Classical

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.

Rachel Barton Pine spoke to me in January about her new Mozart concerto set - and since then it has earned great reviews and been chosen as one of our $15/month pledge premiums. The Telegraph said that Rachel's playing reveals "subtleties alongside the grace and exuberance that render the music endlessly fascinating and appealing"; it also praised the "ever-stylish" Sir Neville Marriner and his Academy of St.

Join Suzanne Bona & Barney Sherman on Sunday starting at 11AM for an on-air Bach Party. They'll share some of their favorite Bach recordings - and also some of yours! For the broadcast, Suzanne will pre-empt the last hour of Sunday Baroque, and co-host with Barney until 1 PM; then he'll continue until 4. Do you have a special favorite Bach recording? Let us know what it is and why you like it. Email classical@iowapublicradio.org (put "Bach Favorite" or something like that in the subject line), or go to our Facebook post about the Bach Favorites Party and comment there.

Uriel Tsachor

Join Iowa Public Radio on Sunday, April 19 at 4:00 p.m. and Monday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. for Orchestra Iowa’s “Beethoven and the Bard” concert. The program opens with a famous overture by Mendelssohn, his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written at the age of seventeen. 

Des Moines Metro Opera

This week on Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April, the Des Moines Metro Opera provides glorious singing and musical mayhem with Rossini’s comedic Le Comte Ory. Their 42nd Festival Season production of Le Comte Ory will air at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

Join the wcfsymphony as they explore the mystery of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" in their "Imagine" concert. Left incomplete after only two movements, Schubert's work is considered one of the first Romantic symphonies because of its expressive melodies. The wcfsymphony combines the symphony with Schubert’s sketch for a third movement, a Scherzo, finished by Brian Newbold. The concert closes with Schubert’s Entr’acte No.

Nick Carlo

Thirteen-year-old piano prodigy Emily Bear has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, and many other venues across the globe, and has now added Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One to the list. Listen below to a special interview and performance with the rising star.  

Des Moines Metro Opera

This week’s Arias in April features Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, performed by the Des Moines Metro Opera as part of their 42nd Festival Season, airing at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11 and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 12.

Nick Schumacher

We hope you'll take the time to listen to this special interview and performance by acclaimed composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain recorded in Studio One. Roumain has debuted new works at Carnegie Hall and has been commissioned by the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, and more. His works have been performed by orchestras around the world and he has been an artist-in-residence at numerous institutions.

Orchestra Iowa (Facebook page)

The Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players bring small ensemble music to life this week with their “Madness & Musings” concert. The concert opens with Corelli’s “La Folia” sonata, featuring Orchestra Iowa concertmaster candidate Beth Larson on violin, principal cellist Carey Bostian, and principal keyboardist Miko Kominami on harpsichord. 

emilybear.com

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:

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