Luther to host Tomáš Kubínek premiere performance tour

April 6, 2010

Luther College will be only of only four stops on the November premiere performance tour of self-proclaimed “certified lunatic” Tomáš Kubínek and Orchestra Iowa.

“An Evening at The Symphony with Dr. Prof. Tomáš Kubínek” is a collaborative project of musical artist Kubínek and Timothy Hankewich, music director of Orchestra Iowa. Partners in the premiere tour are Luther College’s Center Stage Series, the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, and North Iowa Area Community College’s Performing Arts Center. 

The performance at Luther will be part of the college’s Center Stage Series of professional performing arts events for the 2010-11 season. Subscription tickets for the Center Stages Series will go on sale in June.

“An Evening at The Symphony with Dr. Prof. Tomáš Kubínek” was created by acclaimed music showman Kubínek and music director Hankewich. There will be just four performance venues for the special Iowa commission tour in November: Decorah, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Mason City.  Kubínek then hopes to tour orchestras around the world.

Organizers of the premier tour promise the “Evening at the Symphony” will be a zany, beautiful, one-of-a-kind performance. The stop in Decorah will include a music education outreach event with Kubínek. Format, location, date, time and other information about that event are to be determined.

Kubínek, who is the center of the collaborative project, identifies himself as a “Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible.” He has previously worked with Hancher Auditorium on music projects, so when he first envisioned this new collaborative venture with an orchestra he approached Chuck Swanson, Hancher executive director, with idea. Swanson suggested Orchestra Iowa and its music director Hankewich.

“We knew without a doubt that Tomáš and Maestro Hankewich would hit it off and have a wonderful relationship,” Swanson said. “We’re thrilled to be able to facilitate this collaboration and to see the new work come to fruition. We’re equally thrilled to have ensured that this project is seen in several Iowa communities before Tomáš takes the performance to orchestras far and wide.”

Kubínek and Hankewich have worked more than a year on the project to create an entertaining, comedic, one-of-a-kind symphonic production.

“The amazing music we are using and the sheer power of the orchestra coupled with my own humor and love of the absurd will reach people on a very deep level and leave them elated and grinning from ear to ear,” Kubínek promised.

“The beauty of being able to collaborate on this project with Hancher and to perform live onstage with Orchestra Iowa is very inspiring to me,” he said. “I can guarantee that people will remember this performance fondly for a very long time.”

“We are kindred spirits with a shared love of laughter and are developing something special that will have far-reaching implications,” said Hankewich. “Not only is this unique program being created right here in our area, but it is something that will be shared throughout the state and beyond.”

Kubínek’s internationally acclaimed solo performances play to packed theaters around the world. A collision of theatre and old-time music hall, his exuberant one-man show is equal parts comic brilliance, virtuosic vaudeville, and irresistible charm.

In the past year he has been the headline performer at the First International Congress of Fools organized by Slava Polunin (of Slava’s Snowshow fame) in Moscow, has played to capacity crowds on a 16-city tour of Italy, and has just returned from a sold-out run at London's prestigious Royal Festival Hall Purcell Theater as the featured solo-artist of the London International Mime Festival.

He has appeared in more than 30 countries on five continents and has been seen by millions of people in standing-room-only appearances at theaters, opera houses, international festivals of theatre and humor, in television specials, and on Broadway.

The University of Iowa’s Hancher has brought the finest in world culture to Iowa for more than 35 years, presenting great artists and companies while supporting the creation of new works. Hancher has commissioned more than 90 new pieces from choreographers like Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp, and composers such as Joan Tower and John Corigliano.

Orchestra Iowa, founded in 1921, is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. Its 82 professional musicians perform more than 120 public performances throughout eastern Iowa each year, many of which can be heard on Iowa Public Radio and seen on Iowa Public Television.

Group photo caption: “An Evening at The Symphony with Dr. Prof. Tomáš Kubínek” premiere tour in November is the creation of artist Tomáš Kubínek in collaboration with the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, Orchestra Iowa, Luther College Center Stage Series and NIACC Performing Arts and Leadership. Announcing the project at a recent press conference were (left to right) Tanya Gertz, director of Luther College Campus Programming; Chuck Swanson, executive director of Hancher Auditorium; Kubínek, “certified lunatic”; Elizabeth Gales, director of NIACC Performing Arts and Leadership; and Tim Hankewich, music director of Orchestra Iowa. (Photo by UIowa~CMP Photo Service)