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


  1. […] post: Classical Music: Datebook for Oct. 12-19 includes the Madison … Posted in 19, Classical Tags: Classical, classical music, Concert, groups-as-well, madison, […]

    Pingback by Classical Music: Datebook for Oct. 12-19 includes the Madison … | Download MP3 whit — October 14, 2010 @ 3:31 am

  2. Please note the link between the opera we are doing this weekend and the events transpiring in Chile. Thank you.


    As miners in Chile emerge from the mine in which they were buried for months, how timely that portions of Madison’s own labor opera “Esperanza”, about the dangers of working in the mines in New Mexico, will be presented this Friday and Saturday at Monona Terrace. A narrated concert version of “Esperanza” is the centerpiece of a retirement party for David Newby, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO since 1994 (and President of the Madison Federation of Labor between 1982 and 1986).

    “Esperanza” is a powerful opera which premiered in Madison in 2000 to critical acclaim. It has been staged in various forms since then in San Bernardino, California; Grant County, New Mexico; and for the opening of Madison’s Overture Center. The story centers around a strike of Mexican-American miners in New Mexico in the early 1950’s—a strike provoked by safety issues. Just as in the Chilean mine disaster, the safety issues in “Zinctown” New Mexico were caused by the mine owners’ disregard of worker safety. All to save a few dollars and increase profit (as was also the case in the Massey Energy Upper Big Branch Mine disaster earlier this year which cost 29 miners their lives).

    “Esperanza” is based on the classic black-listed film “Salt of the Earth”, itself based on the original New Mexico zinc miners’ strike. With power and realism, the story evokes the intertwined issues of gender, class and race—made all the more intense through the medium of opera, which through the 1930’s was a popular form of working class entertainment and political action (as in the operas of Marc Blitzstein during the tumultuous labor ferment of the mid-1930’s).

    “Esperanza” will be presented Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Monona Terrace, preceded by a reception at 6:00 p.m. Donations of $20 per person are requested. Tickets are available at the door.

    Comment by David Newby — October 13, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

    • Hi David,
      First, congratulations on your retirement — though I suspect and hope you will stay active in important ways at a time when we so need your personal activism. And thank you for so many years of service in seeking social justice.
      I do indeed hope people remark on the parallels between the miners in the opera and the miners in Chile.
      I am not aware that the performance is public, or at least have not received any information about it. So I can’t really post anything in much time — though I would be happy to if I get some information.
      My best to you and to Kathy.
      Thanks for reading and replying and doing all you have done.
      Venceremos con esperanza!

      Comment by welltemperedear — October 14, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  3. […] Source: Classical Music: Datebook for Oct. 12-19 includes a Madison Symphony as good as UW choral groups as … […]

    Pingback by Classical Music: Datebook for Oct. 12-19 includes the Madison Symphony and UW choral groups as well as chamber music and early music | 7 Top M Download — October 13, 2010 @ 7:47 am

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