Performance Iowa

Iowa Public Radio’s performance series, Performance Iowa, showcases Iowa's best performers as well as visiting musicians making a special stop in Iowa and in our studios. Host Jacqueline Halbloom goes behind the music in each broadcast with IPR’s classical music team and celebrity guests.

Ways to Connect

Minda Kuckuck

Iowa Public Radio will present a special broadcast of the Des Moines Symphony’s 25th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops Concert to celebrate Flag Day.

At their 2018 Yankee Doodle Pops Concert, Iowa’s own internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Simon Estes thrilled the crowd with musical favorites.

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

Join Iowa Public Radio as we honor our country’s flag this Flag Day.

ChamberFest Dubuque

ChamberFest Dubuque’s 11th annual festival kicks off the month of June! As part of the Northeast Iowa School of Music (NISOM), ChamberFest Dubuque features a workshop and a concert. The group performing at the concert is an ensemble of world-class performers, hand-picked by Michael Gilbertson, that exist together only at this year’s ChamberFest.

Courtesy Heartland Marimba Ensemble

Five talented Heartland Marimba Ensemble performers will bring their marimba magnificence to IPR’s Cedar Falls Studios! Wednesday at noon, they will perform music by Gershwin, McCartney, Joplin, Green, Ravel, Coley, and Rossini. The performance is free and open to the public. Tune in to IPR Classical on your favorite device or stop by IPR’s Cedar Falls Studios this Wednesday at noon for this magical live Performance Iowa broadcast!

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.”

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:

Fiordiligi – Emily Dirks (Act I) and Natalie Nelson (Act II), soprano

Dorabella – Aidan Spencer (Act I) and Natalie Rumer (Act II), mezzo-soprano

Courtesy Vakhtang Kodanashvili

Ever wondered what Iowa Public Radio/KUNI/KHKE looks like? Ever wanted to meet the faces of the beloved voices you hear every day on air? Join IPR’s Cedar Falls Studios for their open house on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.!

Quad City Symphony Orchestra/Nicolas Propes

IPR Classical's Performance Iowa has a special holiday broadcast this weekend. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra's St. Matthew Passion performance will air on Saturday, April 20th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

As the finale of their 2017 Masterworks season, the QCSO performed the St. Matthew Passion, one of Bach's greatest masterpieces. It is a "work of depth and drama that expresses the power of sacrifice, metaphorically life’s journey."

Des Moines Metro Opera

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

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.”

The opera will warm the hearts of all listeners. As the plot unfolds, each character's inner conflict leads to the ultimate compassionate conclusion.

The Des Moines Metro Opera cast for Flight includes:

Taylor Fiser Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, it’s worth at least a thousand notes!

Just over ten years ago, CROT founder and artistic director, Daniel Kleinknecht had an “aha” moment.

Des Moines Metro Opera

IPR’s Arias in April savors the Des Moines Metro Opera’s production of Dvořák’s brilliant setting of an ancient folk tale, complete with an unforgiving witch, a gorgeous sea nymph and a beautiful princess.

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.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Wikimedia Commons

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre will soon be performing their own commission and premiere, The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius. The CROT will present a sneak peek in Iowa Public Radio’s Cedar Falls studios! The CROT’s cast features Jessica Pray, Thaddeus Ennen, Nicholas Nestorak, Jhe Russell, Jessica Grigg, Melanie Long, and Alex Soare, with Haley Stamats as Stage Director, and Pedro Yanez at the keyboard. The vocalists will treat us to an hour of operatic hits and several Grant Wood Operas surprises.

Des Moines Metro Opera

Kicking off IPR’s broadcasts is a performance by the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2018 production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

Die Fledermaus is described as an “effervescent and sparkling confection” that contains “familiar melodies” and “delightful charm.” A tale about a friend who plays a joke on another friend, the story will bring laughter to all listeners.

Courtesy of the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra

It’s not every day that a premier symphony orchestra from China performs in Iowa.

On Friday, February 22, the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra will be performing in the Great Hall of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. IPR will be broadcasting the concert live at 7 p.m.

Natasha Komoda

IPR’s Studios will be experiencing some wind on Thursday – Volante Winds!

On Thursday, February 21, nationally recognized chamber music group, the Volante Winds, will be performing live in IPR’s studios. They were founded in 2016, out of a “desire to collaborate with inspiring and amicable colleagues in the pursuit of excellence in chamber music performance.” The group’s passions include pedagogy, musicians who engage with their community, and bringing music to underserved areas.

Celeste Bembry

It’s time to celebrate people like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Ella Fitzgerald, Oliver Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Cole Porter, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Jesse Owens – Black History Month is here!

Join IPR in celebrating this annual observance by tuning in on Friday, February 1st at noon and Saturday, February 16th at 8 pm for a special broadcast featuring the UNI Trombone Studio’s performances in IPR’s Studios, under the direction of UNI’s Dr. Anthony Williams.

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre opens up their 21st season with Brecht’s and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera. As part of their performance season, The CROT will present a sneak peek in Iowa Public Radio’s Cedar Falls studios! The CROT’s cast features Jessica Pray, Thaddeus Ennen, Ashley Armstrong, Matt Chastain, Stephanie Johnson, Anna Valcour, Evan Dunn, Sarah Mikulski, Bryce Genovese, with Pedro Yanez at the keyboard. The vocalists will treat us to an hour of operatic hits as well as several Threepenny favorites.

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

Dec 18, 2018
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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.”

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.”

Des Moines Metro Opera

Kicking off the broadcasts is a performance by the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2018 production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

Die Fledermaus is described as an “effervescent and sparkling confection” that contains “familiar melodies” and “delightful charm.” A tale about a friend who plays a joke on another friend, the story will bring laughter to all listeners.

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.”

Eclavelle Designs

On Monday, July 16th at noon, IPR’s Performance Iowa will bring you a taste of this year’s Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, live from IPR’s Studios!

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