George Kobreek at

Nicholas Roth - a professor of piano at Drake and a renowned recording artist - is performing Monday at 7:30PM at Sheslow Auditorium in Des Moines. You should definitely take the opportunity to hear this Yamaha Artist live! Meanwhile, you can hear his recent interview with Barney Sherman (and some samples of his playing) by clicking on the arrow below. The Monday-night recital is part of Drake's "Keys to Excellence" series; be there if you're nearby, but meanwhile, tune in to sample Roth's art!

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.

Iowa State Center

Ring in the holidays with the arts! This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:


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. 

Todd Rosenberg

The final broadcast of Yo-Yo Ma’s Quad City Symphony 100th Season Celebration Concert will air on Iowa Public Radio. In honor of this special program, IPR’s Performance Iowa will broadcast Yo-Yo Ma with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra on Friday, November 27th at 1pm.

Iowa Public Radio

Don’t forget to include Iowa Public Radio Classical in your Thanksgiving celebration this year, as we present an encore of Orchestra Iowa’s 2015 Brucemorchestra concert. Our Performance Iowa broadcast will air on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26 at 2 PM.

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

Des Moines Symphony

In honor of Veteran’s Day at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 2015, Iowa Public Radio will air an encore broadcast of the Des Moines Symphony’s “Yankee Doodle Pops” concert from July 2nd. The Des Moines Symphony and Maestro Joseph Giunta are joined by Governor Terry Branstad for the Armed Forces Salute. Guest Broadway vocalists Christiane Noll and Hugh Panaro perform favorites from State Fair, The Bridges of Madison County, and The Music Man. The Des Moines Symphony will premiere selections from former Iowa composer Peter Hamlin’s Symphony on a Stick.

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. 

Jesse Weiner

With the holiday season kicking into high gear, Iowa arts are heating up. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

•             The Grout Museum’s newest exhibit, “365 Days and Counting: Iowans in the Vietnam War” with the Grout Museum District’s Historian Bob Neymeyer and Research & Programming Assistant Christopher Shackelford

•                    Michael Oxley, director of Marshalltown’s Orpheum Theatre, outlining several events and exhibits that will open on the weekend of November 13th

Two renowned musicians - violinist Sarah Plum of Drake and pianist Francine Kay of Princeton - are giving a series of concerts in Iowa this week. You can hear them live in Des Moines Wednesday at noon at St. John's Lutheran Church and at 7:30 at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake - but you can get a live preview at 1 PM on IPR! Barney will host them live, as they perform Beethoven's Violin Sonata no. 10 and Bartok's Violin Sonata no. 2.


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.


Courtesy of CROT

The final broadcast of the 2015 Opera in October series features the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. It airs on Saturday, October 31 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 1 at 4:00 p.m.

Grinnell College

 In 2008, Grinnell's Jennifer Williams Brown won a major award from the American Musicological Society for her edition of Francesco Cavalli's 1651 opera La Calisto. Want to hear what it sounds like when performed using her discoveries? You're in luck! IPR will broadcast a recent performance from Simpson College Opera tonight at 7 PM and again Sunday October 25th at 4PM.  Brown, who chairs Grinnell's music department and directs its Collegium Musicum, served as scholar-in-residence, dramaturg, musicologist, and coach for this production.

IPR/Tony Dehner

In June of 2014, the UNI School of Music hosted the Midwest International Piano Competition.

Great news: Curt Snook's The Choral Tradition and Michael Barone's Pipedreams will return to our airwaves on Sunday, November 1st! Curt retired on June 30th (after three decades) and has been enjoying some time off - but we're delighted that he'll again be sharing his extraordinary knowledge and love of choral music with our state.

© Peter Serling

 The LA Philharmonic concert broadcasts return to IPR Wednesdays at 7PM -  and the first concert features a Pulitzer-winning composer trained in Iowa! David Lang won that Pulitzer (and a Grammy) for his incredibly moving little matchgirl passion, and has also been Musical America's Musician of the Year. along with other honors. But before all that, he came to Iowa to study composition at the University of Iowa. He  says "I was happy I did. It was really a kind of golden age. I really loved it." 

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. 

This week’s Opera in October broadcast features Simpson College Opera’s production of Cavalli’s La Calisto. It will air on Saturday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 25 at 4:00 p.m.

  The 2015 Black Hawk Chamber Music Festival culminates Monday night at 7:30 with a Renaissance / Baroque concert at Iowa City's Congregational United Church of Christ. Last Thursday, the soloists - flutist Jeffrey Cohan and plucked-string master Oleg Timofeyev - came into our Iowa City studio t0 give Iowa a live preview. They were interviewed by Barney, who hosted from Cedar Falls. (Listen by clicking the arrow below!)

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.

Jim Poynter

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR (Barney Sherman): Hebrew was in ancient times a living language. Then, like Latin, it “died” – it ceased to be a native tongue for everyday speech, and was instead used only in liturgy, scholarship, and literature. But in the 20th century it was brought back to life as a daily language. The revival of spoken Hebrew had no precedent and has been challenging to duplicate. Would a similar revival be just as unlikely, then, in music?

Courtesy of DMMO

The final opera in the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 43rd Festival Season, Janáček’s Jenůfa, airs as part of Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October broadcast series. IPR will broadcast Jenůfa on Saturday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 18 at 4:00 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. 

Courtesy of DMMO

This week’s Opera in October broadcast features another production from the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 43rd Festival Season, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West. It will air on Saturday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m and Sunday, October 11 at 4:00 p.m.

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

Pianist Bruce Brubaker, born and raised in Des Moines, is  one of today's most admired pianists - and a renowned collaborator with such major composers as John Cage, Philip Glass, and Meredith Monk. Bruce is in Iowa this week to work with some other major Iowan musicians in a SummerMusic concert centered on Terry Riley.


With autumn in the air comes many exciting Iowa arts events. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

Yes, he’s back!

Composer Peter Hamlin will return as a guest co-host during IPR’s Classical fund drive this Friday, September 25th between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.