Civic Music Association

Season History 1925 to 2019

Celebrating over 90 years of amazing music! Civic Music Association presented its first concert in 1925, featuring the Kibalchich Russian Symphonic Choir. A performance by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now known as The Minnesota Orchestra) followed. Soon performing arts luminaries such as Sergei Rachmaninoff were visiting Des Moines.

At a time before the founding of the Des Moines Symphony (1937) and the Des Moines Metro Opera (1973), CMA ensured that major national and international orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists, and opera and dance companies could be seen and heard in Des Moines. We continue that legacy today, bringing the legends and rising stars of jazz and chamber music to central Iowa.

Take a few minutes to scroll through our season history. You might be surprised by what you find!

1925-1930

1925-26

  • Kibalchich Russian Symphonic Choir
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Jacques Gordon
  • Dusolina Giannini
  • Hinshaw Operatic Ensemble

1926-27

  • Manhattan Opera Company
  • Claire Dux and Lauritz Melchior
  • Mischa Levitski
  • Harry Farbman

1927-28

  • Sophie Breslau and Joseph Szigeti
  • NY String Quartet and Wanda Landowska
  • Hans Kindler and Gitta Gradova
  • Beggars Opera (Original London Cast)
  • Feodor Chaliapin

1928-29

  • Guy Maier and Lee Pattison
  • Prague Teachers Chorus
  • Bohn Ballet
  • Mary Lewis
  • Rene Chamet and Barre Hill

1929-30

  • Hans Kindler and Gitta Gradova
  • Richard Crooks
  • Russian Don Cossack Choir
  • Alfred Cortot and Jacques Thibaud
  • Florence Austral
  • London String Quartet

1930-1940

1930-31

  • Edward Johnson
  • Aguilar Lute Quartette
  • Harold Bauer
  • Barrerre Little Symphony
  • Claire Dux

1931-32

  • Walter Gieseking
  • Dusolina Giannini
  • Gordon String Quartet
  • The Bluebird
  • Drake Trio and Soloist
Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff

1932-33

  • Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Roth Quartet
  • Coe Glade
  • Paul Kochanski

1933-34

  • Molitore-Tentare
  • Budapest Quartet
  • Myra Hess
  • John Charles Thomas
  • Nathan Milstein

1934-35

  • Benno Rabinof
  • Grete Stueckgold
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Monnier and Cozzi
  • Egon Petri

1935-36

  • Kirsten Flagstad
  • Monte Carlo Ballet
  • Ignaz Friedman
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson

1936-37

  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Marian Anderson
  • Jose Iturbi

1937-38

  • John Charles Thomas
  • Josef Hofman
  • Nathan Milstein
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

1938-39

  • Ballet Russell Jensen
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Lotte Lehmann
  • Bartlett and Robertson

1939-40

  • Ezio Pinza
  • Busch and Serkin
  • Artur Rubinstein
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

1940-1950

1940-41

  • Russian Don Cossack Choir
  • Jamila Novotna
  • Joseph Szigeti
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

1941-42

  • Alexander Kipnis
  • Yehudi Menuhin
  • Rudolf Serkin
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

1942-43

  • Thomas L. Thomas
  • Kolisch Quartet
  • Claudio Arrau
  • Gladys Swarthout
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

1943-44

  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Ballet Theater
  • Vladimir Horowitz
  • Jan Peerce

1944-45

  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Bidu Sayao
  • Zino Francescatti
  • Artur Rubinstein

1945-46

  • Robert Casadesus
  • Gregor Piatigorsky
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Igor Gorin
Balet Russe

Balet Russe

1946-47

  • Blanche Thebom
  • Luboschutz and Nemenoff
  • Original Ballet Russe
  • Nathan Milstein
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Rudolf Serkin

1947-48

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Eleanor Steber
  • Isaac Stern
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Mack Harrell
  • Ballet Theatre

1948-49

  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Gladys Swarthout
  • Jussi Bjoerling
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Four Piano Ensemble

1949-50

  • Robert Shaw Chorale
  • Charles Wagner Opera Co.
  • Ebe Stagnani
  • Leonard Pennario
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Jascha Heifetz
KRNT Theater 1949

KRNT Theater, 1949

1950-1960

1950-51

  • Astrid Varnay
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Gold and Fizdale
  • Giuseppe Di Stefano
  • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Ballet Theatre
  • Artur Rubenstein

1951-52

  • Cleveland Orchestra
  • Ballet Theatre
  • Robert Shaw Chorale
  • Michael Rabin
  • Kirsten Flagstad
  • Guiomar Novaes

1952-53

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Robert Merrill
  • Ballet Theatre
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • William Kapell
  • Victoria de Los Angeles

1953-54

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Agnes de Mille Ballet
  • Jerome Hines
  • Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Hilda Gueden
  • Artur Rubinstein
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

1954-55

  • Roberta Peters
  • De Paur Infantry Chorus
  • Tossy Spivakovsky
  • Rose Bampton
  • Ballet Theatre
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra

1955-56

  • Santa Cecilia Choir
  • Blanche Thebom
  • Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
  • Alexander Brailowsky
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Gregor Piatigorsky

1956-57

  • National Swedish Choir
  • Vronsky and Babin
  • Ballet Russe
  • Nathan Milstein
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Eileen Farrell

1957-58

  • Leonard Warren
  • Ruggiero Ricci
  • Byron Janis
  • National Ballet Canada
  • Roger Wagner Chorale
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

1958-59

  • Danish National Orchestra
  • Jean Madeira
  • Ruth Slenczynska
  • George London
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Chicago Opera Ballet

1959-1960

  • Adele Addison
  • Geza Anda
  • Janos Starker
  • Jose Greco Dancers
  • Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra

1960-1970

1960-61

  • Vronsky and Babin
  • Chicago Little Symphony
  • National Ballet of Canada
  • Joyce Flissler
  • Minneapolis Symphony
  • Irmgard Seefried

1961-62

  • Goldovsky Theatre Opera
  • Richard Tucker
  • Malcolm Frager
  • Leonard Rose
  • San Francisco Ballet
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra

1962-63

  • National Ballet of Canada
  • Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
  • Nicolai Gedda
  • Roger Wagner Chorale
  • John Browning
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

1963-64

  • Goldovsky Opera Theatre
  • Robert Casadesus
  • Nathan Milstein
  • Betty Allen
  • Albeneri Trio
  • Toronto Symphony

1964-65

  • Van Cliburn
  • Roger Wagner Chorale
  • Societa Corelli
  • Lois Marshall
  • Charles Treger
  • Houston Symphony Orchestra
Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn

1965-66

  • Cleveland Orchestra
  • Gina Bachauer
  • Shirley Verrett
  • Grand Ballet de France
  • John and Richard Contiguglia
  • Henryk Szeryng
  • Jan Peerce

1966-67

  • Jerome Hines
  • Goldovsky Opera Theatre
  • Isaac Stern
  • Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

1967-68

  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Itzhak Perlman
  • Roger Wagner Chorale
  • Philadelphia Chamber Symphony
  • Roberta Peters
  • Gina Bachauer
leontyne price

Leontyne Price

1968-69

  • Camerata Singers
  • Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Jacqueline Du Pré
  • Janet Baker
  • Artur Rubinstein
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

1969-70

  • Elizabeth Harwood
  • Bach Aria Group
  • Claudio Arrau
  • American Ballet Theater
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Zurich Chamber Orchestra

1970-1980

1970-71

  • Sherrill Milnes
  • Obernkirchen Children’s Choir
  • Andre Watts
  • Menuhin Festival Orchestra
  • Leontyne Price
Marilyn Horne

Marilyn Horne

1971-72

  • Boston Ballet and Edward Villella
  • Marilyn Horne
  • Carlos Barbosa-Lima
  • Young Uck Kim
  • Budapest Symphony Orchestra
  • Craig Sheppard

1972-73

  • Gary Graffman and Leonard Rose
  • Gregg Smith Singers
  • Birgit Nilsson
  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Alicia de Larrocha

1973-74

  • Whittemore and Lowe
  • Virgil Fox
  • Juilliard String Quartet
  • Denver Symphony Orchestra
  • New York Pro Musica

1974-75

  • New York Brass Quintet
  • Lili Kraus
  • Vienna Choir Boys
  • Orchestra of St. John’s Smith Square
  • Beverly Sills

1975-76

  • Itzhak Perlman
  • Dubrovnik Festival Orchestra
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal and Robert Veyron-Lacroix
  • Jorge Bolet
  • Simon Estes
  • Joffrey II Ballet

1976-77

  • Lynn Harrell
  • Elly Ameling
  • Gold and Fizdale
  • Carlos Montoya
  • Joerg Demus
  • Boston Symphony Chamber Players
Tokyo String Quartet

Tokyo String Quartet

1977-78

  • Tokyo String Quartet
  • Sherrill Milnes
  • Norman Luboff Choir
  • Ruth Slenczynska
  • Franz Liszt Orchestra of Budapest

1978-79

  • Garrick Ohlsson
  • The World of Gilbert and Sullivan
  • Joffrey II Dancers
  • Beaux Arts Trio
  • Eugene Fodo

1979-80

  • Isaac Stern
  • Lazar Berman
  • Marilyn Horne
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal and Alexandre Lagoya
  • St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

1980-1990

1980-81

  • Alicia de Larrocha
  • Simon Estes
  • Nathaniel Rosen
  • Canadian Brass
  • Texas Opera Theater

1981-82

  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
  • Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble
  • Shirley Verrett
  • Emanuel Ax
  • Pinchas and Eugenia Zukerman

1982-83

  • Andre-Michel Schub
  • Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble
  • Emerson String Quartet
  • Canadian Brass Quintet
  • Dresden State Orchestra
  • Santiago Rodriguez
Isaac Stern

Isaac Stern

1983-84

  • Malcolm Frager
  • George Shearing/Marian McPartland
  • Roger Wagner Chorale
  • Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
  • Gary Karr

1984-85

  • Garrick Ohlsson
  • Barry Tuckwell and the Northern Sinfonia of England
  • Itzhak Perlman
  • Sherrill Milnes
  • Boston Symphony Chamber Players

1985-86

  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
  • Paula Robison and Ruth Laredo
  • Bella Davidovich and Dmitry Sitkovetsky
  • Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Cecile Licad

1986-87

  • Ensemble for Early Music
  • Jeffrey Siegel
  • Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest
  • Lynn Harrell and Rudolf Firkusny
  • Simon Estes and Roberta Alexander
  • Juilliard String Quartet

1987-88

  • Katia and Marielle Labeque
  • New York Vocal Arts Ensemble
  • Israel Chamber Orchestra
  • Isaac Stern
  • Andre’ Watts
  • Empire Brass Quintet

1988-89

  • State Symphony Orchestra of the USSR
  • Elmar Oliveira and Horacio Gutierrez
  • Richard Stoltzman with Bill Douglas,
  • Eddie Gomez and John Pearson
  • Ursula Oppens
  • Berlin Chamber Orchestra
    Mirecourt Trio
Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis

1989-90

  • Nikolais and Louis Dance
  • Shlomo Mintz
  • Earl Wild
  • Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Octet
  • Wynton Marsalis

1990-2000

1990-91

  • London Brass
  • Modern Jazz Quartet
  • Barry Douglas
  • Tokyo String Quartet
  • Orchestre National de Lyon

1991-92

  • King’s Singers
  • Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Ida and Ani Kavafian
  • Bruce Brubaker
  • Branford Marsalis
Nadja Solerno Sonnenberg

Nadja Solerno Sonnenberg

1992-93

  • Prague Chamber Orchestra
  • Empire Brass
  • Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Cecile Licad
  • Christopher Parkening
  • Billy Taylor Trio

1993-94

  • New York Philomusica
  • Frederica von Stade
  • Gustav Rivinius
  • Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn
  • Marcus Roberts Trio

1994-95

  • Summit Brass
  • Manhattan String Quartet
  • Newport Jazz Festival on Tour
  • Boys Choir of Harlem
  • Horacio Gutierrez
Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval

1995-96

  • Bolcom and Morris Cabaret
  • Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
  • Joshua Bell
  • Arturo Sandoval Jazz Sextet
  • Santiago Rodriguez

1996-97

  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Alicia de Larrocha
  • Quartetto Gelato
  • Mark Peskanov
  • The Mingus Big Band

1997-98

  • Manhattan String Quartet
  • Vienna Choir Boys
  • Canadian Brass
  • Christopher Parkening and Jubilant Sykes
  • Chick Corea and Gary Burton

1998-99

  • Quartetto Gelato
  • Frederic Chiu
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Yellowjackets
  • Parsons Dance Company with Phil Woods Little Big Band

1999-2000

  • Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush and Mike Marshall
  • The Romeros
  • James Galway and the Safri Duo
  • Eliane Elias
  • Young Concert Artist Trio

2000-2010

2000-01

  • Anoushka Shankar
  • Nicholas Payton/Louis Armstrong Tribute
  • Pieces of 8
  • Stephen Hough
  • Gil and Orli Shaham
Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

2001-02

  • Zuill Bailey/Awadagin Pratt
  • Edgar Meyer/Bela Fleck
  • king’singers
  • Arturo Sandoval
  • Emerson String Quartet
  • Stefon Harris Quartet

2002-03

  • Richard and Peter Stoltzman
  • Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
  • Cowboy Junkies
  • Complexions Dance
  • Claudia Acuña
  • Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

2003-04

  • Turtle Island String Quartet
  • St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Hot Club of San Francisco
  • Cantus
  • Jessica Williams
Nneena Freelon

Nneena Freelon

2004-05

  • Nnenna Freelon
  • Benny Green
  • The Christian Howes Group
  • Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
  • Ying Quartet

2005-06

  • Sergio and Odair Assad
  • Fred Hersch
  • Ramsey Lewis Trio
  • Chanticleer
  • Brentano String Quartet
  • Angela M. Brown

2006-07

  • Chanticleer
  • Hot Club of San Fransisco
  • Baltimore Consort
  • Kenny Barron
  • Dianne Reeves
  • Nathan Gunn
  • Caitlin Tully

2007-08

  • Borealis Wind Quintet
  • Turtle Island Quartet
  • Joe Lovano Nonet
  • Ruby Hinds
  • The Dr. Michael White Quartet
  • Ahn Trio

2008-09

  • Regina Carter
  • Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
  • Andreas Klein
  • John Pizzarelli
  • Byron Stripling Quartet
  • Georgia Guitar Quartet

2009-10

  • Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio
  • Kurt Elling
  • Vienna Boys Choir
  • Russell Malone Quartet
  • The Poulenc Trio
  • Jackie Ryan

2010-2020

Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding

2010-11

  • Esperanza Spalding
  • Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
  • Boston Brass & the Brass All-Stars Band
  • Chris Potter’s Underground
  • Cantus
  • Wycliffe Gordon

2011-12

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • Emerson String Quartet
  • Oasis Quartet
  • Karrin Allyson
  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
  • Poncho Sanchez & his Latin Jazz Band

2012-13

  • Shuffle.Play.Listen. with Christopher O’Riley & Matt Haimovitz
  • Christian McBride & Inside Straight
  • Ninety Miles featuring Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton and David Sanchez
  • Anonymous 4
  • Jim Hall Trio
  • Miro Quartet with Collin Currie

2013-14

  • Joshua Redman Quartet with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers & Gregory Hutchinson
  • New York Voices
  • The Soul Rebels
  • Canadian Brass
  • Imani Winds
  • Kenny Barron & Dave Holland Duo
  • Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio
  • The 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, Vadym Kholodenko
Philip Glass

Philip Glass

2014-15

  • Philip Glass
  • Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
  • Fifth House Ensemble
  • Béla Fleck & Brooklyn Rider
  • Spanish Harlem Orchestra
  • Nnenna Freelon & Earl Klugh
  • Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet
  • Kurt Elling & the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra
  • Vladimir Feltsman

2015-16

  • Turtle Island Quartet and Cyrus Chestnut
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant
  • Joey DeFrancesco Quartet
  • Calmus
  • Dalí Quartet
  • Gregory Porter
  • Bria Skonberg Quartet
  • Jeremy Denk

2016-17

  • Sarah Chang
  • Manhattan Transfer & Take 6
  • Canadian Brass
  • Jazz 100, feat. Lizz Wright, Chris Potter, Avishai Cohen, Danilo Pérez & Wycliffe Gordon
  • Ensemble Dal Niente
  • Matt Haimovitz

2017-18

  • Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
  • David Sanborn
  • Time for Three
  • Cyrille Aimée
  • Delfeayo Marsalis
  • The Lysander Trio with Charles Neidich
  • Eighth Blackbird

2018-19

  • Ramsey Lewis & Ann Hampton Callaway
  • Emanuel Ax
  • Hot Club of San Francisco
  • Julian Lage Trio
  • Veronica Swift and the Benny Green Trio
  • Fauré Quartett
  • Sybarite5