The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical Music: Datebook for Oct. 12-19 includes the Madison Symphony and UW choral groups as well as chamber music and early music

October 13, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

As you can see from today’s “menu of the week,” the classical music season in Madison now fully under way.

The big event, of course, is the opening of the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s 85th season.

If it seems like a late start, you’re right. Usually the symphony has started in September. But economic pressures led to dropping the subscription series from nine to eight. Hence the later start, though the symphony has weather the recession very well and still offers three performances of each program.

(For more details, see my interview with MSO music director and conductor for this concert John DeMain on Tuesday.)

But it is a great start, with each work being a masterpiece that is both great music and popular, appealing music.

The program is terrific and includes Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Van Cliburn Competition gold medal winner Olga Kern (below); Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra”; and Brahms’ “Academic Festival” Overture.

That earns it a MUST-HEAR rating, even for football fans who wants to squeeze in the UW-Ohio State game

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

Tickets are $13.50-$75.50.

For more information, call the Overture Center box office (608) 258-4141 or visit:

Also a REMINDER: On this Thursday, Oct. 14, at 11:30 a.m. (earlier than usual to accommodate the fall pledge campaign, Wisconsin Public Radio’’s “Midday” will feature Olga Kern (guest artist with Madison Symphony Orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.) For more info, visit:


The weekly Noon Musicale First Unitarian Society Meeting House (below), 900 University Bay Drive on Friday from 12:15 to 1 p.m. will feature violinist Tyrone Greive and pianist Ellen Burmeister in music by Tartini, Persichetti, Chopin, Wieniawski and Paderewski.

Admission is free and open to the public. Coffee is provided and you can bring your lunch to eat. The Ear has found these musicales to be fun, a fine parenthesis in the day. Plus, the performers and music are often excellent.

For information, call (608) 233-9774.


The Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble performs at 8 p.m. in the historic Gates of Heaven synagogue in James Madison Park, 300 East Gorham Street. Music by Telemann, Monteverdi, Luzzaschi, Bach, Abel, Benda and Geminiani is on the program.

Tickets are the door are $15, $10 for students. You can bring your own chair or pillow. For more information, call (608) 238-5126 or visit

The Trio Antigo will perform at 4 p.m. in Mills Hall. The trio consists of Felicia Moye, violin (below); Stefan Kartman; cello; and Jeannie Yu, piano. The program includes Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 1, No. 1; Arensky’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 32; and Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Horn player Adam Unworth (below) will give a free public master class – at 2 p.m. in Morphy Hall — as part of the UW Guest Artist Series

Unsworth, a UW-Madison alumnus (Master of Music, 1994), is associate professor of horn at the University of Michigan and was previously fourth horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1998-2007) and second horn of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1995-1998).


The UW Chorale Collage Concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall. Conductors are Beverly Taylor (below) and Bruce Gladstone, with graduate assistant conductor Michael Pfitzer, Sarah Riskind and Brian Gurley.

Performing groups include the Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, Chorale, Women’s Chorus and University Chorus.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Also on Sunday at 7:30 p.m in Mills Hall, the UW Guest Artist Series will offer horn player (and UW alumnus) Adam Unsworth with Jessica Johnson, piano; Les Thimmig, woodwinds; Matan Rubinstein, piano; Nick Moran, bass; and Carl Rettke, drums.

The program includes “Two Sonatas for horn and piano” by Luigi Cherubini; “Two Fables for horn and piano” by Kirk Nurock; “Ballads and Dances” by Les Thimmig; “Romeo and Juliet Variations” by Daniel Schnyder with Les Thimmig, contrabass clarinet; “Sonata 40 for horn and piano” by David Sampson; “Samskara” for solo horn by Dave Ballou and original jazz tunes by Unsworth.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Edgewood College presents its Fall Choral Concert at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive. The Chamber Singers, conducted by Albert Pinsonneault, and the Women’s Choir, conducted by Kathleen Otterson, will perform. Works include classical, sacred, and American spiritual favorites.

Admission is free and open to the public.


The first-ever organ series on the Madison Symphony’s Overture Concert Organ kicks off in Overture Hall at 7:30 p.m  with the internationally acclaimed John Scott (below).

The program includes Fagiani’s “Veni Creator Spiritus”: Sweelinck’s “Est–ce Mars?”;  J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 546; R. Schumann’s Canon No. 2 in A minor; Guilmant’s “March on a Theme of Handel,”; Bonnet’s “Variations de Concert”; Vierne’s “Naïades”; Bolcom’s Gospel-Prelude: “What a friend we have in Jesus”; Wammes’ “Miroir”; and Jongen’s “Sonata Eroica.”

Tickets are $20. Call (608) 259-4141 or visit

For Scott’s biography and more information, visit

Posted in Classical music

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