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.
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.
Please join Iowa Public Radio Classical as they ring in the holidays with selections from Handel’s famous oratorio, TheMessiah. 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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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 Timesas one of the 10 best children’s books of the year
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.
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.
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.
It's that time again! If you have any classical-music Halloween favorites, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.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:
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.
Opera in October features a Puccini double header this weekend with Opera at Luther’s productions of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, airing on Saturday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m.
This week on Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October, the Des Moines Metro Opera provides glorious singing and musical mayhem with Rossini’s comedic Le Comte Ory. Their 42nd Festival Season production of Le Comte Ory will air at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 18 and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 19.
This summer the Des Moines Metro Opera presented their 42nd Festival Season at Blank Center for the Performing Arts on the Simpson College campus in Indianola. The mainstage performances included Verdi’s La Traviata, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory. Heggie’s work, based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, tells the story of a nun acting as a spiritual guide to a death-row inmate who was found guilty of murder. It offers a haunting inside look at capital punishment in America. Here is what Opera News and Opera Today had to say about the Des Moines Metro Opera's production:
This week’s Opera in October features the Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, performed by the Des Moines Metro Opera as part of their 42nd Festival Season, airing at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 11 and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 12.
When the Folias Duo came to Iowa, the husband-wife pair's first stop was Cedar Falls, where they played a live set in IPR Classical's Studio Two. They'd been on the road for seven hours, but their zest was irresistible. Try it: here's a video of their IPR performance of Cumparsita Vals, a waltz-time reimagining of the classic tango La Cumparsitaby Argentine composer Pablo Aslan:
Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October continues for its third year showcasing Opera performances in Iowa. The series kicks off with presentations of the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 42nd Festival Season on Saturday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Last year the Qatar Philharmonic made headlines when it hired Han-Na Chang to be its music director. The South Korean woman raised the ensemble to international standards, and its London debut earlier this month got rave reviews. Then, hours afterwards, Chang quit, citing “persistent administrative difficulties and irreconcilable artistic differences with the management.” You can hear the concert that won over London tonight at 7 on IPRClassical.
Iowa's orchestras, choirs, bands, & operas are awesome, but let's not forget our chamber music! Tune in 7AM Saturday or 8PM Sunday to hear two recent highlight from theAmes Town & Gown Chamber Music Association, now in its 65th season.
To succeed in Iowa, presidential hopefuls need to clear all sorts of hurdles that are unique to politics. But one is familiar to every Iowan: saying our state's place names correctly. Some pronunciations are obvious from the spelling, like Atlantic or Ira, but others tend to trip up newbies. Louisa County? Not like my cousin's first name. Madrid? Not like the city in Spain. Nevada? Not like that state out west. You can’t take anything for granted. But you're not on your own: Iowa Public Radio has you covered.