February IAS packed with Opera, Jazz, Symphonies, and more

Jan 30, 2015

February brings more than just Valentine’s Day this year, with a medley of arts events across the state. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Simpson College Opera’s Spring production of “La Calisto” with Simpson’s Assistant Professor of Music, Dr. Bernard McDonald and Simpson Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Jennifer Williams Brown
  • University of Northern Iowa’s Tallcorn Jazz Festival and 64th Annual Sinfonian Dimension in Jazz Concert, with UNI Director of Jazz Studies, Chris Merz, and Tallcorn Jazz Festival Chairman, Paul Lichty
  • Des Moines Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Fine Arts Series, featuring Katori Hall’s play “The Mountaintop” produced by John Cook, Minister of Music and Fine Arts
  • The new Iowa-based non-profit musical consortium, ConcertIA, and their performances of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” with artistic director Shari Rhoads
  • And the upcoming State Symphony of Mexico concert presented by Iowa State Center with Sara Compton, Iowa State Center Outreach Coordinator, and Karl Gwiasda, President of the Ames International Orchestra Festival Association board

Assistant Professor of Music, Larsen Chair of Opera, D & L Chair Opera, and Music Coach at Simpson College, Dr. Bernard McDonald shares details on Simpson’s production of Cavalli’s La Calisto, along with Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Jennifer Williams Brown. Brown is an associate professor of music history at Grinnell College and director of the Collegium Musicum, and the 2008 Claude V. Palisca Award recipient for her edition of La Calisto. This award is presented by the American Musicological Society for the best scholarly edition or translation in the field of musicology. Simpson College Opera’s performances of La Calisto will be February 13-15 in the Pote Theatre in the Blank Performing Arts Building on the Simpson College Campus in Indianola.

The University of Northern Iowa’s Tallcorn Jazz Festival and Sinfonian Dimensions in Jazz Concert are now in their 60th and 64th year, respectively, making it the longest running jazz festival West of the Mississippi River. UNI’s Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies, Chris Merz, along with Tallcorn Jazz Festival Chair and UNI junior, Paul Lichty, discuss the history of the festival and this year’s guest artist, highly esteemed jazz composer and trumpeter Dave Douglas. The festival and two concerts, operated entirely by the Beta Nu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, will be February 20-21 in Bengtson Auditorium in Russell Hall on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls.

The Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines presents Katori Hall’s award winning play, The Mountaintop, as part of their Fine Arts series. John Cook, Minister of Music and Fine Arts, reveals the fictional plot, based on the final night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. He also delves into details about several panel discussions on Iowa’s own de-segregation and civil rights history, being presented in conjunction with the performances on February 13th through the 22nd.

Artistic director Shari Rhoads presents a new Iowa-based non-profit musical consortium called ConcertIA. On March 6 and 8, the ensemble is performing Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, with a special free preview on February 22.

And Iowa State Center Outreach Coordinator Sara Compton, along with Karl Gwiasda, President of the Ames International Orchestra Festival Association board, look into the exciting upcoming performance of the State Symphony of Mexico at the Iowa State Center. The March 3 performance features guest Russian pianist, Irina Chistiakova under the baton of Enrique Bátiz.

You can now listen to the February Iowa Arts Showcase right hereJoin Iowa Public Radio on the first Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the Iowa Arts Showcase.