A world-premiere presentation telling an all-too-current tale of Zoom-meeting anxieties, the three-song cycle Operatini serves as the fourth commission in the 23-year history of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, its February 11 debut a virtual collaboration by composer Nancy Hill Cobb, librettist Melinda Boyd, and mezzo-soprano Suzanne Hendrix-Case.

From February 12 through 14, Grammy-nominated songwriter and piano sensation Jim Brickman will be showcased in a quintet of live virtual performances, with Share the Love, LIVE! designed as an uplifting, family-friendly showcase of Brickman's gifts and hit songs such as “Love of My Life,” “Destiny,” “Angel Eyes,” and “Valentine,” the latter an appropriate tune for an at-home Valentine's Weekend celebration.

A bright and youthful concert event featuring works by composers Gioachino Rossini, Felix Mendelssohn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra's The Italian Symphony serves as the fourth Masterworks presentation of the musicians' 2020-21 season, with this February 7 celebration of Italy's country and culture boasting a performance by violinist Linda Phan, winner of the 2019 Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Concerto Competition.

Continuing its presentation of virtual programming in the venue's annual PASS (Performing Arts Signature Series) program, Quad City Arts hosts a thrilling January 27 concert event with an ensemble that Maverick magazine called “an energetic and exciting band with talent to burn”: the Sultans of String, who will deliver a genre-hopping blend of dynamic styles recorded specifically for Quad City Arts patrons.

Davenport-based producer K1ng Supr3m3 breaks out the crates and gathers together a network of dusty samples and fluid drum patterns for ジャンプドライブ (Japanese Katakana for “Jump Drive,” which might lead us to believe that these tracks were sourced from a particularly packed flash USB stick).

A one-of-a-kind blend of bluegrass and comedy coming to the Quad Cities from a remote part of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains region, the family musicians of The Cleverlys take the stage at Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Rhythm Room on January 21, the quintet's talents leading the New York Times to write, “If Earl Scruggs, Dolly Parton, and Spinal Tap spawned a litter of puppies, it would be the Cleverlys.”

A recap of 2020 is unnecessary for this article. We all know what kind of year it was. Its upside was the incredible amount of good music that made its way to the ears of a world that needed to hear it - perhaps more than at any other time in recent history.

One of the most famous and initially controversial operas of all time will be granted a special encore screening on January 14 as Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre delivers a virtual presentation of its 2010 Iowa PBS smash Salome, composer Richard Strauss' classic that showcases internationally celebrated soprano Amy Johnson.

Avant-garde composer, multi-instrumentalist, and soft-music pioneer Harold Budd passed away earlier this month at the age of 84. Though considered a major forerunner of styles of music that would come to be named “ambient” and “New Age” in their various forms, Budd rejected these terms outright. From his viewpoint, his music floated in its own stratum, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20th-century minimalism or neoclassical composition.

Sometimes the world coughs up a few Christmas-themed gems for the freaks out there – the ones looking for a not-so-Silent Night among the thorns of the wreath, the ones for whom the heralding angels have no fanfares. Let’s take a look at some Christmas tunes fit for those who can’t stand the institution of Christmas music.

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