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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents the Orchestra Iowa Chamber's First 2013-2014 Concert

Credit 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.

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Classical
8:32 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Think Denk: Jeremy's Mozart from SF @7PM

Jeremy Denk, the endlessly fascinating MacArthur-winning pianist.
Credit 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.

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Iowa Arts Showcase February 2014
10:46 am
Mon February 3, 2014

February Iowa Arts Showcase Takes Center Stage Saturday, February 8

Cuban jazz pianist, Nachito Herrera, performs as the guest artist for University of Northern Iowa’s 2014 Tallcorn Jazz Festival.
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.  

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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
11:46 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Minghella's "Butterfly" @noon live from Met

Amanda Echalaz and Bryan Hymel in the Met's "Madame Butterfly"
Credit 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.

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Classical
9:27 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

My First Blog Post: "Not Dead Again"

Andy Doe's chart on "the crisis of classical music" - since 1324
Credit Andy Doe, properdiscord.com

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

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents wcfsymphony's "Opening-Night Gala" 2/2 and 2/3

Conor Hanick, Iowa native, plays John Adams' "Century Rolls" piano concerto as a guest with the wcfsymphony.
Credit 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." 

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Classical
2:55 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

94 Years After Death, Maud Powell Wins Grammy

The pioneering American violin great, Maud Powell
Credit 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.

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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
5:43 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

"Opal" Sneak Preview Live @Noon Today!

Pages from the diary of Opal Whitely, used as the basis of Robert Lindsey-Nassif's award-winning musical "Opal

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.

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Performance Iowa
6:00 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Performance Iowa Special: Live Sneak-Peek of Robert Lindsey Nassif's "Opal," Tuesday, 1/21 at noon

Pages from the diary of Opal Whitely, used as the basis of Robert Lindsey-Nassif's award-winning musical "Opal."

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. 

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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 14, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa presents Orchestra Iowa's "Bachtoberfest"

Credit 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. 

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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
11:14 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Salonen in Sibelius as CSO Moves to Friday!

Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Finnish composer and conductor.
Credit LA Philharmonic

Join us tonight at 7 as our  weekly Chicago Symphony Orchestra broadcast moves to a new time: Friday night. We're starting with an exceptional concert: the noted Finnish composer /conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen leads what may be our greatest orchestra (the CSO) in what may be the greatest symphony (the 7th) written by Salonen's greatest compatriot (Sibelius). Also, Yo-Yo Ma joins for the Cello Concerto by the great Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski, with whom Salonen worked closely for decades.

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Classical
6:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday, January 6, 2014

Grant Wood's American Gothic
Credit Wikipedia (Google Art Project)

On Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series’ encore broadcast Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7 p.m., Orchestra Iowa concludes their 2012-2013 symphonic season with the world-premiere of Michael Daugherty’s American Gothic. Michael Daugherty is a Cedar Rapids native and multiple Grammy-award winner. Orchestra Iowa commissioned this work, which was inspired by one of Grant Wood’s best-known paintings. Rachmaninov’s The Rock and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 complete the program.

  Featuring:

Timothy Hankewich, music director

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Symphonies of Iowa
6:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Symphonies of Iowa Encore Broadcast for Monday,December 30, 2013

Quad City Symphony Orchestra in concert
Credit Quad City Symphony Orchestra's Facebook page

On Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa series’ encore broadcast Monday, December 30, 2013 at 7 p.m., Maestro Mark Russell Smith leads the Quad City Symphony in the 100th anniversary performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which was first performed in 1913. This completes Maestro Smith’s cycle of Stravinsky ballets, which included Petrushka in 2009 and the Firebird in 2010. They also perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Featuring:

Mark Russell Smith, music director

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Classical Music in the Afternoon
4:13 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Favorite Classical CDs of 2013

When I spoke with Charity Nebbe about favorite classical CDs of 2013, time was short, so I cut my list to 10 that I thought might appeal to the widest range of listeners. But my actual list is much longer.

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Best Music Of 2013
4:03 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Top Folk and Classical Music of 2013

Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer were one of Karen Impola's top picks for 2013
candyschwartz

Host Charity Nebbe is joined by IPR music host Barney Sherman to talk about the top classical music of 2013, and Karen Impola talks about some of the best folk music of the year.  Listen to some excerpts and a little info about the artist and performances. Scroll down for the full list of selections.

Barney Sherman's top classical music: [NOTE: Barney's complete list of 28 CDs can be found at this link]:

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Classical
11:14 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Conrad Tao's Kennedy Tribute at 6 PM on PT

Conrad Tao, composer and pianist
Credit Lauren Farmer

Join us tonight at 6 PM to hear a new work written for the Dallas Symphony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The composer is Conrad Tao, the 19-year-old  American pianist/composer whose first CD is one of our picks-of-the-year. The work is titled The World Is Very Different Now and is performed by the Symphony and its music director, Jaap van Zweden.

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Classical
9:45 am
Wed December 11, 2013

2013's Top Classical CD's: Barney Talks w. Charity

Dawn Upshaw and Maria Schneider, "Winter Morning Walks" - one of our choices for best CDs of 2013.

Its' been a great year for classical CDs! At 10:30, Barney Sherman will share ten (plus one) of his picks of the year with Charity Nebbe on Talk of Iowa - and playing many more than ten on his show every afternoon. If you have any particular favorite classical CDs of the year, please let us know!

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Classical
5:07 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

"The Nutcracker": Join Us Behind the Scenes

Credit Michael O'Brien Photography from flickr.com

Join us Monday at 7PM for "A Journey Through the Nutcracker." James David Jacobs goes behind the scenes of Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, uncovering the secrets of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece with conductor Jonathan McPhee, cast members, and the audience at the Boston Opera House.

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Classical
3:51 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Sarah Jane McMahon on Performance Iowa

Soprano Sarah Jane McMahon
Credit Dan Jahn Photography

Tune in Sunday at noon to hear the Des Moines Metro Opera recital of Sarah Jane McMahon on Performance Iowa.  Sarah has sung recently with the San Francisco Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, and Wiener Konzert Haus, in addition to singing opposite Placido Domingo in a gala concert. She has received The New York Times Kolozsvar Award for her performance as Galatea in Handel's Acis and Galatea and received their praise as "the most polished and flexible singer in the cast" and a "silvery-voiced soprano." 

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Classical
8:57 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Met Returns with "Rigoletto," Saturday

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Matthew Polenzani in the Met's new production of "Rigoletto"
Credit Ken Howard/Met

Saturday at noon hear the Metropolitan Opera return to IPR with Verdi's Rigoletto.  Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, says the New York Times, brings "tragic stature" to the "oppressed" title character; he "claims this role on his own terms, infusing phrases with dusky richness and shaping melodic lines with  elegance." As his daughter, Irina Lungu conveys "restlessness and sensual yearning" with a voice of "bloom and warmth." Matthew Polenzani is the Duke, and the 35-year-old Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes what the Times calls "an auspicious Met d

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