Symphonies of Iowa

Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. on FM Classical

Every week, Symphonies of Iowa showcases Iowa's leading orchestras in concert. You'll hear a mix of familiar masterpieces and new works, of world-renowned soloists and Iowa's best composers and musicians. Join us Saturdays at 5 PM and Sundays at 4 PM.

Click here for a simple chronological list of this season's concerts.

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Courtesy Orchestra Iowa

Orchestra Iowa’s “Mahler’s Titan” concert will conclude the 2018-2019 Symphonies of Iowa season.

Orchestra Iowa’s program opens with Higdon’s blue cathedral. Composer Jennifer Higdon’s commission was premiered in 2000 by the Curtis Institute of Music. She describes her work as “a story that commemorates living and passing through places of knowledge and of sharing and of that song called life.”

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.

Jeff Gerew

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features The Des Moines Symphony and their Season Finale, “Bernstein’s West Side Story.”

The Des Moines Symphony wrapped up their 81st season celebrating Leonard Bernstein by performing his Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. For Maestro Giunta, this is a “personal tribute” to Bernstein, as it was one of the pieces he studied with Bernstein when the two worked together.

The program opens with Rossini’s Overture to Italian in Algiers.

Turkish Delight

May 29, 2019
Blake Argotsinger

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features the wcfsymphony and their “Turkish Delight” concert.

The wcfsymphony provided an opportunity to hear their winds in a very intimate and unique setting, “just the way Mozart’s audience would have.”

The program includes a “wind arrangement of Mozart’s opera Abduction from the Seraglio, along with other party delights from Vienna’s 18th-century Turkish craze.”

Courtesy Orchestra Iowa

Orchestra Iowa’s “German Requiem” concert will be featured on this week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast.

Courtesy DSM Magazine

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features Iowa native and internationally-renowned bass-baritone Simon Estes taking the stage with the Des Moines Symphony for their “Simon Sings Porgy & Bess” concert.

Simon Estes joined the Des Moines Symphony along with Janice Chandler-Eteme, “one of the world’s foremost lyric sopranos,” to perform selections from Gershwin’s “beloved” Porgy & Bess.

Simon Estes “has filled opera houses from New York City to Paris and beyond.”

Jeff Gerew

The Des Moines Symphony wraps up their 81st season celebrating Leonard Bernstein this weekend playing Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. For Maestro Giunta, this is a “personal tribute” to Bernstein, as it was one of the pieces he studied with Bernstein when the two worked together.

The program opens with Rossini’s Overture to Italian in Algiers.

Wikipedia

This weekend, the wcfsymphony presents their “Turkish Delight” concert on Saturday, May 11th at 4 and 7 p.m.

This weekend, the wcfsymphony is providing an opportunity to hear their winds in a very intimate and unique setting, “just the way Mozart’s audience would have.” They will perform two concerts in the Brown Derby Ballroom in Waterloo.

The program will include “Mozart’s own wind arrangement of his opera Abduction from the Seraglio, along with other party delights from Vienna’s 18th-century Turkish craze.”

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features the Dubuque Symphony and their “On Earth” concert.

The performance was the Dubuque Symphony’s first concert of their 60th Anniversary Concert Season.

Courtesy wcfsymphony

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features the wcfsymphony and their “To the New World” concert.

A great portion of Dvořák’s music was inspired by what he experienced here in America – including his time in Iowa. Dvořák’s music and Gary Kelley’s artwork meld together in an amazing concert experience.

Courtesy DSM Magazine

Iowa native and internationally-renowned bass-baritone Simon Estes takes the stage with the Des Moines Symphony this weekend for their “Simon Sings Porgy & Bess” concert.

Simon Estes joins the Des Moines Symphony along with Janice Chandler-Eteme, “one of the world’s foremost lyric sopranos,” to perform selections from Gershwin’s “beloved” Porgy & Bess.

OI Staff

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa show on IPR features Orchestra Iowa with Ana Vidovic on guitar and their “String Theory” concert. The program includes works by Clyne, Rodrigo, Pärt and Dvořák.

The program opens with Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms, a piece Clyne wrote for her mother. The Chicago Classical Review calls it a “powerful work, a somber, deeply felt meditation on loss.” Next, Ana Vidovic takes the stage with Orchestra Iowa to perform Joaquín Rodrigo’s famous Concierto de Aranjuez.

Annabel Wimer

The Des Moines Symphony’s “Ellis Island” concert is a journey to the “New World”: America.

The program highlights an immigrant’s journey to America, featuring Gershwin’s Concerto in F, with renowned pianist Aaron Diehl, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” and Peter Boyer’s Suite from Ellis Island: The Dream of America.

The Ellis Island Honors Society recently announced that Peter Boyer is among the recipients of the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This award is “highly prestigious” and is officially recognized by the United States Congress.

Courtesy wcfsymphony

This weekend, the wcfsymphony presents their “To the New World” concert on Saturday, April 13th at 7 p.m.

Executive Director Rich Frevert describes the concert as “both a musical and visual delight, as we present the artwork of Gary Kelley and the music of Antonín Dvořák.” The “unique multi-media event will give audience members the inside story of Dvořák’s inspirations during his time in America.”

Brooklyn Museum

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features The Quad City Symphony Orchestra and their “French Moderns” concert.

What better forces to pair up than music and art? The Figge Art Museum in Davenport and The Quad City Symphony Orchestra partnered up last fall to create a celebration of “French Moderns.”

OI Staff

This week, IPR’s Symphonies of Iowa features internationally acclaimed cellist Zuill Bailey and Iowa’s own Michael Daugherty on Orchestra Iowa’s “Tales of Hemingway” concert.

The program opens with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, a depiction of the story of Coriolanus, a Roman patrician. Then, Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway is performed with guest cellist Zuill Bailey.

Ben VanHouten

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa show on IPR features The Des Moines Symphony and guest conductor Gerard Schwarz taking the stage, along with pianist Roman Rabinovich.

courtesy of wcfsymphony

Love is on the air for Symphonies of Iowa and the wcfsymphony’s “Valentine Attraction” concert.

Passionate music of star-crossed lovers is the theme.

Joachim Raff’s Orchestral Prelude to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet opens the concert with a “meltingly beautiful central "love" section.” Sibelius’ nine movement incidental music to Maeterlinck's Pelleas et Mélisande is one of his most popular concert works.

Courtesy of Ksenia Nosikova

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa show on IPR features Orchestra Iowa with Ksenia Nosikova on piano and their “Russian Festival” concert. The all-Russian program includes works by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

When Rachmaninoff was 17-years-old, he left the piano studio he was a part of in order to dedicate his life to composing. He became a major composer of the 20th century, performing his own concertos. At just 18-years-old, Rachmaninoff premiered his Piano Concerto No. 1 at the Moscow Conservatory in 1892.

Annabel Wimer

The Des Moines Symphony’s upcoming concert is a journey to the “New World”: America.

The program highlights an immigrant’s journey to America, featuring Gershwin’s Concerto in F, with Aaron Diehl at the keyboard, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” and Peter Boyer’s Suite from Ellis Island: The Dream of America.

The Ellis Island Honors Society recently announced that Peter Boyer will be among the recipients of the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This award is “highly prestigious” and is officially recognized by the United States Congress.

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. Thus began the 25-year-old’s journey of becoming one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.

The performance will feature guest soloist Julian Schwarz on cello and principal violist of the Des Moines Symphony, Yee Ling Elaine Ng.

2015 BENJAMIN EALOVEGA

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features Orchestra Iowa and their “Jonathan Biss Plays Beethoven” concert, showcasing the amazing talent of American pianist Jonathan Biss.

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.

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.”

Ben VanHouten

The Des Moines Symphony and guest conductor Gerard Schwarz take the stage this weekend for the DMSO’s Masterworks IV concert.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the wcfsymphony and their “Valentine Attraction” concert this weekend.

The program features “passionate music of star-crossed lovers by Debussy, Gershwin and others including a rarely-heard orchestral setting of Romeo and Juliet.”

Listen below as the wcfsymphony Artistic Director and Conductor Jason Weinberger shares special insight into Saturday’s performance.

For wcf tickets and more information, visit https://wcfsymphony.org/tickets-events/

PROGRAM

LISA MARIE MAZZUCCO

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features the wcfsymphony and their “Gala Season Opener” concert, with a special appearance from acclaimed American concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein.

Composer Philip Glass informed 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.

Marco Borggreve

It’s cold and blistery outside during this month of February, but that means Iowa Public Radio Classical’s Symphonies of Iowa is back!

Join IPR this weekend as we kick off the 2018-2019 season of Symphonies of Iowa with the Des Moines Symphony’s “Beethoven and Mahler’s Titan” concert.

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.

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.

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.

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