The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music Best Bets for Feb. 10-16: Valentine’s Day week is a week for more student performances, student repertoire and former Madison students

February 10, 2010
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

If you’re looking for some musical “candy,” to give your Valentine’s Day, I have an offbeat suggestion: Why not consider the song recital by UW tenor James Doing (below right) to be performed with UW pianist David Sytkowsky, who is filling in for his injured teacher Martha Fischer.

It takes place Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall and The Ear thinks the program is a winner, an inspired idea. I’d like to see something similar for piano, strings, winds and brass. It’s a good way to build one’s acquaintance with the basic repertoire — and for amateurs to vicariously take lessons like the pros!

I hope Doing says a word or two about each song to set it up — maybe the challenges it poses, tricky spots, reasons for popularity, and similar things.

The program is called “Teaching Favorites,” and will include songs by Purcell, Caccini, Handel, Scarlatti, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, Faure, Ravel, Dominick Argento, Barber, Copland and others.

That sounds like it’s back to basics.

And that means you will hear songs from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras – a great mix or sampler of gold-standard names.

My guess is that there will be more than one love song among the many offering by such first-rate composers. And it should be pretty mainstream repertoire, very listenable and very affecting.

Plus, you get to hear the teacher do what he tells the student to do. That alone makes it worth attending, especially for music students, who, I expect, will attend in abundance.

All that – plus admission is FREE.

But the student focuses start earlier (on Wednesday the VIBES concert, which links UW coaches to area high school students, took place).

On Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Symphony Orchestra (seen below rehearsing with the UW Choral Union) under James Smith will present the winners of its annual concerto and composition competition.

Four undergraduate music majors will perform as soloists with the symphony: Daniel Kim, in “Concerto for Viola and Orchestra” (first two movements) by William Walton; Ka Ming Tan, in “Concerto in A minor for Violin and Orchestra,” Op. 82 by Alexander Glazunov; Eleanor Bartsch, in “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra,” Op. 14 (second and third movements) by Samuel Barber; and Olivia Musat, in “Piano Concerto in D major for the Left Hand” by Maurice Ravel.

The winning composition to be performed by the orchestra is “Arioso mistico” for soprano and orchestra by Filippo Santoro, a doctoral student in composition. It will feature guest soprano Sarah Fox and guest cellist Lisa Kursel and will be directed by graduate assistant conductor Ching-Chun Lai.

The concert will open with “Capriccio Italien,” Op. 45 by Tchaikovsky, under the direction of graduate assistant conductor Grant Harville.

Then on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, UW music students who belong to the local chapter of the Music Teachers National Association  team up for their second concert to Help Haiti.

The program features: L.V. Beethoven, Sonata in A-flat major op.26, I. Variations (Hikari Maekawa); Beethoven, Sonata No. 30 in E-flat Major, Op. 109  (Jihun Cho); Alban Berg, Sonata, Op. 1 (Paola Savvidou); Beethoven, Piano Sonata No.31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110, I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo (Justin Krawitz); Aaron Copland, Violin Sonata (Leah Marie Emineth, violin, and Carson Rose Schneider, piano ); Schumann, “Six Canonic Etudes, Op. 56” for two pianos (Paola Savvidou, Jonathan Kuuskoski).

The goal is to raise $2,000.  The first concert last Thursday raised $673. That leaves, $1,327 to go.

The concert will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

There is no minimum donation required or an entry fee. Audience members are encouraged to donate whatever they may be willing to give to support this effort. 100% of our proceeds will go to Hope for Haiti, one of the top non-profit organizations working on-site to help those affected by the earthquake.

To read more, please visit:

On Sunday, Feb.14,  “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” welcomes faculty members from the Wausau Conservatory of Music in Brittingham Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art.

The program will feature many classic pieces for voice in soprano and baritone, including Giacomo Puccini’s “Vissi d’arte”; Maurice Ravel’s “Don Quichotte a Dulciné”; Mozart’s “Deh vieni alla finestra” from “Don Giovanni”; and six other well-known operatic pieces.

Performers will include soprano and Wausau Conservatory voice instructor Karen Juliano (below right), baritone and Kress Foundation Award winner Scott Hunsberger (below left) and piano accompanist Ann Applegate (below center) who has performed at Carnegie Hall many times.

The concert runs from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Admission is free and the concert will be broadcast live on Wisconsin Public Radio (88.7 FM in the Madison area).

Later on Sunday, at 2 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Chamber Orchestra (below)

performs “Chamber Symphony No. 2” by Arnold Schoenberg; “Concerto No. 3 for French horn,” K. 447 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with horn soloist, and returning alumnus, Bernhard Scully (below); and “Symphony No. 103” (“Drumroll”) by Franz Joseph Haydn.

Bernhard Scully held a Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship at the School of Music, where he received the M.M. degree in horn performance in 2004. Following graduation, he joined the Canadian Brass, touring with the quintet to 16 countries and recording four CDs and a top-ranked music video. He is currently the principal horn of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and has performed as soloist with SPCO in works by Britten and R. Strauss.

Then again on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel at Edgewood College, music faculty members mezzo-soprano Kathleen Otterson (below right) and pianist Susan Goeres will perform an unspecified program to raise money for the music scholarship fund at Edgewood College.

Admission is $7.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, another alum returns to perform.

Flutist Dawn Lawler (below center) will perform with UW pianist Ina Selvelieva (below left) in music by Otar Taktakishvili, Pancho Vladigerov and Francis Poulenc.

Lawler and Selvelieva will be joined by UW bassoonist Marc Vallon for Four Pieces by Charles Koechlin, and by mezzo-soprano Jamie Van Eyck and cellist Eleanor Christman Cox for “Chansons madecasses” by Maurice Ravel.

Dawn Lawler is artist in residence and lecturer in flute at UW-Madison, where she is serving as the interim flutist with the Wingra Woodwind Quintet. Ina Selvelieva teaches piano at UW-Madison, where she received the DMA degree in piano in 2007.

Posted in Classical music

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