Iowa ensembles

News
5:30 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Star-Spangled Birthday

Joseph Giunta conducts the Des Moines Symphony
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

One week from today (Sept. 12), a commemoration begins for the song most-identified with America. It’s the bicentennial of the Star-Spangled Banner and Iowans are getting ready for the nationwide observance. IPR’s Rick Fredericksen has the story, with a technical assist from John Pemble.

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Classical
1:45 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Hear "Brucemorchestra! An American Salute" Live TONIGHT at 7:00

Conductor Tim Hankewich and Orchestra Iowa perform on the lawn of Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids for Brucemorchestra 2012.
Credit Carl Bromberg / Visions Photography

Live from the front lawn of Brucemore mansion in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa is pleased to bring you Orchestra Iowa’s Brucemorchestra! An American Salute concert on Sunday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m. 

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Classical
7:26 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

September IAS Features Symphony Seasons, Iowa Composers Forum Concert, Documentary Series, and more!

Maestro Joseph Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.
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

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Classical
3:52 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

August IAS brings in "Hollywood in the Heartland" exhibit, wcfsymphony, C.Y. Stephens, OI, and more!

A still from "The Music Man," featured in the "Hollywood in the Heartland" exhibit.
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.
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Classical
12:57 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Iowa's Symphonies Make Their Own Music This Season With New Commissions

Composer Steve Heitzeg with Maestro Joseph Giunta after the Des Moines Symphony premiers Heitzeg’s work “Symphony In Sculpture”. The Des Moines Symphony has commissioned Heitzeg to compose a sequel to that work this season.

Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa showcases an encore broadcast of the wcfsymphony’s “Spaces: Mahler 1 and World Premiere” concert this week. The program, which includes two Canzon by Gabrieli and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 also features the world premiere of a new work by composer Brooke Joyce called Une Cité Moderne. Brooke currently serves as the Composer-in-Residence at Luther College and is the newly elected president of the Iowa Composers Forum.

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Classical
1:51 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

July IAS spotlights Nordic Fest, Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, UI Summer Opera, and more!

Decorah's junior "Nordic Dancers" taking part in the Grand Parade at Nordic Fest
Ellen Macdonald

Tune in to Iowa Public Radio Classical as you pack the van for this summer’s music festival offerings. Arts events featured on this month’s Iowa Arts Showcase include: 

  • Nordic Fest, with Martha Griesheimer and Randy Schissel
  • Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, with Hunter Cappoccioni
  • University of Iowa Summer Opera’s production of “Patience,” with Nicholas Wuehrmann
  • And Sleepy Bones Allison, aspiring middle school blues guitarist

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Classical
4:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Live Broadcast of Des Moines Symphony's annual Yankee Doodle Pops

Maestro Joseph Giunta conducts the Des Moines Symphony on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol.
Credit Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Live from the West Terrace of Iowa’s State Capitol, Iowa Public Radio Classical is pleased to present the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s 21st annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert on Thursday, July 3, 2014.

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Classical
6:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Mikado Mayhem: Live from Studio One with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre!

Cast members of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre swing by Studio One: (from L to R) pianist Tony Nickle, Lauren Henderson-Turner, Arthur Beutel, Jessica Pray, Robin Bradley, Heather Youngquist, Daniel Lopez, and director John Hollins.

Iowa Public Radio Classical recently headed to Studio One with singers from the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Mikado production. The Young Artist cast, along with conductor John Hollins and pianist Tony Nickle, performed selections from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta while giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of their upcoming performances at the historic Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids. 

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Classical
4:45 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Performs Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Dubuque Symphony Orchestra

Jon Nakamatsu, 1997 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, performs Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra on Iowa Public Radio's Symphonies of Iowa.
Credit Sarah Shatz

To become a Van Cliburn gold medalist, what kind of piano should you learn on? Steinway? Yamaha? Jon Nakamatsu’s international career began on the keys of a humble toy organ. Concerned that at the age of four he would never be serious about playing the piano, Jon’s parents did not want to invest in an expensive instrument he would not use. Jon steps up to perform one of the most challenging pieces in the piano repertoire with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.

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Classical
3:20 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

June Showcase Hosts Sister Prejean and Jake Heggie, CROT's "Mikado", the 5 Seasons Chamber, & more!

An instructor works with a group of harpists in a workshop at the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival

School is out for the summer with just enough time to catch up on arts events across the state on Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase. Our June edition features:

  • Sister Helen Prejean, humanitarian, author, and activist, discussing the evolution of her “Dead Man Walking,”
  • Michael Gilbertson, Artistic Director of ChamberFest Dubuque, discussing the evolution of his “Juilliard in June” program into the new multiple concert series and workshop event.
  • Daniel Kleinknecht, artistic director of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, talking about the CROT’s“Mikado”  production,
  • Stephanie Wagor, festival artistic director, and Jason Weinberger, conductor and chamber music coach, sharing details about the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival
  • And composer Jake Heggie, talking about the unusual circumstances of his first opera based on Sister Helen Prejean’s book.
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Classical
11:41 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Hear as the WCFSymphony "takes us there"

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Join us tonight at 7PM to hear the wcfsymphony premiere a work by Decorah-based composer Brooke Joyce and perform Mahler's First Symphony. Below are my impressions of the April concert (which I posted here on April 9th) - tune in and see what YOU think!

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Classical
9:12 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Sirota+Brahms from wcfso, Monday 7 PM

Violist Nadia Sirota
Credit Samantha West

Violist Nadia Sirota - a leading advocate of new music, and former student of Jason Weinberger - recently joined the WCFSymphony to perform "beautiful music of a higher order than anything else you will hear this year" - works written for her by Judd Greenstein and Daniel Bjarnson. Then Weinberger led the orchestra in the sumptuous (but violin-free) Serenade no. 2 of Brahms. Hear the concert on Symphonies of Iowa, Sunday at 12 noon or Monday at 7 PM on IPR Classical. 

 

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Classical
10:26 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Concert review: wcfsymphony takes us there...

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
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Classical
9:49 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Pianist Joyce Yang

Joyce Yang
Credit KT Kim / www.pianistjoyceyang.com

Back by popular demand from last season, Iowa Public Radio presents the Symphonies of Iowa series, showcasing the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s Grieg Piano Concerto and Mahler 5 concert on Sunday, March 30 at noon and Monday, March 31 at 2 p.m. On this program, the Des Moines Symphony presents one of the most beloved and recognizable works of all time, Greig’s Piano Concerto, performed by guest artist and Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Joyce Yang.

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Classical
2:38 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

April IAS, featuring the Metropolitan Chorale, Judicaël Perroy, Vadym Kholodenko, and more!

Judicaël Perroy, Parisian classical guitarist, performs in Des Moines this month.

Stay dry this April as Iowa Public Radio kicks off another Iowa Arts Showcase. This month our features include:

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Classical
10:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Mozart Soiree from WCFSO @7 PM

Travel back in time tonight to hear the WCFSymphony's re-creation of  a Mozart soiree, recorded live at Waterloo’s newly-restored Brown Derby Ballroom. The elegant interior was the perfect setting for an array of Mozartian gems, culminating in the Symphony no. 40. Soloists included soprano Suzanne Lommler and Artistic Director Jason Weinberger on clarinet. Jacqueline Halbloom hosts this Symphonies of Iowa broadcast.

Classical
10:51 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Iowa Orchestras Make Music - about Iowa

Composer Jacob Bancks (of Augustana College in the Quad Cities)

Iowa's orchestras are commissioning works about Iowa; but how can music without words convey anything about a place? Some examples:

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Classical
5:44 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Kristallnacht Commemoration Monday @7

Children at the Terezin death camp
Credit Orchestra Iowa

If you missed wcfsymphony’s deeply moving commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the pogrom that marked the beginning of the Final Solution, join us for a rebroadcast Monday night. On the broadcast, music director Jason Weinberger (who conceived of and organized the event) tells Jacqueline Halbloom about his grandparents, all four of whom survived Nazi camps.

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents wcfsymphony's Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass Concert

Jason Weinberger in rehearsal with wcfsymphony.
Credit wcfsymphony

Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa presents a collaborative performance spearheaded by the wcfsymphony and the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at noon and Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7 p.m. Jason Weinberger, wcfsymphony’s artistic director and CEO, shares the stories about his two sets of grandparents and their survivals in Nazi camps during the Holocaust and his deep interest in music connected to those unspeakable times.

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Classical
8:36 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Tallis Fantasia, Scottish Fantasy from DMSO

The Des Moines Symphony and Joseph Giunta in a warmer, dryer season!
Credit Des Moines Symphony

Hear Joe Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and a lesser-known gem, based on Scottish folk melodies, Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. The soloist in the Bruch is the award-winning young Japanese violinist Fumiaki Miura. Also on the program: Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier suite. The broadcast, on Sunday at 12 noon and Monday at 7PM, is part of our Symphonies of Iowa series, produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents DMSO's Scottish Fantasy and Rosenkavalier Concert

Credit S. Takehana

  Join Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa for the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s performance with Fumiaki Miura, a young Japanese violinist as he makes his debut with the Des Moines Symphony.  Miuara, winner of the international Joseph Joachim Violin Competition will join the symphony for an inspiring performance of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Also included on this program is Strauss’s romantic Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.

Featuring:
Joseph Giunta, conductor
Fumiaki Miura, guest violin

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Classical
10:15 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa on IPR: Season List

October-December 2014 SYMPHONIES OF IOWA Broadcasts:

October 6, 2014: Broadcast of Orchestra Iowa's "Resurrection." Recorded March 8, 2014.

October 13, 2014: Broadcast of the Des Moines Symphony's "The Moldau & Dvorak." Recorded March 15 and 16, 2014.

October 20, 2014: Broadcast of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony's "Spaces: Mahler 1 and World Premiere." Recorded April 5, 2014.

October 27, 2014: Broadcast of the Des Moines Symphony's "Giunta Conducts Beethoven: 'Eroica.'" Recorded April 12 and 13, 2014.

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Classical
7:13 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Reich, Adams, Ravel & LvB from wcfso

Gifted young pianist Conor Hanick, who was born and trained in Iowa City.

The wcfsymphony took risks in this year's season opener - and they worked! Hear the result as conductor Jason Weinberger solos on clarinet in Steve Reich’s pulsating New York Counterpoint, Iowa-born pianist Conor Hanick plays John Adams’ Century Rolls, and the orchestra rocks Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory and Ravel’s Bolero. Hear the concert Monday at 7PM on Symphonies of Iowa, hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

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Classical
4:54 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

To Russia with Giunta & Ilya from Des Moines

The award-winning young Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev.
Credit Courtesy the artist

Join us tonight at 7 PM as Joseph Giunta begins his 25th season leading the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra with an all-Russian program. It features his favorite post-Romantic symphony - Rachmaninov's Second- plus the return to Des Moines of  Ilya Yakushev, a prize-winning Russian pianist, who plays Prokofiev's scintillating Third Concerto. The broadcast is part of our Symphonies of Iowa series, produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

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Classical Music
5:18 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Iowa Symphonies Evolve to Survive

Orchestra Iowa

When Barney Sherman started planning his career in classical music, his supervisor told him, “Don’t even think about it, classical music is dying…the stations are closing, everyone’s looking for another career, it’s over.” But, 23 years later, Sherman is a Senior Music Producer at Iowa Public Radio, and Iowa’s classical industry is thriving.

Not that Iowa’s symphonies have not gone through some evolution.

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents DMSO's "From Russia With Ilya" 1/26 and 1/27

Internationally renowned pianist, Ilya Yakushev performs with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.

This week on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa, internationally renowned pianist Ilya Yakushev takes the stage with Maestro Joseph Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in their 76th season debut program, From Russia With Ilya

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Classical
8:00 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Carmen LIVE from Cedar Rapids Sunday, 2PM

Janara Kellerman as Carmen in the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's new production
Credit Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

Join us Sunday to hear Bizet's Carmen in the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's new production live from the Paramount. Iowa native Janara Kellerman sings the title role of the gypsy seductress, Alok Kumar plays the love-struck Don José, and baritone Philip Torre appears as the toreador Escamillo. Music director Daniel Kleinknecht conducts Orchestra Iowa, and Jacqueline Halbloom hosts this live Performance Iowa special. 

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, January 13, 2014

Guest Pianist Joyce Yang
Credit Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Concluding the encore portion of Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa 2013-2014 season on Monday, January 14, 2014 at 7 p.m., the Des Moines Symphony presents one of the most beloved and recognizable works of all time, Greig’s Piano Concerto, performed by guest artist Joyce Yang. As a Van Cliburn Silver Medalist, Ms. Yang’s performances capture audiences and leave them breathless. Also included on this program is the famous tone poem Finlandia, by Sibelius and Mahler’s poetic Symphony No. 5.

  Featuring:

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Classical
5:27 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Iowa Arts Showcase Saturday at 11 and 5

A scene from "Opal" by Robert Linsdsey-Nassif
Credit Lyric Stage Company, Dallas, TX

Join host Jacqueline Halbloom for this month's Iowa Arts Showcase at 11Am or 5PM. Her guests include Iowa native Robert Lindsay-Nassif, speaking about his acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, Opal, to be produced this month in Cedar Rapids.

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Classical
12:22 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Cedar Rapids' "Frankenboy": On Now!

Tune in now for Iowa Public Radio’s special New Year's broadcast of FRANKENBOY!  from the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. This children's work by  Iowa composer Robert Lindsey-Nassif tells the story of Melvin Frankenstein and his first day at Transylvania Middle School. It delights children while teaching them about avoiding bullying and tolerating diversity.

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