Iowa Arts Showcase

Through short interviews, Jacqueline Halbloom highlights the efforts and activities of non-profit arts and culture organizations throughout Iowa.  She focuses on performing arts organizations, festivals, visual arts organizations, and other cultural centers.  Iowa Arts Showcase shines a light on the contributions of arts organizations to Iowa communities.

Ways to Connect

The New York Times calls Inon Barnatan "one of the most admired pianists of his generation." Barnatan will make his Des Moines debut this weekend with the Des Moines Symphony performing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto.  Having played with symphonies including the Chicago and San Francisco Symphonies along with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics and receiving awards such as Lincoln Center's 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, Barnatan is considered a "young artist of exceptional accomplishment."

Headed for a career in law, Igor Stravinksy didn’t immediately realize his talent as a composer. Yet, once he did, he soared, creating a new style of music – modernism. This new style was “pared down to essentials, in melody, rhythm and instrumentation.” Stravinsky showcased his invention in 1918 with a composition entitled L'Histoire du soldat, translated into “The Soldier’s Tale.” It is scored for seven instruments (clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone, violin, double bass and percussion) and four speaking parts (the Devil, the Soldier, a Princess, and an unseen reader).

Orchestra Iowa

Cicadas and classical music – it doesn’t get much better than that. On Saturday, September 15, Orchestra Iowa presents Brucemorchestra XI “The American Rhapsody.”

It's New Music!

Sep 12, 2018
Iowa Composers Forum

The Iowa Composers Forum, dubbed ICF for short, is hosting their Fall Festival with a trio of concerts showcasing new music. A dozen composers are on the docket: Shawn Crouch, Elaine Erickson, Ben Hippen, Denise Knaack, Robert Martin, Jerry Owen, James Romig, Ray Songayllo, David Vayo, Randy Wells, Jonathan Wilson, and Alec Wood.

Lisa Marie Mazzucco

Composer Philip Glass informed concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein that he wanted to compose a piece specifically for her. She loved the idea and devised a plan to involve orchestras in the U.S. and Canada. Simone set forth to organize a consortium of orchestras and the wcfsymphony was one of them.

Glass composed Piano Concerto No. 3 for this consortium and Simone. To say it has been a success is an understatement. Simone’s recording of the concerto reached number one on the Billboard classical charts.

Iowa Quilt Archives

"Blessed are the piecemakers!" 

What started as a hardware store in Winterset, Iowa and was used for many other businesses is now the location for the Iowa Quilt Museum.

The current exhibit is "Blue Ribbon Quilts of the Iowa State Fair." Imagine an open space with 20-foot ceilings, featuring a magical display of quilts that "had the distinction of winning a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair." The exhibit showcases quilts from the past 32 years.

What do you get with a street full of top-notch juried artists, face painters, balloon sculptures, children's activities, and live demonstrations? You get the 13th Annual ARTapalooza Fine Art Show, taking over downtown Cedar Falls on the first Saturday after Labor Day.

Artists go through a "highly competitive process" before they are chosen to participate. Featured artwork includes ceramics, metal sculptures, paintings, glasswork, fiber, jewelry, photography, drawing, printmaking, and mixed media.

Library of Congress

Composer, conductor, educator, musician, cultural ambassador, and humanitarian, Leonard Bernstein would have been 100-years-old on August 25th. To celebrate, the world is performing, listening to, and creating events to honor this virtuoso and his music.

Iowa Arts Council

Iowans want to change the world and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs helps them do it!

Believe it or not, this year alone, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded over $2 million in grants to organizations and groups throughout the state of Iowa.

Michael Morain, communications manager at the IDCA, showcases the organizations and groups that the grants were awarded to and how those projects will benefit Iowa. 

Anna Steenson

The Zenith Chamber Music Festival showcases professional musicians across the globe in addition to local artists. This year’s artists include Anna Reider and Helen Hwaya Kim on violin, Sheldon Person on viola, Ashley Sidon and Paula Kosower on cello, and Kelly Kuo on piano, along with the Damani Phillips Jazz Quartet. These national and international artists pair with local musicians to celebrate the arts and bring classical music to the Des Moines area.

State Historical Museum

The saying “Nothing runs like a Deere” still holds true 100 years after Deere entered the engine and tractor business. Iowa celebrated this 100 year anniversary in June and continues to celebrate it.

Retired John Deere engineer and former long-term Iowa resident, Terry Woods shares the 100-year evolution of John Deere tractors in Iowa, plus his famous airline ticket sketch.

100 years ago, John Deere acquired the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. What started as a company producing steel plows now boasts plants located worldwide.

Tony Tandeski

Coming soon to the Urbandale Community Theater is Robert John Ford’s Six-on-Six The Musical!

Please note the venue change: This Urbandale Community Theater production will be held at Valley High School's Staplin Performing Arts Center in West Des Moines. 

zazzle.com

Listen below to hear of all kinds of interesting art and musical events that will be happening around the state of Iowa in the months of July and August! Events such as IPR broadcasts, summer municipal band concerts, musicals, recitals, theater shows, art exhibits and festivals, chamber festivals, and so much more are happening right here in Iowa. So get out and enjoy the music!

International Arts & Artists

The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids recently opened an extraordinary exhibit that will run through September 17th. This show entitled "Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence" showcases a form of bead art developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Join IPR's Jacqueline Halbloom as she interviews Stefanie Kohn, Curator of The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library about this new exhibit.

Des Moines Art Center

The Des Moines Art Center recently opened a unique exhibit that will run through September 2nd. This show entitled “In the Spirit of Louise Noun” is in honor of philanthropist, art historian, feminist, pioneer collector of women’s art, and civic and social activist, Louise Noun.

Dreamstime

Listen below to hear of all kinds of interesting art and musical events that will be happening around the state of Iowa in the month of June! Events such as IPR broadcasts, symphony concerts, summer municipal band concerts, musicals, recitals, jazz festivals, theater shows, art exhibits, operas, chamber festivals, and so much more are happening right here in Iowa. So get out and enjoy the music!

CHRISTOPHER MAHARRY

The Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops concert once again rings in Independence Day celebrations. On Monday, July 2nd, DMSO will perform on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol for its 25th annual show. Described as “family-friendly and patriotic”, this event is free, and audience members are invited to bring picnic baskets and lawn chairs. The evening begins at 8:00 pm with IPR’s preshow and is followed by DMSO’s “Simon Sings America” concert at 8:30 pm.

IPR/Tony Dehner

As part of their 20th Anniversary Season, The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre will visit Iowa Public Radio once again! Tune in for performances and interviews at noon on Tuesday, June 12th featuring enchanting arias from the CROT’s production of Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon. The CROT’s cast features Matt Chastain, Stephanie Johnson, Ian Butler, Ashley Armstrong, Sarak Mikulski, Wesley Frye, Alicia Jayourba, Thaddeus Ennen, Liang Zhao, and Christina Bernardoni. The ensemble will treat us to a few musical gems from their upcoming performances of Brigadoon.

Heartland Marimba

On Wednesday, June 13th at noon, Matthew Coley and the Heartland Marimba Ensemble will bring their marimba music to IPR’s Studio One!  They will perform a “fun and festive selection of music from around the world.” Tune in on Wednesday, June 13th at noon for this magical live Studio One Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast!

Devita Paschell

It’s that time of the year! The Des Moines Metro Opera is about to kick off its 46th annual Festival Season. As stated by the Chicago Tribune, “For the past 45 years, the Des Moines Metro Opera has produced an annual festival that is among the oldest and most enterprising summer opera fests in the nation." This year, their Mainstage Festival includes Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II, Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák, Flight by Jonathan Dove on the Mainstage. The Tender Land by Aaron Copland is part of their 2nd Stage Series.

Tune in to hear The Metropolitan Opera National Council Finals on Sunday, May 20th at noon and again on Sunday, May 27th at noon!

Last month, we showcased two rising Iowa opera stars. This month, we have another!

University of Iowa graduate, Jessica Faselt, competed alongside Megan Grey, another Iowan, in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals. Ms. Faselt emerged victorious as a grand prize winner! Read more about her budding opera career below.

This Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast features an interview with wcfsymphony’s Jason Weinberger. The symphony will be presenting their concert, “The Hungarian Project,” on Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert is special exploration of Hungarian music informed by Pauline Barrett, Artistic Director and Conductor Jason Weinberger’s heritage and his recent musical work in Budapest. Featuring the wcfsymphony strings in one of Bartók’s most intriguing works, Divertimento, and the full orchestra in vibrant, folk-flavored music by Brahms and Kodály. 

TC Elofson

This Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast features an interview with the Des Moines Symphony’s Music Director and Conductor, Joseph Giunta. The symphony will be presenting their concert, “Masterworks 7: Seasons Finale – Rhapsody in Blue” on Saturday, May 19th at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 20th at 2:30 p.m.

Annika Vande Krol

The Luther College opera takes on Mozart!

For this Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast, we interviewed Luther College faculty about the Luther Opera’s upcoming performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte (The School for Lovers). We spoke with Daniel Baldwin, orchestra conductor and Head of the Music Department at Luther; Andrew Whitfield, Coordinator of Opera; Nicholas Shaneyfelt, Assistant Professor of Music; and Carla Hanson, Assistant Opera Director.

Rob Dillard

For this Iowa Arts Showcase, we’re featuring a story by Rob Dillard showcasing the work of the Oakdale Community Choir. But the choir is not made up of your average community choir members. It is comprised entirely of inmates in the medium security Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.

This Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast features an interview with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor, Joseph Giunta. The symphony will be performing a Beyond the Score® concert featuring Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Colby Campbell

Dr. Robert Washut has been a jazz educator at the University of Northern Iowa for 38 years, where he served as Director of Jazz Studies from 1980-2002. An accomplished jazz composer and arranger, Washut has received numerous commissions from collegiate and high school jazz ensembles, professional jazz artists, and symphony orchestras. Many of his works are published by Kendor Music, UNC Jazz Press, ejazzlines, C.L. Barnhouse, Heritage JazzWorks, Sierra Music, and Really Good Music. Washut also has served as a jazz composer-in-residence at several universities around the country.

The Northeast Iowa School of Music in Dubuque’s founder and executive director, Tracey Rush, is announcing her retirement after 17 years of service. She still plans to work with the school as an Artistic Advisor, and is looking forward to hiring their first full-time Executive Director. Rush has also been the Dubuque Community String Orchestra’s conductor since she founded the ensemble in 1998 to give adult amateur musicians an outlet for ensemble performance.

This Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast features an interview with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor, William Intriligator. The symphony will be presenting ts first fully-staged musical, West Side Story, in honor of the centennial of the late composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

This Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast features an interview with wcfsymphony Music Director and Conductor, Jason Weinberger. The symphony will be performing a concert in celebration of the late composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday.

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