The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music education news: Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Orchestra will tour in Europe from July 7 to July 17. A FREE preview concert is at Olbrich Gardens on Tuesday night and you can follow the tour with blogger Mikko Utevsky right here. | June 29, 2012

NEWS FLASH: Violist Mikko Utensky of Madison, who also founded and conducts the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (MAYCO), has agreed to blog about the WYSO tour to Europe — which he is going on —  for The Well-Tempered Ear. Are we not lucky?

By Jacob Stockinger

July is a big month for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras.

The young musicians of WYSO’s premier performing group, the Youth Orchestra (below), are preparing for a fantastic opportunity this July, when they will travel to Prague, Vienna and Budapest on WYSO’s first international tour since 2005.

Youth Orchestra members will have a chance to visit some of the most significant locations in the history of classical music and will perform in world-class venues.

The tour will be led by WYSO Music Director James Smith (below, in a photo by Jeff Miller for U-Madison), who has served as conductor of the Youth Orchestra for 27 years and who also serves as Director of Orchestras for UW-Madison’s School of Music.

In 2010, Smith was named Musician of the Year by The Well-Tempered Ear blog. Here is a link to that posting:“musician-of-the-year”-for-2010/

More recently, he was also profiled in the “Know Your Madisonian” feature in The Wisconsin State Journal. Here is a link to that story:

The 69 WYSO musicians who will attend the tour range in age from 14-18 years old and hail from 19 communities across southern Wisconsin.

The tour, which will run from July 7-17, will include concerts at Glasenersaal of the Musikverein in Vienna, the Czech Museum of Music in Prague (below), and the Military Museum in Budapest.

Repertoire for the tour will include Vaughan Williams’s “London” Symphony, “Le Roi d’Ys” Overture by Lalo, Slavonic Dance No. 8 by Dvorak, and The Courtly Dances from “Gloriana” by Britten.

Prior to their international tour performances, the Youth Orchestra members will give a bon voyage concert at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (below) on Tuesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public, with a $1 suggested admission donation to support the gardens. These young cutural ambassadors deserve a great send-off.

For more information about the tour and about WYSO in general, visit:

Leave the young musicians a farewell message in the COMMENTS section. The Ear will try to keep you current with the tour and the reception these young artists receive.




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