The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Composer John Adams discusses his 9/11 work “On the Transmigration of Souls” that the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Madison Youth Choirs will perform this weekend

September 15, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

The big classical music event in town this weekend will be the three performances by the Madison Symphony Orchestra. My best guess is that it will be a MUST-HEAR concert, especially for people relatively new to classical music.

The celebrated American virtuoso pianist Andre Watts (below) will return to Madison to perform Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, with the Madison Symphony Orchestra under John DeMain. (An interview with Watts about the Grieg concerto was featured on this blog yesterday.)

Also on the season’s opening program, which features the Madison Symphony Chorus and Madison Youth Choirs (the advanced Cantabile Choir of high school women), are Beethoven’s iconic, triumphant and irresistibly dramatic Fifth Symphony and “On the Transmigration of Souls, the Pulitzer Prize-winning work about the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by the American composer John Adams (below).

Performances 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 $16.50 to $78.50 with $10 student rush available with student ID. (You can purchase up to two tickets for best seats available with each ID.)

For more information about tickets and program notes, visit:

But I also thought that, whether you plan on going or are thinking about it, you might appreciate this interview that NPR (National Public Radio) did with John Adams (below) about his 9/11 work (featured at the bottom). Both may also help reassure wary listeners who might be shy about either contemporary classical music or music pertaining to the horrible terrorist attacks of 9/11:

Posted in Classical music

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