The Well-Tempered Ear

The Ear picks Classical Music Best Bets for spring semester – Part 2 of 2 | January 21, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

“What concerts are you going to?”

It’s a question I often get asked by friends who want to use my choices as a guide to their own concert-going.

As always, there is a lot – maybe even too much except for the most devoted concert-goers who will have forgo many other events to hear so much classical music. But even such fanatics will bump up against competing events, as I have noted (see, for example, Jan. 22, March 13 and April 23). So my choices reflect my own tastes and biases or preferences. (I love piano music and chamber music above all but attend many others.) But I have also tried to list events that will interest listeners with other preferences —  symphonies and operas, vocal and brass and woodwind music.

Plus, some new and unexpected events are sure to pop up. (I haven’t received any word from Edgewood College, the Friday Noon Musicales at the First Unitarian Society and some smaller groups.) And some of the concerts I want to attend I won’t be able to go to, especially in March, which is a busy month with the UW Spring Break.

Let there be no doubt: Classical music fans are lucky indeed to have such a wealth of offering for a city of 300,000 in a county of 350,000. It’s quite something compared to Chicago or New York where the audience base is in the many millions.

But for what it is worth at the moment, here in two parts — yesterday and today — is my MUST-HEAR list of events (more details about programs, tickets, times and locations can be found at the links included at the end of each post today and tomorrow) coming up for the spring semester, which is the second half of the current season.

Yesterday I covered sthe time leading up to the Spring Break.

Here are the offerings from after Spring Break to the beginning of summer:

April 6: American Brass Quintet are guest artists at UW in a free concert.

April 9 and 11: Madison Opera’s production of Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman.” It’s the Opera’s first Wagner and this Italian-style early work goes down easier than much of the “Ring” cycle or the later operas. John DeMain conducts.

April 10: Madison Bach Musicians under Trevor Stephenson — The Ear’s Musician of the Year for 2009 — in period-instrument performances of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 4,5 and 6 at Trinity Lutheran Church.

April 10: UW Concert Choir under Beverly Taylor.

April 16, 17 and 18: For the Madison Symphony Orchestra French pianist Philippe Bianconi  (below right)returns to perform under John DeMain. Bass-baritone Dean Peterson (below left)and the Madison Symphony Chorus will also be featured in the season closer. The all-Russian program includes Rachmaninoff’s evergreen “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture” and excerpts form Mussorgsky’s opera “Boris Gudonov.”

April 18: Free recital by the winners of the UW Beethoven Piano Sonata Competition winners’ concert.

April 20: Pianist Jeffrey Siegel in a “Keyboard Conversation” at UW about “Chopin and the Future.”

April 23: Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra under Andrew Sewell closes out its 50th anniversary season with pianist Stewart Goodyear performing Hummel’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 85, a rarity of the Beethoven era that is a fine but under-performed piece. Also on the program are Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 “The Great” and Richard Strauss’ Sextet for Strings from his last opera “Capriccio.”

Also on Fri. April 23, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall: UW Pro Arte String Quartet.

April 23-27: UW Opera’s production of “Maria Stuart” opens, then gets two extra performances.

April 24: Madison Bach Musicians under Trevor Stephenson in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 4, 5 and 6 at the First Unitarian Society. See April 10.

April 24: UW choral groups including Chorale, University Chorus and Women’s Chorus.

A[ril 25: Recital by UW soprano Mimmi Fulmer and UW pianist Christopher Taylor.

May 1 at 8 p.m. and May 2 at 7:30 p.m. UW Choral Union and UW Symphony Orchestra under Beverly Taylor in Beethoven’s “Missa solemnis.”

May 1: “Live From the MET in HD”: Superstar soprano Renee Fleming in Rossini’s rarely staged “Arminda.”

May 6: The vocal group Chanticleer at the Wisconsin Union Theater.

May 8 and 9: Oakwood Chamber Players performs Schumann’s Piano Quintet, Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio and Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music.”

June 12: The Ancora String Quartet performs Mendelssohn (Op. 12) and Dvorak (op., 106) at the First Unitarian Society, where they are resident artists.

Posted in Classical music

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