Tune in tonight at 7 as the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra performs Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony, music from Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel," and two works of Liszt - BOTH piano concertos, played by pianist Jon Nakamatsu. Nakamatsu, from Oakland, CA, won the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn competition, and has since built a notable international career and discography. Joseph Giunta conducts in this encore presentation from IPR's Symphonies of Iowa series, hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.
If you can't make it to Orchestra Iowa's annual outdoor concert at the Brucemore in Cedar Rapids, tune in to IPR Classical to hear it live. Tim Hankewich and co. will perform three Russian masterpieces everyone knows (and loves!): the Polovtsian Dances by Borodin (the basis of the song "Stranger in Paradise"); the Piano Concerto no. 2 of Rachmaninoff, featuring Iowa's extraordinary Miko Kominami as soloist; and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, with its rich drama, colorful evocations of Russian folk music, and barn-burning finale.
Tune in Saturday at 10 AM for this week's Spoleto Chamber Music Festival broadcast, featuring the Piano Quintet by the pioneering American composer Amy Beach, and the delightful Sextet by the neglected Tyrolean master Ludwig Thuille. The stellar performers include the St. Lawrence String Quartet and leading American musicians such as horn player Eric Ruske.
Join us at noon for the San Francisco Opera's production of Bellini's "Montagues and Capulets." You couldn't ask for a better cast: as Romeo is no less than the great American mezzo Joyce DiDonato; as Juliet is Nicole Cabelle, winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World contest.
Tune in tonight at 7 to hear the amazing Leonidas Kavakos play Korngold's Violin Concerto and Alan Gilbert conduct the New York Philharmonic in two symphonies of Carl Nielsen. Erich Wolfgang Korngold - the greatest Viennese prodigy since Mozart - fled the Third Reich and afterwards made his living in Hollywood; his Violin Concerto is an outright masterpiece. As for Nielsen, he's been called "the most underrated composer of the 2oth century." Gilbert conducts the Second Symphony ("The Four Temperaments") and his Third (the Sinfonia Espansiva).
Join us tonight at 7 to hear Vadim Repin (called "the best and most perfect violinist I've ever heard" by Yehudi Menuhin) perform the concerto written for him by James MacMillan, whose "musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music." The concert also includes Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Coriolan Overture. It features the BBC Scottish Symphony led by Donald Runnicles.
Tune in Sunday at 2PM as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra explores the literary imagination of French Romantic maverick Hector Berlioz. The concert begins with his Corsair (an overture first titled after a James Fenimore Cooper novel), continues with music from Romeo and Juliet (based on the bard of Stratford-upon-Avon, of course), and continues with the viola c0ncerto/symphony Harold in Italy (based on Byron). As an encore, Susan Graham sings the delicious "Summer Nights," Berlioz's setting of poems by Théophile Gautier. Sir Mark Elder conducts.
Join us Saturday at noon as the San Francisco Opera broadcast season begins with Wagner's The Valkyries, the second installment in his Ring cycle. In this production, "theatrical and musical vitality fused to create a tale of enormous emotional urgency," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Donald Runnicles conducts, Mark Delavan is Wotan and Nina Stemme is Brunnhilde.
Tune in tonight at 7 as Alan Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic in a concert that contrasts two kinds of "Russian-ness" in Stravinsky. "The Fairy's Kiss" is his loving tribute to Tchaikovsky; "Petroushka" bursts with Russian color and Russian folk themes.
Join us Tuesday at 7 PM as Nikolai Lugansky - the young Russian who was one of the artists listed by the New York Times as evidence that we live in a "golden age" of the piano - performs everyone's favorite Rachmaninoff Concerto, the Third. Then Peter Oundjian, who left a major career as a violinist to become a conductor, leads Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. Performing is the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which recently appointed Oundjian its music director.
Join us Monday at 7 PM for an encore broadcast of Orchestra Iowa's triumphant return to the Paramount Theatre, refurbished after the devastating flood of 2008. Music director Tim Hankewich leads the concert, which took place in November, 2012. It features Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Waltzes, and Gunther Schuller's Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee. Jacqueline Halbloom is the producer and host of our Symphonies of Iowa series.
Tune in at 2PM as Marc-Andre Hamelin, Canadian pianist extraordinaire, plays the Piano Concerto No. 1 of Shostakovich, and Kirill Petrenko debuts with the Chicago Symphony in Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff. The young Russian maestro this year conducted the Ring Cycle in Bayreuth and became music director of the Bavarian State Opera.
Tune in at noon for Puccini's Tosca from the LA Opera. Sondra Radvanovsky, in the title role, provides what a critic called "a voice of power, but also a voice of great beauty." (He added, What an actress!) Marco Berti and the other singers also won high praise. And the conductor is none other than Placido Domingo.
Join us at 7 PM when the great American violinist Hilary Hahn plays Prokofiev's first concerto with the San Francisco Symphony led by the Finnish maestro Osmo Vanska. Vanska also conducts the Shostakovich Sixth Symphony, as well as a work written for him by his countryman Kalevi Aho, Minea. (This piece, written for Vanska's Minnesota Orchestra, is a "generally straightforward romp, in which principal players from throughout the large orchestra are tapped to play spotlighted roles.") Pictured is Hilary Hahn during a recent visit to the studios of NPR!
Tune in tonight at 7 to hear Ivan Fischer (one of the great Beethoven conductors) with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (voted the world's finest in an international poll) in Beethoven's First, Second, and Fifth Symphonies. The concert broadcast is part of our Live from the Concertgebouw series.
Tune in tonight at 7 to hear pianist Paul Lewis - winner of many major awards- play one of Mozart's greatest concertos, his 25th in C major. Then, another acclaimed young Briton, Daniel Harding, conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in two other masterpieces in C major: Schumann's Symphony no. 2 and Sibelius's Symphony no. 7. The concert broadcast begins with Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music.
Tune in tonight at 7 for three Romantic masterpieces from the Des Moines Symphony. Benny Kim, a Quad Cities native who now has a major national career, solos in Bruch's Violin Concerto no. 1; and music director Joseph Giunta conducts Dukas's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (based on a poem by Goethe about the dangers of "a little learning") and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (a wild ride through love gone very, very wrong). The broadcast is part of IPR's Symphonies of Iowa series, produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.
Tune in Sunday at 2 pm to hear Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes his Chicago Symphony debut in music of Debussy, Ravel - and his countryman, Falla, performed with a flamenco singer from Spain. After Ravel's "Tombeau de Couperin" and "Pavane for a Dead Princess" and Debussy's ballet "The Toy Box," Heras-Casado and the CSO are joined by cantaora Marina Heredia for Falla's "Love, the Magician."
Join us at noon for Rossini's warmhearted retelling of the Cinderella story - a delightfully romantic comedy, brought to life by the dazzling vocal fireworks of an exciting young cast headed by Kate Lindsey.
Tune in Saturday at 7pm or Sunday at 6pm to hear guitarist Jorge Caballero in recital in Ames. He's the youngest musician (and only guitarist) to win the prestigious Naumburg International Competition; the New York Times called him a "superb young guitarist" with a rare combination of "a deft, powerful technique and a soft-spoken interpretive persona." His concert was sponsored by Ames Town & Gown and is broadcast as part of IPR's University Concert series.
Every evening from 5 to 7 this week on Performance Today, you can hear what's happening at this year's Aspen Music Festival. Featured artists include established greats like guitarist Sharon Isbin and violinist Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg as well as admired newcomers like violinists Ray Chen and Stefan Jackiw. Tune in to sample the music they're making this week in the Rockies!
Tune in tonight at 7 to hear the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vanska perform Britten's Four Sea Pictures from Peter Grimes, Debussy's La Mer, and with Midori - one of the world's foremost violinists - the concerto by Vanska's great compatriot Sibelius. This SymphonyCast concert broadcast also includes Debussy's L'Isle joyeuse ("The Joyful Island") and Clare de Lune, and the last two movements of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.
Tune in Monday at 7PM to hear music of Bach and sons performed by the Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players. Violist Lisa Ponton & harpsichordist Miko Kominami perform a sonata by Bach’s eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann; flutist Jane Walker & violinist Karla Galva play a duet by son #2, Carl Philipp Emanuel; then cellist Carey Bostian & oboist David Hempel join the others for a quintet by Bach’s youngest, Johann Christian (known in the Bach household as "Christel").
Join host Suzanne Bona every Sunday morning from 8 to noon for a feast of Baroque music. She'll begin this week with Bach (and later on play his Cantata no. 147), make varied stops in Italy, Austria, Spain, France, and England (with special attention to Thomas Tallis), and end with an hour of music by composers born or resident in Scotland. Suzanne, who's also an accomplished flute player, brings you the best in music and performances every week.
Tune in at noon for LA Opera's production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman." The legend of a ghostly ship condemned to wander the oceans forever is made vivid by Wagner's enthralling music. The result is a thrilling journey into a mythic world where a tormented spirit seeks true love as his redemption. James Conlon, a noted Wagnerian, conducts, and Icelandic baritone Tomas Tomasson sings the cursed mariner.
"These are pieces we really wanted to play." That's the unifying theme for the New York Philharmonic's CONTACT! new music series, given at the Metropolitan Museum, and you can hear the latest concert Thursday at 7 PM. The young American conductor Jayce Ogren leads the world premieres of two Philharmonic commissions, Andy Akiho’s Oscillate and Jude Vaclavik’s SHOCK WAVES, as well as the New York premiere of Andrew Norman’s Try. Then,music director Alan Gilbert leads the U.S.
Tune in Monday at 7PM to hear the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony in concert. Dror Biran - "one of Israel's most admired and gifted pianists" - performs Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Before that, Jason Weinberger conducts the orchestra in Kodaly's Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, also called the Peacock Variations because its theme is the Hungarian folk song Fly, Peacock Fly.
Tune in Sunday at 2pm to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and music director Riccardo Muti perform Mozart's Symphony no 25 and Anton Bruckner's noble Symphony no. 6. CSO concertmaster Robert Chen begins the concert with Paganini's First Violin Concerto.