The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: Students and amateur community performers headline a busy week

February 23, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

This week’s concerts are especially notable for the performances by UW students and by amateur instrumentalists who perform for the love of it in the Middleton Community Orchestra.


Today at noon in Morphy Hall, UW master’s alumnus horn player Bernard Scully (below) and pianist Kirstin Ihde will play works by Beethoven and Gounod.

Admission is free and unticketed.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Middleton Performing Arts Center (below), which is attached to Middleton High School, the Middleton Community Orchestra (bottom), under conductor Steve Kurr, will perform its Winter Concert.

The program includes Liadov’s “Babi Yaga,” Liszt’s “Les Preludes,” Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with soloist Isabella Lippi (below top), one of the candidates to fill the vacant Concertmaster’s chair at the Madison Symphony Orchestra; and mezzo-soprano Rebecca De Waart (below bottom) in arias from Bizet’s “Carmen:” and Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah.”

Tickets are $10 general admission. Students are free.

Tickets are available at Willy St. Coop West and at the door.

Call 212-8690 for information and advanced tickets.

For more information, visit:

Also tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the Western Percussion Ensemble Student Ensembles will perform under director Anthony Di Sanza (below).

Admission is free and open to the public.


At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Smith (below), will perform. Featured are winners of the annual concerto and composition competition.

Concerto soloists are bass-baritone John Arnold, pianist Hyojung Huh, cellist Taylor Skiff and violinist Qi Cao; composition winner is Thomas C. Lang.  Graduate assistant conductor David Grandis directs the opening work, Wagner’s Overture to “Die Meistersinger.”

Admission is free and open to the public.

The backgrounds of the student competition winners are impressive.

John Arnold is pursuing the doctoral degree in vocal performance, studying with Julia Faulkner.  In January, he was a winner of the Middle/East Tennessee District of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.  He will perform the first three movements of Maurice Ravel’s “Don Quichotte à Dulcinée.”

Qi Cao is pursuing his doctoral degree in violin performance in the studio of Felicia Moye.  Cao, originally from Shanghai, China, has been a winner of the Wisconsin and Connecticut solo competitions, Singapore’s national piano and violin competition and the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute concerto competition.  She will perform Henryk Wieniawski’s “Fantaisie brillante on themes from Gounod’s Faust,” Op. 20.

Hyo Jung Huh is pursuing his doctoral degree in piano performance and a master’s degree in choral conducting.  She studies piano with Christopher Taylor.  Originally from Seoul, Korea, Huh received the first place award in the World Peace Piano Competition and second place in the Korean Young Artists Competition. In 2009, she was a winner of the UW Beethoven Piano Competition.  Hyo Jung Huh will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Piano Concerto No. 2.”

Taylor Skiff, a junior, is pursuing the B.M. degree in cello performance in the studio of Uri Vardi.  Hailing from Mequon, Wisconsin, Skiff has been a winner of the UW-Milwaukee Young Artist Competition, Civic Music Association of Milwaukee’s High School Showcase Competition and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition.  At the School of Music, he holds the coveted Music Clinic scholarship and is a member of the Perlman Trio, an undergraduate piano trio receiving generous support from Dr. Kato Perlman.  In addition, he is the assistant principal cello of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.  Taylor Skiff will perform the first seven variations of Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme.”

Thomas C. Lang, originally from Avon, Minnesota, is pursuing his doctoral degree in music composition, under the guidance of Laura Schwendinger and Stephen Dembski. Lang’s music has been performed at the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium; UW-Madison New Music Festival; University of Minnesota Xperimental Theatre; and UW-La Crosse New Music Festival and by the Winona State University Wind Ensemble.  “Music for Orchestra in Eleven Incarnations” will eventually have 11 movements, each one a character sketch of the 11 actors who portrayed Dr. Who for the BBC.  The first two movements are denoted with the initials “W. H.” and “P. T.” for the actors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.  Lang says the second movement is virtually a mini-percussion concerto utilizing temple blocks and tom-toms, befitting the second Dr. Who’s personality.

For more information, see Capital Times reporter Lindsay Christians’ interviews with and story about the students and judges:


At noon, the “Live at the Met in Hi Def” production of Gluck’s “Iphigenia en Tauride,” with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and tenor Placido Domingo (below, as Orestes), will be screened at Point and Eastgate cinemas.

Tickets are $24 with discounts for seniors and students.

For more information, visit:

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall: the UW Wind Ensemble, conducted by Scott Teeple (below) and graduate assistant conductor Matthew Schlomer, performs a program entitled “ca. Now” featuring recent compositions.

The new works include: “Precious Metal” (concerto for flute and wind ensemble) by D. J. Sparr, with flutist Stephanie Jutt (below top, Wisconsin premiere); “Braziliano” (concerto for trombone and wind ensemble) by James Stephenson, with trombonist Mark Hetzler (below bottom, Wisconsin premiere); “Passacaglia and Fugue” by Marianne Ploger; “Poema Alpestre” (tone poem for symphony wind ensemble) by Franco Cesarini; and “Figures in the Garden” by Jonathan Dove. Ploger and Sparr are composers-in-residence this week, supported in part by gifts from Lau and Bea Christiansen and the White House of Music.

Admission is free and open to the public.


“Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” features the UW-Whitewater Faculty from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art.  The performance will feature Libby Larsen’s “Mary Cassatt,” African American songs by various composers, and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25.

Featured are UW-Whitewater faculty members Julie Cross a mezzo-soprano, Michael Dugan on trombone, Leanne League on violin, Jennifer Paulson on viola, Benjamin Whitcomb on cello, and Myung Hee Chung on piano.

Members of the Chazen Museum of Art or Wisconsin Public Radio can call ahead and reserve seats for Sunday Afternoon Live performances. Seating is limited. All reservations must be made Monday through Friday before the concert and claimed by 12:20 p.m. on the day of the performance. For more information or to learn how to become a museum member, contact the Chazen Museum at (608) 263-2246.

A reception follows the performance, with refreshments generously donated by Fresh Madison Market, Coffee Bytes and Steep & Brew. A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

“Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” is a free, weekly chamber music series presented by the Chazen Museum of Art and Wisconsin Public Radio, with the cooperation of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Music.

The series, hosted by music commentator Lori Skelton, is broadcast live on Wisconsin Public Radio stations WERN, 88.7 Madison; WHRM, 90.9 Wausau; WPNE, 89.3 Green Bay; WUEC, 89.7 Eau Claire; WVSS, 90.7 Menomonie; WHSA, 89.9 Brule; WGTD, 91.1 Kenosha; WLSU, 88.9 LaCrosse; and WHND, 89.7 Sister Bay. Generous support for the series is provided by individual donations to the Chazen Museum of Art and Wisconsin Public Radio.

At  2:30 p.m., in the St. Joseph Chapel at Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, guitarist Nathan Wysock performs a faculty recital. The performance will include Suite Venezolana by Antonio Lauro, selections from Cinco Pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Nightshade Rounds by Bruce MacCombie, Three Preludes by George Gershwin, and Toccata “in Blue” by Carlo Domeniconi.

Nathan Wysock (below) began playing guitar at the age of 9 and started classical studies at 15.  He is an active soloist and chamber musician and has performed in competitions in the United States and abroad.  He has been a featured performer on Wisconsin Public Radio’s ‘Live at the Chazen’ and ‘Higher Ground.’  He has performed with the Lawrence University chamber players, the Festival City Orchestra, the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, and L’ensemble Portique.  A native of Wisconsin, Wysock is currently on the faculty of Lawrence University in Appleton and Edgewood College in Madison.

Admission is  $7 to benefit the Music Scholarship fund.

Posted in Classical music

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