Classical

Concert pianist and respected educator, Georgian native Dr. Vakhtang Kodanashvili joined UNI instructor of piano ranks this fall. Vakhtang and his UNI colleague and concert pianist Sean Botkin will fill us in on UNI’s December 2nd Keyboard Festival. Vakhtang will make his IPR Studio One debut performing works by Rachmaninoff, Robert Schumann, and Scriabin on IPR’s Performance Iowa on Tuesday, November 28th at noon. He joined the world renowned piano studio of Alexander Toradze at Indian University South Bend after moving to the United States in 1995.

Many years ago, the Persian King Shahryar was betrayed by his wife. In anger, he vowed to marry a new woman each day and have the previous one beheaded, so that she would have no chance of being unfaithful to him. A man of his word, he executed 1,000 women before being visited by the young Scheherazade.

CARL BROMBERG / VISIONS PHOTOGRAPHY

Four world-class vocalists, four choirs, and Orchestra Iowa performing Beethoven’s glorious 9th Symphony. Don’t miss a note as IPR brings you Brucemorchestra X on Thanksgiving Day!

In 1830, a young musician named Robert Schumann started studying piano in Leipzig with the well-known teacher, Friedrich Wieck, and moved into a room in his teacher’s house. Wieck’s 11-year-old daughter, Clara, was a gifted pianist and composer who was already giving concerts. The 20-year-old Robert became infatuated with her over time, and after intense opposition and legal battles with Clara’s father, the two were married in 1840 just before her 21st birthday.

Des Moines Register

Iowa Public Radio recaptures the patriotic spirit of the Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops concert to air on Veteran’s Day.

The Des Moines Symphony along with guest vocalist Steve Lippia will perform hits made famous by Frank Sinatra.

ALADÁR SZÉKELY

Composer Zoltán Kodály was one of the world’s first ethnomusicologists. In 1905, he trekked across Hungary to secluded villages to collect folk songs sung by the villagers who lived there. He recorded them on an Edison phonograph, and as a result, preserved an entire culture. He then became fast friends with fellow composer Béla Bartók and shared his methods of song collection with him. The two set out on more musical road trips together, and were lifelong champions of each other’s music.

Rob Merrit

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci double bill will polish off IPR’s Opera in October series. The Cavalleria rusticana cast features Iowa natives Katharine Goeldner (Santuzza) of Sigourney, Janara Kellerman (Mamma Lucia) of Cedar Rapids, and Teresa Buchholz (Lola) of Elkader. Tenor Chris Carr of Quasqueton performs as Beppe in Pagliacci.

In the late-Romantic musical world, Wagner’s works dominated concert stages. His numerous operas exhibited a distinctly “German sound” and featured Aryan characters in their lead roles. French composer Erik Satie was one of the first to call for a change for music of the time period. He issued a challenge for a French approach to music, “without sauerkraut!” inspiring the French Six (Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Louis Durey, and Germaine Tailleferre) as well as Maurice Ravel.

Lisa Bergmann-Smithey

Gilbert and Sullivan steamed across the Atlantic from England to the United States to present their world premiere of the Pirates of Penzance. The pirates in the show weren’t the only pirates that the duo were concerned about. Copyright was at the top of their list. At the time, American law offered no copyright protection to foreigners. Gilbert and Sullivan’s previous opera achieved great success in London, and was immediately swept up by 150 American companies for unauthorized productions that paid no royalties to the creators.

Ernst Hader - painting

Have you ever had a love song written for you by a significant other? Hector Berlioz wrote his Symphonie fantastique to depict “the life of an artist” after he had fallen instantly and wildly in love with actress Harriet Smithson while seeing her in a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in London. But the piece is far from a crooning ballad.

Duane Tinkey

One of opera’s most strikingly theatrical and grandly scaled masterpieces, Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd, tells the story of the persecution and destruction of a pure-hearted young sailor by a predatory master-at-arms. From rollicking sea shanties to bombastic choral episodes, Britten’s searing opera roars to life in a spectacular new production featuring baritone Craig Verm in the title role. Based on Herman Melville’s classic American tale, adapted by English novelist E.M. Forster, Billy Budd transforms a British “man o’ war” into a crucible for human faith and error.

Rodger Thomas

Jazz and classical artist, Branford Marsalis, of the famed Marsalis musical family, has established a career as a performer of international renown, equally at home in both concert halls and jazz clubs. Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when the teenage Branford began working in local bands.

Duane Tinkey

“A summer night smiles three times," Madame Armfeldt tells her granddaughter. "On the young, the fools, and the old.” Sondheim’s tour de force musical comedy whisks us away for a weekend in the country where old flames rekindle and new love affairs ignite. The signature song "Send in the Clowns" along with elegant waltzes drive this bittersweet creation. Sondheim’s masterpiece won six Tony awards including best musical, script, and score.

Duane Tinkey

The Des Moines Metro Opera opens Iowa Public Radio’s 2017 Opera in October series with performances from their 45th Festival Season. IPR’s first DMMO broadcast features Puccini’s Turandot on Saturday, October 7th at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 8th at 3:00 p.m.

Courtesy of Jason Weinberger

Autumn in the air brings many exciting Iowa arts events to the state. The October and November IAS features:

·         Paul Wierson delving into the upcoming Ragtime In Randall festival north of Ames

·         UNI Instructor of Percussion, Matthew Andreini, sharing details about the Iowa Composers Forum’s “Hammers & Mallets” Fall Concert Series

·         Music Director Kim Noftsker speaking on Philippe Lefebre’s organ concert at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Davenport

www.robertthies.org

In 1995, pianist Robert Thies received worldwide recognition when he won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. No American pianist since Van Cliburn, who won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 in Moscow, had accomplished such an impressive feat.

Lisa-Maria Mazzucco courtesy www.chiaraquartet.net

Tune in at 7PM tonight (Oct. 4th) for IPR's first live broadcast from the beautiful new Voxman Music Building in Iowa City.  You'll hear the renowned Chiara String Quartet, known for such innovations as performing masterpieces from memory. They'll be going their separate ways next September, so now's the time to catch them at their peak!

Lisa Marie Mazzucco

Mark your calendars! This Wednesday, the remarkable Chiara String Quartet will be performing at the University of Iowa’s Voxman Music Building in Iowa City. The quartet, which is currently on its farewell tour after 18 years of performances, is known for their commitment to performing some of the world’s quartet masterpieces from memory. They have recorded the complete string quartet works of Brahms and Bartók for Azica records.

Timo Andres

At just 31 years old, composer and performer Caroline Shaw became the youngest winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music to date. But this achievement is certainly not the only impressive bullet point on her résumé. She performs as a violin soloist, chamber musician, and as a vocalist in the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth. The eclectic group performs in the styles of Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Georgian singing, and Persian classical singing, among others.

Duane Tinkey

The brisk air and changing leaves can only mean one thing: October is arriving, and with it comes Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October series! For five weeks, listeners can tune in to enjoy opera productions from the Des Moines Metro Opera, University of Iowa Opera Theatre, and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

Deutsche Grammophon

Antonio Vivaldi wrote over 500 concertos for various instruments. Today, most people know four of them. The Four Seasons for violin and chamber orchestra can be heard in countless movie soundtracks and TV ads. Many modern composers have been so inspired by the concertos that they have reimagined them in their own style. One such composer is Max Richter of Germany.

In 1939, a budding young composer named Samuel Barber accepted a commission for a violin concerto by a wealthy businessman. The businessman’s adopted son, Iso Briselli, was a violin prodigy. That summer, Barber went to Switzerland and composed the first two movements of the concerto. When Briselli saw them, he complained that the music was “too simple and not brilliant enough for a concerto.” Their relationship was off to a less-than-ideal start. 

Cheryl Gorski

Acclaimed by the New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” JoAnn Falletta is a much-sought guest conductor and a vibrant presence on the podium. Her energetic concert with the Des Moines Symphony opens with Brahms’s lively Academic Festival Overture. Next, the virtuosic Oasis Quartet plays Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso, a masterpiece for four saxophones and orchestra. Finally, Bruckner’s monumental Fourth Symphony, his “cathedral of sound,” will take your breath away with its blazing power and majesty.

Peter Seymour at http://www.projecttrio.com/press-photo-gallery

Join us Wednesday, Sept. 6, at noon - in person, on air, or with video on Facebook Live - for a performance by the uniquely innovative Project Trio. Be part of the studio audience, OR listen on-air, OR watch online at IPR's Facebook page! Gramophone wrote that Project Trio is "willing and able to touch on the gamut of musical bases ranging from Baroque to nu-Metal," and the New York Times called flutist Greg Pattillo “the best in the world at what he does.” Intrigued?

Carl Bromberg / Visions Photography

IPR's Performance Iowa is excited to bring you a special live broadcast from the front lawn of Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids! Orchestra Iowa is celebrating 10 years of Brucemore concerts with “Brucemorechestra X.”

Rachel Bearinger

PROJECT Trio is invading IPR’s Studio One on Wednesday, September 6th at noon! The genre-defying chamber group from Brooklyn, New York will present arrangements of classic works and their own high-energy original music. The New York Times has called beatboxing flutist Greg Pattillo “the best in the world at what he does,” and the group was acclaimed by Jazz Review as “a glorious celebration of the music of our time.”

Jamie Arrigo, 2017

Tune in for tonight's LA Philharmonic broadcast to hear Brahms, Ravel - and James Matheson. Born in Des Moines in 1970, Matheson has become one of America's most honored and widely performed composers. From 2009-2015 he also served as director of the LA Philharmonic's Composer Fellowship Program, and tonight at 7 that orchestra plays the premiere of his latest tone poem, Unchained. Also on the program is Helene Grimaud playing the epic Piano Concerto no. 2 of Brahms, a composer this French pianist is especially identified with.

Rachel Bearinger

World-class pianists are taking over Symphonies of Iowa! Tune in this Sunday, September 3rd at 4 p.m. and Monday, September 4th at 7 p.m. to hear performances by the three finalists of the 2nd Midwest International Piano Competition. On round three of the competition, all of the remaining three finalists had chosen to play Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat, Op. 73 for their final round work with the wcfsymphony under the direction of Jason Weinberger.

Glorious Brass

Aug 23, 2017
wcfsymphony

The history of the brass ensemble is a rich, beautiful, and loud one! It stretches from the earliest days of chamber music in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance to the later music of Richard Strauss and the modern jazz band. The brass sound is versatile and unmistakable in our culture.

Jonathan Hess

With classes back in session and autumn just ahead, arts events are revving up across the state. Tune in Saturday, September 2nd at 11AM or 5PM for this month’s Iowa Arts Showcase featuring:

·         Waterloo Center for the Arts Executive Director, Kent Shankle, and Curator Chawne Paige delving into the Haitian Art Society Annual Conference

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