Symphonies of Iowa

Sundays at 4 p.m. and Mondays at 7 p.m. on FM Classical (alternates with Classical 24)

Every week, Symphonies of Iowa showcases Iowa's leading orchestras in concert. You'll hear a mix of familiar masterpieces and new works, of world-renowned soloists and Iowa's best composers and musicians. Join us Sundays at 4 PM or Monday at 7 PM.

NOTE: During summer we will broadcast Symphonies of Iowa Monday evenings at 7 pm. We will resume our Sunday and Monday broadcast schedule this fall.

Click here for a simple chronological list of this season's concerts.

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This week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast features the wcfsymphony’s “Water Music” concert. The concert includes the world premiere of Jerome Margolis’ Rivers Run Free as well as Handel’s iconic Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks.

This broadcast of Iowa Public Radio's Symphonies of Iowa features Orchestra Iowa's National Romance concert. The performance features three iconic works from the late romantic era and early 20th century, each of which defines the style of music in their nation. 

Des Moines Symphony

IPR’s Symphonies of Iowa is back for the New Year! The season kicks off with the Des Moines Symphony presenting their season debut concert under Joseph Giunta with the dazzling Natasha Paremski at the keyboard. Paremski gives us a breathtaking performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1.

ORCHESTRA IOWA (FACEBOOK PAGE)

The final broadcast of the 2015 Symphonies of Iowa series begins with Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, an opera based on the legendary accursed sea-captain, doomed to sail the seven seas until Judgment Day for his blasphemy. The overture is followed by Debussy’s Nocturnes, an impressionist work that experiments in musical color. The third movement, Sirènes, uses a wordless women’s chorus to portray the mythical Siren’s songs from the sea. 

Des Moines Symphony

The encore of the Des Moines Symphony’s Memorial Day Tribute Concert opens with three Copland classics: Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass and percussion; A Lincoln Portrait, featuring the reading of the past president’s famous words by a narrator; and Appalachian Spring, commissioned as a ballet with “an American theme” and later rearranged as an orchestral suite.

ORCHESTRA IOWA (FACEBOOK PAGE)

The Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players present two unique quintets in their “Fifth Element” encore concert. Principal clarinetist Christine Bellomy performs Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major with violinists Violetta Todorova and Karla Galva, violist Jenwei Yu, and cellist Carey Bostian. Written for clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Baermann, like most of Weber’s clarinet works, it is considered a “pocket concerto” where the strings support the clarinetist rather than share an equal weight. 

David Bazemore

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks IV: Musical Cathedrals” encore concert opens with Michael Torke’s Oracle. Commissioned and premiered by the QCSO in 2013, the short thematic work is based on variations of a melody, creating a Copland-esque sound. Demarre McGill, principal flute of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, joins the Quad City Symphony for Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G

Lettuce Turnip

Orchestra Iowa presents an evening of Russian classics in their “Russian Masters” encore concert. The concert opens with Spring from a ballet by Glazunov, followed by Borodin’s Second Symphony. The symphony was composed over a stretch of six years, interrupted by the composer’s work on the theatre works Prince Igor and Mlada. 

wcfsymphony

In their “Fantasia” encore concert, the wcfsymphony creates a unique and exciting experience by combining classic works from both of Disney’s Fantasia movies and playing along to the animated scenes. They perform favorites from the movies, like Dukas’s The Sorceror’s Apprentice and Stravinsky’s Firebird, as well as less familiar scenes, including a deleted scene featuring Debussy’s Claire de Lune. Tune in to Iowa Public Radio Classical on Monday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. to listen to the magic.

Featuring:

Jeremy Sawatzky

The Des Moines Symphony’s “Roman Returns—Dvorák Cello Concerto” encore concert opens with The Chairman Dances; Foxtrot for Orchestra by John Adams. This programmatic work comes from Act III of Adams’s opera Nixon in China, and depicts Chairman and Madame Mao dancing together. 

The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s “Epic Eroica” encore concert opens with the overture from Mozart’s The Impressario, featuring students from the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra in a side-by-side performance. Violinist Katie Wolf and cellist Anthony Arnone, professors at the University of Iowa, join the orchestra for the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Violoncello in A minor, Op. 102. The concert concludes with Beethoven’s grand and dramatic “Eroica” symphony. Tune in to Iowa Public Radio Classical on Monday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Christine Turner

The wcfsymphony’s “Rediscover” encore concert features composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain. He performs his very own Woodbox Violin Concerto, an eclectic piece combining a wide array of styles, as well as presents a world premiere of his Young Person’s GPS for Our Orchestra: Themes and Variations on Haitian Folk Songs. A modern twist on Benjamin Britten’s famous Guide, the piece explores the colors of the orchestra using two Haitian folk songs for its themes. 

The Des Moines Symphony’s “Giunta Conducts Chopin, Shostakovich, and Les Préludes” encore concert begins with Liszt’s most popular symphonic poem, Les Préludes. Eighteen-year-old Chinese pianist Jia Cheng Xiong then joins the orchestra for Chopin’s virtuosic Second Piano Concerto

Uriel Tsachor

Join Iowa Public Radio on  Monday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. for an encore of Orchestra Iowa’s “Beethoven and the Bard” concert. The program opens with a famous overture by Mendelssohn, his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written at the age of seventeen. 

Join the wcfsymphony as they explore the mystery of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" in an encore broadcast of their "Imagine" concert. Left incomplete after only two movements, Schubert's work is considered one of the first Romantic symphonies because of its expressive melodies. The wcfsymphony combines the symphony with Schubert’s sketch for a third movement, a Scherzo, finished by Brian Newbold. The concert closes with Schubert’s Entr’acte No. 1 from Rosamunde, which many consider was originally intended as the final movement of the enigmatic symphony.

Orchestra Iowa (Facebook page)

The Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players bring small ensemble music to life this week's encore broadcast with their “Madness & Musings” concert. The concert opens with Corelli’s “La Folia” sonata, featuring Orchestra Iowa concertmaster candidate Beth Larson on violin, principal cellist Carey Bostian, and principal keyboardist Miko Kominami on harpsichord. 

Robert Edward Thies

World-renowned Mexican-born conductor Jorge Mester takes the helm of the Des Moines Symphony in this encore concert broadcast. Mester is the winner of the Ditson Conductor’s Award and is recognized for his leadership of the Aspen Music Festival. The concert opens with Debussy’s La Mer, one of Mester’s signature pieces. 

Jeremy Sawatzky

Orchestra Iowa’s “Old World Wonders” concert opens with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin. Originally written as a suite for piano, Ravel later orchestrated Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 4 to create his symphonic version. Internationally acclaimed cellist Joshua Roman joins the orchestra for Schumann’s lyrical and enigmatic Cello Concerto.

Randy Darst

The wcfsymphony journeys from their typical venue in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center to Waterloo’s historic Brown Derby for a special performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Presented in its chamber arrangement, Jason Weinberger conducts the orchestra and performs the vocal solo from the fourth movement on clarinet.

The chamber arrangement was created for Arnold Schoenberg’s musical society. This performance is the start of Weinberger’s multi-year Mahler Songs project. Tune in to Iowa Public Radio Classical on Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m. for this encore broadcast.

In their fifth collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Des Moines Symphony takes a look “Beyond the Score” of Beethoven’s dramatic Symphony No. 5

Our encore broadcast features the riveting second half performance of the piece, plus a recording of Beethoven’s First Symphony from the Des Moines Symphony’s 2003 Beethoven one to nine recording project. Tune in on Monday, August 17 at 7:00 p.m. on Iowa Public Radio Classical.

Featuring:

Maestro Joseph Giunta, conductor

Orchestra Iowa

Featured members of Orchestra Iowa perform chamber pieces on this week’s Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast, airing on Monday, August 10 at 7 p.m. The concert opens with Prokofiev’s lyrical Sonata for Two Violins, Op. 56 featuring Madeline Capistran and Anita Tucker.

Roland Ferrie / University Relations

Instead of disclosing their program in advance, wcfsymphony shook things up in their “Surprise” concert by presenting a blank program and revealing their musical selections from the stage. The opening work by Ted Hearne was described as a “rambunctious piece…based entirely on a surprise musical trick,” later revealed as his Erasure Scherzo

MolinaVisuals

This week on Symphonies of Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony presents their “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons”all-Italian concert. Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino kicks off the concert with a powerful flourish. 

World-renowned “master” violinist and “passionate performer” Anne Akiko Meyers then joins the orchestra for a complete performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The concert closes with Respighi’s mighty Pines of Rome.

Featuring:

Maestro Joseph Giunta, conductor

Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

Chad Johnston

This week's Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast features Orchestra Iowa’s “Symphonie Fantastique” concert. The concert opens with Schumann’s Manfred Overture, the incidental music to the poem Manfred by Lord Byron.

Canadian pianist Winston Choi then joins Orchestra Iowa for Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.2, one of the most technically challenging concertos in the standard piano repertoire. The concert concludes with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a programmatic and revolutionary work telling the story of an imaginative artist through five distinct scenes.

Featuring:

Noah Henscheid

The wcfsymphony shares an encore broadcast of their Sounds American Festival with an exciting concert featuring a wide array of American musical styles. The program begins with Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony, which was inspired by the world’s hope for a brighter future during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

Julia Wesely

Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa gives you one more chance to catch all of the fabulous concerts from Iowa’s 2014-2015 symphony season in its encore series. The series begins Monday, July 6 at 7:00 p.m. with the Des Moines Symphony’s “Masterworks 1: Season Debut—The Firebird” concert. 

Orchestra Iowa (Facebook page)

The final broadcast of the 2015 Symphonies of Iowa series begins with Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, an opera based on the legendary accursed sea-captain, doomed to sail the seven seas until Judgment Day for his blasphemy. The overture is followed by Debussy’s Nocturnes, an impressionist work that experiments in musical color. The third movement, Sirènes, uses a wordless women’s chorus to portray the mythical Siren’s songs from the sea. 

Des Moines Symphony

The Des Moines Symphony’s Memorial Day Tribute Concert opens with three Copland classics: Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass and percussion; A Lincoln Portrait, featuring the reading of the past president’s famous words by a narrator; and Appalachian Spring, commissioned as a ballet with “an American theme” and later rearranged as an orchestral suite.

Orchestra Iowa (Facebook page)

The Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players present two unique quintets in their “Fifth Element” concert. Principal clarinetist Christine Bellomy performs Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major with violinists Violetta Todorova and Karla Galva, violist Jenwei Yu, and cellist Carey Bostian. Written for clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Baermann, like most of Weber’s clarinet works, it is considered a “pocket concerto” where the strings support the clarinetist rather than share an equal weight. 

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