The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: Madison Opera’s first-ever production of Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” and the local recital and concerto debuts of acclaimed violinist Caroline Goulding at the Wisconsin Union Theater highlight another very busy week.

November 2, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

It is another very busy, even hectic week in Madison with many big and small events to choose from. But if you wanted to, you could see at least one concert – and sometimes two or even three – on the same day during the coming week.

Having so much to choose from sometimes feels like a curse. But of course it is a blessing for a city of only 250,000 in a county of only 500,000 or so. It just doesn’t always feel like a blessing when you find it difficult to choose.

The really big MUST-HEAR event of the coming week is the Madison Opera’s debut production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” (below) in Overture Hall on Friday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2:30 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts.

It will be performed in Russian with English surtitles. John DeMain will conduct the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Opera Chorus. Tickets are $18-$116 with student and group discounts available. Call or visit the Overture Center box office at 201 State St., (608) 258-4141 or go to

The second big MUST-HEAR event is a set of performances – a recital and a concerto appearance – that mark the Madison debut of 19-year-old violinist Caroline Goulding (below) at the Wisconsin Union Theater.

Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., in the WUT, Goulding plays a recital of Mozart, Enescu, Schumann, Faure and Saint-Saens. Then on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., again at the WUT, she will perform with the UW Chamber Orchestra under James Smith (below). The program includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor as well as Benjamin Britten’s “Sinfonietta” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.

For ticket information about both concerts as well as videos and other links, visit:

For more information about Goulding, visit her web site at:

Also read her interview with at:

But there is plenty more for classical music fans who, like myself, may find it hard to choose what they will attend.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall: Symphony Strings. Free admission.

The program, conducted by graduate assistant conductor David Grandis (below), features the Scherzo from String Quartet No. 2 in F major by A. Borodin; “Passacaglia for the Death of Falstaff” and “Touch Her Soft Lips and Part” from “Henry V” by William Walton; Adagio by G. Lekeu; and works for string orchestra by Debussy, Honegger and Roussel.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Wind Ensemble Chamber Winds under Scott Teeple (below), conductor. Free admission.

A program features works for smaller wind ensembles drawn from the UW Wind Ensemble.  “A Requiem in Our Time” by Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finnish, b. 1928); “Equinox” by Joseph Turrin (b. 1947); and “Serenade in E-flat major,” K. 375 by Mozart.  Scott Teeple is conductor of the Wind Ensemble.

At 7:30 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater, violinist Caroline Goulding in her local recital debut. See above.


For the free Friday Noon Musicale from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, the Varshavski and Shapiro Duo will play 4-hand piano works of Rachmaninoff, Schubert and Gershwin.

At 8 p.m. in Overture Hall (below), the Madison Opera’s production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” will be premiered. See above.


At 10:55 at the Point and Eastgate cinemas, The Met Live in HD series offers the third installment (running time is about 6 hours) of Richard Wagner’s “Ring” cycle with “Siegfried,” starring Deborah Voigt, Bryn Terfel and last-minute substitute but critically acclaimed tenor Jay Hunter Morris (below) in the title role. Here is a link to cast information and a synopsis you can print out and take with.

At 7:30 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater, the UW Chamber Orchestra perform under James Smith (below) with violinist Caroline Goulding. See above. For ticket information, call Campus Arts Ticketing at (608) 265-ARTS or visit


At 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, the Madison Opera gives its second and last performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” See above.

At 12:30 to 2 p.m., “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” welcomes the Lawrence Chamber Players in Brittingham Gallery III (below) of the Chazen Museum of Art. The concert will be broadcast live statewide on Wisconsin Public Radio.

The Lawrence Chamber Players are the faculty string ensemble from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. The principal members of the group are violinists Samantha George and Wen-Lei Gu, violist Matthew Michelic, and cellist Janet Anthony. This Sunday they will be joined by guest artists Monte Perkins on bassoon and Gina Bordini on violin.

The program features Franz Schubert’s Quartet in A minor “Rosamunde”; Witold Lutoslawski’s “Bucolics” for viola and cello; and John Downey’s Bassoon Quintet for string quartet and bassoon.

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.

At 2 p.m. in Mills Hall: Guest Artist Series—Academy Percussion Ensemble (South Korea) and Galaxy Percussion Group (USA, below) in a joint program of contemporary works from Korean and western traditions. Free admission.

At 2:30 p.m. in the historic landmark Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison pianist Ankie Foell (below) of Madison will give a recital-lecture as “A Tribute to Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen,” whom Foell knew and studied with. The thematic program is divided into Birds, Studies, Nature and Worship, Music includes works by Messiaen (excerpts from “Twenty Looks at the Infant Jesus”), Debussy, Gubaidulina and Griffes. The suggested donation is $20, $10 for seniors and students to benefit Madison Music Makers, Inc. For information, call (608) 233-9774 or visit

At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall: Cellist Parry Karp (below) with his pianist parents Howard and Frances Karp (Faculty Concert Series). Free admission.

The program features Three Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op. 25 (1897) by Robert Kahn, “First Elegie” for Cello and Piano (1874) by Franz Liszt, the Sonata in A Minor for Cello and Piano (1894) by Alexander Zemlinsky, “La lugubre gondola” for Cello and Piano (1882-5) by Franz Liszt and Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 56 (1911) by Robert Kahn.

At 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall: UW Guest Artist Series features Amanda Bekeny (below), trumpet, and Kirstin Ihde, piano.   Free Admission. The programs features “Four Miniatures” by Joseph Turrin; “Sonata in D” by Torelli; “Concerto in E-flat” by J. B. G. Neruda; and “Concert Etude” by Aleksandr Goedicke.

Bekeny is a lecturer in trumpet at the Ohio State University; she received the M.M. in trumpet performance from UW-Madison, studying with John Aley.  Ihde is a current doctoral student in collaborative piano at the UW School of Music, where she studies with Martha Fischer.


At 8:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall: Benjamin Karp (below), cello, and Deloise Chagas Lima, piano, will perform “Sonata in D minor” by Debussy; “Six Popular Spanish Songs” by de Falla; “Sonata” by David Dzubay; “Le Grand Tango” by Astor Piazzolla; and “Sonata in E minor,” Op. 38 by Brahms. Free admission.

Benjamin Karp is associate professor of cello at the University of Kentucky. Deloise Chagas Lima is assistant professor of collaborative piano at the College of Music, Florida State University.

Posted in Classical music

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