Classical

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:

Des Moines Metro Opera

Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April returns once again to showcase Opera performances in Iowa. The series kicks off with presentations of the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 42nd Festival Season on Saturday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 5 at 10:00 p.m. 

Red Cedar Chamber Music

A century ago, a couple named the Brintons from Washington, Iowa, assembled one of the world's great collections of silent films.

Robert Edward Thies

World-renowned Mexican-born conductor Jorge Mester takes the helm of the Des Moines Symphony in this special concert broadcast. Mester is the winner of the Ditson Conductor’s Award and is recognized for his leadership of the Aspen Music Festival. The concert opens with Debussy’s La Mer, one of Mester’s signature pieces. 

Sunday Baroque

 Suzanne Bona, flutist and host of Sunday Baroque, knows her Bach. In honor of his birthday, this Sunday from 8am to noon she's devoting her entire program to his music. Suzanne appreciates many different styles of Bach playing and has a keen ear for performances that turn out special. Which works and recordings will she choose? Tune in and find out!

Afterwards, Barney will host four hours of music that's NOT by Bach - although some of it will be by Bach's family members, predecessors and devotees. Stay tuned to hear that (and also, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony).

In researching two posts on copyright (one on a study of Italian opera composers, and the other on cases involving Jean Sibelius), I found it useful to make myself a simple chronological timeline of laws on copyright duration. Just in case you find it useful too, here it is:

http://web.stanford.edu/~pmoser/

Last week, a suit over a Marvin Gaye song put copyright into the headlines; but last year, the top copyright stories involved classical music. I wrote about one of those stories in a previous post, and now want to tell you about an even more memorable one.

Des Moines Metro Opera

Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April program is back with a month of exciting Iowa-produced operas. Our series features the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2014 summer season and productions by Luther College Opera and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. 

Jeremy Sawatzky

Orchestra Iowa’s “Old World Wonders” concert opens with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin. Originally written as a suite for piano, Ravel later orchestrated Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 4 to create his symphonic version. Internationally acclaimed cellist Joshua Roman joins the orchestra for Schumann’s lyrical and enigmatic Cello Concerto

Randy Darst

The wcfsymphony journeys from their typical venue in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center to Waterloo’s historic Brown Derby for a special performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Presented in its chamber arrangement, Jason Weinberger conducts the orchestra and performs the vocal solo from the fourth movement on clarinet. 

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:

dobrinka.com (Sussie Ahlburg)

   It's International Women's Day - and you can hear some great women musicians on IPR this afternoon! On my show until 4PM I'm focusing on music by women composers (with three exceptions: Bach, Mozart, and Brahms conducted by women in performances that can't be surpassed). Tune in - I guarantee you'll discover at least one new favorite piece! Meanwhile, on The Folk Tree, Karen Impola is focusing on female folk performers. 

Here are links to a couple of posts I wrote last year about women in classical music:

Tony in Devon on Wikimedia commons

Editor's Note (by Barney): In 1951, Dylan Thomas spent some time in Iowa. Two years later, his now-classic play Under Milk Wood premiered in New York City at the 92nd Street YNow, Susan Scheid, who spent some years in Iowa before moving to New York, tells us below about a Welsh composer who recently dared to set Under Milk Wood to music.

In their fifth collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Des Moines Symphony takes a look “Beyond the Score” of Beethoven’s dramatic Symphony No. 5

Our broadcast features the riveting second half performance of the piece, plus a recording of Beethoven’s First Symphony from the Des Moines Symphony’s 2003 Beethoven one to nine recording project. Tune in Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m. and Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. on Iowa Public Radio Classical.

Featuring:

Maestro Joseph Giunta, conductor

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

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