Classical

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

wikipedia

Today at 2PM you have a rare chance to experience a live performance of Handel's great oratorio, "Esther." Then, stay after for a reception and meet IPR's  Jacqueline Halbloom and Curt Snook. In "Esther," Handel wrote some of his most inspiring music to tell the story of the Jewish Queen of Persia whose courageous action saved her people from genocide.

Orchestra Iowa

Featured members of Orchestra Iowa perform chamber pieces on this week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast. The concert opens with Prokofiev’s lyrical Sonata for Two Violins, Op. 56 featuring Madeline Capistran and Anita Tucker. 

Francaix’s contrastingly witty and sweet Quartet for English Horn, Violin, Viola, and Cello, with Jillian Camwell on English Horn, Capistran again on the violin, Lisa Ponton on the viola, and Carey Bostian on Cello. The concert concludes with Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59 No. 3 “Rasumovsky.”

Do classical players focus too much on the written notes for the good of the music? Simone Dinnerstein explained why she thinks so when we talked last week.

Roland Ferrie / UNI University Relations

Instead of disclosing their program in advance, the wcfsymphony shook things up in their “Surprise” concert by presenting a blank program and revealing their musical selections from the stage. The opening work by Ted Hearne was described as a “rambunctious piece…based entirely on a surprise musical trick,” later revealed as his Erasure Scherzo

MolinaVisuals

This week on Symphonies of Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony presents their “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons”all-Italian concert. Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino kicks off the concert with a powerful flourish. 

Chad Johnston

This week's Symphonies of Iowa broadcast features Orchestra Iowa’s “Symphonie Fantastique” concert. The concert opens with Schumann’s Manfred Overture, the incidental music to the poem Manfred by Lord Byron. 

Tony Dehner

The United States Air Force Midwest Winds Woodwind Quintet visited Studio One for a special live broadcast on Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at noon. Comprised of members of the USAF Band of Mid-America, the ensemble features Senior Airman Rachel Maclary, flute; Staff Sergeant Jennifer Kost, oboe; Senior Airman Craig Buying, clarinet; Senior Airman Sara Garing, bassoon; and Master Sergeant Peter Hensel, French Horn. 

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

Noah Henscheid

The wcfsymphony shares their Sounds American Festival with an exciting concert featuring a wide array of American musical styles. The program begins with Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony, which was inspired by the world’s hope for a brighter future during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. 

Julia Wesely

Join Iowa Public Radio and the Des Moines Symphony in kicking off their 2015 broadcast season of Symphonies of Iowa with the DMSO’s “Masterworks 1: Season Debut—The Firebird” concert. 

operaomnia

[UPDATED Jan 18: Expanded to include 36 publications and over 100 critics - yielding some new rankings:] What were the best classical releases of 2014? Don't ask me!- or any one person alone. After all, thousands of releases came out last year, and nobody had the time or money to listen to every contender. Besides, we're more likely to hear about artists from our own necks of the woods. And that neck is defined not only geographically but also musically, since most critics have specialized tastes and expertise. 

Nicholas Carlo

Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One presented a sneak peek on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 of the upcoming Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s weekend performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Nicholas Carlo

Iowa Public Radio is pleased to bring you a live broadcast of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The opera revolves around the womanizing scoundrel Don Giovanni (fashioned after the legendary Don Juan). The performance, under the baton of the CROT’s founder and artistic director Daniel Kleinknecht, along with University of Oklahoma professor and guest director William Ferrara, provides a mixture of comedy and tragedy. 

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