The Well-Tempered Ear

‘Sunday Afternoon Live’ starts this Sunday at Chazen Museum

September 10, 2009
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By Jacob Stockinger

This is another big year for the most popular classical music program in Madison and, for that matter, in Wisconsin.

Can you guess what it is?

It is Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen, which is broadcast statewide from the University of Wisconsin’s Chazen (formerly Elvehjem) Museum of Art from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. most Sundays during the academic year.Chazen1

The chamber music concerts and recitals are free to attend—though you can have front-row reserved seats by being a member of either friends of the Wisconsin Public Radio or the Chazen Museum of Art. And of course, they are free to listen to (WERN 88.7 FM in the Madison area. Check your own channel at

This year marks the 31th anniversary of the collaborative project by WPR, the Chazen and the UW School of Music that reaches tens of thousands of listeners with each statewide broadcast, or so it has been estimated.

In my experience, the performers are almost always first-rate and the concert programs often feature rarely heard works as well as the standard repertoire of masterpieces.

It is a great way to experience the musical talent Wisconsin has and also to take in some of the art of show at the ever-expanding permanent collection and the impressive touring shows at the Chazen. During intermission, you can also hear either Chazen director Russell Panczenko (below left) or some other expert discuss a current art show or a new acquisition.Panczenko

All that plus the great acoustics, the art-filled ambience, an appreciative and attentive chamber music audience and post-concert snacks of coffee, tea and cookies, provided this year by coffee by Steep and Brew, cookies by Whole Foods and tea by the new store Coffee Bytes in University Square.

What do you think of the Sunday Afternoon Live series?

How could it be improved even more?.

The Ear wants to hear.

In the meantime, here is a list to print out and save of this season’s concerts:

This Sunday, Sept. 13 – Felicia Moye, violin; Stephanie Jutt, flute; Christopher Taylor, piano. The program includes J.S. Bach’s Trio Sonata in C; Bohuslav Martinu’s Sonata for Flute, Violin and Klavier; Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”: and Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” in D, K. 448.

Sept. 20 – Eugene Alcalay – piano

Sept. 27 – Pro Arte String Quartet

Oct. 4 – Trevor Stephenson, fortepiano

Oct. 11 – Lawrence Chamber Players

Oct. 18 – Varshawski-Shapiro Piano Duo

Oct. 25 – David Perry, violin; Bill Koehler, piano

Nov. 1 – Wisconsin Brass Quintet

Nov. 8 – Pro Arte String Quartet

Nov. 15 – Namji Kim, piano

Nov. 22 – Sotto Voce Tuba Quartet with Lon Ellenberger, countertenor

Nov. 29 – Raffi Besalyan, piano

Dec. 6 – Ensemble Musical Offering

Dec. 13 – Pro Arte String Quartet

No concert for Dec. 20 and 27 during UW Holiday Break

Jan. 3 – UW Whitewater Faculty

Jan. 10 – Oakwood Chamber Players

Jan.17 – Eli Kalman, piano; Klara Bahcall, violin

Jan. 24 – Rountree Ensemble

Jan. 31 – Prometheus Trio

Feb. 7 – Parry Karp, cello

Feb.14 – Wausau Conservatory Faculty

Feb. 21 – Pro Arte Quartet

Feb. 28 – Kangwon Kim

March 7 – Wingra Woodwind Quintet

March 14 – Ancora String Quartet

March 21 – Chris Cramer, guitar; Yi-Lan (Elaine) Niu, soprano

March 28 – Ancia Saxophone Quartet

No concert April 4, Easter

April 11 – Neale Silva Young Artists Winners Concert

April 18 – Sonora Reed Trio

April 25 – Uri Vardi, cello; David Perry, violin; Amitai Vardi, clarinet; Paulina Zamora, piano

May 2 – Wisconsin Brass Quintet

May 9 – Pro Arte Quartet

Posted in Classical music

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