Classical

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."

University Relations

The UNI School of Music brings Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” to Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

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.

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:

johnrommereim.com

 

It's good to have many skills, but even better when they synergize. At Grinnell College, John Rommereim conducts choirs, writes music, teaches composition and theory, plays keyboards, and researches musicology. The strands are varied but they weave together into something more than their sum. What connects them, Rommereim told me, is imagination. He explains in this short interview: 

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.”

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Wikimedia Commons

IPR Classical’s Performance Iowa will be doing a live broadcast of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s world-premiere of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius performance on Sunday, April 14th at 2 p.m.

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.”

Courtesy Wheaton College Massachusetts

Author and art history professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, Tripp Evans, will be joining the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in a pre-opera talk before each performance of The Grant Wood Operas. Dr. Evans is the author of Grant Wood: A Life, a 2010 biography of Grant Wood. Dr. Evans will provide pre-show talks prior to each performance, discussing Grant Wood’s life.

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.

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.

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.

Taylor Fiser Photography

Coming to Cedar Rapids on April 12-14th is the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s world-premiere of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius.

Courtesy of St. Luke's United Methodist Church

Home of the 5th largest collection of Tiffany church windows in the United States, St. Luke’s has more Tiffany windows than any other church in the state of Iowa!

The church was built in 1896 and is called “one of the five finest Religious Tiffany collections in the world.” The Angel in the window of the “Angel Among the Lilies” is rumored to bear the likeness of the young deceased daughter of the people who had sponsored that window.

The church’s windows were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York.

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.

Stefan Cohen

The renowned San Francisco Symphony visits Iowa this Friday, March 29, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium at Iowa State University. Three Iowa natives who are members of the symphony will be returning to their Iowa roots as they perform with the symphony.

The three members of the symphony with Iowa ties are Jacob Nissly, originally from Grimes, John Engelkes, originally from Parkersburg, and Linda Lukas, who studied at the University of Iowa.

IPR has a special treat on Wednesday, March 27th! Former classical music host for KUNI-FM, Peter Hamlin, will be on air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Peter is a composer who has written works for orchestra, band, choir, chamber ensembles, voice, music theater, and most recently, electronic media. He is also a music professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, teaching theory, electronic music, and composition. He previously taught at St. Olaf College. Peter worked as a radio producer/host at KPBS-FM in San Diego from 1974-1980 and at KUNI-FM in Cedar Falls from 1980-1990.

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection was organized by  the Richard H. Driehaus Museum  and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.
Photograph by John Faier. © 2013 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Davenport’s Figge Art Museum recently opened a new exhibit: Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Museum.

The show is a “lavish overview of Tiffany’s mastery of color and form in a wide range of materials and decorative styles.”

The Figge’s exhibit showcases 62 exemplary works of Tiffany’s, including small blown glass vases to stained-glass windows and a “spectacular selection of lamps.” The works are drawn from the collection of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago. The exhibit is on view now until May 19, 2019.

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.

www.nathanhill.net

The forces of writing and music come together as Chamber Music Quad Cities pairs up with novelist Nathan Hill.

Nathan Hill is an Iowa native whose writing skills came to national attention with The Nix, his “critically acclaimed novel spanning three generations of American life.” The novel is being translated into thirty languages and was named #1 book of the year by Audible and Entertainment Weekly.

Chorus America/ University of Iowa

In the last two months of 2018, Iowans gave 100 choral concerts (we listed them!). But if December is "peak choral," the singing returns in February and especially in March and April. We won’t create another “big list” of every event, but will try to keep you updated with brief, occasional posts. As usual, let me know what I’m missing! Here’s a start:

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TUESDAY, MARCH 5th

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.

Melisa Walker

The Des Moines Art Center is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Fingerman Lecture with a series of lectures by leading museum directors around the nation.

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.

RNZ Music / Stan Alley https://www.radionz.co.nz/collections/u/music-festivals-and-events/womad/audio/201815807/interview-ladysmith-black-mambazo-womad-2016

Albert Mazibuko grew up on a farm in South Africa then found work at an asbestos factory. But since childhood he'd dreamed of singing with an innovative local ensemble, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In 1969, he was invited to join the group, and half a century later he has lost none of his enthusiasm.

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