The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: It’s William Bolcom Week and Pro Arte Quartet Week in Madison – with a lot more vocal, orchestral, keyboard and chamber music on tap.

March 21, 2012
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This will be a very, very busy week in Madison.

At the top of the MUST-HEAR concerts is the FREE and UNTICKETED centennial performance by the Pro Arte String Quartet (below, in a photo by Rick Langer) and UW pianist Christopher Taylor on Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater.

Every day from Wednesday through Sunday, there is one or more events, including an open rehearsal with prize-winning American composer William Bolcom, whose Piano Quintet No. 2 will receive its world premiere here on the Saturday night program, and free lectures by New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini.

Rather than list them all of them again in detail, I am putting in short versions and referring you to a complete schedule:

But also this week there are also important events by the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Choir and guest artists – a guitar group and a wind ensemble — at the University of Wisconsin School of Music.

Take a look – and then figure out to work all of the events into your schedule. It’s a challenge, no? Why does such good luck occasionally feel like a curse?


Tonight a 7 p.m. in a LIVE broadcast (for the first time, it will be statewide) on Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio, four of Wisconsin’s most talented young musicians will vie for honors in the 2012 Bolz Young Artist Competition.

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

Members of the public can 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 pianist Michael Doerr, trombonist Charles Dieterle, violinist Anthony Cudzinovic and pianist Garrick Olsen.

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

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.


9 a.m. to noon in Mills Hall is an open rehearsal of the Pro Arte Quartet. Composer William Bolcom (below) assists the Pro Arte Quartet and pianist Christopher Taylor in the preparation for the world premiere of his Piano Quintet No. 2 for the Centennial Concert on Saturday night at the Wisconsin Union Theater. FREE and UNTICKETED. 


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 cellist Philip Delaquess and pianist Dan Broner in the complete set of cello variations by Beethoven. For information, call 608.233-9774 or visit

4-5:30 p.m. in Room 2650 of the Mosse Humanities Building. New York Times senior classical music critic Anthony Tommasini (below) presents “Academic Writing and Music Criticism: Where Research and Journalism Intersect.” The public is invited to attend. FREE and UNTICKETED.

At 8 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Guest Artist Series at the School of Music presents guitarist Enric Madriguera (below).

Madriguera will perform a program largely composed of works by Spanish and Latin-American composers, including the Midwest regional premiere of his own transcription of “Three Lullabies” by Robert X. Rodriguez.  Other composers represented include Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ramón Noble,Federico Moreno Torroba, Joaquin Turina, Andrés Segovia, Manuel M. Ponce and J. S. Bach.

Madriguera is the director of guitar studies at the University of Texas at Dallas and performs as soloist both locally and internationally.  In 2001, he toured Vietnam performing and teaching at the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh conservatories of music.  In 2002, he was invited to the International Festival at Charles Darwin University, Australia.  In the fall of 2009, he was a Fulbright scholar in residence at the School of the Arts at Pachuca, State of Hidalgo, Mexico.  He concertizes annually in Spain, and in December 2011 he performed and was jury president at the 10th Luys Milan Festival and Competition in Valencia.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m in First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., the Wisconsin Chamber Choir (below) will present Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem along with music by Francis Poulenc’s “Four Motets for a Season of Penitence” and selections from Herbert Howells’ Requiem. Theodore Reinke, organist at Midvale Lutheran Church, will accompany the choir.

Program notes and tickets are available in advance for $16 at, via Brown Paper Tickets, or at the door for $18. Student tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

Founded in 1998, the Madison-based Wisconsin Chamber Choir has established a reputation for excellence in the performance of Bach oratorios, a cappella masterworks from various centuries, and world premieres. Dr. Robert Gehrenbeck is the Wisconsin Chamber Choir’s Artistic Director.

At 7:30 p.m. at Farley’s House of Pianos, 6522 Seybold Road, on Madison’s far west side near West Towne, Spanish pianist Daniel del Pino (below) will perform the Three “Petrarch Sonnets” plus two concert paraphrases on Handel and Verdi by Liszt and Chopin’s complete Op. 28 Preludes. Tickets are $30. For information and tickets, call (608) 271-2626 or visit Orange Tree Imports on Monroe Street.


From noon to 1 p.m., flutist Margaret Luke (below top) and UW-Platteville‘s Rountree Ensemble (below bottom) will perform a free concert at the Grace Episcopal Church on the Capitol Square.

At 3 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater, New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini will lecture on the topic “Concert Music Today: A State of the Union Address.”

At 8 p.m. in the Wisconsin Union Theater. A FREE and UNTICKETED concert by the Pro Arte Quartet with pianist Christopher Taylor and Julliard String Quartet violist Samuel Rhodes (below).

The third of four concerts celebrating the Pro Arte Quartet’s centennial will feature the premiere of Piano Quintet No. 2 by William Bolcom, with pianist Christopher Taylor. The Pro Arte Quartet also performs Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement) by Webern; Quartet No. 7 by Milhaud; and String Quintet in G minor, K. 516 ( at bottom) by Mozart, with violist Samuel Rhodes.

From 7-7:30 p.m., William Bolcom and Anthony Tommasini will hold a public pre-concert conversation in the Wisconsin Union Theater. The audience is also invited to a free dessert reception following the concert in the Main Lounge of the Memorial Union.


This week’s “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” offers the UW Pro Arte String Quartet with UW pianist Christopher Taylor and Julliard String Quartet violist Samuel Rhodes in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Piano Quintet No. 2 and Mozart’s String Quintet in G Minor, K. 516. Darius Milhaud’s String Quartet No. 7 (1925, which was dedicated to and premiered by the Pro Arte Quartet, will also be performed.

The free concert is 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. 

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.  A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Horn Choir concert with director Daniel Grabois, scheduled at 2 p.m in Mills hall, has been CANCELLED.

At 3 p.m. at 5729 Forsythia Place, on Madison’s west side, harpsichordist Trevor Stephenson (below) will perform a second house concert of J.S. Bach’s complete “Goldberg” Variations. (The first performance two weeks ago sold out.) Cost is $35, cash or check. Refreshments are served. Reservations are required. You can email or call (608) 238-6092.

At 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, winners of the annual Woodwind-Piano Duo Competition, sponsored by Chancellor Emeritus Irving Shain (below), will perform. Admission is free and unticketed.

Seven duos entered the competition, representing all five woodwind instruments in combination with piano—flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone.

The winning performers are flutist Mi-Li Chang with pianist Kirstin Ihde and clarinetist Laura McLaughlin with pianist Julie Page. Honorable mention bassoonist Sergio Acosta with pianist Hazim Suhadi will also perform.  All six winners will receive a cash prize.

Chang and Ihde begin Sunday’s program with two sonatas:  “Sonata in F minor,” Op. 120, No. 1 by Brahms; and “Sonata for flute and piano” by Martin Amlin.  Following intermission, McLaughlin and Page perform two movements from “Little Suite of Four Dances for E-flat clarinet and piano” by William Bolcom; “Sonata” (“Undine”), Op. 167, by Carl Reinecke; and “Sonatina for clarinet and piano” by Joseph Horovitz.

Admission is FREE and a reception will be held following the concert.


At 7:30 p.m., in Morphy Hall, the UW Guest Artist Series presents Arabesque Winds (below).  Admission is free and unticketed.

The quintet’s members are Diedre Huckabay, flute; Liz Spector Callahan, oboe; Isabel Kim, clarinet; Eryn Bauer, bassoon; and Jena Gardner, horn.

The program includes “Scherzo” by Eugène Bozza; “Quintett” by August Klughardt; two movements from “Six Tunes for the Instruction of Singing-Birds” (flute solo) by Richard Rodney Bennett; and “Summer Music” by Samuel Barber; “Quintet No. 2 in D minor” by Giuseppe Cambini; “Duo for oboe and bassoon” by Heitor Villa-Lobos; and “Six Bagatelles” by György Ligeti.

The ensemble, a woodwind quintet that formed in 2005 at the Eastman School of Music, has won numerous awards in a few short years—the grand prize at the 2008 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition; second prize at the Henri Tomasi International Woodwind Quintet Competition in Marseilles, France in 2009; and the 2009 Coleman-Saunderson Prize for Woodwinds and Brass at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition.

Dedicated to the performance of contemporary wind music, Arabesque Winds acted as ensemble in residence at the 2008 Festival Internacional Chihuahua in Mexico.  As active supporters of outreach programs, the quintet has presented interactive and educational programs for schools and community venues nationwide.

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

    Join 1,248 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,228,204 hits
%d bloggers like this: