Classical

Roland Ferrie / University Relations

Instead of disclosing their program in advance, wcfsymphony shook things up in their “Surprise” concert by presenting a blank program and revealing their musical selections from the stage. The opening work by Ted Hearne was described as a “rambunctious piece…based entirely on a surprise musical trick,” later revealed as his Erasure Scherzo

MolinaVisuals

This week on Symphonies of Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony presents their “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons”all-Italian concert. Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino kicks off the concert with a powerful flourish. 

World-renowned “master” violinist and “passionate performer” Anne Akiko Meyers then joins the orchestra for a complete performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The concert closes with Respighi’s mighty Pines of Rome.

Featuring:

Maestro Joseph Giunta, conductor

Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

"Conrad Tao, November 2011" by Mingfang Ting, from Wikipedia

Imagine a competition in which pianists don't compete - they don't even know they're being considered! That's the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan every two years. Between festivals, the  judges keep their ears tuned for the most exceptional talents emerging in the piano world. The judges confer, and then select the year's artists - who are notified before the Festival itself begins.

John Richard

As summer winds down, tune in for a few more arts events from around the state on Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase. The August showcase features:

  • Iowa-born composer, conductor, and flutist, Harvey Sollberger, sharing details about his involvement in and upcoming Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Flute Association at their Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.
  • Orchestra Iowa’s Music Director and Conductor, Tim Hankewich, celebrating and outlining his 10th season with Orchestra Iowa
  • Tim Schiffer, Executive Director of Davenport’s Figge Art Museum, discussing the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Figge and the 90th anniversary of the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery
  • Iowa Public Radio host and music legend Bob Dorr, talking about his career and recent award
  • The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium Director of Marketing, John Sutter, filling us in on their current visiting show called the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
  • Internationally known music director of his own New Sousa Band, Keith Brion, sharing the inside scoop on their two upcoming free concerts in Johnston and Spirit Lake.
Nicholas Carlo

Join Iowa Public Radio Classical live at noon from Cedar Falls on Thursday, July 16 for a special Performance Iowa broadcast showcasing the Rawlins Piano Trio. Comprised of violinist Eunho Kim, cellist Marie-Elaine Gagnon, and pianist Susan Keith Gray, the trio has recorded five CDs and performs regularly across the country and abroad. They specialize in standards as well as contemporary gems and are featured guests in this year’s Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival.

Chad Johnston

This week's Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast features Orchestra Iowa’s “Symphonie Fantastique” concert. The concert opens with Schumann’s Manfred Overture, the incidental music to the poem Manfred by Lord Byron.

Canadian pianist Winston Choi then joins Orchestra Iowa for Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.2, one of the most technically challenging concertos in the standard piano repertoire. The concert concludes with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a programmatic and revolutionary work telling the story of an imaginative artist through five distinct scenes.

Featuring:

Noah Henscheid

The wcfsymphony shares an encore broadcast of their Sounds American Festival with an exciting concert featuring a wide array of American musical styles. The program begins with Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony, which was inspired by the world’s hope for a brighter future during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

Photo by Nate Ryan / Minnesota Public Radio; used by permission

This May, the Minnesota Orchestra became the first US orchestra to perform in Cuba since the normalization process began. Tonight you can hear the first concert they gave at 7PM when IPR Classical airs SymphonyCast (or you can stream the concert at Minnesota Public Radio).

 For three decades,  Curt Snook shared with Iowa the music he loves, plus a trove of fascinating facts, insights, ideas, and stories. Curt reached retirement on Tuesday, but after his last air shift stayed in the studio a little longer to chat with me (and all of us) about his life and career. What a pleasure it was!  To hear the audio, click on the arrow below.

Julia Wesely

Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa gives you one more chance to catch all of the fabulous concerts from Iowa’s 2014-2015 symphony season in its encore series. The series begins Monday, July 6 at 7:00 p.m. with the Des Moines Symphony’s “Masterworks 1: Season Debut—The Firebird” concert. 

Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

The Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops concert returns to the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol again on Thursday, July 2 for its 22nd year. Iowa Public Radio Classical will be there broadcasting the concert live, with a pre-show hosted by IPR producers Jacqueline Halbloom and Karen Impola starting at 8:00 p.m. The event features rousing marches, as well as a mix of patriotic selections celebrating “Iowa: America’s Musical Heartland.”

Orchestra Iowa (Facebook page)

The final broadcast of the 2015 Symphonies of Iowa series begins with Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, an opera based on the legendary accursed sea-captain, doomed to sail the seven seas until Judgment Day for his blasphemy. The overture is followed by Debussy’s Nocturnes, an impressionist work that experiments in musical color. The third movement, Sirènes, uses a wordless women’s chorus to portray the mythical Siren’s songs from the sea. 

Barney Sherman

In 2009, Michael Gilbertson - a young man from Dubuque who has become one of America's leading composers - wanted to raise funds for his alma mater, the Northeast Iowa School of Music.

Des Moines Symphony

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.

Orchestra Iowa (Facebook page)

The Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players present two unique quintets in their “Fifth Element” 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. 

Nick Carlo

On Tuesday, June 9, seven cast members from the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of “Man of La Mancha” gave a Performance Iowa revue live in Studio One. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote, Dale Wasserman’s version features a play within a play where the central character, Cervantes, and his fellow prisoners act out the story of the mad knight Don Quixote as they await a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition.

David Bazemore

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks IV: Musical Cathedrals” 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

Heartland Marimba Festival and Academy

Pack up the car, turn up your favorite public radio station, and set your GPS for these Iowa arts destinations on this summer’s road trip. The combined June and July summer edition of the Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Iowa State University’s Heartland Marimba Festival and Academy with Artistic Director Matthew Coley
  • The Belin Quartet’s noon-time summer series, with two members Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn and George Work
  • The North American Review Bicentennial Conference with Jeremy Schraffenberger
  • Details on the facelift to the Wright on the Park Hotel in Mason City with Ann MacGregor and Jean Marinos
  • And the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 43rd Festival Season with General and Artistic Director Michael Egel
Lettuce Turnip

Orchestra Iowa presents an evening of Russian classics in their “Russian Masters” 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. 

wcfsymphony

In their “Fantasia” 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 Sunday, May 24 at 4:00 p.m. and Monday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. to listen to the magic.

Jeremy Sawatzky

The Des Moines Symphony’s “Roman Returns—Dvorák Cello Concerto” 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. 

Todd Rosenberg

Yo-Yo Ma performs on Iowa Public Radio in a special live broadcast of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s 100th Season Celebration Concert. The program will air at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2015 live from the Adler Theatre in Davenport. There will be selections from a taped pre-concert interview with Mr. Ma during the 7:00 hour.

The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s “Epic Eroica” 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.

Featuring:

William Intriligator, conductor

Christine Turner

The wcfsymphony’s “Rediscover” 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. 

belcantocedarvalley.org

  Where can you find a thriving classical new-music scene playing to capacity audiences that love the premieres even more than the chestnuts? In small Iowa towns - if you realize that "new music" includes not just the challenging fare that wins Pulitzers but also a growing repertory of pieces for chorus. The 21st-century renaissance of new choral music also thrives outside of Iowa, of course - our neighbor to the north, Minnesota, is one of several states to have played key roles, and so are a number of countries, including many near the Baltic and North Seas.

Alexis Kenleigh

Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April 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 2014 at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, will air at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 2nd and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 3rd on IPR Classical. 

UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education

Those May flowers may not all be here yet, but there are plenty of arts events to go around this month. The May Iowa Arts Showcase includes:

  • A new exhibit at the Grout Museum of History and Science, with UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education Director Stephen Gaies
  • Pianist Patricia Tao of Trio Voce and their upcoming performance at the Ames Town and Gown Spring Chamber Music Concert
  • Anthony Kearns, one of the PBS Irish Tenors, and his approaching concert in Holbrook, IA with pianist Patrick Healy.
  • The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival in Ottumwa, with festival director Miriam Kenning
  • And an overview of the Des Moines Symphony’s 2015-2016 season with Music Director and Conductor Maestro Joseph Giunta, and his induction into the Mid America Music Association Hall of Fame

Luther College

Arias in April features a Puccini double header this weekend with Opera at Luther’s productions of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, airing on Saturday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 26 at 10:00 p.m.

The Des Moines Symphony’s “Giunta Conducts Chopin, Shostakovich, and Les Préludes” 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

He has won numerous awards, performed with several orchestras globally, has been featured on NPR’s From the Top, and currently studies piano at the Curtis Institute of Music. The concert closes with Shostakovich’s contemplative Symphony No. 6.

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