The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Madison’s summer classical music season kicks off this Friday night with the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society opening its 22nd season this Friday night at the Overture Center’s Playhouse.

June 13, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

Increasingly, it seems, classical music in Madison never takes a break or at least an extended vacation.

The regular seasons are barely over for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Opera, the many University of Wisconsin School of Music groups including orchestras and opera, the Edgewood College music program, and many other small and large ensembles.

Nonetheless, the rich summer classical music season is about to begin.

Here is a round-up, hardly all-inclusive since I am sure I have overlooked something, of various local Madison-area events. (If some event has been left out, please forgive me and leave information in the COMMENTS section.)

JUNE 14-JUNE 30: This Friday night the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society will kick off its 22nd season, entitled in numerically fitting way, “Deuces Are Wild.” It will perform in three venues: the Playhouse in the Overture Center, the Hillside Theater at the Frank Lloyd Wright landmark compound Taliesin in Spring Green; and the Opera House in Stoughton.

BDDS deuces are wild logo

There is so much to recommend this thoroughly professional and thoroughly enjoyable group, which The Ear named Musician of the Year for 2012.

For starters, there will be the usual door prizes, original art as stage backdrops and mystery guests.

There is some unusual repertoire such as works by Kenji Bunch, Ferdinand Ries, Frank Martin, Ned Rorem, Dick Kattenburg and Erich Wolfgang Korngold mixed in with such famous masterpieces as Beethoven’s “Archduke” Piano Trio, Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quartet in G Minor, Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet and G Major String Sextet, Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio for piano, viola and clarinet and Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” with former Wisconsin Public Radio host Linda Clauder as narrator, and others. One especially intriguing program explores the romantic three-way among Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck Schumann.

Curiously, however, there will be NO BACH – no Johann Sebastian or Carl Philipp Emanuel or Wilhelm Friedemann or Johann Christoph –- despite the group’s name.

BDDS Brahms Quintet

The usual mix of local and imported performers will be featured, including the always reliable co-founders and co-directors flutist Stephanie Jutt and pianist Jeffrey Sykes. But one noteworthy difference is the appearance of Madison Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor John DeMain (below), who will play the piano (his first instrument before he went into conducting and then specialized in opera) in two-piano works with Jeffrey Sykes.

Here is a link to the BDDS home webpage with lots of links to the programs, the venues, tickets and background:

John DeMain full face by Prasad

Here is a roundup of other dates and events you might want to put into your datebook.

JUNE 21: The first MAKE MUSIC MADISON outdoor festival will be held citywide to celebrate the summer solstice. Four acoustic pianos, with no advance sign-up, will be located at fire stations around the city. Here is a link:

Make Music Madison logo square

JUNE 21:  The Madison Youth Area Chamber Music Orchestra (below in Mills Hall) will perform Aaron Copland’s “Our Town,” Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” with Wisconsin Public Radio narrator Lori Skelton and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Eugene Purdue and violist Deidre Buckley.

MAYCO playing

JUNE 21: In a “Real Men Sing” Concert, Kantorei (below), The Singing Boys of Rockford, Illinois, will perform a collaborative choral concert with choirs from the Madison Youth Choirs at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 21 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 7337 Hubbard Ave., in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Kantorei Tour 2013

JUNE 22: First of three free Farmers Market Concerts sponsored by the Madison Symphony Orchestra at 11 a.m. in Overture Hall with the Overture Concert Organ and organ soloist Jared Stellmacher (below) and The Gargoyle Brass. Here is a link with another link to the program:

Jared Stellmacher 2

JUNE 26-JULY 31: The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra will hold the 30th annual summer of the hugely popular Concerts on the Square. While most of the repertoire will be folk, rock, jazz and pop music, the opening concert, featuring concerto competition winner violinist David Cao (below) will be all-classical, and other concerts will have some classical works. Here is a link:

David Cao older

JUNE 29: The Madison Summer Choir (below) will perform Charles Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass and other works at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall. Here is a link:

Madison Summer Choir orchestra

JULY 6-JULY 12: The 14th annual Madison Early Music Festival will celebrate “A Festive Celebration of the German Renaissance.” (The logo is below.) It will feature the Calmus Ensemble of Leipzig, the Dark Horse Consort, the viol consort Parthenia and the Renaissance band Piffaro. The usual pre-concert lectures, workshops and outstanding performances as well as the All-Festival Concert (“Stuttgart 1616) will be featured. New this year is a Handel Aria competition, sponsored by early music fans Orange and Dean Schroeder of Orange Tree Imports, on Monday July 8, at 7 p.m.  Here is a link:

memf 14 logo

JULY 13: Madison Opera’s “Opera in the Park”: This FREE outdoors event usually tracts more than 10,000 people to Garner Park on the west side and offers a preview of the next season and other repertoire. Here is a link:

Opera in Park Stage

JULY 20: The second of three free Farmer’s Market Concerts sponsored by the Madison Symphony Orchestra at 11 a.m. in Overture Hall with the Overture Concert Organ and organist Wyatt Smith (below). Here is a link with a link to the program:

Wyatt Smith

AUGUST 9: The Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra, under founder and conductor Mikko Utevsky (below) at 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall will perform Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, Beethoven’s Symphony No.1 and the premiere of a new work from Madison composer Jerry Hui:

MAYCO Mikko Utevsky by Steve Rankin

AUGUST 14: The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras perform a FREE concert in Old Sauk Trails Business Park.

WYSO rehesrsal Philharmonia Violins

AUGUST 17: Last of three free FREE Farmers Market Concerts sponsored by the Madison Symphony Orchestra at 11 a.m. in Overture Hall with the Overture Concert Organ with guest organist Adrian Binkley (below) and MSO organist Samuel Hutchison. Here is a link with another to the program:

Adrian Binkley

AUGUST 20-SEPTEMBER 1: The Token Creek Chamber Music Festival has the theme “Improvisations on a Theme.” Concerts in the refurbished barn (below) will feature unfinished Mozart by Harvard scholar Robert Levin, a new piece (Violin Sonata No. 2) by composer and co-director John Harbison for his violinist wife and co-director Rose Mary Harbison. Also included this year is an emphasis on Shakespeare with music (Haydn and Schubert among others) and readings. Here is a link:

TokenCreekbarn interior

After that, summer will be behind us, and fall ahead of us, and it will be time again for the Karp Family Labor Day concert at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Music–- for more than 30 years the traditional opening of the regular concert season.

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