Classical

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.

Orchestra Iowa

Tune in Sunday at noon or Monday at 7PM as four Orchestra Iowa members perform overlooked gems by Mozart, Schubert and Faure. They start with an unfinished String Trio by the teenage Schubert, continue with a Piano Trio in C major that Mozart wrote while working on his "Jupiter" Symphony, then come together for a powerful Piano Quartet in G Minor by Faure, his second. The four superb soloists -  violinist Xian Meng, violist Lisa Ponton, cellist Carey Bostian, and pianist Miko Kominami  - were recorded last September as part of IPR's Symphonies of Iowa series.

Heartland Concert Artists

Join Jacqueline Halbloom at 5PM as Iowa Arts Showcase finds out about the Tallcorn Jazz Festival, a Kurt Weill show with poetry by Langston Hughes, and more.  We'll hear about the festival from a headliner, Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera, and from Chris Merz, UNI's Director of Jazz Studies. Celeste Bembry of UNI (who toured worldwide with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers) fills us in on Black History Month, and Bernard McDonald of Simpson tells us about their upcoming production of Weill's Street Scene.

Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

How do you top a Super Bowl triumph? Renee Fleming does it by returning to a signature role - the love-struck sprite Rusalka in Dvorak's beautiful opera. Saturday at noon you can hear it live from the Metropolitan Opera on IPR  - OR watch it live in HD video in theaters in Ames, Cedar Falls, Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Grinnell, and Iowa City.

Photo by Ciuin Ferrin; used with permission

With all eyes on Sochi, here's a little IPR extra for the ears: two masters of the Russian 7-string guitar, Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov, who came into our studios last November to play original and traditional music. They told me about composing Roma music in Moscow, performing with Eugene Hutz at Madonna's birthday party, and reading a scene in Dostoevsky that connects Roma and Klezmer musicians. And they demonstrated the special sound and style of their instruments.

Orchestra Iowa

The first Orchestra Iowa Chamber concert of the 2013-2014 season, entitled Fall Romance, includes the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms. This program features violinists Luke Witchger and Karla Galva, violists Lisa Ponton and Amanda Grimm, cellist Carey Bostian, bass Volkan Orhon, and Charles Harris on horn. Please join Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa for our broadcast of Orchestra Iowa’s Showcase Chamber Fall Romance performance.

Dennis Callahan

Last year,  Jeremy Denk won a MacArthur "Genius" fellowship, published a memoir in the New Yorker, signed a contract with Random House to expand that article into a book,  and - oh, yes - won a place on IPR's "Favorite Classical CDs of 2013" list for his recording of Bach's "Goldberg Variations." All of this makes us eager to hear him play one of Mozart's most celebrated piano concertos, no. 25 in C major.

Heartland Concert Artists

Iowa Public Radio’s February Edition of the Iowa Arts Showcase provides a front row seat to the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallcorn Jazz Festival and Sinfonian Dimensions in Jazz with guest artist Nachito Herrera. Iowa Public Radio’s Jacqueline Halbloom sits down with Herrera to discuss his early introduction to the world of classical and jazz piano along with his experience as an educator.  

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.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Anthony Minghella, after directing "The English Patient" and "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," turned his talents to Puccini's "Madame Butterfly"  - that "cross-cultural tragedy" of "devotion and irresponsibility and misunderstandings willful and innocent." Few operas are as difficult to bring off and Minghella's spare production made it "take wing." Hear it from the Met today at noon.

Andy Doe, properdiscord.com

Last month on Talk of Iowa, IPR’s Charity Nebbe hosted four Iowa music directors–

Josh Wool

The wcfsymphony takes the stage with flair in this week's Symphonies of Iowa on Iowa Public Radio. Special guest pianist and Iowa native Conor Hanick joins the orchestra to perform John Adams Century Rolls. Inspired by the edgy and rhythmic sound of piano rolls on a player-piano, the piano concerto quotes composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Gershwin, and Fats Waller amidst the musical image of an orchestra "aligned amongst the cogs and wheels of a bustling rhythmic machine." 

94 Years After Death, Maud Powell Wins Grammy

Jan 26, 2014
Maud Powell Society

This year at the Grammy Awards, Lifetime Achievement awards are going to bands like The Beatles and The Isley Brothers — long overdue, you could say. But they look like young punks next to another Lifetime Achievement recipient: Maud Powell.

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.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Flu kept Russian mega-diva Anna Netrebko from opening the Met's "Elixir of Love" earlier this month - but she's back, and, says the New York Times, she's "right in the zone, singing with plushness, brilliance and spontaneity. She truly inhabited the role of Adina." And Netrebko's ex, bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, "stole every scene he was in" as the quack doctor who tries to peddle snake oil in her little town.

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

Join us at noon for a live sneak preview of Opal, by Iowa’s own Robert Lindsey-Nassif - who has composed eight new songs  for his acclaimed musical and re-orchestrated it for its Midwest premiere (at CSPS in Cedar Rapids). Jacqueline Halbloom will host Robert and members of the cast; they'll perform selections and tell us more about the story of Opal Whitely, who was orphaned in a shipwreck and raised in an Oregon lumber camp, and grew up to be a well-known nature writer.

In Iowa Public Radio's Studio One, Robert Lindsey-Nassif and members of the CSPS Opal cast along with Iowa Public Radio’s Jacqueline Halbloom explore Lindsey Nassif’s critically-acclaimed musical, Opal. Iowa native Lindsey-Nassif, the composer, librettist, and director shares the background behind this unique riches-to-rags story of Opal Whiteley, a seven-year-old girl orphaned in a ship wreck and raised in an Oregon lumber camp. 

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. 

Orchestra Iowa

Join us Monday at 7PM as the 2013-2014 Symphonies of Iowa season opens with Orchestra Iowa's "Bachtoberfest." The concert, which pays tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach, opens with his Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, originally for organ but orchestrated by Lucien Cailliet. It is followed by a  tribute to the master by Timothy Kramer, BACH meets EsCHer. It closes with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, the"Reformation," which was strongly influenced by that composer's love of Bach. 

Felix Broede via Deutsche Grammophon

Tune in at 5 PM Tuesday to hear the pianist everyone is talking about playing Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven - and to learn how to pronounce his name! Rafal Blechacz (who won all five first prizes at the International Chopin Competion in 2005) was just named the 2014 Gilmore Artist. What's unique about this $300,000 award, given every four years, is that recipients don't even know they are under consideration until they win. Also, in the second hour of PT, hear Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform Beethoven's Second Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Join us Saturday at noon to hear the Met production everyone's talking about: a Klimt-inspired update of Johann Strauss Jr.'s screwball farce "Die Fledermaus." A new English translation features jokey rhymes and topical swipes, and Broadway's Danny Burstein brings on the shtick as Frosch, the tipsy jailer. This being the Met, you can count on glorious voices and, from the orchestra, a "honeyed tone" (New York Times).

Saverio Truglia from pacificaquartet.com

If you haven't discovered our Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center broadcast Saturdays at 1oAM, you might want to check out this week's broadcast of Czech masters. First, the pioneering Bohemian Bedrich Smetana is represented by his Piano Trio- written in memory of his eldest daughter - played by acclaimed violinist Cho-Liang Lin and husband and wife David Finckel and Wu Han. Then the adventurous Moravian Leos Janacek is represented by his Second String Quartet - his "manifesto on love" - performed by one of the world's foremost string quartets, the Pacifica.

first chair promo

Join us Thursday at 7PM as Esa-Pekka Salonen - the Finn who resigned as conductor of the LA Philharmonic so he could get back to composing - leads the New York Philharmonic in Ravel's Mother Goose, the Sibelius Fifth Symphony, and Salonen's own Violin Concerto. The soloist is MacArthur "genius" Leila Josefowicz, who premiered the work in LA. The Sibelius, said the New York Times, was "revelatory" and the Salonen? It was "inspired." Hear it for yourself!

Uwe Arens courtesy Universal Music Group

Join us Wednesday at 7PM as Julia Fischer - a great violinist and superb pianist - shows yet another skill, conducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in Richard Strauss's profound Metamorphosen and Arnold Schoenberg's Transfigured Night. Oh, yes - she also plays the violin, soloing in the first violin concertos of both Bach and Mozart, and in some Paganini solo caprices.

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:

Matthew Murphy from imaniwinds.com

Join Fred Child Tuesday at 6PM as the ever-innovate Imani Winds come into the studio to perform a work by member Valerie Coleman, "Red Clay and Mississippi Delta," as well as music by Wayne Shorter and Jason Moran.  There's also some terrific Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and more!

Orchestra Iowa

Tune in Monday at 7PM to hear a musical high point of 2013: Orchestra Iowa's world premiere of "American Gothic," which it commissioned from composer Michael Daugherty. A Cedar Rapids native who has won international fame and multiple Grammy awards, Daugherty took his inspiration from the art of another Cedar Rapids native, Grant Wood. Orchestra Iowa is just now releasing a CD of the work, but you can re-audition the concert premiere on this Symphonies of Iowa rebroadcast, which also includes the Dvorak 7th Symphony and Rachmaninoff's The Rock. 

Harald Hoffman/ Deutsche Grammophon courtesy Askonia Holts

Join us at 2PM for our weekly broadcast from Austria's Salzburg Festival. Today's artists are the Simon Bolivar Quartet - an internationally renowned product of "El Sistema," the Venezuelan charity that uses classical-music training to "rescue young people in extremely impoverished circumstances." On the program is Ravel's gentle String Quartet, Shostakovich's powerful Eighth Quartet, and more - including some encore Mozart from pianist Alfred Brendel.

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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