The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music education: The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras’ (WYSO) annual Winterfest Concerts will be held this coming Saturday and Sunday at the UW-Madison. Plus, UW pianist Christopher Taylor performs Liszt’s piano transcriptions of Beethoven’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in a FREE concert.

March 13, 2013
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ALERT: This Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in FREE concert at Mills Hall, UW pianist Christopher Taylor (below) will perform his annual recital on the Faculty Concert Series at the UW-Madison. Taylor will play Franz Liszt’s piano transcriptions of Beethoven’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Said Taylor in an email to The Ear: “A presenter in Moscow has been putting on a complete cycle of all the Liszt-Beethoven symphonies with various pianists, and this was the pair I got.  I performed them there just before Christmas. Since the Beethoven symphonies were critical elements of my musical awakening around ages 5 and 6, this project has proven particularly rewarding for me.”


By Jacob Stockinger

On this Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17, 2013, more than 340 talented young musicians – from middle schools and high schools from around south-central Wisconsin — will perform both classical and contemporary works.

wyso violas

The Winterfest Concerts of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will be held in Mills Concert Hall (below) in the UW-Madison’s Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street. Arrive early, as family and friends give WYSO performances some of the youngest, most packed and most enthusiastic audiences in town.

WYSO Young audience 2

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 children under 18 years of age.

The Youth Orchestra will open the concert series at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, with audience favorites including movements from Georges Bizet‘s “Carmen” Suite, Johann Strauss‘s operetta “Die Fledermaus” and Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 7.

WYSO Youth Orchestra

On Sunday, March 17 at 1:30 p.m., Sinfonietta will perform pieces including Grusel’s “A Wisconsin Tableau,” whose four movements create a musical exploration of our state’s history and landmarks.

WYSO Sinfonietta

The Concert Orchestra (blow in a photo by Krystal Stankowski) will perform Edvard Grieg‘s Norwegian Dances and Smith’s “The Great Steamboat Race.”

WYSO Concert Orchetsra by Krystal Stankowski

At 4 p.m., following a performance by the eight young musicians of the Harp Ensemble (below top), the Philharmonia Orchestra (below bottom, in a photo by Cheng-Wei Wu)) will present some of their most complex and challenging repertoire of the year, including Jean Sibelius’s richly scored Symphony No. 2 and the “Berceuse” and “Finale” from Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Suite.

WYSO Harp Ensemble 2011

Thomas Buchhauser  conducting WYSO Philharmonia Cheng-Wei Wu

WYSO offers special thanks goes to Diane Endres Ballweg for her generous multi-year support of the Winterfest Concerts. The concerts are also generously supported by Dane Arts, with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, by the Webcrafters-Frautschi Foundation, and by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Dick Yde’s appearance as the Philharmonia’s Guest Conductor is sponsored by Stafford Rosenbaum LLP.

WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin. 

For more information about joining WYSO, supporting WYSO, learning about their upcoming events, past concert tours and much mores, visit:

wyso video

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