Classical

Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera

Tune in at noon to hear how Verdi improves on Shakespeare in the comic masterpiece Falstaff,  premiered when the composer was 80.  James Levine conducts Falstaff better than anyone else, and Robert Carsen's new Met production (updating the action to postwar England) is winning raves, as is Ambrogio Maestri - the 6' 5" Italian baritone who, says, the New York Times, "simply owns the role of Falstaff."

Lauren Farmer

Join us tonight at 6 PM to hear a new work written for the Dallas Symphony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The composer is Conrad Tao, the 19-year-old  American pianist/composer whose first CD is one of our picks-of-the-year. The work is titled The World Is Very Different Now and is performed by the Symphony and its music director, Jaap van Zweden.

Its' been a great year for classical CDs! At 10:30, Barney Sherman will share ten (plus one) of his picks of the year with Charity Nebbe on Talk of Iowa - and playing many more than ten on his show every afternoon. If you have any particular favorite classical CDs of the year, please let us know!

Michael O'Brien Photography from flickr.com

Join us Monday at 7PM for "A Journey Through the Nutcracker." James David Jacobs goes behind the scenes of Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, uncovering the secrets of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece with conductor Jonathan McPhee, cast members, and the audience at the Boston Opera House.

© St.Petersburg Contemporary Music Center "reMusik.org".

Join us Tuesday at 7PM to hear Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto played by Midori, and the "Fairytale Poem" for orchestra by one of today's great composers, Sofia Gubaidulina, in a concert from the Houston Symphony. The Russian master wrote her "Fairytale" during the Soviet era; its hero is a piece of chalk - who stands for "the creative artist's destiny." Also on the program is Rachmaninov's Symphony no. 2. Conducting is Andres Orozco Estrada, the young Columbian violinist and conductor whom Houston recently chose as its next Music Director.

Dan Jahn Photography

Tune in Sunday at noon to hear the Des Moines Metro Opera recital of Sarah Jane McMahon on Performance Iowa.  Sarah has sung recently with the San Francisco Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, and Wiener Konzert Haus, in addition to singing opposite Placido Domingo in a gala concert. She has received The New York Times Kolozsvar Award for her performance as Galatea in Handel's Acis and Galatea and received their praise as "the most polished and flexible singer in the cast" and a "silvery-voiced soprano." 

Mathias Borth/ DG

Tune in Sunday at 2PM as the legendary Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini performs the Mozart Piano Concerto no. 21 (the best-known of them all) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by music director Riccardo Muti. Also on the program is Schumann's Symphony no. 3, "The Rhenish," and music of Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Haydn.

Ken Howard/Met

Saturday at noon hear the Metropolitan Opera return to IPR with Verdi's Rigoletto.  Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, says the New York Times, brings "tragic stature" to the "oppressed" title character; he "claims this role on his own terms, infusing phrases with dusky richness and shaping melodic lines with  elegance." As his daughter, Irina Lungu conveys "restlessness and sensual yearning" with a voice of "bloom and warmth." Matthew Polenzani is the Duke, and the 35-year-old Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes what the Times calls "an auspicious Met d

c Mina artistbilder (courtesy Askonas Holt)

Join us tonight at 7 as soprano Miah Persson - a renowned interpreter of Bach and Mozart - sings Bach's dazzling Cantata 51 (with trumpet soloist Philip Smith) then joins a team of star soloists as the New York Philharmonic gives a "glowing" performance of Mozart's Requiem under Bernard Labadie (the adjective comes from The New York Times).

Marco Borggreve, courtesy www.yannicknezetseguin.com

The Philadelphia Orchestra is back in its glory, and its 38-year-old music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a big part of the reason.  Tonight at 7, hear the inspiring Canadian and the fabulous Philadelphians in a recent Carnegie Hall appearance. They perform Ravel's La Valse, Szymanowski's Violin Concerto (with Leonidas Kavakos), and the Shostakovich Fifth.

Houston Grand Opera

Join us at noon for the opera that changed music: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. As Tristan is no less than Ben Heppner, "open-hearted, in robust and thrilling voice… His Tristan is less a hero and more a tortured, troubled soul, filled with longing, pride, and confusion." As Isolde is Swedish soprano Nina Stemme, who "fascinates by her ability to combine vocal beauty with dramatic force."

Pull up a chair and grab a cup of hot chocolate as Iowa Public Radio's December Iowa Arts Showcase outlines details about several holiday musical offerings. John Cook, Minister of Music and Fine Arts at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, and freelance theater director Ron Gilbert share the background behind the church's production of The First Nowell by Vaughan Williams.

Margaretta Mitchell (used by permission)

Join us Friday night at 7 to hear one of the most talked-about works of the decade, John Adam's The Gospel According to the Other Mary.  Adams and his collaborator Peter Sellars, the path-breaking director, combine New Testament stories with contemporary Latin-American poetry, the approach they pioneered so successfully in El Niño. In this performance, Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic. PLEASE NOTE: To accommodate the full broadcast on Friday night, Exploring Music will begin an hour later than usual, at 10 PM.

Roger Mastroianni courtesy Arts Management Group

Tonight from 5-9 PM you can hear concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, and Vivaldi, in live concert performances by some of today's great soloists. First, during Performance Today, Dame Mitsuko Uchida performs Mozart's radiant Piano Concerto no. 23 in A, conducting the Cleveland Orchestra from the keyboard. Then Argentine legend Martha Argerich solos in Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 2 and Schumann's Piano Concerto.

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra

Featured on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series broadcast Monday, December 2, 2013 at 7 p.m. is the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s encore Classics 5 Russia’s Greatest performance. This performance includes music from three of Russia’s greatest composers. Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor has been praised for its robust melodies, and the Russian Easter Festival Overture and Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov are filled with joy and orchestral color.

Dan Jahn Photography

Join Iowa Public Radio in a special broadcast of the recital of renowned soprano Sarah Jane McMahon, at noon on both Friday November 29, 2013 and Sunday, December 8, 2013. 

Carl Bromberg / Visions Photography

Save a seat at your Thanksgiving table this year for Iowa Public Radio Classical, as we present a special broadcast featuring Orchestra Iowa's annual Brucemorchestra concert from 2013. This special will air on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, December 1, 2013 at noon. 

Noah Henscheid courtesy wcfsymphony @flick.com

Join us Monday at 7PM to explore The Planets, with the music of Gustav Holst  and insights from artist Gary Kelley and music director Jason Weinberger, who conducts the wcfsymphony. This Symphonies of Iowa rebroadcast was produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

MARTINŮ FESTTAGE on flckr.com

Tune in Sunday at 2pm as the Chicago Symphony explores Brahms. The esteemed Dutch maestro Bernard Haitink conducts the First  Symphony, and the phenomenal French brothers Renaud Capuçon on violin and Gautier Capuçon on cello perform the Double Concerto. The program begins with Haydn's so-called "Clock" symphony.

Friday is both the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and the 100th birthday of one of the greatest composers, Benjamin Britten. Join Barney Sherman and Fred Childs for music written by Britten (including the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and the Gloriana Courtly Dances, among others) and recordings showing his greatness as conductor and pianist in the music of Bach, Mozart, and others. Also, Fred has audio of the announcement of Kennedy's death to the audience at the Boston Symphony concert that afternoon - it is powerful - and Barney has the music played thereafter.

Felix Sanchez, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera

Join us Saturday as Trevor Pinnock conducts Mozart's "Don Giovanni" from the Houston Grand Opera. Adrian Eröd is the Don, Veronika Dzhioeva is Donna Elvira, and Morris Robinson is the Commendatore.

amandabhslater from flickr.com

If you like the rich, warm sound of the cello, tune in Thursday at 7 to hear a concerto for not one but three of them, by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The performance features three exceptional cellists - Alicia Weilerstein, Daniel Muller-Schott, and Carter Brey - and the New York Philharmonic led by Charles Dutoit. Also on the program is music of Ravel, and his orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

amandabhslater from flickr.com

If you like the rich, warm sound of the cello, tune in Thursday at 7 to hear a concerto for not one but three of them, by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki (you might remember him from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey). The performance features three exceptional cellists - Alicia Weilerstein, Daniel Muller-Schott, and Carter Brey - and the New York Philharmonic led by Charles Dutoit. Also on the program is music of Ravel, and his orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

British composer Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago this Friday, Nov. 22. Before you ask "Benja-who?" consider this: Did you see Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom last summer, or Pedro Almodovar's Talk to Her back a decade or so ago? (Well, maybe you have to be an art-house denizen for those.

Does anyone today play Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto better than Joshua Bell? Join us tonight at 7 to hear him with the Houston Symphony in a recent concert performance (also on the bill is music of Vaughan Williams, Elgar, and Mussorgsky, conducted by Lawrence Foster).

O'Neil Arnold

On Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7 p.m. Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series’ presents an encore broadcast of the wcfsymphony collaboration with artist Gary Kelley from the closer of their 2012-2013 season. Kelley’s original The Planets was created in 2007. The symphony brings a new light to Kelley’s project through their performance of Holst’s The Planets. Kelley also discusses his creative process.

Featuring:

Jason Weinberger, Artistic Director and CEO
Gary Kelley, artist 

Oleg Timofeyev

Join Barney Sherman Monday at 2PM as two of the world's foremost Russian guitarists perform LIVE in IPR's studios. Oleg Timofeyev is renowned internationally both as a performer and as a musicologist who has rediscovered lost repertory. Vadim Kolpakov is one of the most prominent Russian Roma (Gypsy) 7-string guitarists of our time; previously he was lead musician of the Moscow Roma Theatre Romen, where he performed as a guitarist, composer, vocalist, dancer and dramatic actor.

Felix Sanchez, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera

Love Handel? Tune in Saturday at noon to hear a star-studded cast headed by the great mezzo Susan Graham perform Handel's opera "Xerxes" from the Houston Grand Opera. The cast also includes such notables as David Daniels and Laura Claycomb.

Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Featured on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series broadcast Monday, November 18, 2013 at 7 p.m. is an encore performance by the Des Moines Symphony as they celebrate and honor their partnership and history with Drake University. The symphony began in 1937 as the Drake/Des Moines Symphony. Choirs from Drake University join with the Des Moines Symphony in this celebration of 75 years of rich music making.

Featuring:

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco from Daedalusquartet.com

Tune at 4PM to hear the Daedalus Quartet - whom the New Yorker called "a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets" - perform live in IPR's Studio One. The appearance is part of their week-long residency at the University of Iowa.

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