Orchestra Iowa, under the direction of Timothy Hankewich, recently performed Michael Daugherty’s Grammy Award winning cello concerto Tales From Hemingway in the Paramount Theatre for the Performing Arts. The performance met the usual world-class standards to which we have become accustomed with this orchestra and its master conductor.
The cello soloist, Zuill Bailey, gave us a virtuosic display even more captivating than the Grammy winning recording of this work he made last year with the Nashville Symphony. I left the concert hall with a great patriotic feeling swelling in me from the dramatic, engaging representation of four of Ernest Hemingway’s great novels in sweeping, thrilling orchestral sound. I thank our native son Michael for 40 minutes of true patriotic fervor dedicated to this literature of a great American.
Daugherty has composed dozens of works based on American icons ranging from Brooklyn Bridge to Elvis, and from the Cedar Rapids world-premiered Metropolis Symphony to the percussion concerto U.F.O. But in this era of political infighting, backbiting and hate-mongering, my deepest gratitude goes to him for giving us a moment of real patriotic pride in a great American. Willis Daugherty’s oldest son Michael has given us a true taste of what we all know America really is. I thank him for this.