Classical

Classical
6:00 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Des Moines Symphony Kicks off New Season of Symphonies of Iowa with "Firebird"

Armenian pianist Nareh Arghamanyan joins the Des Moines Symphony for a performance of Khachaturian's Piano Concerto.
Credit Julia Wesely

Join Iowa Public Radio and the Des Moines Symphony in kicking off their 2015 broadcast season of Symphonies of Iowa with the DMSO’s “Masterworks 1: Season Debut—The Firebird” concert. 

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Classical
10:10 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

So what WERE the best classical albums of 2014? A worldwide "META" list tries to answer

"If you dropped him, he'd bounce"
Credit operaomnia

[UPDATED Jan 18: Expanded to include 36 publications and over 100 critics - yielding some new rankings:] What were the best classical releases of 2014? Don't ask me!- or any one person alone. After all, thousands of releases came out last year, and nobody had the time or money to listen to every contender. Besides, we're more likely to hear about artists from our own necks of the woods. And that neck is defined not only geographically but also musically, since most critics have specialized tastes and expertise. 

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Classical
1:09 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Podcast featuring CROT's "Don Giovanni" Cast

From L to R: Samuel Wright (Masetto), Michelle Price (Understudy for Donna Anna), Dr. John Hollins (piano), Jessica Pray (Zerlina), Christopher Burchett (Don Giovanni), Lee Poulis (Leporello), Jonathan Blalock (Don Ottavio), and Veronica Mitina (Donna Elvira).
Credit Nicholas Carlo

Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One presented a sneak peek on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 of the upcoming Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s weekend performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

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Classical
3:01 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Live Broadcast of CROT's "Don Giovanni"

From L to R: Samuel Wright (Masetto), Michelle Price (Understudy for Donna Anna), Dr. John Hollins (piano), Jessica Pray (Zerlina), Christopher Burchett (Don Giovanni), Lee Poulis (Leporello), Jonathan Blalock (Don Ottavio), and Veronica Mitina (Donna Elvira).
Credit Nicholas Carlo

Iowa Public Radio is pleased to bring you a live broadcast of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The opera revolves around the womanizing scoundrel Don Giovanni (fashioned after the legendary Don Juan). The performance, under the baton of the CROT’s founder and artistic director Daniel Kleinknecht, along with University of Oklahoma professor and guest director William Ferrara, provides a mixture of comedy and tragedy. 

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Classical
10:04 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Musical Traveler Savall Brings 13th-Century Galicia to Life

Editor's note: it's a pleasure to offer another in our series of classical reviews by IPR's panel of guest experts - this one by Dubuque native, cellist, author, and Boston Public Radio producer Will Roseliep (see below for his bio and links).

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Classical
3:11 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

2015 Symphonies of Iowa Listing Full of Top Notch Concerts

Another new year means another excellent season of Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa. Tune in on Sundays at 4 p.m. and Mondays at 7 p.m. to hear Iowa’s symphonies performing spectacular concerts with a diverse repertoire. Check IPR’s Symphonies of Iowa page each week to read an overview of that week’s concert. Please see the list below and mark your calendars with all of Iowa Public Radio’s 2015 Symphonies of Iowa broadcasts.

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Classical
9:18 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Waltzergate, Sibelius, & the Copyright Wars: Part 1 of 2

Nice mazurka!
Credit wikipedia

Jean Sibelius "created Finnish national identity in music." Asked to characterize their culture, Finns "invariably mention… ‘our Sibelius.’” But

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Classical
5:57 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Double Feature of "Don Giovanni" Live Broadcasts

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni"
Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

Iowa Public Radio is pleased to bring you two special live broadcasts this January featuring the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The first broadcast showcases several cast members in a snapshot Studio One performance on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at noon. The second is Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa live broadcast of the opera from the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

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Classical
1:54 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Iowa's Met Opera Auditions, U.S.A.F.'s Midwest Winds, and more for January

Competitors in the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
Iowa State Center

Ring in the New Year with a host of Iowa arts events around the state. The January Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Dr. Don Simonson, ISU’s Professor of Music and Voice Division Chair, and Sara Compton, the Outreach Coordinator for Iowa State Center, talking about the Metropolitan Opera National Council Iowa District Auditions
  • Captain Jason Plosch, Commander and Conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America from the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, discussing upcoming Iowa concerts featuring the Midwest Winds Woodwind Quintet
  • Operatic star Sydney Mancasola, sharing details about her career and her January 11th recital hosted by the Des Moines Metro Opera Guild
  • Internationally acclaimed pianist, André Watts, outlining his upcoming January performance celebrating  the 90th Anniversary of the Des Moines Civic Music Association
  • And William Ferrara, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s guest stage director, revealing details about the CROT’s January production of Mozart’s, Don Giovanni.
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Classical
8:12 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Sumaya, Messiah, St. Olaf's: An IPR Christmas!

Betsy Burleigh, chair of choral conducting at Indiana University, leads a rousing "Messiah" with the Pittsburgh Symphony and singers, Christmas Day at 2 PM
Credit Indiana University School of Music

Where can you hear a full hour of Baroque Christmas music by Manuel de Sumaya - the greatest Mexican composer of the era? And the St. Olaf Christmas Festival? And Handel's Messiah led by one America's foremost choral conductors, Betsy Burleigh? (That's her picture.) You got it - on IPR Classical! Here's our Christmas Day classical schedule:

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Classical
10:34 am
Wed December 24, 2014

'Amahl' from DM, Morehouse/Spelman, & More

Eric Whitacre
Credit Christoph Müller-Girod / Chor.com via Flickr

After wcfso's Messiah and the live Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, IPR Classical's Christmas Eve programming continues all day and evening with everything from Brubeck to Whitacre - including some outstanding Iowa events!

 

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Classical
2:33 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Festival of 9 Lessons &Carols Live @9am Wednesday!

Since 1918 - a month after the Armistice - King's College, Cambridge has celebrated Christmas Eve with "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols." And since 1928  - even during World War II, when the stained glass windows had to be removed for safety - the event has been broadcast live. You can hear the 2014 Festival as it happens on (what for us is ) Wednesday at 9 AM on IPR Classical. The Festival was meant to be innovative, so every year , in addition to old favorites, the choir commissions a new choral piece.

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Classical
3:17 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Tonight: wcfso "Messiah" & "Christmas at Luther"!

the wcfsymphony and Metropolitan Chorale at the Gallagher-Bluedorn
Credit wcfsymphony

IPR's Holiday programming continues with two homegrown Iowa classics: from Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Handel's Messiah with the wcfso and Metropolitan Choir (at 7 PM), and from Decorah, this year's "Christmas at Luther" broadcast, titled "And on Earth, Peace" (at 8 PM).  The Messiah excerpts were recorded at a community sing held at the Gallagher-Bluedorn last weekend - join us for the highlights at 7!

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Classical
7:23 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Oy, Have We Got Christmas Songs for You! - Links & A Long List

Irving Berlin (born Irving Beilin in Russia) at his first job in New York in 1906; he was 18.
Credit wikipedia

I was working on a post about a fascinating footnote to American cultural history: that half of our popular Christmas songs were written by my people, the Jews.  Before I'd made it through the first draft, I tuned to Iowa Public Radio and discovered that I'd been scooped by Here & Now, to which I can only say, "Phew!" Here is their "A Goyische Christmas to You," about a show done annually by pianist/vocal coach extraordinaire Steven Blier.

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Classical
3:35 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Orchestra Iowa's "Holiday Spectacular" 2013 Concert Features Wintertime Favorites

Dancers perform at Orchestra Iowa's annual "Holiday Spectacular" concert.
Credit Orchestra Iowa

Join Iowa Public Radio and Orchestra Iowa in celebrating this year's winter celebrations with Orchestra Iowa's 2013 Holiday Spectacular concert on Saturday, December 20 at 4 p.m., Sunday, December 21 at 3 p.m., and again on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. Orchestra Iowa performs holiday favorites including Carol of the Bells, Leroy Anderson's A Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride, and carols like The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Deck the Halls.

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Classical
11:29 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Ring in the Holidays with the wcfsymphony and Met Chorale!

Jason Weinberger, the wcfsymphony, and the Metropolitan prepare to perform selections from Handel's "Messiah"
wcfsymphony

      Please join Iowa Public Radio Classical as they ring in the holidays with selections from Handel’s famous oratorio, The Messiah. The wcfsymphony and Metropolitan Chorale joined forces to present their SING concert, which was led by the wcfsymphony’s Artistic Director and Conductor Jason Weinberger. This concert was to commemorate the Metropolitan Chorale’s 60th Anniversary and the wcfsymphony’s 85th. Guest soloists for the program were Leia Lensing and Megan Grey, University of Northern Iowa students.

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Classical
1:48 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

DMMO's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" Fosters Perfect Holiday Spirit this Christmas Eve

The three wise men watch as Amahl and his mother converse
Des Moines Metro Opera

This Christmas Eve, settle in with a cup of egg nog or hot chocolate as Iowa Public Radio brings you a holiday classic, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Performed by the Des Moines Metro Opera and recorded in December of 2013. This one act opera depicts the three Wise Men stopping for shelter at the home of a poor mother and her crippled son, Amahl, as they journey to find the newborn Child. Soprano Julie Makerov performs the role of the mother, and middle school boy soprano Pierce Mansfield portrays her son, Amahl. Bass-baritone W.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:07 am
Tue December 9, 2014

In The Italian Alps, Stradivari's Trees Live On

Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger, stands in the Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps. Renaissance luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari came here to handpick trees that would be crafted into the world's finest instruments.
Graziano Panfili for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:05 pm

Antonio Stradivari, the master violin maker whose instruments sell for millions of dollars today, has been dead for nearly three centuries. Only 650 of his instruments are estimated to survive.

But the forest where the luthier got his lumber is alive and well. And thanks to the surprising teamwork of modern instrument makers and forest rangers, Stradivari's trees are doing better than ever.

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Classical
3:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

2013-14 Symphonies of Iowa Season Comes to a Close!

Iowa Public Radio is pleased to present the final Symphonies of Iowa broadcast for 2014. The encore broadcast will feature the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks 7: Season Finale – Brahms, Grosvenor & Afternoon of a Faun performance. This statewide broadcast can be heard Monday, December 8 at 7 p.m.  Tune in to hear The Des Moines Symphony’s triumphant final concert of their 2013-2014 season. The program opens with Roman Carnival Overture.

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Classical
10:49 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Review: Two OTHER Adams Highlights from 2014

John Adams
Credit Margareta Mitchell

In 2014, two American composers whose name begin with "John" and end with "Adams" were surprised to find themselves in front-page headlines. One of them,  John Luther Adams, says he never imagined that he'd win the Pulitzer Prize - but it was bestowed in April on his orchestral work Become Ocean (here's the All Things Considered story).

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Classical
8:21 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Hear Iowa's "Classical Musts" Sunday Afternoon

Who is this man - and did he make Iowa's "classical bucket list"? Tune in Sunday afternoon to find out!
Credit wikipedia

Recently I invited you to vote for the 3 classical works you wish everyone could experience at least once - the "Musts" you'd urge your friends to put on their bucket lists. The votes are in, and you can hear Iowa's Top 10 picks on my show Sunday from noon to 4 PM.  I'll tell you what won, and of course I'll play samples from outstanding recordings. (Later I'll post the list with links and information.) Join me - as you'll hear, Iowa's recommendations are awesome!

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Classical
10:17 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Mendelssohn And Other Classic Composers Offer Musical Thanks

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 2:50 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are lots of ways to say thank you today that don't include turkey or cranberry sauce. For example, there is music.

(SOUNDBITE OF FELIX MENDELSSOHN ORATORIO, "ELIJAH")

CHORUS: (Singing in German).

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Classical
5:57 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

December IAS features Brucemore, Panther Marching Band, Don Giovanni, The Nutcracker, and more!

An inside view of Brucemore Mansion, decorated for the holidays
Brucemore

December is packed with holiday arts events. This month’s Iowa Public Radio Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Brucemore Mansion’s Manager of Interpretation and Collections Jessica Peel-Austin sharing details about the historic site’s holiday events and the mansion’s Skinner Player Pipe Organ Preservation Project
  • University of Northern Iowa Panther Marching Band director Dr. Danial Galyen previewing the band’s upcoming performance in the London New Year’s Day Parade
  • Daniel Kleinknecht talking about the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s January production of Mozart’s master work, Don Giovanni
  •  Iowa State University’s professor Janice Baker reveling in Stephens Auditorium’s 34th annual Nutcracker Ballet Performance
  • And Cedar Falls artist and illustrator Gary Kelley discussing his children’s book “Harlem Hellfighters,” which was selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 best children’s books of the year
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Classical
1:51 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Orchestra Iowa's Brucemorchestra Encore Concert on Thanksgiving Day

Orchestra Iowa prepares to perform on the lawn of Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids.
Orchestra Iowa

Don’t forget to include Iowa Public Radio Classical in your Thanksgiving celebration this year, as we present a rebroadcast of Orchestra Iowa’s 2014 Brucemorchestra concert. Our Performance Iowa broadcast will air on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

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Classical
3:55 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

IPR's New Classical CD Review Page: Bach's "Art of Fugue"

Dr. Uri Golomb
Credit uri-golomb.com

 Welcome to IPR's Classical CD Review Page! Check in weekly for new reviews by IPR staff and friends near and far.

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Classical
4:04 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Veterans Day Broadcast: Yankee Doodle Pops

Des Moines Symphony

In honor of Veterans Day and our nation’s veterans, Iowa Public Radio is pleased to present highlights from the Des Moines Symphony’s 21st annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert which was recorded July 3rd on the West Terrace lawn of our state’s capital building. The performance will feature patriotic favorites, a tribute medley to Glenn Miller, and a performance of the National Anthem by Samuel Nolte the winner of the “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” contest.

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Classical
4:24 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

November IAS features the Co'Motion Dance Theatre, Cedar Valley House Concerts and more!

Dan Eldon, Mogadishu 7 April 1993
Dan Eldon

As you start to plan for Thanksgiving, prepare to mark your calendars with these exciting arts events already happening this month in Iowa. The November Iowa Arts Showcase features:

·         Kathy Eldon on the life and photographs of her son, Dan Eldon, currently on display at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in “The Restless Spirit: American Art from the Collection”

·         Iowa Public Radio’s producer Tony Dehner delving into the Cedar Valley House Concerts, hosted by Darice Mangin.

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Classical
8:45 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

A Classical Halloween, pt 2: Rounding to 13

Erlkoenig by Moritz von Schwind
Credit public domain/ wikipedia

As promised, the classical Halloween countdown continues - thanks for your input!  Yesterday I posted eight picks; here are five more classical scares to bring my total Web count up to 13. Most of these pieces (and a few others) will get an airing Friday, either during my shift (1-5 pm) or before or after; meanwhile, here are some youtube versions.

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Classical
9:40 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

A Classical Halloween: Pt. 1 -What Should We Add?

The flick that made the Toccata and Fugue in D minor the ultimate horror score!
Credit wikepedia

It's that time again! If you have any classical-music Halloween favorites, write to us at classical@iowapublicradio.org. Tonight I'll post a few possibilities just to get the conversation started; tomorrow night I'll post a few more. Then, on Friday afternoon, tune in to hear what we end up with! To start things off:

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Classical
3:01 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Opera in October Wraps Up with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's "Carmen"

Iowa native mezzo soprano, Janara Kellerman, returned to the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as the title role in Bizet's Carmen.

Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October series comes to a dramatic close with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s thrilling performance of Bizet’s Carmen. Their production, originally broadcast in January of this year at the Parmount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, will air at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 1st and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 2nd on IPR Classical.

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