Classical

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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]:

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.

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!

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.

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

Marco Borggreve, courtesy www.yannicknezetseguin.com

The Philadelphia Orchestra is back in its glory, and its 38-year-old music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a big part of the reason.  Tonight at 7, hear the inspiring Canadian and the fabulous Philadelphians in a recent Carnegie Hall appearance. They perform Ravel's La Valse, Szymanowski's Violin Concerto (with Leonidas Kavakos), and the Shostakovich Fifth.

Roger Mastroianni courtesy Arts Management Group

Tonight from 5-9 PM you can hear concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, and Vivaldi, in live concert performances by some of today's great soloists. First, during Performance Today, Dame Mitsuko Uchida performs Mozart's radiant Piano Concerto no. 23 in A, conducting the Cleveland Orchestra from the keyboard. Then Argentine legend Martha Argerich solos in Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 2 and Schumann's Piano Concerto.

MARTINŮ FESTTAGE on flckr.com

Tune in Sunday at 2pm as the Chicago Symphony explores Brahms. The esteemed Dutch maestro Bernard Haitink conducts the First  Symphony, and the phenomenal French brothers Renaud Capuçon on violin and Gautier Capuçon on cello perform the Double Concerto. The program begins with Haydn's so-called "Clock" symphony.

Friday is both the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and the 100th birthday of one of the greatest composers, Benjamin Britten. Join Barney Sherman and Fred Childs for music written by Britten (including the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and the Gloriana Courtly Dances, among others) and recordings showing his greatness as conductor and pianist in the music of Bach, Mozart, and others. Also, Fred has audio of the announcement of Kennedy's death to the audience at the Boston Symphony concert that afternoon - it is powerful - and Barney has the music played thereafter.

amandabhslater from flickr.com

If you like the rich, warm sound of the cello, tune in Thursday at 7 to hear a concerto for not one but three of them, by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The performance features three exceptional cellists - Alicia Weilerstein, Daniel Muller-Schott, and Carter Brey - and the New York Philharmonic led by Charles Dutoit. Also on the program is music of Ravel, and his orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

amandabhslater from flickr.com

If you like the rich, warm sound of the cello, tune in Thursday at 7 to hear a concerto for not one but three of them, by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki (you might remember him from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey). The performance features three exceptional cellists - Alicia Weilerstein, Daniel Muller-Schott, and Carter Brey - and the New York Philharmonic led by Charles Dutoit. Also on the program is music of Ravel, and his orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

British composer Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago this Friday, Nov. 22. Before you ask "Benja-who?" consider this: Did you see Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom last summer, or Pedro Almodovar's Talk to Her back a decade or so ago? (Well, maybe you have to be an art-house denizen for those.

Does anyone today play Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto better than Joshua Bell? Join us tonight at 7 to hear him with the Houston Symphony in a recent concert performance (also on the bill is music of Vaughan Williams, Elgar, and Mussorgsky, conducted by Lawrence Foster).

Oleg Timofeyev

Join Barney Sherman Monday at 2PM as two of the world's foremost Russian guitarists perform LIVE in IPR's studios. Oleg Timofeyev is renowned internationally both as a performer and as a musicologist who has rediscovered lost repertory. Vadim Kolpakov is one of the most prominent Russian Roma (Gypsy) 7-string guitarists of our time; previously he was lead musician of the Moscow Roma Theatre Romen, where he performed as a guitarist, composer, vocalist, dancer and dramatic actor.

Felix Sanchez, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera

Love Handel? Tune in Saturday at noon to hear a star-studded cast headed by the great mezzo Susan Graham perform Handel's opera "Xerxes" from the Houston Grand Opera. The cast also includes such notables as David Daniels and Laura Claycomb.

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco from Daedalusquartet.com

Tune at 4PM to hear the Daedalus Quartet - whom the New Yorker called "a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets" - perform live in IPR's Studio One. The appearance is part of their week-long residency at the University of Iowa.

Tune in from noon to 1:30PM for a Veterans Day rebroadcast of this year's Yankee Doodle Pops concert from Des Moines.  The Des Moines Symphony and Joseph Giunta perform favorites celebrating America's many facets, and the concert culminates with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture complete with Howitzer canons provided by the Iowa National Guard. The broadcast, hosted by IPR's Jacqueline Halbloom and Karen Impola, is part of IPR's "Performance Iowa" series.

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