If music be the food of love, play on.

In challenging times like these, we turn to artists for comfort, for wisdom, for insight, and for inspiration. These words from Shakespeare are uttered by the lovesick Duke Orsino at the beginning of Twelfth Night. They “set the stage” for a romantic comedy where music’s ability to nourish the soul is celebrated and evaluated in the way only Shakespeare can. We hope you’ll journey with us to musical destinations for our Play On series!

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

The Play On virtual concert series is made possible in part through the generous support of our series sponsors.

Iowa PBS Foundation
Nixon and Virginia Lauridsen
Eric and Carol Weber

Olga Kern



Sat, Jan 30, 2021

7:00 pm

Russian-American pianist Olga Kern is recognized as one of her generation’s great artists. With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike.

Steinway Artist and First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition (at seventeen!), Olga Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of five. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years.

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Tom Scott Quintet

Campus Jax, Los Angeles, CA


Fri, Feb 19, 2021

8:00 PM

Tom Scott is a renowned composer, arranger, producer, music director, saxophonist and educator. His 33 solo recordings have earned him 13 Grammy nominations and 3 Grammy awards.

Mr. Scott has performed on more than 2000 recordings—by such diverse artists as Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Thelonious Monk, the Blues Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Aerosmith. His numerous contributions include performing and arranging for Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Toto, Whitney Houston. He’s also performed and arranged for countless movie soundtracks, including Taxi Driver, The Jerk, Three Days of the Condor, Heaven Can Wait, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. and the latest release of A Star Is Born.

His television composing and conducting credits include the themes for Family Ties and Starsky & Hutch, background scores for Baretta, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, and Streets Of San Francisco.  He has served as Musical Director for the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards (9 times), the People’s Choice Awards, Comic Relief, the Carol Burnett Show, the Pat Sajak Show, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Olivia Newton-John, and the GRP All-Star Big Band, among others.

He teaches Master Classes in Woodwinds, Arranging & Film Composing, and is currently on the faculty of the New York University Summer Jazz program.

Juilliard String Quartet

Amsterdam, Netherlands


Sat, Apr 10, 2021

7:00 pm

With unparalleled artistry and enduring vigor, the Juilliard String Quartet (JSQ) continues to inspire audiences around the world. Founded in 1946 and hailed by The Boston Globe as “the most important American quartet in history,” the ensemble draws on a deep and vital engagement to the classics, while embracing the mission of championing new works, a vibrant combination of the familiar and the daring.

Each performance of the Juilliard String Quartet is a unique experience, bringing together the four members’ profound understanding, total commitment, and unceasing curiosity in sharing the wonders of the string quartet literature.

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Aldo & Ilmar Gavilán

Detroit, MI


Sat, May 8, 2021

7:00 PM

Praised for his “dazzling technique and rhythmic fire” in the Seattle Times and dubbed a “formidable virtuoso” by The Times of London, Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán excels in both the classical and jazz worlds as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber-music collaborator, and performer of his own electrifying jazz compositions.

Aldo is joined by his brother Ilmar Gavilán on violin for an electrifying concert of Aldo’s original compositions. Drawing from a range of colors that includes Middle Eastern, Irish and Brazilian sonorities, Aldo’s compositions weave a layered tapestry described as magical, optimistic, and at its core, deeply soulful.

These two phenomenal musicians were born in Cuba to a family of internationally acclaimed classical musicians, their father a conductor and composer and their mother a concert pianist.

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