Classical

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

Stephane Gallois for Vanity Fair

“For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe…the exhilaration didn’t let up for a second until her hands came off the keyboard.”

Never before had the world experienced a phenomenon like the Harry Potter franchise. The seven-book series gained such popularity that crowds of fans would wait outside of bookstores for midnight releases of the newest installments. The accompanying films were also immensely well-received, due in part to their fabulous soundtracks. The great composer John Williams scored the first three movies, and his themes were woven into the scores for the rest of the films. To date, the franchise has an estimated value of $15 billion, and the films have grossed over $7.7 billion worldwide.

One of the most colorful cultural histories in Iowa belongs to those of Czech heritage. Early Czech immigrants to Iowa settled in farming communities, most notably at Spillville in the northeast corner of the state. Later, immigrants from today’s Czech and Slovak Republics came to work in meatpacking plants, primarily in Cedar Rapids where Czech immigrants first settled in the early 1850s. Many of the Czechs who settled in Cedar Rapids worked in the large Sinclair meatpacking plant.

Marco Borggreve

Russian violinist Vadim Gluzman has been praised for his technical proficiency along with his power and passion. Gluzman joins the Des Moines Symphony as he offers a thrilling performance of Brahms’s virtuosic Violin Concerto in this week’s Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast. Born in the former Soviet Union, Gluzman studied with several renowned teachers there before moving to Israel and eventually the United States to attend the Juilliard School.

hancher.uiowa.edu

As summer continues to heat up, tune in for more arts events from around the state on Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase. The August Showcase features:

•     Dr. Ashley Sidon, Artistic Director and cellist of the Zenith Chamber Festival in Des Moines, outlining the masterworks and musicians for this year’s festival

·         wcfsymphony Artistic Director and Conductor, Jason Weinberger, giving us the inside scoop on the orchestra’s 2017-18 season

Erik Weiss

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.

You would be hard-pressed to find a person with any knowledge of music who didn’t know of Mozart’s history as a child prodigy. But far fewer know that another young and well-known musician was also a genius. His name was Felix Mendelssohn.

Mendelssohn’s musical talent blossomed at an early age. He began taking piano lessons from his mother when he was six, and at seven was tutored by Marie Bigot in Paris. The great writer Goethe may have been the first to compare Mendelssohn to Mozart when speaking with Mendelssohn’s other teacher, Zelter:

Rachel Bearinger

Buried dance treasures come to the surface for this year’s Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, entitled “Shall We Dance?” The festival’s artistic director, Hunter Capoccioni, writes, “In my mind, the ways in which music and dance overlap parallel the relationship of writing and language…Our theme this summer nods to dance and how it has shaped musical meaning through the ages.”

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is arguably the grandest, most recognizable symphony of all time. It was, and still is, unprecedented in its scale and presentation of musical themes. Throughout the symphony, he expressed ideas in the styles of nations who had been in conflict with one another. The work was also surprising in its transitions from key to key, the order of its movements, and its extreme contrasts between light and dark. The first three movements gradually build into a joyful finale sung by a massive choir and four vocal soloists.

Who was Frank Sinatra? One of America’s most treasured performers came from humble beginnings in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was the only son of Sicilian immigrant parents. His father was a city firefighter, and his mother was an amateur singer who often performed for social events. As Frank grew older, he became inspired by the likes of Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby, and decided to drop out of high school to become a singer himself. He sang in New Jersey night clubs and caught the attention of swing bandleaders.

Portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann

Though coffee consumption was illegal in much of Germany during his lifetime, the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach was a known frequenter of Leipzig’s many coffee houses. His famously exuberant personality could have easily been attributed to his avid coffee drinking. So enthusiastic was he about the beverage that he composed a secular cantata about it entitled “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Be still, stop chattering)” better known as the Coffee Cantata.

Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic is second only to the Mona Lisa in terms of significance. The Iowan artist was extremely appreciative of Midwest traditions and culture, which he celebrated in 1930 through American Gothic and many other works. The painting is often understood as a satirical comment on the Midwestern character, and is now firmly fixated in the nation’s pop culture. Yet Wood intended it to be a positive statement about rural American values and an image of reassurance at a time of great dislocation and disillusionment.

Rachel Bearinger

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre invaded Iowa Public Radio! Listen below for our podcast of performances and interviews from noon on Tuesday, June 13th featuring adventurous arias from the CROT’s production of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight!. The CROT’s cast features Nicole Besa, Rebecca Buechel, Lincoln Ginsberg, Ian Butler, Erin Persick, Emma Dickinson, Mitchell Gage, Wesley Frye, Nate Hill, and Kellen Schrimper.

One of the world’s most celebrated violinists hails from our own state of Iowa.

Robert Zimansky received his first instruction from John Ferrell at the University of Iowa. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas and Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1972, Zimansky packed up his violin and moved to Europe, where he became first concertmaster in Spoleto, Munich, Stuttgart, the Lucerne Festival and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva.

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.

In 1830, a young, dashing, rising star 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.

Courtesy of Texas Tenors

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 June and July Iowa Arts Showcase features:

·         Barbara Lounsberry and Mary Taylor, Steering Committee Members, reveling in this year’s Cedar Falls Authors Festival

·         Composer Michael Ching and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Artistic Director Daniel Kleinknecht filling us in on the CROT’s upcoming production of Speed Dating Tonight!

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.

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.

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