim Violin Competition will join the symphony for an inspiring performance of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Also included on this program is Strauss’s romantic Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.

Featuring:
Joseph Giunta, conductor
Fumiaki Miura, guest violin

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Classical
11:08 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Hadelich Overcomes Injury, Attains Greatness

Violinist Augustin Hadelich in his new home city.
Credit Schmidt Artists

Doctors told 15-year-old violin prodigy Augustin Hadelich he would never play again. A tractor fire at his family's farm had badly burned his upper body, including his bowing arm. But after many months of physical therapy Hadelich came back - and now, at age 29, he has won top international awards, been entrusted with two consecutive Stradivarius violins, and earned praise from critics like Alex Ross, who wrote in The New Yorker that Hadelich has not only "fast-fingered brilliance" but also "the musicality and freewheeling fantasy that...

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Classical
10:58 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Orchestra Iowa players: Haydn, Mozart, Brahms

Credit Wikipedia

Join us tonight at 7 to hear Orchestra Iowa principal players delight with masterpieces for horn by Haydn and Mozart and a supreme works for string by Brahms. Principal horn Andy Harris shines in a Divertimento by Haydn and the Horn Quintet by Mozart; he's joined by the orchestra's new concertmaster Luke Witchger and by Karla Galva,  violist Lisa Ponton, cellist Carey Bostian, and double-bassist Volkon Orhan. Then five strings players come together for the masterpiece that Brahms meant to be his final work - his  String Quintet no. 2.

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Classical
7:21 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Orchestra Iowa soloists shine in 3 gems

Credit Orchestra Iowa

Tune in Sunday at noon or Monday at 7PM as four Orchestra Iowa members perform overlooked gems by Mozart, Schubert and Faure. They start with an unfinished String Trio by the teenage Schubert, continue with a Piano Trio in C major that Mozart wrote while working on his "Jupiter" Symphony, then come together for a powerful Piano Quartet in G Minor by Faure, his second. The four superb soloists -  violinist Xian Meng, violist Lisa Ponton, cellist Carey Bostian, and pianist Miko Kominami  - were recorded last September as part of IPR's Symphonies of Iowa series.

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Classical
9:13 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Herrera, Weill & Black History Month on IAS

Cuban jazz pianist Nachito Herrera, who will appear at the UNI's Tallcorn Jazz Festival.
Credit Heartland Concert Artists

Join Jacqueline Halbloom at 5PM as Iowa Arts Showcase finds out about the Tallcorn Jazz Festival, a Kurt Weill show with poetry by Langston Hughes, and more.  We'll hear about the festival from a headliner, Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera, and from Chris Merz, UNI's Director of Jazz Studies. Celeste Bembry of UNI (who toured worldwide with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers) fills us in on Black History Month, and Bernard McDonald of Simpson tells us about their upcoming production of Weill's Street Scene.

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