The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: Best Bets for April 14-20 include the Madison Symphony’s all-Russian season closer, UW’s Beethoven piano sonata winners and a special free and localized Earth Day concert at the Overture Center

April 14, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

This is a very busy week in Madison as various groups start the end of the season rush. There is an event to go to literally every day of the week with some days hosting several and sometimes conflicting events.

The Madison Symphony Orchestra this weekend will close out its current season with a MUST-HEAR all-Russian program that combines a lot of forces under conductor John DeMain and includes French pianist Philippe Bianconi (below) in Rachmaninoff’s popular “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini”); Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Dean Peterson and the Madison Symphony Chorus in excerpts from Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov.” Also to be performed is Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture.”

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

Tickets are $15-$75. Call the Overture Center box office at (608) 258-4141.


A related event will be on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall. It is a free public master class by Dean Peterson (below), a bass-baritone with the Metropolitan Opera, who appeared this month as Daland in Madison Opera’s production of “The Flying Dutchman” and will appear this weekend as Boris Godunov with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

The event is free and unticketed.


On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, UW professor Marc Vallon (below) will perform on baroque and modern bassoons as part of the Faculty Concert Series.

The varied program includes sonatas by Daniel Speer (1636-1707) and Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755), madrigals by Cipriano de Rore (ca. 1515-1565), “Premier Solo de Concours” by Eugene Bourdeau (1850-1926) and works by Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), Ida Gotkowsky (b. 1933) and Jose Luis Campana (b. 1949). The program concludes with “Bohemian Rhapsody” for four bassoons by Farrokh Bulsara, also known as Freddie Mercury (1946-1991).

Collaborating with Marc Vallon are Martha Vallon, baroque cello; John Chappell Stowe, harpsichord; Vincent Fuh and Ina Selvelieva, piano; and David Wells, Brian Ellingboe and Theresa Koenig, bassoon.

The concert is free and open to the public.


On Friday at the free Noon Musicale (12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, the Music of Debussy, Satie and Zabel Hasselmans will be performed by harpist Linda Warren.

Also on Friday at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Madrigal Singers will perform under Bruce Gladstone (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot).

The program features Italian and English madrigals from the 16th and early 17th centuries. Composers include Verdelot, Arcadelt, Rore, Marenzio, Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Tomkins, Weelkes, Wilbye, Gibbons and others. The texts of these exquisitely expressive works range from the ecstasies and torments of love to the joy and power of music.

The concert is free to the public.


On Saturday at 11 a.m., a FREE PUBLIC Hymn Sing, lasting about 45 minutes,  will be held in Overture Hall. Spring and Easter will be marked by Madison Symphony Orchestra organist Samuel Hutchison playing the concert organ.

On Saturday at 2 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Tube/Euphonium Ensemble will perform under director UW composer and instrumentalist John Stevens (below, in front at right).

The program includes “Intrada” by Melchior Franck, arranged by Michael Forbes (MM 1997); “Adagio in G minor” by Tomaso Albinoni, arranged by John Stevens; “Five Pieces” by Paul Hindemith, adapted by Mark Hetzler; and selections from “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky, arranged by Lisa Golas. The Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble comprises 16 undergraduate and graduate majors in the studio of John Stevens. Guest artists are Todd Hammes and Ethan Martin, percussion.

The concert is free and open to the public.


On “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen,” the Sonora Reed Trio will perform form 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art. The group will be joined by guest pianist Owen Lovell.

This program will feature Erwin Schulhoff’s Divertissement, Joaquín Gutiérrez’s Trio de alientos, Alexei Haieff’s Serenade for oboe, clarinet, bassoon & piano, Jenni Brandon’s The Sequoia Trio and Lukas Hurnik’s Fusion Music.

The Sonora Reed Trio is a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty ensemble formed in 2004 to showcase the expressive instrumentation of the reed trio, and perform compositions by leading 20th and 21st century composers. Members include Christa Garvey on oboe, Richard Fletcher on clarinet and Kristine Fletcher on bassoon.

Pianist Lovell has appeared as a soloist, accompanist, chamber musician and new music advocate in 12 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands. He was appointed in fall 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Music at UW-Eau Claire.

Also on Sunday at 1 p.m in Morphy Hall, there will be a recital by participants in the UW Community Music Lessons. No program has been given.

For information about this laudable program, visit Community Music Lessons.

The concert is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, at 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Trombone Choir will perform under Mark Hetzler (in a photo by Katrin Talbot). The concert is free and open to the public. No program has been given.

On Sunday, at 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the winners of the 2010 Beethoven Piano Sonata Competition, with the Beethoven sonatas they will perform, are Justin Krawitz, Sonata in A-flat major, Op. 110; Jihun Cho, Sonata in E major, Op. 109; Douglas Jurs, Sonata in F-sharp major, Op. 78; and Melody Ng, Sonata in D major, Op. 10, No. 3. Krawitz studies piano with Jessica Johnson; Cho, Jurs and Ng study piano with Christopher Taylor.

All four are graduate students—Krawitz, Cho and Jurs are candidates for a DMA degree, while Ng is a candidate for the MM degree.  Carson Rose Schneider received honorable mention.

This year’s competition was judged by Prof. Michael Keller of UW-Stevens Point.

The annual competition is sponsored by Chancellor Emeritus Irving Shain (below), on of the city’s best friends of classical music who also sponsors a piano and wind competition and helped sponsor the recent Chopin Mazurka Festival.

Admission is free and open to the public. A reception follows.


On Monday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the Bahcall-Atwell-Kalman Trio will perform on the Guest Artist Series.

Members are Klara Fenyo Bahcall, violin; Bruce Atwell, horn; and Eli Kalman, piano. All members of the trio are faculty members at UW-Oshkosh.

The program features trios by Gyorgy Ligeti, John Harbison and Lennoz Berkeley.

The concert is free and open to the public


On Tuesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, pianist Jeffrey Siegel (below) concludes this season’s three-concert Keyboard Conversation tribute to Chopin on the occasion of the composer’s 200th birthday.

The topic is “Chopin and the Future” and features music (nocturnes and etudes) that point to the future and composers who were influenced by Chopin, including Szymanowski, Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Scriabin.

For ticket info visit: or call the Wisconsin Union Theater box office at (608) 262-2201.

Tickets are $35. Admission is free to UW students.

Also on Tuesday, April 20, at 8 p.m. in the Overture Center’s Promenade Hall, there will be a memorable MUST-HEAR event: “ECOTONES- A Musical Ecology of Wisconsin.”

The concert is part of the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies’ 40th anniversary celebration of Earth Day, which was started by former Wisconsin governor and US Senator Gaylord Nelson (below).

The program includes local composers and performers, including: Douglas Hill’s “Horizons” for tenor (Bruce Gladstone), clarinet (Linda Bartley), horn (Douglas Hill), cello (Parry Karp), and piano (Martha Fischer); John Stevens’ “Seasons” featuring the Wisconsin Brass Quintet; Chris Bocast’s “The Awakening Land” for guitar and ebow (Chris Bocast) and piano (Emily Blessing); Michael Bell’s “Gatherings” for “class-grass” ensemble; and Douglas Hill’s “Marshland” performed by an ensemble of advanced students from the School of Music conducted by Douglas Hill, with narration by Curt Meine.

Admission is free and no tickets are required, BUT SEATING IS LIMITED.

Posted in Classical music

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