The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra announces its 2011-12 season

March 28, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra has announced its lineup for the 2011-12 indoor “Masterworks” concert season. (The WCO is also known for the popular Concerts on the Square it gives in the summer.)

“We have pulled out all the stops in 2011-12” said Music Director and Andrew Sewell (below), who will mark his 11th season with the WCO.  “We have created our own WCO Chorus and welcome a new collaboration with the Festival Choir of Madison for our performance of Handel’s ”Messiah” and Beethoven’s Ninth.

“We will also feature Madison’s own Christopher Taylor in a performance of John Field’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and the talents of James Ridge, American Players’ Theatre actor, who will narrate The Night Mail by Benjamin Britten.

Also, Alexander Sitkovetsky ill perform Beethoven’s timeless Violin Concerto in D Major.

This year’s schedule includes the critically-acclaimed Masterworks series, Middleton Holiday Pops and Handel’s “Messiah.”

For the 2011-12 season, the WCO presents some of classical music’s favorites including Rhapsody in Blue, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony and Copland’s ‘Music for the Theatre.’

“We are pleased to welcome back cellist Amit Peled to our stage”, explained Sewell.  “We gave a very special performance with Amit two years ago that people are still talking about.  It is fantastic to have him back along with a lineup of some incredibly talented guest artists making Madison debuts – Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev and violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky.”

The Ear sees the new season as consistent with Sewell’s sharp sense of programming. It features fine soloists and eclectic music, including works that are often ignored in live performances and recordings.

The has also been talk of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (below) going to two performances — I think on Friday and Saturday nights, which I also think would be a smart move – but apparently this isn’t the economy to take such a step yet.


Masterworks I
Concert of Firsts
Friday, October 7, 2011
Ilya Yakushev, pianist (below)
8 P.M. | Capitol Theater | Overture Center for the Arts

Elgar                  Serenade for Strings in E Minor, Op. 20
Prokofiev         Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat Major, Op. 10
Copland          Music for the Theatre
Gershwin          Rhapsody in Blue

Middleton Holiday Pops
Voices of Christmas Past and Present
American Idol Finalist, AJ Gil, soloist
Middleton High School Concert Choir

Madison Marriott West

Saturday, November 26, 2011, 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 27, 2011, 1 p.m.

Concert Highlights:
Custer                  It’s Christmastime
Rutter                  What Sweeter Music
Arr. Krogstad   Silver Bells
Adam                  Oh Holy Night

Concert Sponsor:  Middleton Tourism Commission

Handel’s Messiah
December 9, 2011
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Chorus and the Festival Choir of Madison (below)
7 p.m. | Blackhawk Church, Middleton

Masterworks II
Triumphant Return
Friday, January 13, 2012
Amit Peled, cellist (below, in a photo by Henry Fair)
8 p.m. | Capitol Theater | Overture Center for the Arts

Lilburn         Diversions for String Orchestra
Boccherini          Cello Concerto in B-flat Major, G482
Kopytman         Kaddish
Haydn          Symphony No. 100 in G Major ‘Military’

Concert Sponsor:  Cuna Mutual Group

Masterworks III
Beloved Beethoven
Friday, February 24, 2012
Alexander Sitkovetsky, violinist (below)
James Ridge, Narrator
8 p.m. | Capitol Theater | Overture Center for the Arts

Britten         Night Mail End Sequence
Beethoven         Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Beethoven          Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 ‘Pastoral’

Concert Sponsor:  Pleasant Rowland Foundation

Masterworks IV
Celtic Celebration
Friday, March 16, 2012
Christopher Taylor, pianist (below)
8 p.m. | Capitol Theater | Overture Center for the Arts

Mendelssohn         The Hebrides Overture, Op. 26
Field                  Piano Concerto No. 4 in E-flat Major, H 28
Bantock         Celtic Symphony for string orchestra and six harps
Mozart         Symphony No. 35 in D Major ‘Haffner’

Masterworks V
Friday, April 13, 2012
Michelle Areyzaga, soprano (below); Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano; Robert Bracey, tenor; Timothy Jones, bass
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Chorus and the Festival Choir of Madison
8 p.m. | Capitol Theater | Overture Center for the Arts

Finzi                  Dies Natalis, Op. 8
Beethoven         Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 ‘Choral’

Concert Spossor:   Whyte Hirshboeck Dudek

Ticket Information

  • Subscription Tickets are on sale now:
    • New Subscribers: Save up to 50%
    • Renewing Subscribers: Save up to 25% and get to keep their current seats, will be first to upgrade if they wish, first to order pre-concert dinners, and invitation to subscriber events.
    • Order season tickets by May 31, 2011 and the WCO will waive the $7 subscription processing fee.
  • Single ticket prices for the Masterworks concerts have remained the same as last year with a range of $19-$62, with discounts for seniors, students and youth.
  • Middleton Holiday Pops – Madison Marriott West
    • Reserved Theater Style seating:
      • Saturday Evening: $15 student/youth, $22 senior, $25 adult
      • Sunday Afternoon: $10 student/youth, $16 senior, $19 adult
    • Cabaret Tables (Seat 4)
      • Saturday Evening (includes dessert & coffee) $150
      • Sunday Afternoon (includes pastries & coffee) $120
    • Premier Tables (Seat eight)
      • Saturday Evening (includes dinner) $750
      • Sunday Afternoon (includes brunch) $250
  • Handel’s Messiah – Blackhawk Church
    • $30 General Admission

Before each Masterworks concert, patrons are invited to join us for a gourmet dinner and a lively discussion of that evening’s concert.  Doors open to Overture Center’s Wisconsin Studio, with cash bar at 6:00 p.m., and dinner served buffet-style at 6:30 p.m.  At 7 p.m.  Maestro Andrew Sewell and the concert guest artist will enlighten you with insights into the upcoming concert repertoire.

Subscription tickets are on sale now.

Call the WCO office at (608) 257-0638 to request a subscription guide and order form, or go to

Single tickets will be available at the Overture Center Box Office starting in Sept. 7, 2010.

What do you think of the WCO’s new Masterworks season?

Do you have a favorite program?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,265 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,362,538 hits
%d bloggers like this: