The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: For the second week in a row, Spanish music will take winter listeners to a sunnier and warmer clime. And young students in WYSO get to show their stuff at Winterfest.

March 7, 2012
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

Musically speaking, this winter Madison snowbirds can stay at home and still flee from even this relatively mild and snow-free winter for the sunnier clime of Spain.

Last week, the travel agent was a spectacular and memorable four-hour piano and voice marathon concert by UW-Madison students who performed music by Iberian and Latin American composers.

This weekend — on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — it is the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s turn. The MSO will take listeners to a warmer place via guitar music as well as music by a Spanish composer and by a Russian composer, and master orchestrator, who composed a work to evoke the Spanish spirit.

Guest conductor Carl St. Clair (below), who heads the Pacific Symphony Orchestra near Los Angeles and who studied with Leonard Bernstein, will return to Madison to perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto Andaluz” with the LA Guitar Quartet. Also featured on the program are Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnole” and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3.

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 $13.50 to 78.50. You can go to the MSO website or call the Overture Center box office at (608) 258-4141.

Here is a link to the MSO website for tickets, videos and more information:

Here is a link to downloadable program notes by J. Michael Allsen:

The other major event this week is the annual Winterfest concerts by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (below) on Saturday in Mills Hall.

In my experience, WYSO consistently takes top prize for the most animated audiences – even if those audiences are made up of family and friends. The concerts are always a bargain and uplifting or even inspiring events, especially at a time when funding for arts in the schools has been cut.

Of course that is not all that is on tap. There is also a good amount of chamber music to be heard, include music by cello, bassoon, voice and various other combinations.

Just take a look:


Jitro, Czech Girls’ Choir performs a concert at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (7337 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton) tonight at 7 p.m. The concert is open to the public; a free will offering will be taken at the door.

The concert will feature an opening performance by Madison Youth Choirs Cantabile choir and Jitro’s performance will include works by Britten, Gallus, Dvorák, Smetena, Macha, Badings and more.

The Jitro (“The Daybreak” in Czech) is co-sponsored by the Madison Youth Choirs and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, with additional support from The Edgewater.

Here is the press release with iterating details:

“This internationally acclaimed touring choir is selected from over 350 children in six preparatory ensembles. In the span of 38 years, they have performed 2,500 concerts and have toured 700,000 miles around the globe. In the Fourth World Choir Games in Xiamen, China (2006) they received three gold medals. Among its many tours, Jitro has performed 12 tours in the US, six in Japan, and over 200 throughout Europe. Their discography includes 30 recordings.

Since 1997, Jiri Skopal has led the choir as Artistic Director, winning high praise for his brilliant leadership. Pianist Michael Chrobak’s superb playing adds luster to the choir’s remarkable performances.”


From 3 to 5 .m. in Room 2441 of the UW’s Mosse Humanities Building, the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (below) will hold a free and public master class for School of Music guitar students. The guitar quartet is in town to perform on the subscription concerts of the Madison Symphony, Friday-Sunday. See for program and ticket information.


Friday’s FREE Noon Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, features Joseph Spoelstra, guitar and Alyssa Anderson, soprano, in music of Argento, Dowland, Giuliani and Matyas Sieber.  For information, call 608.233-9774 or visit 


At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Faculty Concert Series features Parry Karp (below), cello, and Eli Kalman, piano, in a FREE and public recital.

The program includes: Seven Variations on the duet “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” for piano and cello by Beethoven; Sonata in C major for piano and cello, Op. 102, No. 1 by Beethoven; and 24 Preludes with Postlude for cello and piano (written in 1999) by Lera Auerbach.


All day Saturday, more than 300 talented young musicians from the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform the annual Winterfest concerts of both classical and contemporary works.

At 11:30 a.m., WYSO’s Harp Ensemble will introduce the audience to the sounds of “Japanese Melodies,” arranged by Molnar, followed by a performance by Sinfonietta, WYSO’s string orchestra. Sinfonietta will play selections from “The Chronicles of Narnia” by Harry Gregson-Williams and the Overture to “The Abduction from the Seraglio” by Mozart.

At 1:30 p.m., the Percussion Ensemble will provide an energetic opening to the concert, followed by Concert Orchestra, performing Gliere’s “Russian Sailor’s Dance” and Holst’s “Jupiter” from “The Planets.”

At 4 p.m., the Philharmonia Orchestra will present some of their most complex and challenging repertoire of the year, including “Masquerade Suite” by Khachaturian and “John Henry” by Aaron Copland.

At 7 p.m., WYSO’s most advanced performing group, the Youth Orchestra, will perform Vaughan Williams’s “A London Symphony” and Lalo’s Overture from “Le Roi d’Ys.”

The Winterfest Concerts will be held in Mills Concert Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street, Madison.  WYSO concerts are generally about an hour to an hour and a half in length, providing a great orchestral concert opportunity for families.

Tickets are available at the door, $8 for adults and $5 for children under 18 years of age.

WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin.  For information, contact WYSO, Room 1625 Humanities Bldg., 455 N. Park St, Madison, WI 53706; call 608-263-3320 or visit

At 3 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Guest Artist Series offers a FREE and public concert by Hein Jung (below), soprano, and Grigorios Zamparas, piano.

The program includes “Rejoice” from “Messiah” by Handel; “Oh! Quand je dors” and three Petrarch sonnets by Liszt; “Valse Impromptu in A-flat major” by Liszt; songs, mazurkas and preludes by Chopin; and “O Zittre Nicht” from “The Magic Flute” by Mozart.

Hein Jung received the M.M. (2003) and D.M.A. (2007) degrees from UW-Madison, where she was a Paul Collins Fellow. Jung and Zamparas are members of the music faculty at the University of Tampa.

At 8 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Faculty Concert Series offers a FREE and public concert by Marc Vallon, bassoon, and friends. Vallon (below, holding baroque and modern bassoons in a photo by James Gill) performs on the dulcian and modern bassoon in works by Frescobaldi, Schubert, Alex Nohai-Seaman and others.

Vallon’s collaborators are Edith Hines, baroque violin; Lauren Basney, violin; Sally Chisholm, viola; Martha Giese-Vallon, baroque cello; Mark Bridges, cello; Christopher Allen, guitar; Dave Alcorn, percussion; Paul Rowe, baritone; John Chappell Stowe, organ; and Martha Fischer, piano.


This week’s “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” offers cellist Parry Karp and pianist Eli Kalman from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery Number III at the Chazen Museum of Art. It will be broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio.

The program includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in C Major for Piano and Cello, Op. 102, No. 1, and Lera Auerbach’s 24 Preludes with Postlude for Cello and 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.

NOTE: Due to the 2012 UW Art Department Faculty Exhibition, the post-concert reception will not be held again until the April 15th concert. We would like to thank our generous donors, Fresh Madison Market, Steep & Brew, and Coffee Bytes. A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW’s University Bands will give a FREE concert under the direction of Justin Stolarik (below), Matthew Schlomer and Matthew Mireles.


At 12:05 p.m. in Morphy Hall the UW Guest Artist Series presents a FREE and public concert by Rebecca Johnson (below), flute and piccolo, and Cara Chowning, piano.

The program includes works by Schubert, Lili Boulanger, Valerie Coleman and Ken Benshoof.

Rebecca Johnson is flute instructor at Eastern Illinois University and second flutist with Sinfonia da Camera. Cara Chowning is music director for the vocal series of the Bar Harbor Music Festival and assistant conductor of the University of Illinois opera program.

At 7:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, organist Nathan Laube (below), 26, will play works by Widor, Bach, and Duruflé, as well as his own transcriptions of pieces by Mendelssohn, and Liszt. Tickets are $18.50. Call 608 258-4141.

Here is a link to more information including the program:



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

    Join 1,257 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,269,986 hits
%d bloggers like this: