Iowa Arts Showcase

Christian Steiner

With school back in session, Iowa arts events are revving up all across the state. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Two upcoming Iowa State Center events, with Iowa State Center’s Outreach Coordinator, Sara Compton, and ISU’s Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Dr. James Rodde
  • An overview of the wcfsymphony’s 2015-2016 season with its music director and conductor, Jason Weinberger
  • The Final Thursday Reading series, with co-coordinator and UNI Associate Professor of Language and Literature, Jim O’Loughlin
  • The Red Cedar Chamber Music’s upcoming season, with founders and artistic directors, flutist Jan Boland and guitarist, John Dowdall
  • And composer, Middlebury professor, and former KUNI Public Radio and Iowa Public television host, Peter Hamlin, on his newest work commissioned by the Des Moines Symphony to commemorate the Iowa State Fair
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.
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
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

Looking for fun things to do while avoiding those dreary April showers? Take a listen to the April Iowa Arts Showcase for many arts and music options, including:

While we may need to wait a little longer for spring, this month’s Iowa Arts Showcase includes plenty of events to get you through the last weeks of winter. You can now listen to the show right here, along with interview segments with composer Jake Heggie.

The March showcase includes:

Iowa State University

While we may need to wait a little longer for spring, this month’s Iowa Arts Showcase includes plenty of events to get you through the last weeks of winter. The March showcase includes:

  • Chuck Ginnever’s traveling “Rashomon” sculpture collection, currently located in the courtyard of Iowa State University’s Food Science Building, with Iowa State’s Campus Outreach and Exhibition Coordinator, Kate Greder and ISU’s Museum Interpretation Specialist Dave Faux
  • Pianist Joel Fan, sharing details about his upcoming performances with the Quad City Symphony
  • The 2015 Iowa Composers Forum Spring New Music Festival, with UNI Theory and Composition Professors Alan Schmitz and Jonathan Schwabe coordinated with a visit by internationally acclaimed composer Jake Heggie
  • Jerry Owen, Coe College Professor of Music Emeritus, touting his 70th Birthday Celebration Concert
  • And the 10th Annual Mission Creek Festival, with co-founder and director Andre Perry

Simpson College Opera

February brings more than just Valentine’s Day this year, with a medley of arts events across the state. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Simpson College Opera’s Spring production of “La Calisto” with Simpson’s Assistant Professor of Music, Dr. Bernard McDonald and Simpson Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Jennifer Williams Brown
  • University of Northern Iowa’s Tallcorn Jazz Festival and 64th Annual Sinfonian Dimension in Jazz Concert, with UNI Director of Jazz Studies, Chris Merz, and Tallcorn Jazz Festival Chairman, Paul Lichty
  • Des Moines Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Fine Arts Series, featuring Katori Hall’s play “The Mountaintop” produced by John Cook, Minister of Music and Fine Arts
  • The new Iowa-based non-profit musical consortium, ConcertIA, and their performances of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” with artistic director Shari Rhoads
  • And the upcoming State Symphony of Mexico concert presented by Iowa State Center with Sara Compton, Iowa State Center Outreach Coordinator, and Karl Gwiasda, President of the Ames International Orchestra Festival Association board

Iowa State Center

Updated 1/30/2015: André Watts, interviewed prior to his planned performance with the Des Moines Civic Music Association, will be unable to perform on the 31st due to a sudden illness. The Civic Music Association is coordinating further details. The original post continues below.

Ring in the New Year with a host of Iowa arts events around the state. The January Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Dr. Don Simonson, ISU’s Professor of Music and Voice Division Chair, and Sara Compton, the Outreach Coordinator for Iowa State Center, talking about the Metropolitan Opera National Council Iowa District Auditions
  • Captain Jason Plosch, Commander and Conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America from the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, discussing upcoming Iowa concerts featuring the Midwest Winds Woodwind Quintet
  • Operatic star Sydney Mancasola, sharing details about her career and her January 11th recital hosted by the Des Moines Metro Opera Guild
  • Internationally acclaimed pianist, André Watts, outlining his upcoming January performance celebrating  the 90th Anniversary of the Des Moines Civic Music Association
  • And William Ferrara, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s guest stage director, revealing details about the CROT’s January production of Mozart’s, Don Giovanni.

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 Times as one of the 10 best children’s books of the year
Dan Eldon

As you start to plan for Thanksgiving, prepare to mark your calendars with these exciting arts events already happening this month in Iowa. The November Iowa Arts Showcase features:

·         Kathy Eldon on the life and photographs of her son, Dan Eldon, currently on display at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in “The Restless Spirit: American Art from the Collection”

·         Iowa Public Radio’s producer Tony Dehner delving into the Cedar Valley House Concerts, hosted by Darice Mangin.

Jamie Horter

All the fall arts events are in full swing this month as we bring you another edition of the Iowa Arts Showcase on Iowa Public Radio Classical. October features:

  • Carl Homstad, artist and participant in the Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour
  • Patrick Hicks, author and guest of the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education
  • Bernard McDonald and Jennifer Nostrala, directors of Simpson College’s production of “Carousel”
  • Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Beatrice Rana
  • Steve Carignan, executive director of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

As summer winds down, Iowa’s arts scene is gearing up for another year of unforgettable performances. The September Iowa Arts Showcase outlines:

  • The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season, with Maestro Joseph Giunta
  •  The Iowa Composers Forum’s Fall Festival Concert on October 4, with ICF President and Luther College Resident Composer Brooke Joyce
  • The Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s 100th Anniversary Season, with executive director Ben Loeb
  • UNI’s William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series, with acclaimed director and guest Lucy Walker
  • Hancher Auditorium’s 2014-15 season, with executive director Chuck Swanson

State Historical Museum of Iowa

With the new school year and opening artist series performances gracing stages all across the state, Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase wants you to be in the right place at the right time. This month’s features include:

  • Iowa State Historical Society’s “Hollywood in the Heartland” exhibit, with curator Leo Landis
  • The wcfsymphony’s upcoming 2014-15 concerts, with their conductor Jason Weinberger;
  • The Silver Anniversary of the Hearst Center for the Arts, with UNI Professor Emeritus, Dr. George F. Day chatting about poet James Hearst;
  • C.Y. Stephens’ Artist Series for their 2014-15 season, with Patti Cotter,  Development and Sponsorship Manager, and Sara Compton, Programming Outreach Coordinator;
  • And Orchestra Iowa’s upcoming 2014-15 season, with their music director Tim Hankewich.