Even I am a little stunned by how exciting, original - and abundant - the classical concerts are in Iowa this weekend. Here's a list (and please let me know if I've missed something! I'll add it - bsherman at iowapublicradio.org):
- At Grinnell, the award-winning vocal collective Roomful of Teeth is doing a residency, including a concert Sunday at 2 PM. Their first CD made IPR's "Best of 2013" list, and one piece on it, written by member Caroline Shaw, won last year's Pulitzer Prize in music. The Grinnell concert features music written recently in Iowa (by Grinnell students! It also includes new micro-fiction from Grinnell).
- In Mt. Vernon at Cornell College on Sunday at 7PM you can hear the Iowa premiere of an intriguing piece by the appealing and inventive composer Michael Gandolfi. It's called QED: Engaging Richard Feynman.
- In Cedar Falls, Jason Weinberger and wcfsymphony are doing something quite original - and it's such a brilliant idea that I expect it to catch on. They will play one movement each from four major works - and then ask the audience to decide which of these works will be played complete next season! (The four movements are from Russian masters - Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky - and will form a satisfying evening by themselves.)
- In Iowa City, the Iowa Bach Festival culminates in a day-long Bach-a-thon at Riverside Recital Hall. Stop in any time from noon to 10PM to hear awesome Bach playing.
- Orchestra Iowa's chamber players extraordinaire are performing a very varied French program - sold out in Cedar Rapids, but you can catch it at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts Sunday afternoon.
- In Indianola, a music gala at Simpson College includes a madrigal concert (noon today), grand concert tonight, and orchestra concert tomorrow night.
- There will be choral concerts at Coe College (Saturday night), Iowa State (Saturday night), and Luther College's Cantorei (Sunday). Also, in Des Moines, the director of the Des Moines Metro Opera' upcoming production of Jake Heggie's powerful opera Dead Man Walking will give a "Director's Insights" talk Sunday afternoon.
- At noon today is the last live-in-HD simulcast of the Metropolitan Opera this year: you can see Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte at theaters around the state today at noon. And, of course, you could also hear it on your radio, because it will be broadcast live on IPR Classical!