The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: New music, fusion music, chamber music and the Met’s “Nixon in China” top the bill for Feb. 9-15

February 9, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

There will be a lot of music performed this week. But curiously, there is nothing scheduled for Valentine’s Day or with the theme of Valentine’s Day.

Wouldn’t you think a program of love songs or Romances would draw a crowd? Maybe not.

But there will be moments of romance in much of this music, you can be sure.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills, UW guitarist Javier Calderon (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot) performs. The program features “Dances on Themes by Gaspar Sanz” by Abel Carlevaro; “Prelude and Fugue” by J. S. Bach; “Three Short Pieces” by Henry Purcell; “Suite in the Style of S. L. Weiss” by Manuel Ponce; “Variations on a Mozart Theme” by Fernando Sor; “Four Pieces” by Francisco Tarrega; “Tonada Argentina” by Eduardo Falu; “Torre Bermeja” by Isaac Albeniz; and “Aire Andino” by Eduardo Caba.

Admission is free and open to the public.


At 4 p.m. in Room 1641 of the Mosse Humanities Building, the Colloquium Series presents Geoffrey Burgess (below). Burgess has played baroque oboe around the globe for close to 30 years. His book, “The Oboe,” written in collaboration with Bruce Haynes, won the 2007 Bessaraboff Prize from the American Musical Instrument Society. Dr. Burgess has taught at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, and on the musicology faculties of Stony Brook, Case Western, Duke and Columbia universities.

Admission is free and open to the public.


The free Friday Noon Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, features

Katherine Peck, soprano, and Dorothy Hui, piano. They will play music of Samuel Barber, Robert Schumann and Kurt Weill. For information, call (608) 233-9774.

From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, as part of its February MMoCA Night, will present music by NEW MUSE, a Madison trio (below, from left, UW graduate students Jerry Hui, Jonathan Kuuskoski and Paola Savvidou) that specializes in contemporary classical music.

The music and reception will begin in the glass foyer known as the “Icon,” and proceed up to the 2/F main gallery at 7 p.m., when members of the UW First Wave Spoken Word and Hip Hop Arts Learning Community will perform among the installation art of artist Shinique Smith.

Music will continue afterwards in the gallery until just after 8 p.m. — performers will be “installed” among Smith’s visual art pieces — and then in lobby until 9 p.m.

This event is free for MMoCA members, $5 (at the door) for the general public.

On Friday at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Guest Artist Series presents percussionist Steven Schick. Schick (below) is distinguished professor of music at the University of California, San Diego, and a consulting artist in percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He is founder and artistic director of the percussion group “red fish blue fish,” music director and conductor of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and principal guest conductor of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

The program is devoted to one work, “The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies,” written in 2002 by John Luther Adams.

Admission is free and open to the public.


At noon, John Adams’ opera “Nixon in China” (see bottom for my favorite aria) will be featured in the “Met Live in Hi-Def” at the Point and Eastgate cinemas. It starts at noon and lasts about 4 hours and 15 minutes. This is the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere production of the now classic opera.

Tickets are $24 with discounts for seniors and children. For more information, visit:

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Faculty Concert Series presents the Pro Arte Quartet. The program includes the String Quartet in D minor (“Quinten”), Op. 76, No. 2, by Haydn; Three Novelettes for String Quartet, Op. 15 (selections to be announced) by Glazunov; and the Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet in B minor, Op. 115 by Brahms, with Linda Bartley, UW clarinetist (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot).

Admission is free and open to the public.

Also at 8 p.m., in Overture Hall, the German-born American violinist David Garrett (below) will perform, fusing classical and pop music. Mozart and Metallica. Tickets are $20-$42. Call (608) 258-4141.

At eight, Garrett played as soloist in front of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic and the Russian National Orchestra. At 12, he performed alongside the legendary Yehudi Menuhin and at 13, signed with classical
mega-label Deutsche Grammophon.

Now 27, the former wunderkind has fused his classical training with pop and rock to create a powerhouse sound that pays as much homage to Metallica as to Mozart. His CD has been in the Top 100 just under two years running and has gotten great  user ratings.

This will be his Madison debut.


From 12:30 to 2 p.m., “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen” features the Pro Arte String Quartet (below). See Saturday’s listings for the program that will be broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio.

At 3 p.m. at 5729 Forsythia Drive on Madison’s west side, Trevor Stephenson will present another house concert: A recital of piano works Chopin and Schubert.

The featured instruments will be the Victorian English Parlor Grand and a beloved English Cottage Upright  (“Fred,” below).

He will play and discuss selections from Chopin’s Nocturnes Nos. 2 and 3 from Op. 9, and some of the Mazurkas and Preludes. Thew Schubert works include the Three Piano Pieces (D. 946), and selections from the Impromptus and Moment Musicaux.

He will also talk about the historical tunings used on these pianos, forms of Well Temperament, and how temperament is related to key color.

Tickets are $35 and include light refreshments. Reservations, limited to 40, are required. Call (608) 238-6092.

At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Chamber Orchestra (below) will perform with bassist Andrew Raciti under the baton of Jim Smith.

Featuring Symphony No. 100 “Military” by Franz Joseph Haydn; “Concerto for String Bass” by Zivojin Glisic and “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme,” Op. 60 by Richard Strauss.

Admission is free and open to the public.


At 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, the UW presents the Cambini Quintet specializes in the performance of 18th and 19th century woodwind quintet repertoire on period instruments.

Members of the quintet (below) are Dawn Lawler, flute; Geoffrey Burgess, oboe; Owen Watkins, clarinet; Marc Vallon, bassoon; and Todd Williams, horn.

The program includes Quintet No. 3 in F major by Giuseppe Cambini (below); Quartet No. 6 in F major by Gioacchino Rossini; Variations over “La ci darem la mano” by Ludwig van Beethoven; and Quintet Op. 67, No. 2 in E minor by Franz Danzi.

Admission is free and open to the public.


At noon in Morphy Hall, the Cambini Woodwind Quintet will present a free master class that is open to the public.

Posted in Classical music

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