Announcement of “The Kreutzer Sonata”, a new radio piece broadcast on IPR Classical

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Iowa City, IA – The MusicIC Festival of the UNESCO City of Literature of Iowa City has teamed up with the Riverside Theater to create “The Kreutzer Sonata: A Play in Five Tiny Movements” by award-winning playwright Jennifer Fawcett, a radio play to be broadcast on Iowa Public Radio Classic signals August 8, 2021.

Originally commissioned and presented by MusicIC in 2014, “The Kreutzer Sonata” is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Leo Tolstoy in 1889. Fawcett’s adaptation tells the story of Pozdnyshev (played by Martin Andrews), a man so consumed with jealousy after hearing his wife (Saffron Henke) play the role of Ludwig van Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, that he is driven to violence. Woven into the room is an interpretation of Beethoven’s Sonata and Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No.1 (also called Kreutzer Sonata), inspired by Tolstoy’s novel.

MusicIC and Riverside Theater had originally planned to co-host a live production of the play in the fall of 2020. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two organizations reinvented the production as a radio play, directed by Riverside Artistic Director Adam Chevalier. The resulting production – directed by Grammy-winning producer Jesse Lewis – incorporates music from Beethoven and Janáček throughout. Beethoven’s Sonata for fortepiano and violin No. 9 in A major, op. 47 (“Kreutzer”), is performed by Ian Watson (strong piano) and Susanna Ogata (violin). The Janáček String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”, is performed by The Knights from an original concept and arrangement by Eric Jacobsen, with orchestration by Michael P. Atkinson and conducted by Eric Jacobsen.

Iowa Public Radio will air the production at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 8. The piece will be available on air (including Cedar Rapids / Iowa City / Quad Cities: 91.7 FM, Cedar Falls / Waterloo: 89.5 FM and Des Moines: 105.9 FM among others) and streaming at iowapublicradio.org or via the IPR application. To find your local classic DPI station, visit iowapublicradio.org/find-your-signal. The piece will also be available on demand at iowapublicradio.org starting Tuesday, August 10.

MusicIC Artistic Director Tricia Park says: “I am delighted to collaborate with Riverside Theater on this special radio version of our ‘Kreutzer Sonata’. Especially in these difficult times, I look forward to the season ahead with renewed hope. Since 2014, when MusicIC created and commissioned “Kreutzer Sonata”, I have planned to do a cover – a “reboot” – at some point. Despite the unprecedented hurdles arts organizations face as a result of the pandemic, I am so proud of how MusicIC, Riverside Theater and the UNESCO City of Literature of Iowa City responded to this moment and developed in such a way. creative. I’m also excited to collaborate with Jesse Lewis, Ian Watson, Susanna Ogata and The Knights as we collectively reinvent this project. The premiere of this radio piece on IPR is an incredible chance for MusicIC to reach beyond our loyal audiences and bring more people into the know about the great things happening here in Iowa.

You will find more information about this production and the MusicIC festival on http://www.musicic.org/

To learn more about Riverside Theater and the production, please visit www.riversidetheatre.org/the-kreutzer-sonata/

To learn more about the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization, please visit www.iowacityofliterature.org


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