Jeff Lunden http://iowapublicradio.org en 'After Midnight,' And The Cotton Club Is Swinging Again http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-midnight-and-cotton-club-swinging-again <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-qEZ9zeIJw</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 35702 at http://iowapublicradio.org 'After Midnight,' And The Cotton Club Is Swinging Again Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/oppression-opera-could-womans-courage-change-pakistan Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.<p>"For retribution, the village council decided that Mukhtar should be gang-raped by four of the men of this clan," Sankaram says. "And what is supposed to happen for a woman after this has taken place is that, not only has she shamed herself, she's brought dishonor to the rest of her family, as well. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 21:20:45 +0000 Jeff Lunden 34734 at http://iowapublicradio.org Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan? Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last http://iowapublicradio.org/post/broadways-spider-man-musical-turns-lights-last Regardless of how critics and audiences eventually responded, <em>Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark</em> was always going to be one of the most-discussed shows in Broadway history. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:26:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 34354 at http://iowapublicradio.org Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-owner-promises-hand-made-steinways-years-come For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.<p>Great pianists need great pianos. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 09:34:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33623 at http://iowapublicradio.org New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors http://iowapublicradio.org/post/chronicle-death-foretold-new-york-city-opera-shuts-its-doors This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 29960 at http://iowapublicradio.org Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars http://iowapublicradio.org/post/american-masterpiece-and-menagerie-stars Pop-culture aficionadoes will know Zachary Quinto as Spock in the cinematic reboot of <em>Star Trek</em>, and Cherry Jones as President Taylor from television's <em>24</em>.<p>But both are accomplished stage actors as well. And tonight, they're opening on Broadway, in a revival of Tennessee Williams' classic play <em>The Glass Menagerie</em>.<p>When the audience enters the Booth Theater, they see a simple, but striking vision. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:40:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 29702 at http://iowapublicradio.org An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars 'Love's Labours,' Tuned Up And Playing In The Park http://iowapublicradio.org/post/loves-labours-tuned-and-playing-park A few years ago, after songwriter Michael Friedman and writer-director Alex Timbers had finished working on their cheeky historical musical <em>Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson</em>, they decided to look for a new project to work on. Friedman says they wanted the next show to have a completely different feel.<p>"So we started looking at Shakespeare," Friedman says. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 24497 at http://iowapublicradio.org 'Love's Labours,' Tuned Up And Playing In The Park Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home http://iowapublicradio.org/post/audra-mcdonald-broadway-star-gone-roaming-comes-home In the seven years since her last album, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15396807" target="_blank">Audra McDonald</a> has kept busy. She spent several years in Hollywood, filming the television series <em>Private Practice</em>. She's gotten divorced and remarried, absorbed the shock of losing her father in a plane crash and watched her daughter, Zoe, grow up from a kindergartener to a middle-schooler.<p>Last year, McDonald returned to New York, starred in <em>Porgy and Bess</em> and won a fifth Tony Award. Sat, 18 May 2013 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 20980 at http://iowapublicradio.org Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home 'Pippin' Revival Is A Circus Of A Show http://iowapublicradio.org/post/pippin-revival-circus-show When <em>Pippin</em> opened in 1972, it was a sensation. Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who was coming off his Academy Award-winning film version of <em>Cabaret</em>, it was a showbiz triumph of jazz hands, sexy dancing and theatrical magic.<p>It was also the Broadway debut of 24-year-old songwriter Stephen Schwartz, who's better known these days for the global megahit <em>Wicked</em>. He had written a version of <em>Pippin — </em>about the son of medieval emperor Charlemagne — as a college musical. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 19742 at http://iowapublicradio.org 'Pippin' Revival Is A Circus Of A Show 'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway http://iowapublicradio.org/post/matilda-brings-beloved-book-broadway <em>Matilda</em> is a well-loved book by Roald Dahl, who's been called the greatest children's storyteller of the 20th century. It's about a much-put-upon little girl with tremendous gifts. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 18:32:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 19080 at http://iowapublicradio.org 'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks http://iowapublicradio.org/post/broadway-old-shows-and-new-tricks When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called <em>Broadway's Greatest Musicals</em>. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.<p>How quaint.<p>I was thinking about that when I attended the 25th-anniversary performance of <em>The Phantom of the Opera,</em> now ranked as Broadway's longest-running musical ever. Sat, 06 Apr 2013 08:33:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 18812 at http://iowapublicradio.org On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tom-hanks-and-nora-ephrons-lucky-guy-make-their-broadway-debuts Several years ago, when Nora Ephron handed Tom Hanks an early draft of <em>Lucky Guy</em>, her play about tabloid journalist Mike McAlary, he had a pretty strong reaction.<p>"I said, 'Well, that guy's sure a jerk!' I used another word besides jerk — I know what you can say on NPR," he says. "And she laughed and she said, 'Well, he kinda was. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 21:25:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 18571 at http://iowapublicradio.org Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs http://iowapublicradio.org/post/pair-clowns-old-hats-mean-new-laughs Twenty years ago, theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner collaborated on a Broadway show called <em>Fool Moon</em> — a giddy mixture of slapstick, improv and audience participation that proved such a success that it came back to Broadway for two more runs and toured both the U.S. and Europe. Tue, 05 Mar 2013 23:07:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 17248 at http://iowapublicradio.org For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs Grand Central, A Cathedral For Commuters, Celebrates 100 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/grand-central-cathedral-commuters-celebrates-100 Friday marks the day that 100 years ago, Grand Central Terminal opened its doors for business for the very first time. The largest railroad terminal in the world, the magnificent Beaux-Arts building is in the heart of New York City on 42nd St. Fri, 01 Feb 2013 08:40:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 14329 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra http://iowapublicradio.org/post/composer-who-tested-fighter-planes-and-partied-sinatra <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTUKHMlbYGA</p> Sat, 26 Jan 2013 07:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 14065 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra A Vet's Haunted Homecoming In 'Water By The Spoonful' http://iowapublicradio.org/post/vets-haunted-homecoming-water-spoonful The cliche about writers is they should write what they know, and that old saw has certainly worked for Quiara Alegria Hudes. The 35-year-old playwright has mined her Puerto Rican family's stories into a series of plays, a musical and even a children's book. Tue, 08 Jan 2013 08:47:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 12998 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Vet's Haunted Homecoming In 'Water By The Spoonful' The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden http://iowapublicradio.org/post/peony-pavilion-vivid-dream-garden <em>The Peony Pavilion</em> is one of China's most famous operas, but uncut performances of this romantic 16th century work can take more than 22 hours. Chinese composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15167564/tan-dun" target="_blank">Tan Dun</a>, who's best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film <em>Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon</em>, has adapted the work into a compact 75 minutes. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 11416 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden John Williams' Inevitable Themes http://iowapublicradio.org/post/john-williams-inevitable-themes For more than 50 years, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15003640/john-williams-composer" target="_blank">John Williams</a>' music has taken us to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG5OsfOuEy0" target="_blank">galaxies far, far away</a> through adventures <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bTpp8PQSog" target="_blank">here on earth</a>, made us feel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O15x-B8PgeE" target="_blank">giddy joy</a> and occasionally <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvCI-gNK_y4" target="_blank">scared us to death</a>.<p>He might be the most recognized contemp Sat, 10 Nov 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 10571 at http://iowapublicradio.org John Williams' Inevitable Themes Philadelphia Orchestra Reboots With New Music Director http://iowapublicradio.org/post/philadelphia-orchestra-reboots-new-music-director Everywhere you look right now, it seems like American symphony orchestras are fighting for their lives — strikes, lockouts, bankruptcy. Perhaps the biggest example is the world-renowned <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16021984/philadelphia-orchestra" target="_blank">Philadelphia Orchestra</a>, which is just coming out of its own bankruptcy. Tonight, its new 37-year-old music director takes the podium as the venerable orchestra begins a reboot.<p>The Philadelphia Orchestra has been one of the world's greatest orchestras since it was founded in 1900. Thu, 18 Oct 2012 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 9543 at http://iowapublicradio.org Philadelphia Orchestra Reboots With New Music Director During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future http://iowapublicradio.org/post/during-lockout-season-orchestra-musicians-grapple-their-future It's been a tumultuous time for American orchestras. Labor disputes have shut down the Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, and strikes and lockouts have affected orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta and Louisville in the past year.<p>Whether Mozart is on the bill or Mahler, it's an expensive proposition to present a symphony orchestra. To do the music justice, you need between 80 and 100 musicians to play it, and their salaries and health care benefits make up most of an orchestra's budget. Wed, 10 Oct 2012 20:06:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 9198 at http://iowapublicradio.org During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future Shorts Inspire Music In 'Sounding Beckett' Trilogy http://iowapublicradio.org/post/shorts-inspire-music-sounding-beckett-trilogy It all began last year, when the Library of Congress presented Samuel Beckett's <em>Ohio Impromptu</em> alongside a piece of music by composer Dina Koston, which responded to the text. A New York group, the Cygnus Ensemble, played the music, while Washington, D.C., director Joy Zinoman staged the play, for one night only.<p>"And when it was over, Bill Anderson, the head of the Cygnus Ensemble, said to me, 'Might you be interested in taking this to New York?' " Zinoman recalls. "And I said, 'An 11-minute play in New York? Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:33:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 8155 at http://iowapublicradio.org Shorts Inspire Music In 'Sounding Beckett' Trilogy Gathering Of The Viols: The 50th Annual Viola Da Gamba Conclave http://iowapublicradio.org/post/gathering-viols-50th-annual-viola-da-gamba-conclave Viola da gamba players are a special breed — a tiny subset in the already small world of early classical music. They rarely meet their own kind, but once a year they come together for a week in July at an annual jam session they call a conclave. Wendy Gillespie, who just finished her term as president of the <a href="http://vdgsa.org/" target="_blank">Viola da Gamba Society of America</a>, says attending the event is the highlight of her year.<p>"You meet your fellow Martians," Gillespie says. Sat, 04 Aug 2012 10:39:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 5739 at http://iowapublicradio.org Gathering Of The Viols: The 50th Annual Viola Da Gamba Conclave 'Oklahoma!' Actress Celeste Holm Dies At 95 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/oklahoma-actress-celeste-holm-dies-95 Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm has died. A star on both stage and screen, Holm was best known for roles in <em>Gentleman's Agreement</em>, <em>All About Eve</em> and <em>Oklahoma!</em> She was 95.<p>Holm died early Sunday morning in her Manhattan apartment with her husband, family and close friends by her side. Sun, 15 Jul 2012 17:47:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 4723 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tanglewood-celebrating-beethoven-backwoods-75-years It now seems like a natural rite of summer — open-air classical music festivals where audiences can hear great music while picnicking under the stars. But 75 years ago, when the Boston Symphony first performed on a former estate called Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it was a novel idea.<p>When Serge Koussevitzy, the Russian-born conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, opened Tanglewood in 1937, he chose an all-Beethoven program, including the "Pastoral" Symphony. Sat, 14 Jul 2012 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 4681 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years Young Musicians Leave Nest For New Opportunities http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-two-years-gifted-classical-students-leave-nest The odds of making it in the classical music business are long, but <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/01/02/132491657/the-academy-rounding-out-todays-classical-musicians" target="_blank">for the past two years</a>, 25-year-old viola player Nathan Schram has received a stipend, health insurance, lots of amazing performance opportunities and a real-world education teaching violin students at an inner-city elementary school in Brooklyn. Now, Schram and his colleagues have to say goodbye to The Academy.<p>"It's kind of like getting booted out of your parents' house," Schram says. Fri, 29 Jun 2012 20:54:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 4027 at http://iowapublicradio.org Young Musicians Leave Nest For New Opportunities A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic http://iowapublicradio.org/post/very-young-composer-gets-his-chance-new-york-philharmonic What would it be like if you were 10 years old and composed a piece of music that was played by the New York Philharmonic? For a few New York City school kids, including one fifth-grader, it's a dream come true, thanks to the orchestra's Very Young Composers program.<p>Composer Jon Deak, who played bass with the New York Philharmonic for more than 40 years, says the idea for Very Young Composers came when he and conductor Marin Alsop visited an elementary school in Brooklyn several years ago.<p>"As we were going in, I saw all the children's art on the walls, which was so superior," Deak says. Sat, 02 Jun 2012 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 2554 at http://iowapublicradio.org A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic