The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Middleton pianist Thomas Kasdorf joins the Middleton Community Orchestra next Wednesday night in a concert of Mozart and Brahms.

May 25, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

This coming three-day holiday weekend includes Memorial Day.

After all the patriotic music and marches you’re likely to hear, you might just be in the mood for something more serious, both dramatic and lyrical.

And even though we are in the intermission between the spring and summer concert season, one event looks very promising.

Next Wednesday night (May 30, 2012) at 7:30 p.m. at the Middleton Performing Arts Center, attached to Middleton High School, The Middleton Community Orchestra (below, in a photo by William Ballhorn) will present its Spring Concert.

The concert features terrific three works: the “Jolly Robbers” Overture by Franz von Suppe; the contagiously tuneful and charming Piano Concerto in A major, K. 488 by Mozart; and the dense Symphony No. 4 by Brahms, one of the greatest symphonies ever composed.

Tickets are $10 general admission. Students are free. Tickets are available at the door, Willy St. Coop West or by calling (608) 212-8690.

The conductor is Steve Kurr (below).

The guest soloist is pianist Thomas Kasdorf (below), a life-long Middleton resident, who will be performing the Mozart concerto.

Kasdorf is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with his Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance, where he studied with Professor Christopher Taylor.

At UW-Madison, Kasdorf was selected to be an inaugural member of the Perlman Piano Trio, which awards scholarships and performance opportunities to talented undergraduate students to give performances of chamber music.

His work with the Perlman Trio (below, with violinist Eleanor Bartsch and cellist Maureen Kelly) and with other instrumentalists has been featured in performances on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Live at the Midday” series, as well as in Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society’s House Concert Series.

He was named co-winner of the Irving Shain Woodwind and Piano Duo Competition, with collaborative partner, flutist Morgann Davis and was awarded the Bolz Prize of the Madison Symphony Concerto Competition and performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor at their Spring Youth Concerts.

He has performed in master classes given by: composer William Bolcom, violinists Nadja Salerno Sonnenburg and Pinchas Zukerman; cellists Steven Isserlis, Ronald Leonard, Ralph Kirshbaum and Timothy Eddy, and pianists Robert MacDonald, Jeffrey Siegel and Adam Neiman.

Kasdorf has worked in a variety of roles (both on and offstage) with a multitude of local performing arts groups, including Strollers Theatre, Madison Theatre Guild, Four Seasons Theatre, University Theatre, University Opera, and Children’s Theatre of Madison, in over 100 different shows.

With a specialty in the works of Stephen Sondheim, he has been called upon to arrange and perform reduced or solo orchestrations of Sondheim scores, including “A Little Night Music,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Putting It Together,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Side by Side by Sondheim,” “Into the Woods” and “Company.” He also serves on the board of directors for Middleton Players Theatre and will be musical director for Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” with them in August at the Middleton Performing Arts Center (below), where he will perform Wednesday night.

John W. Barker of Isthmus has reviewed several previous concerts by the Middleton Community Orchestra for this blog. Here are links to Barker’s reviews:

And if you want more information about the upcoming concert or the Middleton Community Orchestra, including how to join it and support it, here is a link:

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