Symphonies of Iowa

Mondays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 4 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 12 Noon or Monday at 7 PM.

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

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Composer ID: 
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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
4:45 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
9:35 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Beethoven, Brahms, & 'Rock Island Line" from QCSO

Composer Jacob Bancks of Augustana College

Join us Monday at 7 PM to hear the Quad City Symphony in Beethoven, Brahms, and ... Bancks. In March, the orchestra premiered a work by local composer Jacob Bancks specifically about the Quad Cities.

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Classical
6:00 am
Sun May 11, 2014

From Beethoven to Prairie Home, Bella does it all

Violinist and Des Moines Symphony guest soloist Bella Hristova.
Credit Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Avery Fisher Career Grant Winner, violinist Bella Hristova, soloed with the Des Moines Symphony in April of this year. She performed Beethoven’s magnificent Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61.

Bella is the guest artist on this week’s edition of Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series featuring the Des Moines Symphony’s Giunta Conducts Beethoven: Eroica concert.

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Classical
11:41 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Hear as the WCFSymphony "takes us there"

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Join us tonight at 7PM to hear the wcfsymphony premiere a work by Decorah-based composer Brooke Joyce and perform Mahler's First Symphony. Below are my impressions of the April concert (which I posted here on April 9th) - tune in and see what YOU think!

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Classical
11:43 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Mighty Wurlitzer Returns to CR in Mahler, Walton

The "Mighty Wurlitzer" at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, newly restored after extensive damage in the flood of 2008.
Credit Orchestra Iowa

The 2008 Cedar Rapids flood badly damaged the Wurlitzer organ at the Paramount Theatre, but it is now fully restored, and this March was unveiled in concert. For its victorious return, Orchestra Iowa chose two masterpieces that need a huge organ: Walton’s splendid Te Deum and Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony. With two choruses, two soloists and full orchestra, this colossal performance brought together the largest ensemble ever to appear at the Paramount. Jacqueline Halbloom produced and hosts IPR's broadcast as part of our Symphonies of Iowa series.

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Classical
9:12 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Sirota+Brahms from wcfso, Monday 7 PM

Violist Nadia Sirota
Credit Samantha West

Violist Nadia Sirota - a leading advocate of new music, and former student of Jason Weinberger - recently joined the WCFSymphony to perform "beautiful music of a higher order than anything else you will hear this year" - works written for her by Judd Greenstein and Daniel Bjarnson. Then Weinberger led the orchestra in the sumptuous (but violin-free) Serenade no. 2 of Brahms. Hear the concert on Symphonies of Iowa, Sunday at 12 noon or Monday at 7 PM on IPR Classical. 

 

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Classical
10:26 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Concert review: wcfsymphony takes us there...

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
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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
9:49 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Pianist Joyce Yang

Joyce Yang
Credit KT Kim / www.pianistjoyceyang.com

Back by popular demand from last season, Iowa Public Radio presents the Symphonies of Iowa series, showcasing the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s Grieg Piano Concerto and Mahler 5 concert on Sunday, March 30 at noon and Monday, March 31 at 2 p.m. On this program, the Des Moines Symphony presents one of the most beloved and recognizable works of all time, Greig’s Piano Concerto, performed by guest artist and Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Joyce Yang.

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Classical
10:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Mozart Soiree from WCFSO @7 PM

Travel back in time tonight to hear the WCFSymphony's re-creation of  a Mozart soiree, recorded live at Waterloo’s newly-restored Brown Derby Ballroom. The elegant interior was the perfect setting for an array of Mozartian gems, culminating in the Symphony no. 40. Soloists included soprano Suzanne Lommler and Artistic Director Jason Weinberger on clarinet. Jacqueline Halbloom hosts this Symphonies of Iowa broadcast.

Classical
10:51 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Iowa Orchestras Make Music - about Iowa

Composer Jacob Bancks (of Augustana College in the Quad Cities)

Iowa's orchestras are commissioning works about Iowa; but how can music without words convey anything about a place? Some examples:

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents Orchestra Iowa Showcase Chamber's Ice Fishing Concert

Credit Mitch Huang

Iowa Public Radio presents the Symphonies of Iowa series, this week, Sunday, March 16, 2014 at noon and Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7 p.m.,  presenting Orchestra Iowa’s Showcase Chamber Concert entitled Ice Fishing. Opening this concert is a piece by Iowa’s own Michael Gilbertson, Fold by Fold for Piano, Violin, and Cello. This ballet premiered at the Julliard School with seven dancers along with the musicians. Crusell’s Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op.

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents Orchestra Iowa's Beauty and Beethoven Concert

Credit Rob Mercier

  Join Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa for Orchestra Iowa’s Beauty and Beethoven concert from their 2013-2014 season Sunday, March 2, 2014 at noon and Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7 p.m. This performance includes Italian composer, conductor, pianist, and teacher, Giuseppe Martucci’s Notturno, Op. 70. Also performed is Rota’s virtuosic double bass work entitled Divertimento Concertante with internationally acclaimed Volkan Orhon soloing. Polishing off the concert is Beethoven’s Symphony No.

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents wcfsymphony's Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass Concert

Jason Weinberger in rehearsal with wcfsymphony.
Credit wcfsymphony

Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa presents a collaborative performance spearheaded by the wcfsymphony and the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at noon and Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7 p.m. Jason Weinberger, wcfsymphony’s artistic director and CEO, shares the stories about his two sets of grandparents and their survivals in Nazi camps during the Holocaust and his deep interest in music connected to those unspeakable times.

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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
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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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents the Orchestra Iowa Chamber's First 2013-2014 Concert

Credit Orchestra Iowa

The first Orchestra Iowa Chamber concert of the 2013-2014 season, entitled Fall Romance, includes the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms. This program features violinists Luke Witchger and Karla Galva, violists Lisa Ponton and Amanda Grimm, cellist Carey Bostian, bass Volkan Orhon, and Charles Harris on horn. Please join Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa for our broadcast of Orchestra Iowa’s Showcase Chamber Fall Romance performance.

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents wcfsymphony's "Opening-Night Gala" 2/2 and 2/3

Conor Hanick, Iowa native, plays John Adams' "Century Rolls" piano concerto as a guest with the wcfsymphony.
Credit Josh Wool

The wcfsymphony takes the stage with flair in this week's Symphonies of Iowa on Iowa Public Radio. Special guest pianist and Iowa native Conor Hanick joins the orchestra to perform John Adams Century Rolls. Inspired by the edgy and rhythmic sound of piano rolls on a player-piano, the piano concerto quotes composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Gershwin, and Fats Waller amidst the musical image of an orchestra "aligned amongst the cogs and wheels of a bustling rhythmic machine." 

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents DMSO's "From Russia With Ilya" 1/26 and 1/27

Internationally renowned pianist, Ilya Yakushev performs with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.

This week on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa, internationally renowned pianist Ilya Yakushev takes the stage with Maestro Joseph Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in their 76th season debut program, From Russia With Ilya

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents Orchestra Iowa's "Bachtoberfest"

Credit Orchestra Iowa

Join us Monday at 7PM as the 2013-2014 Symphonies of Iowa season opens with Orchestra Iowa's "Bachtoberfest." The concert, which pays tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach, opens with his Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, originally for organ but orchestrated by Lucien Cailliet. It is followed by a  tribute to the master by Timothy Kramer, BACH meets EsCHer. It closes with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, the"Reformation," which was strongly influenced by that composer's love of Bach. 

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, January 13, 2014

Guest Pianist Joyce Yang
Credit Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Concluding the encore portion of Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa 2013-2014 season on Monday, January 14, 2014 at 7 p.m., the Des Moines Symphony presents one of the most beloved and recognizable works of all time, Greig’s Piano Concerto, performed by guest artist Joyce Yang. As a Van Cliburn Silver Medalist, Ms. Yang’s performances capture audiences and leave them breathless. Also included on this program is the famous tone poem Finlandia, by Sibelius and Mahler’s poetic Symphony No. 5.

  Featuring:

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, January 6, 2014

Grant Wood's American Gothic
Credit Wikipedia (Google Art Project)

On Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series’ encore broadcast Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7 p.m., Orchestra Iowa concludes their 2012-2013 symphonic season with the world-premiere of Michael Daugherty’s American Gothic. Michael Daugherty is a Cedar Rapids native and multiple Grammy-award winner. Orchestra Iowa commissioned this work, which was inspired by one of Grant Wood’s best-known paintings. Rachmaninov’s The Rock and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 complete the program.

  Featuring:

Timothy Hankewich, music director

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday,December 30, 2013

Quad City Symphony Orchestra in concert
Credit Quad City Symphony Orchestra's Facebook page

On Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series’ encore broadcast Monday, December 30, 2013 at 7 p.m., Maestro Mark Russell Smith leads the Quad City Symphony in the 100th anniversary performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which was first performed in 1913. This completes Maestro Smith’s cycle of Stravinsky ballets, which included Petrushka in 2009 and the Firebird in 2010. They also perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Featuring:

Mark Russell Smith, music director

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, December 2, 2013

Credit Dubuque Symphony Orchestra

Featured on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series broadcast Monday, December 2, 2013 at 7 p.m. is the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s encore Classics 5 Russia’s Greatest performance. This performance includes music from three of Russia’s greatest composers. Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor has been praised for its robust melodies, and the Russian Easter Festival Overture and Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov are filled with joy and orchestral color.

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, November 25, 2013

Jason Weingberger, Artistic Director and CEO of wcfsymphony
Credit O'Neil Arnold

On Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7 p.m. Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series’ presents an encore broadcast of the wcfsymphony collaboration with artist Gary Kelley from the closer of their 2012-2013 season. Kelley’s original The Planets was created in 2007. The symphony brings a new light to Kelley’s project through their performance of Holst’s The Planets. Kelley also discusses his creative process.

Featuring:

Jason Weinberger, Artistic Director and CEO
Gary Kelley, artist 

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Classical
9:32 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, November 18, 2013

The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Drake Choir, and Drake University/Community Chorus performing Carmina Burana.
Credit Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Featured on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series broadcast Monday, November 18, 2013 at 7 p.m. is an encore performance by the Des Moines Symphony as they celebrate and honor their partnership and history with Drake University. The symphony began in 1937 as the Drake/Des Moines Symphony. Choirs from Drake University join with the Des Moines Symphony in this celebration of 75 years of rich music making.

Featuring:

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for October 21, 2013

Credit Orchestra Iowa

On Monday, October 21, 2013 at 7 p.m., Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa presents an encore broadcast featuring Orchestra Iowa. 

On this performance Maestro Hankewich completes Orchestra Iowa’s Symphony cycle of the four symphonies by Brahms, which began in 2007. He programs his favorite symphony, Symphony No. 3. Roger Oyster, principal trombonist in the Kansas City Symphony, performs on the euphonium with Orchestra Iowa to present a concertino by Weber. The program opens with Sir Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for October 14, 2013

On Monday, October 14, 2014 at 7 p.m. Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa presents an encore broadcast of the Waterloo0-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, narrator Scott Cawelti, and the Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra performance. Commissioned by the Blanden Memorial Art Museum and the Fort Dodge Area Symphony, Jonathan Chenette’s Rural Symphony is a three-movement work inspired by photographs of daily life in rural Iowa.

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