The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: You can celebrate romantic love AND support the arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by attending the University Club special Valentine’s Day dinner and concert with the Pro Arte String Quartet. | February 7, 2013

ALERT: There are two events to note: This Friday, the weekly FREE Noon Musicale — from 12:15 to 1 p.m. — at the First Unitarian Society of Madison. 900 University Bay Drive, will feature Trevor Stephenson and the early music, period-instrument ensemble Madison Bach Musicians (below) in baroque trio sonatas by J.S. Bach, Biber, Vivaldi and Scarlatti. The same group will also perform the same program on this weekend’s edition of “Sunday Live From the Chazen” on Sunday that will air live statewide from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio (WERN 88.7 FM in the Madison area). 

Kangwon KIm with Madison Bach Musicians

By Jacob Stockinger

Looking for something special or even unusual – and therefore memorable — to do to celebrate Valentine Day, a week from today?

Eating and music go right along with love.


So you might consider the Valentine Day dinner at the University Club at 803 State Street near Bascom Hill and the Mosse Humanities Building on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Below top is an exterior shot in winter,; below bottom is an interior photo.)

university club uw in winter


The outreach event (tickets are NOT tax-deductible) is open to the public and starts with cocktails and conversation at 5:30 p.m. Then it moves on to a three-course dinner at 6:30 p.m. and concludes with concert performance by the UW’s famed Pro Arte String Quartet (below, in a photo by Rick Langer) at 7:30 p.m.

The quartet’s program has not been announced yet but may likely include some excerpts from Mozart (the String Quartet in G Major, K. 387),  Mendelssohn (from the two movements of his unfinished Op. 80 late quartet)  and the new quartet-variations “anther time” (2012) by Joel Hoffman, whose works they will also be performing in full and for FREE on next Saturday night, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall. In fact, the Hoffman quartet will also receive its world premiere that night.  (At bottom is a YouTube video of the Pro Arte Quartet playing a very beautiful prelude by Ernest Bloch during the quartet’s centennial last season.)

Pro Arte Quartet new 2 Rick Langer

Reservations are $40 per person. They can be made by calling (608) 22-5023 or by emailing

For a complete menu — which includes berries, beef tenderloin, striped bass and of course chocolate — and more details, visit:

The event is sponsored by the UW-Madison Arts Outreach, located in the UW Arts Institute, and works with the UW School of Music to share the expertise of its three resident arts ensembles – the Pro Arte Sting Quartet, the Wingra Woodwind Quintet and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet – with young musicians and community audiences around the state.

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