The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music education: On Day 5 of its European tour, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra visits Haydn’s home and arrives in Vienna.

July 12, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

As you may already know, the Youth Orchestra (below), the premiere performing group of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, is on a concert tour with conductor James Smith of Prague, Vienna and Budapest from July 7 through July 17.

Here is a link to an earlier entry with details about the tour including venues:

Last month, Mikko Utevsky agreed to blog for The Well-Tempered Ear from his tour, which is also his fist trip abroad.

Utevsky, as you may know from reading this blog, just graduated from East High School in Madison and will attend the University of Wisconsin and the UW School of Music this fall. He has been featured in this blog and also writes comments about its postings. (You can check him out using the blog’s search engine. He is a discerning listener and critic, and a fine writer.)

Utevsky (below), who plays viola in the WYSO group, is also the founder and director-conductor of the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (MAYCO), which has already performed its first summer concert this year and will perform another on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall.

For more information about WYSO pus a link tot his blog and Utevsky’s entries, visit:

Here is Utevsky’s third entry, with photos by WYSO’s executive director Bridget Fraser, covering the flight and arrival. More will follow:


Today began with an early breakfast at the Hotel Budapest before we embarked on the three-hour drive to Austria.

Our first stop was Eisenstadt, home to the famed Schloss Esterházy (Esterházy Palace, below), where Josef Haydn lived and worked in the employ of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy.

The highlight of the tour, which unfortunately focused more on the far less interesting Esterhazy nobles than on Haydn (a bust of the composer is below top)  was the visit to the Haydnsaal (below bottom), the room in which the man himself performed in the 1700s.

While we were regrettably not able to perform there ourselves or see any live concerts in the space, we did listen to a recording of the first movement of Haydn’s early Symphony No. 6 “Le Matin” (“Morning”) at the end of the tour.

We ate lunch in Eisenstadt at the Storchenmühle (Stork Mill), a restaurant with a stork’s nest in the chimney, accompanied by another cimbalom player whose repertoire ranged from yet another rendition of Brahms’ fifth Hungarian Dance to Beethoven’s “Für Elise” to an assortment of ragtime and show tunes.

We checked in at the well-appointed Artis Hotel Wien (below top) after lunch (and a bit of a drive into the city), and proceeded from there to Vienna’s gigantic Prater Amusement Park (below bottom).

We headed back to the hotel after a few hours of fun to get a good night’s sleep – Thursday is our benefit concert (poster is below bottom) for St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Gläserner Saal (below top) of the famed Musikverein.



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