The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: Let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Bach Around the Clock. Then you can add in some great orchestral and chamber music as well as Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.”

March 14, 2012
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This week we celebrate two annual events: St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17; and next Wednesday, March 21, the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Each event will be marked with music.

The first event is on Friday night, performed by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and University of Wisconsin pianist Christopher Taylor; the second is on Saturday from noon to midnight, performed by the community and Wisconsin Public Radio in the third annual 12-hour Bach birthday marathon of music-making.

Details for both events are below, along with several other noteworthy concerts, including three performances of the University of Wisconsin-Madison‘s production of Mozart’s pre-Romantic operatic masterpiece “Don Giovanni.”

Of course that is not all that is on tap in a very busy week. There is also a good amount of chamber music to be heard, including various unusual combinations.

Just take a look:


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 flutist Marilyn Chohaney and harpist Linda Warren in music of Mozart, Krumpholtz, Shaposhnikov and Prokofiev. For information, call 608.233-9774 or visit

On Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m., in Music Hall, the University Opera presents “Don Giovanni” by W. A. Mozart, sung in Italian with English surtitles. William Farlow directs and James Smith conducts the UW Chamber Orchestra

The production features Michael Roemer as Don Giovanni (below, left, with John Arnold as Leporello); Benjamin Schultz as Commendatore; and alternating casts on Friday/Tuesday and Sunday: Lindsay Sessing and Cassie Glaeser as Donna Anna; Shannon Prickett and Chelsie Propost as Donna Elvira; John Arnold and Yohan Kim as Leporello; Daniel O’Dea and Alex Gmeinder as Don Ottavio; Ariana Douglas and Lydia Eiche as Zerlina; and Benjamin Li and Erik Larson as Masetto.

Tickets are available in advance ($22 adults/$18 seniors/$10 UW students) through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online at Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office or Vilas Hall Box Office during normal business hours.  As performances often sell out, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.

In an effort to help patrons find parking on campus, the Campus Arts Ticketing office is offering prepaid parking permits for a guaranteed parking spot on the evenings of ticketed UW arts events for $5.  Pre-order your permit online at (5 days or more in advance; $1 handling fee) or call (608)-265-ARTS (3 days or more in advance; $1 handling fee).

At 8 p.m. in the Capitol Theater of the Overture Center, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (below) under conductor Andrew Sewell will mark St. Patrick’s Day with “A Celtic Celebration.”

The program features Piano Concerto No. 4 in E-flat Major by Irish composer John Field with UW pianist Christopher Taylor as soloist.

Also on the program are: Mendelssohn’  “The Hebrides Overture,” Op. 26; 
the rarely heard “Celtic” Symphony for string orchestra and six harps by British composer Granville Bantock (below); and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner,” which was composed the same year as the birth of John Field.

Tickets are $15-$62. For more information, call the Overture Center box office at (608) 258-4141 or visit:

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, a FREE UW-Madison faculty recital features percussionist Neil Sisauyhoat (below) in music by Eugene Novotney, Keiko Abe, Joseph Koykkar and others. Collaborating musicians are pianist Douglas Jurs and Grupo Balanca, a five-person percussion ensemble.

Sisauyhoat is a percussion instructor at the School of Music, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate percussion majors and directs the Afro-Cuban segment of the World Percussion Ensemble. He was a co-founding member of Grupo Ara Oko, an Afro-Cuban folkloric ensemble in New York, and he currently performs with WADOMA, an African drum and dance group in Madison.


From noon until midnight, Wisconsin Public Radio will hold its third annual Bach Around the clock at Pres House, 731 State St., off State Street  and across from the Library Mall and  the Chazen Museum of Art, on the UW-Madison campus.

This year, Johann Sebastian Bach (below) – by general consensus the greatest composer who ever lived and who affected all the composers who followed after him – turns 327. (He was born on March 21, 1685, he died on July 26, 1750, at age 65.)

So why not celebrate?

Why not indeed!

Professional musicians and amateurs as well as students, both children and adults, will perform the works of Johann Sebastian Bach for 12 straight hours.

The event will NOT be broadcast on the radio, there will be a real-time webcast that can linked to via the homepage at

The Ear hasn’t seen a schedule of performers yet, but founder and organizer Cheryl Dring, the music director of WPR, has said that this year even more members of the community are involved. That is a good trend to The Ear, who himself participated in the first BATC but just attended it last year.

It is a fun event to attend. The performances are good, and there is a good communal feeling to the event. There are snacks and conversations with performers and other audience members. And the event will culminate with a cake at midnight for The Birthday Boy.

The the event will NOT be broadcast on the radio, there will be a real-time webcast that can linked to via the homepage of

It is a fun event to attend. The performances are good, and there is a good communal feeling to the event with a lot of children and  young people present, plus anattentive  and appreciative audience. There are snacks and conversations with performers and other audience members. And the event will culminate with a cake at midnight for The Birthday Boy.

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.

 At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Symphony Orchestra (below, with the UW Choral Union), with James Smith and David Grandis, conductors, will perform “Ricercare No. 2” from “The Musical Offering” by J. S. Bach, arranged by Anton Webern; “Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance,” Op. 23a by Samuel Barber; and Symphony No. 1 in D major “Titan” by Gustav Mahler.  Admission is free.


This week’s “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” offers members of the Oakwood Chamber Players (below, in a photo by Bill Arthur)  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 features Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 1; Glinka’s Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano; Malcolm Arnold’s Trio for Flute, Viola and Piano; and Jena Francaix’s Trio for Viola, Clarinet 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  Guest Artist Series features violinist Diana Seitz (below) in a FREE concert.

Seitz will perform Sonata No. 1 in G major for violin and piano, Op. 78, by Brahms, with UW pianist Christopher Taylor; the famous “Chaconne” from Partita No. 2 in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004, by J.S. Bach; “The Last Rose of Summer” for solo violin by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst; and “Waltz Scherzo” in C major by Tchaikovsky, with pianist Claire Mallory. 

Diana Seitz, a member of the music faculty at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, is a native of Azerbaijan and graduate of Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Oklahoma, where she studied with Felicia Moye, now professor of violin at the School of Music, UW-Madison. While in Oklahoma, Seitz served as associate concertmaster of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra and first violinist of the Crouse String Quartet.


From 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 1351 of the Mosse Humanities Building, American composer William Bolcom (below) — whose Piano Quintet No. 2 will be premiered by the Pro Arte Quartet and pianist Christopher Taylor in a FREE concert at The Wisconsin Union Theater at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 —  will talk about his recent music with composition students. Bolcom has won the Pulitzer Prize and received the National Medal of the Arts. The public is invited to attend the free and unticketed event.

At 7 p.m. in a LIVE broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio, four of Wisconsin’s most talented young musicians, grades 9-12, will vie for honors in the 2012 Bolz Young Artist Competition with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

The program will be live simulcast on the Web at WPT will offer an encore broadcast at 8 p.m. Friday, March 23. WPT’s Adam Schrager and Lori Skelton of WPR will cohost.

Members of the public may attend the live performance at Overture Hall in Madison. Tickets are free; call 608-257-3734 for reservations. The audience must be seated by 6:45 p.m.

The finalists (below, from left in a composite photo by James Gill) are pianists Michael Doerr, trombonist Charles Dieterle violinist Anthony Cudzinovic and Garrick Olsen.

Each finalist will perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under the direction of Music Director John DeMain before a live audience.

Here is a link to the event and the biographies of the four contestants:

Doerr will play excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” Olsen will perform Ravel’s “Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major.” Cudzinovic will play the first movement from Khachaturian’s “Violin Concerto in D minor,” and Dieterle will play Grondahl’s “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra.”

The winner and runner-up will be featured as soloists with the MSO at the Spring Young People’s Concert. In addition, each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship, either the Marian Bolz Prize or the Steenbock Youth Music Award. Up to two Honorable Mention scholarships of $1,000 may be awarded.

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

    Join 1,250 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,226,234 hits
%d bloggers like this: