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:
- In Cedar Falls Saturday night the wcfsymphony and Jason Weinberger premiere a new work by Iowa composer Brooke Joyce and also perform Mahler's First Symphony.
- In Cedar Rapids, Orchestra Iowa and Ballet Quad Cities, our full-time professional resident troupe, collaborate on a double bill of Copland's Appalachian Spring and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Saturday and Sunday, repeated next weekend in the Quads).
Both scores receive brand-new choreographies In the Copland, Israeli choreographer Elie Lazar sets the action in a shtetl in Ukraine, based on a story by the Nobel Laureate Israeli writer Shai Agnon. The Stravinsky choreography is by Ballet Quad Cities artistic director Courtney Lyon. Vaslav Nijinsky's original may have caused riots in 1913 (see the insert - or watch it danced, at the bottom of this page!), but as OI music director Tim Hankewich points out, it's now "status quo" - so it's time for a reboot.
- In Davenport Saturday night (and Rock Island on Sunday) the Quad City Symphony and Mark Russell Smith perform Mahler's Third Symphony. This universe-encompassing masterpiece is the only Mahler symphony this orchestra has not played before.
- In Iowa City last night, and in Des Moines on Sunday, Philip Glass - the man himself - is playing recitals of his own piano works.
- In Des Moines, Van Cliburn Gold winner Vadym Kholodenko, a phenomenal young Ukrainian pianist, gives a recital tonight.
- In the Quad Cities on Sunday at 3 pm, the Bettendorf Park Bank led by Brian Hughes gives its spring concert. It's an example of Iowa's amazing band scene.
- As for next week, in Iowa City The Fry Street Quartet will collaborate with composer Laura Kaminsky and physicist Robert Davies on a unique project merging music and science.
- Also next week, Joseph Giunta will lead the Des Moines Symphony in Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony; violinist Bella Hristova joins for the Violin Concerto.
- In Cedar Falls on April 10 and in Rock Island on April 13, Trio 826 performs music related to the Holocaust (I'll be posting more about this event next week)
- In Cedar Falls on April 13 you can hear the Metropolitan Chorale's 60th Anniversary Concert
- In Des Moines on April 19th, you can hear the award-winning French guitarist Judicael Perroy in recital.
And that's not even everything: choral and band concerts are taking place around the state (you can find listings at IPR's events calendar of at least some - and if you know of any that are missing, please add them there!). There's a piano and organ gala at the Sondheim in Fairfield. England may swing like a pendulum do, but Iowa? We oscillate like a quartz crystal! Here is the Joffrey Ballet's re-creation of Nijinsky's now-classic original choreography of Rite of Spring: