Arts

This week, we're talking with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's George Stelluto, and with violinist Arnaud Sussman. The PSO is presenting a concert with music of Beethoven and Brahms this weekend. They talk about about the Brahms Violin Concerto, and Beethoven Third Symphony. Stelluto describes the Beethoven Symphony -- which was originally dedicated to Napoleon -- as a transition point between the Classical and Romantic Eras. Sussmann calls the Brahms "the king of all the Violin Concertos," one which treats the violin as an integral part of the orchestra.

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Artistsic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra.

Ann Schmitt, from the Peoria Riverfront Museum, is with us this week to talk about "The George & Norma Kottemann Collection: A 40-Year Passion For Art." The exhibit features work of mid-century and contemporary art from the couple's personal personal collection. It includes paintings, sculpture and glass art; and represents four decades of effort by the Peoria couple. Schmitt says the Kottemann's were strategic in their acquisitions, and often sought to meet the artists whose work they collected.

This week, we're talking with Eric Otto and Wendy Thomasson from the Peoria Ballet. They're presenting "Sleeping Beauty" this weekend. It's the first time the Ballet has performed this work, and it also marks Otto's debut as the company's Artistsic Director.

This week, we're talking with Marcia Henry Liebenow and Kyle Dzapo. They're two of the musicians featured in "Chamber Music by Candlelight." The concert - part of the Trinity Concert Series - features chamber music by composers ranging from Bach to Lukas Foss. They talk about selecting the works to include in the program, about what Trinity Lutheran Church offers as a performance venue, and about the unqiuely personal and intimate experience of performing chamber music.

"Chamber Music by Candlelight" will be presented Friday night at 7:00 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Peoria.

This week, we're talking with Andrew Driscoll from the Peoria Cabaret Theatre, about "The Irish... And How They Got That Way." Written by Frank McCourt, the show celebrates the history of Irish immigrants to America. Driscoll talks about the show itself, and how it lends itself to a cabaret style presentation in his particular venue. He also talks about how it fits in among the other events presented in the Broadway Lounge, and an upcoming performance which spotlights the music of Peoria-born songwriter Richard A. Whiting.

This week, Nathan Irwin is talking with David Commanday, Music Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. In their next concert, the orchestra is joined by three former finalists from "American Idol." Commanday talks about the three guest artists, and the different genres and vocal types they represent. He says the concert offers the orchestra an opportunity to present a different type of repertoire. And he talks about "American Idol" as a cultural and musical phenomenon.

This week, we're talking with Charles Killen. He's directing "August: Osage County" at Peoria Players Theatre. He describes the play as a multi-layered family drama, and the cast includes long-time Peoria actors, along with a few new faces. He also talks about the rehearsal process he and the cast engaged in to prepare the production, and he makes the case that author Tracy Letts' writing style is as rewarding for actors as it is for audiences.

"August Osage County" opens tonight, with performances continuing through March 19th at Peoria Players Theatre.

Central Illinois Youth Symphony

This week, we're talking with Jeff McSweeney, Executive Director of the Central Illinois Youth Symphony. They're presenting "A Musical Masquerade" tonight. It's a fund-raising event to support the CIYS and its programs for young musicians.

We talk about the CIYS, and the variety of orchestras and chamber ensembles it encompasses, and about some of the benefits young performers derive from participating in music. We also talk about what to expect from this this evening's event.

This week, we're talking with Scott Kanoff, from the Bradley University Department of Theatre Arts, about their production of "These Shining Lives." The play tells the story of women who worked at the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, IL, the toll that work took on their health, and the legal case they pursued against the company. Kanoff talks about the play, why they selected it, and some local connections to the story it recounts. The performance on Sunday, February 26th, the department will also present a moot court trial on the legal issues involved in the story.

Director Chip Joyce is with us to talk about Corn Stock Theatre's production of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson." The rock musical depicts the personal life and political career of the nation's seventh President. Joyce says the show's emo-rock score fits the charged, tumultuous era in which Jackson lived. He talks about how he first discovered the show, and why he thinks Corn Stock's Winter Playhouse is a good venue for it. He also contrasts it with the more recent musical, "Hamilton."

BarryCloyd.com

Singer-songwriter Barry Cloyd is back this week, talking about his upcoming concert at the Forest Park

Nature Center on Saturday. The performance is part of their "Songs From the Woods" concert series, and  Cloyd considers it his annual "home concert." He talks about the repertoire he has planned for the concert, and  about "Freedom Street," the new name he's given the long-time collaborators who are joining him. He also talks about his songwriting process, and how new distribution platforms -- like Internet radio stations -- have changed the music business in recent years.

Peoria Players Theatre

This week, we're talking with Connie Sinn. She's directing "Into the Woods," the latest production at Peoria Players Theatre. The musical is based on familiar fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, and features recognizable characters like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Jack and his beanstalk. Sinn says the show weaves those characters together to tell a story that's more nuanced, darker and more mature. She also talks about what drew her to this musical.

"Into the Woods" runs tonight through Sunday, February 12th, at Peoria Players Theatre.

This week, Nathan Irwin and Jenn Gordon talk with Jerry Kolb from public television station WTVP, and with Cody Diekhoff (who performs under the name Chicago Farmer). Kolb talks about WTVP's new program, "State and Water," which is designed to spotlight local bands and musicians. They're hosting Chicago Farmer with a live taping tonight at 6:00. Diekhoff talks about his musical background, the origin of the name "Chicago Farmer," and about his evolution as a songwriter.

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. They're presenting a matinee concert this weekend, tailored to children and families. It opens with "Gershwin's Magic Key," a presentation that introduces us to George Gershwin and some of his best-known songs. It's one of several productions from  Classical Kids LIVE! which the PSO has featured. Stelluto talks about how it works to open the concert

This week, we're talking with Andrew Morgan, founder of The Penguin Project, and director of their upcoming production of "Crazy For You."

He reviews the purpose of The Penguin Project - to provide an opportunity for children with special needs to participate in the performing arts. He also talks about this particular show, a musical that weaves together many of George Gershwin's best-known songs.

Heartland Festival Orchestra

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Music Director of the Heartkand Festival Orchestra. Their next concert is "New Year's Greeting: Vienna to Broadway." The program blends opera favorites and music from the Broadway stage. Commanday talks about some of those pieces, the history of the HFO's New Year concerts, and about the two featured soloists - Sarah Jane McMahon and John Cudia.

The Heartland Festival Orchestra presents "New Year's Greeting: Vienna to Broadway" Saturday night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington.

The Waterhouse

This week, we're talking with Andrew Driscoll. He joined us to talk about some of the activities at The Waterhouse, which moved a few years ago from its location on Water Street to the MAXAM building. As part of the change in venue, The Waterhouse is now able to offer more performances, especially in its Broadway Lounge. He talks about the current production in that space, "The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged)," and some his plans for 2017. He also talks about the new venue, and how the business has changed as a result of having a larger facility.

Peoria Ballet

This week, we're talking with Wendy Thomasson and Eric Otto, from the Peoria Ballet. They're presenting their annual production of "The Nutcracker," with performances Saturday and Sunday at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre. Otto stepped in as Artistic Director of the production earlier this fall, when another director had to drop out. He talks about how production of the holiday standard differ from company to company, about the advantages of performing with a live orchestra, and about his own transition from professional dancer to choreographer.

Corn Stock Theatre

We're talking this week with Steve Vinovich and Cindy Hoey, who appear in Corn STock Theatre's production of "Love Letters." It's a return visit for Vinovich - a Peoria native who's had a long career as an actor in New York and Los Angeles - who last appeared at Corn Stock three years ago. The production also marks Hoey's retirement as Corn Stock's manager.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Our guest this week is Ann Schmitt, talking about "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," now on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto - Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra - and with cellist Richard Hirschl. The PSO presents a concert of Russian music in its next concert, including an overture by Mikhail Glinka, Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony,  and the Cello Concerto by Dmitri Shostakovich. Hirschl offers a performer's perspective on the Shostakovich work and it's historical context, and Stelluto describes how Tchaikovsky's symphony reflects the composer's emotional state.

Today, we're talking with Dr. John Jost from the Bradley Music Department. He's conducting the Bradley Community Chorus, Chorale and Symhony Orchestra in a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" next Sunday. Jost notes that Verdi's background as an opera composer is on display in this choral work, in it's intensity and sudden emotional contrasts. He also gives a little background on the work, and talks about the process of putting three large ensembles and soloists together for the upcoming performance.

The Art Garage Studio and Gallery

This week. we're talking with Jessica Ball from The Art Garage Studio and Gallery, and with artist Justin Fenwick. Fenwick, who works under the name "Donk'E Punch" featured in The Art Garage's new exhibit, "3 The Hard Way." The exhibit opens tonight, with an opening reception in conjunction with First Fridays. We talk about Fenwick's work, which uses tennis shoes as his primary medium. We also talk about The Art Garage's outreach activities - which include classes and workshops, "art parties" and programs for kids.

Central Illinois Ballet

We're joined this week by Rhea Keller and Malachi Squires, dancers with the Central Illinois Ballet. They're dancing the principal roles in the company's performance of "Dracula: Dance on the Dark Side" this weekend. They talk about how their roles differ physically from other roles in the ballet repertoire, and about how the Dracula story lends itself to portrayal in dance . The ballet itself is more recent, and this production features more contemporary choreography.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're talked with young pianist Harmony Zhu, and with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Zhu is the featured soloist in the PSO's upcoming concert, which features the works of three musical prodigies -- Mozart. Mendelssohn, and Beethoven. Zhu offers us a look inside the life of a young performer. Stelluto talks about how he became aware of her, and invited her to perform with the PSO.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra's concert, "Prodigies," will be performed tomorrow night at 8:00 at Grace Presbyetrian Church in Peoria.

The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee / Facebook

The Chicago Theater community gathers in Oakbrook tonight to celebrate the year’s best work on the stage. Illinois Public Radio's Brian O’Keefe visited with the one of the creative forces behind one of last year’s big winners and this year’s nominees.

 

 

 

 

 

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Artistic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Their next concert, "Mozart's Masterpieces," is tomorrow night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington. The program includes two pieces by Mozart, accompanied by works of Luigi Boccherini and Giovanni Paisiello. Commanday talks about the works in the concert, about pairing Mozart with his two contemporaries, and about the orchestra's community partner for this concert.

Bradley University Theatre

Our guest this week is Scott Knoff, who's directing "Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play" at Bradley University. The play features three retellings of an episode of "The Simpsons:" as a tale told around a campfire, again as a performance by a group of re-enactors, and finally as a grand opera. Kanoff says the play is an exploration of the act of storytelling and the function stories have in a our culture. He also talks about some of the "table work" the company did in its preparation, and about audience response to the show's opening weekend.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum is departing after nearly three years at the helm. Sam Gappmayer is leaving to be the director of John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He arrived at Peoria Riverfront Museum just after it had reported a deficit and lower than expected attendance numbers in its first year of operation.

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