The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: “Wisconsin Soundscapes” project features six contemporary composers with ties to Wisconsin and will be performed tonight at the First Unitarian Society in Madison.

October 20, 2012
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ALERT: Tonight at  8 p.m. in Morphy Hall, UW clarinetist Linda Bartley performs a FREE concert. Then on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, “Music in the Wright Place” 
will be performed in the new Atrium Auditorium (below, in a photo by Zane Williams). General admission is $25. You can purchase tickets at the door, and credit cards are accepted. 
Music will be performed by FUS music staff Dan Broner, Heather Thorpe and Linda Warren with special guests Karlos Moser, Eva Wright, Tyrone Greive and Trevor Stephenson. The concert will include music for solo voice, piano, piano duet, violin, harp and fortepiano by David Watkins, Erik Satie, Benjamin Britten, Mozart, Bernstein, Peter Schickele and Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf.

By Jacob Stockinger

I apologize for the late notice, but, as they say “Better late than never” — especially with an event this contemporary and this local.

Tonight, on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the historic and landmark  Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, pianist Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi (below) will perform six works by Wisconsin composers who were commissioned by the Wisconsin Arts Board to capture the spirit of the state’s people, places, events and more.

Admission is FREE.

A University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh music professor and pianist, Astolfi started “Wisconsin Soundscapes” at UW Oshkosh on Sept. 30. The tour also includes performances in Milwaukee, Manitowoc, La Crosse and Three Lakes.

In 2011, the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers received support from the Wisconsin Arts Board to commission six Wisconsin composers, each chosen through a double-blind judging process, to create original solo piano works based on Wisconsin themes. With support from a second Wisconsin Arts Board grant in 2012, the resulting concert was to be performed in communities throughout Wisconsin.

The concert features the compositions of Geoffrey Gordon, Joseph Koykkar (below top), Ryan Maguire, Joel Naumann, Yehuda Yannay (below bottom) and Donald J. Young.

The pieces were based on various Wisconsin themes, including: geographic locations (Black Earth, Mineral Point and Spring Green; Brady Street and Downer Avenue in Milwaukee); personalities (Steve Nelson-Raney, a pianist and saxophone player, jazz musician, composer, poet and visual artist); scenes (a field study of a herd of cows in a thunderstorm, Good Times at River Bend, Cloudy Day-River Rising, Pounding Rain-Raging River); and events (depiction of the political turmoil in Wisconsin leading up to the June 2012 recall election).

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