The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music education: Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras offer fall concerts all day this Sunday in Madison. UW violinist Tyrone Greive performs tonight. | November 14, 2012

ALERT: Tonight at 7:30 p.m in Mills Hall, UW violinist and former Madison Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Tyrone Greive (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot) will perform a FREE recital on the UW-Madison Faculty Concert Series. Greive will be joined by pianists Martha Fischer and Ted Reinke and as well as his wife cellist Janet Greive. The program will feature Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 115 by Jean Sibelius; Sonata in E for violin and piano by Paul Hindemith; Sonata in D minor, Op. 9 by Karol Szymanowski; a collection of short duets for violin and cello; Romance in E-flat Major, Op. 44, No. 1, by Henryk Wieniawski; and Three Dances by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz.

By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will hold the first performance series of the season, the Steenbock Fall Concerts, all day this coming Sunday, Nov. 18. More than 350 young musicians will display their talents to the community during the three concerts, which are dedicated to local music teachers.

The Evelyn Steenbock Fall Concerts will be held in Mills Concert Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street, in Madison.

WYSO concerts are generally about an hour and a half in length, providing a great orchestral concert opportunity for families. Tickets are available at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for youth 18 and under. WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin. 

On Sunday, WYSO’s youngest members, the string orchestra Sinfonietta (below), will kick off the concert series at 1:30 p.m. with selections including “Four Royal Dances” by Eric Ewazen. The Concert Orchestra will follow with works by Berlioz and von Gluck.  

At 4 p.m., the popular Percussion Ensemble (below top) will perform an arrangement of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor under the direction of Vicki Jenks, in her 31st season at WYSO. The Philharmonia Orchestra (below bottom, photo by Jon Harlow) will then entertain the audience with Copland’s “An Outdoor Overture,” and works by Strauss, Vaughan Williams and Borodin. 

At 7 p.m., the Harp Ensemble (below top), a unique group of performers age 11-17, will perform Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor.  The Youth Orchestra (below bottom) will close out the concert series with Joaquin Turina’s “Danzas fantásticas” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphony No. 2.

The Ear would only add that the playing is much better than you might think from student groups (listen to the finale of Shostakovich’s epic Symphony No. 5 on YouTube at the bottom). And it is also great fun to see the large WYSO audiences, which are made up of young friends, family members and admirers. WYSO concerts draw the youngest, most animated and most enthusiastic audiences in town.

Especially in this time of tight family and educational budgets, special mention should be made of sponsors. This WYSO project is supported by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation and the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times. This project is also supported by the Alliant Energy Foundation and by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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