Orchestra Iowa, situated in Cedar Rapids and under the direction of Tim Hankewich, has announced its 2020-2021 season, which includes a yearlong celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a twist. They’re taking a unique focus and plan to pay tribute to Iowa’s Czech heritage and explore Beethoven’s works supported by his Czech patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowicz.
The first in-person concerts of the season are currently scheduled for mid-September.
Prince Lobkowicz was an amateur musician and even maintained a private orchestra at his Vienna Palace. Beethoven dedicated his Opus 18 quartets, his Third, Fifth and Sixth symphonies, his Triple Concerto, and his “Harp” Quartet Opus 74 to Prince Lobkowicz.
The season will kick off with a performance of two of Beethoven’s biggest hits, his 5th Symphony and his Emperor Concerto, with the renowned Stewart Goodyear at the keyboard.
The Masterworks Series, where the orchestra will play more traditional works, showcases Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and a not-to-be-missed performance of Beethoven’s dazzling Violin Concerto with the amazing young American violinist William Hagen.
Later in the season, Orchestra Iowa is collaborating with the University of Iowa Choirs performing Haydn’s Creation. Included on the 2020-2021 docket are Copland’s beautiful Appalachian Spring and Orff’s bawdy Carmina Burana.
This year’s pop’s series, which presents more popular music, highlights Ghostbusters, A Night at the Oscars, in addition to the holidays and guitar greats. Orchestra Iowa’s season also contains the Shuttleworth Chamber Series, and hooks up with the Quad City Ballet to present Tchaikovsky’s much-loved holiday favorite, The Nutcracker.
"Like everyone, I am most looking forward to getting music back onto the stage and resuming some degree of normalcy in our lives. Artistically next year, I’m most looking forward to Orchestra Iowa’s collaboration with the University of Iowa in performing Haydn’s 'Creation,'" music director Tim Hankewich says.
Until we are able to gather in person for concerts like those being hosted by Orchestra Iowa, Hankewich encourages all Iowans, classical music lovers or not, to keep music alive.
"Between now and then, there are many things we all can do to keep the music alive: 1) In the short term, give generously to the symphony and your favorite non-profits to help them make payroll through the immediate upcoming months. 2) In the longer term, become a full subscriber for next season. It will help alleviate our organizations' financial uncertainty going forward, and is the perfect hedge against the unpredictable timetable of when our season will resume as normal," he says.
If you want to buy tickets, or help out by donating to the orchestra, you can do so on their website here.
Orchestra Iowa is also a fun page to follow on Facebook right now. Maestro Hankewich has been hosting virtual happy hour discussions, and members of the orchestra are posting performances they are hosting while staying home.