Classical

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A Choral Iowa post: Supermarkets began piping in holiday tunes in November, so you've probably heard all the standards just in the course of buying groceries. But below is a gem you need a choral group for. Called Estampie Natalis, it reflects two of the enthusiasms of its Czech-born composer, Vaclav Nelhybel.

Orchestra Iowa

What’s more exciting than a new year with classical music? On New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1st, at 2 p.m., Iowa Public Radio will be broadcasting Orchestra Iowa’s “The American Rhapsody” concert recorded live on September 15, 2018.

Brucemorchestra celebrated its 11th Anniversary this year on the front lawn of Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids, and it was a BIG hit.

“The American Rhapsody” features classics from Bernstein, Classen, and Grofé. Dr. Réne Lecuona, piano professor at the University of Iowa is featured on two Gershwin favorites.

Nicolas Propes

This New Year’s Day at noon, Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa in collaboration with WVIK, presents a broadcast of the Quad City Symphony’s concert recorded on May 3rd of 2018 with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell. Mr. Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards and is recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize.  Named the Music Director of the Academy of St.

Holiday Special

15 hours ago
Randy Darst

Celebrate the holidays with Iowa Public Radio and the wcfsymphony chamber music group on December 22nd and 23rd performing the music of J.S. Bach.

The program, “A Baroque Holiday”, features music from the Baroque period written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach spent many years of his life in Leipzig, Germany, where he composed incredible liturgical music for churches. At one point, he was composing a new cantata every week.

Close to Home

Dec 10, 2018
John Bloom, Summer Evening (detail), 1936, oil on Masonite, Private collection

John Bloom’s art is a celebration of Midwestern life. It also brought love into his life and an opportunity to study with Grant Wood.

The Figge Art Museum’s exhibit “John Bloom: Close to Home” showcases more than 60 works of art by the beloved local artist. Bloom grew up in small town DeWitt, Iowa. He briefly attended St. Ambrose College before enrolling in the Art Institute of Chicago, which eventually lead him to the Stone City Art Colony. There, he met his future wife Isabel and studied with Grant Wood. He also completed multiple mural commissions with Wood.

Nuns and Nudes

Dec 4, 2018
Just to Live is Holy exhibition, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Iowa

It’s not every day that you see those two words together, but the Dubuque Museum of Art pulls it off with class.

Their exhibit “Just to Live is Holy” showcases works by internationally-known artists such as Sister Corita Kent, in addition to local artists such as Louise Kames, professor or art and Chair of the Art and Art History Department at Clarke University. Their art, along with the other artists, ranges from traditional to abstract, and in every medium imaginable.

Randy Darst

The wcfsymphony brings cantatas and celebrates the holidays at Waterloo’s Brown Derby Ballroom this Saturday, December 8th.

Their show, “A Baroque Holiday”, features music from the Baroque period written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach spent many years of his life in Leipzig, Germany, where he composed incredible music for churches in the city. At one point, he was composing a new cantata at a rate of one per week.

Heartland Youth Choir, http://joinhyc.org/

It's the perfect month for a choral concert, and Iowa's artists have been hard at work preparing. From university concerts to madrigal dinners to Handel in Clinton and Cedar Rapids and an Iowa premiere in Grinnell, here's what I hope will become a complete list.  I'm sure I've missed things, so please let me know of omissions or corrections (at choraliowa@iowapublicradio.org). The goal is to include everyone!

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TIME

IPR blasts off this holiday season with world-class performances from across the globe and next door! Celebrate everything from Hanukah to Christmas to New Year’s Day with Iowa Public Radio.

To see a full schedule of broadcasts, please visit http://www.iowapublicradio.org/ipr-holiday-schedule-2018#stream/0

Elaine Hagenberg

When Des Moines resident Elaine Hagenberg graduated from Drake in 2002, her degree was in music education. How did she go on to become an internationally admired choral composer, with works published by Oxford University Press and performances in London, Melbourne, and New York? She talks about it briefly in an interview (below) with IPR's Jacqueline Halbloom.

Bernstein Centennial Organization

75 years ago on November 14, 1943, Leonard Bernstein stepped in at the last minute to conduct the New York Philharmonic for Bruno Walter in Carnegie Hall. Bernstein was just 25-years-old when he successfully led the orchestra through its program.

The concert was broadcasted nationwide, and Bernstein became famous overnight, and thus began the 25-year-old’s journey of becoming one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.

On Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, The Des Moines Symphony and Maestro Giunta recreate the concert that kick-started Bernstein’s career.

Duane Tinkey

Glory Denied is based on the true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war, Vietnam veteran Colonel Jim Thompson. Colonel Thompson was captured when his plane was shot down in 1964 and endured extreme torture until his release in 1973. Colonel Thompson said the only thing that kept him going throughout those nine years were thoughts of his wife and children. However, his homecoming was not as he hoped.

Glory Denied “encapsulates something of the moral essence of the Vietnam War and the imperishable bitterness of its legacy.”

Orchestra Iowa

Cicadas and classical music – it doesn’t get much better than that – except for maybe turkey and classical music. On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, at 3 p.m., Iowa Public Radio will be broadcasting Orchestra Iowa’s “The American Rhapsody.” The concert took place on September 15, 2018.

Brucemorchestra celebrated its 11th Anniversary this year on the front lawn of Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids, and it’s still a big hit.

Nicolas Propes

This Thanksgiving at 1 p.m., Iowa Public Radio’s Performance Iowa presents a broadcast of the Quad City Symphony’s concert recorded on May 3rd of 2018 with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell. Mr. Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards and is recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize.  Named the Music Director of the Academy of St.

Minda Kuckuck

The Des Moines Symphony brings it all together with their 2018 “Yankee Doodle Pops” concert.

Iowa’s own internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Simon Estes thrills the crowd with musical favorites.

Governor Kim Reynolds narrates the Armed Forces Salute and the Oh Say, Can You Sing contest winner, Jennifer Senne, kicks off the show singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Join Iowa Public Radio as we honor the brave men and women who are serving or who have served and fought for our country.

TINT

Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George won a Pulitzer Prize and 10 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Brainchild James Lapine wrote the book.

Seurat’s masterpiece A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte lays the groundwork for Sondheim’s musical, Sunday in the Park with George. Seurat’s new painting style and the simplicity of a Parisian Sunday afternoon magnified its popularity.

80 years ago on November 9th and 10th in Germany, Nazis raided, torched, and vandalized Jewish synagogues, homes, businesses, and schools. The result was the death of over 100 Jews and over 30,000 Jewish men arrested and sent to concentration camps. While the Nazis had been oppressing the Jews for years, “The night of broken glass” or “Kristallnacht” marks the beginning of the violent oppression.

Rob Merritt

Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, revolves around the beautiful Princess Turandot and the charming Prince Calaf. Turandot is full of “blood, violence, and fear – but also love and hope.”

Princess Turandot declares that anyone who attempts to marry her and fails to answer three riddles correctly will be punished by death. Prince Calaf takes on the challenge. As the plot unfolds, sacrifices are made, hearts are broken, and blood is spilled, but love ultimately wins.

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s cast for Turandot includes:

Devilish Deal

Oct 29, 2018
University Relations

Who wins, the soldier or the devil? Stravinsky’s timeless masterpiece, The Soldier’s Tale, celebrates its 100-year-anniversary this year. Scored for seven instruments, three narrators and three dancers, the work is based on an old Russian folk tale revolving around an AWOL soldier and his run-in with the devil.

In honor of L'Histoire du soldat’s 1918 premiere, UNI’s Faculty Septet collaborated with other UNI departments under Dr. Danny Galyen to present a fully-staged production of Stravinsky’s revolutionary work.

John Rommereim

In a dusty box in the archives of Grinnell College, John Rommereim found a long-missing manuscript.  It was the only copy of a massive score by Edward Scheve, the composer who "made Grinnell musical."  Scheve conducted it in a 1910 performance with the Berlin Philharmonic, but all that survived was a piano reduction - or so things appeared until Rommereim opened that box.  Below, he explains how his discovery set in motion an enthusiastic response thousands of miles away.  He also discusses Scheve's rel

Britney Walters

Offenbach thumbs his nose at Greek Mythology, creating one of operetta’s most “satirical and hilarious operas of all time.”

Nothing is sacred in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, including the Greek Gods.

Offenbach’s insanity ends with his famous Infernal Gallop, also known as the Can-Can.

The ISU Theatre and Opera Studio accepts Offenbach’s musical challenge, running their cast and crew through the “pastoral tranquility of earth, the dizzying frivolity of heaven, and the bacchanalian hedonism of Hades.”

Luther College 2018

A tale of humor, deceit, mistakes, and forgiveness, Mozart’s Così fan tutte is described by the New York Times as his “last and wisest Italian comic opera.”

Così fan tutte shakes up everyone’s ideas about infidelity and devotion in a fun and light-hearted way.

The Luther College’s double cast for Così fan tutte includes:

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson of Luther College is President of the Iowa Choral Directors Association.

I am thrilled to help welcome you to the Choral Iowa topic page!  My gratitude goes to Barney Sherman and the rest of the team for creating a way to share the work of amazing choirs all over the state. 

Ben Easter

An “instant hit” on Broadway in 1944, Bernstein’s On the Town soon became a movie starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Known as his “valentine” to New York, Lenny’s On the Town is a Broadway musical about three sailors during World War II and their “amorous adventures on a 24-hour-shore leave in New York City.”

Des Moines Metro Opera

Inspired by the true predicament of a refugee stuck in an airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is truly one-of-a-kind.

Stage director Kristine McIntyre believes the “unbound future” draws all of the characters in Flight. Our “constant human need to recreate ourselves and our relationships” are a central theme throughout the opera.

Flight takes an ordinary place – an airport – and highlights the qualities that actually make it extra-ordinary. Dove describes airports as “portals between the everyday world and the magical world of flying.”

© 2015 Benjamin Ealovega

The world-renowned pianist, Jonathan Biss, hopes to complete recording all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas by 2020. He also created a Beethoven/5 project, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and five living composers each writing a concerto inspired by one of Beethoven’s five piano concertos.

His online course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, enrolled more than 150,000 students from 60 countries. What an outreach!

Putnam Museum and Science Center

Novelist Ayn Rand said it best: “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.”

The Putnam Museum takes this statement to heart with their new exhibit, Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions.

Showcased will be vignettes of characters from novels such as Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, Harry Potter, The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Age of Innocence. These heroic women truly come to life in the new exhibition.

Des Moines Metro Opera

Dvořák’s gripping opera, Rusalka, often compared to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, ushers his heroine, Rusalka, through the joys of falling in love, coupled with the heartbreak of broken commitments as the result of several tragic decisions.

Sung in Czech, the opera truly “resonates with Dvořák’s passion for Czech folklore and fairy tales.” He “juxtaposes the mortal and the mythical with beautiful folk melodies and luminous arias.”

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