The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music notes: Madison’s highlights this week include a cellist’s debut, band music, choral music and educational programs for children

November 18, 2009

By Jacob Stockinger

The big classical music event this week is the Madison concerto debut of cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, an American by birth and education who now is based in the Great Britain, with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Kirshbaum, who performed a recital during the 1975-76 season at the Wisconsin Union Theater, will appear with the MSO this weekend.

(On Thursday, he will also appear giving an interview on Wisconsin Public Radio’s The Midday at noon – 88.7 FM in the Madison area – and will give a free public master class at 1 p.m. Thursday in Morphy Hall on the UW campus in the Mosse Humanities Building.)

With the MSO, Kirshbaum will perform Ernest Bloch’s moving “Schelomo,” one of Bloch’s Hebraic works that have a minor-key Old Testament sound and feel, and Dvorak’s quietly lyrical “Silent Woods.”

Also on the program, to be conducted by John DeMain, is Tchaikovsky’s deeply moving and tumultuous Fifth Symphony – always a popular a crowd-pleaser, even for first-time listeners — and Respighi’s upbeat and evocative  “Fountains of Room.”

Performances are in Overture Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 8 pm..; and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $15 to $75. Call 258-4141.

On THURSDAY, NOV. 19, at 8:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Guitar Ensemble, under director Javier Calderon, will perform music by Albeniz, Giuliani, Tchaikovsky, Manuel de Falla, Boccherini and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6.

The concert is free and open to the public.

On FRIDAY, NOV. 20, at 8 p.m. in Mills Halls, the Women’s Chorus and University Chorus will perform.

The Women’s Chorus will feature “Hoj, hura, hoj!” by Otmar Macha, accompanied by Carole Schultz, Bianca Torres, and Rebekah Bernhoft; “Glaedjens blomster” by Hugo Alfven, conducted by Ellen Bins; and “Lift Thine Eyes” by Felix Mendelssohn; with others.

The University Chorus will perform “Verleih’ Uns Frieden” by Mendelssohn, accompanied by Elizabeth Phillips; “Steal Away,” conducted by Courtney Cottrell; “Homeland” by Gustav Holst, accompanied by Elizabeth Phillips; “Zadok the Priest” by George F. Handel, accompanied by Patrick Christians; and more.

The University Chorus will be conducted by Michael Pfitzer.

The Women’s Chorus will be conducted by
 Kimberly Dunn Adams.

The concert is free and open to the public.

On SATURDAY, NOV. 21, at 11 a.m. in the Madison Children’s Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., the Madison Symphony Orchestra will present another is its outstanding “Meet the Musician” series of outreach programs for young children.

Here is the MSO press release: “Would you like to introduce the children in your life to the magic of a musical instrument? Come down to the Madison Children’s Museum for a close encounter of the musical kind. The professional musicians of the MSO take time out to play for and with children on Saturdays during the concert season.

“There’s no extra charge and no reservations are needed; just show up and have fun!”

Saturday’s guest artist is violist Alexis Carreon.

SUNDAY, NOV. 22, seems to be Band Day at the UW:

You can get a preview THIS  THURSDAY MORNING, NOV. 19, from 7 to 8 a.m. when graduate assistant conductor Matthew Schlomer will be the guest of Jim Schwall on WORT-FM in Madison. Schlomer will talk about the band concerts this weekend (with excerpts of great band music from the 20th century).  WORT is at 89.9 FM on the dial.

At 2 p.m. in Mills Hall, the Concert Band will perform under Scott Teeple.

The performance features “March from Symphonic Metamorphosis” by Paul Hindemith; “William Byrd Suite” by Gordon Jacob; “October” by Eric Whitacre; and “Candide Suite” by Leonard Bernstein/Grundman.

The concert is free and unticketed.

Then at 4 p.m. in Mills Hall,University Bands will perform.

The concert will contain several pieces by individual directors. Justin Stolarik will perform such works as the Overture to “Candide” by Leonard Bernstein; “Irish Tune from County Derry” by Percy Grainger and more. Matthew Schlomer offers “Russian Festival” by Anatoli Lliadov and “Badger Variations” by Jerry Bilik. Erik Jester will conduct “The Cowboys” by John Williams/Curnow; “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson and more.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Also on SUNDAY, NOV. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the Winds of Wisconsin will perform. The program features the premier UW high school wind ensemble. Works include “Earle of Oxford’s March” from “William Byrd Suite” by Gordon Jacob; “Where the Waters Gather,” by Wisconsin composer Charles Rochester Young; and “Sketches on a Tudor Psalm” by Fisher Tull.

Scott Teeple will conduct.

The concert is free and open to the public.

On TUESDAY, NOV. 24, the Madison Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual morning Fall Youth Concert.

The concert, will usually reach about 6,000 elementary and middle school students, take place in Overture Hall at 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.

This year’s Fall Youth Concerts include Weber’s “Invitation to the Dance,” Handel’s Organ Concerto No. 5, Tchaikovsky’s “Soldier Doll” from “The Nutcracker,” Prokofiev’s “Fairy of Spring” from “Cinderella,” Stravinsky’s “Berceuse” and “Finale” from  “The Firebird” and Ginastera’s “Danza final” from “Estancia: Four Dances.”

In addition, the winner of this year’s Fall Youth Concerto Competition, violinist Leslie Huang, will play Saint-Saëns’ “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.” (the pianist above is last year’s concerto winner in a photo by the late Bob Rashid.)

To reserve tickets, fill out the Registration Form (see the link below) and fax it to MSO Education Director Michelle Kaebisch at 608 280-6192 or mail it to 222 W. Washington Ave. Suite 460, Madison, WI 53703.

Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The cost is $4 per student and scholarships are available.

Teachers and chaperones are free with groups of 10 or more students.

Ticket subsidies are available upon request and are calculated on individual school free/reduced lunch participation percentages.

For more information, contact Michelle Kaebisch at 608 280-8680 x225 or

A limited number of adult tickets are available by calling 608 257-3734.

For more details, here is a link:

On TUESDAY, NOV. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Old Music Hall, the University Opera Workshop will take place.

The event is free and unticketed.

Also on TUESDAY, NOV. 24, at 7:30 p.m in Mills Hall, Sole Nero — with Jessica Johnson, piano and Anthony Di Sanza, percussion –will perform.

The Faculty Concert Series program features the world premieres of “Bluefire Crown VIII” by UW composer Les Thimmig and “Equatorial Jungle” by UW composer Laura Schwendinger.

Other selections include “Inner Rebellion” by Steve Rush, with Mark Hetzler, trombone; “Rebellion” by Steve Rush, with Mark Hetzler, trombone; and “Rain Down” by Lembit Beecher.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Posted in Classical music

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