The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: A special Madison Symphony Orchestra season subscription offer expires today. And MSO guest trumpet soloist Tine Thing Helseth heads up a new summer music festival. | July 25, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

In case you don’t already know, today is the expiration date of a special offer for subscribers to the Madison Symphony Orchestra (below).


Not only can you save up to 50 percent but you could also see the handling fee waived and also receive a free copy of a CD by John DeMain and the MSO that was done in Overture Hall of the Overture Center.

Here is a link for more information about the subscription and about the concerts in the 2013-14 season, including the special one-time only “Behind the Notes” performance of Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony:

As you may recall, this coming season is the celebration the 20th year that John DeMain (below) has been music director of the symphony. He has selected a lot of special programs – though some of us are disappointed that there is no Mahler symphony or song cycle and no Bruckner symphony on the list.

John DeMain full face by Prasad

The programs include an all-Beethoven program with acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman (below) perform two piano concertos (Nos. 2 and 5); the fabulous violinist Augustin Hadelich in Lalo; the Mozart Requiem and an all-American concert with Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein among other composers.

Yefim Bronfman 1 by Oded Antman

But one big surprise was DeMain’s choice of a Norwegian trumpeter player – and a female trumpet player, which is rarer still – to appear as a new guest soloist in two trumpet concertos, including the famous one in E-flat Major  by Franz Josef Haydn.

Her name in Tine Thing Helseth (below).

Helseth (c) ColinBell EMI Classics

At the publicity launch of the new season last spring, DeMain explained to The Ear that he heard playing on Sirius Radio while he was driving in his car, and he was quite impressed.

He also said that he thought it would be interesting for MSO audiences to hear a different soloist, someone besides the usual pianist, violin, cellist or singer.

Time and the box office will tell how big the appeal of a brass player as soloist is.

But it turns out that DeMain isn’t the only one impressed with her talent.

In fact, Helseth has been put in charge of a new summer music festival.

Here is a link to the story:

Here is a link to Helseth’s own website:

And here is a sample of Helseth’s playing — in the last movement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto that she will perform here in Madison —  in a YouTube video:


  1. I am compelled to mention two things – first, the famous Haydn concerto is in E flat, not D; and second, that you can hear it with Madison native Ansel Norris and MAYCO on August 9 if you want a warm-up before the MSO!

    Comment by Mikko Utevsky — July 25, 2013 @ 12:31 am

    • Hi Mikko,
      Yes, of course you are right and I was wrong.
      I apologize for the error, which is now fixed.
      Perhaps I confused the key with the famous Cello Concerto No. 2 of Haydn.
      Or maybe I just wasn’t thinking. Many trumpet works are in E-flat, as I recall, because that is the key of the instrument, Same for the French horn, no?
      Anyway, the mistake is fixed and I apologize for it.
      And THANK YOU for the reminder and for telling us when we can hear the trumpet concerto at the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra concert, under your baton, on Friday, August 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall at the foot of Bascom Hill. Tickets are $5 for the public; students get in free by donation.
      The program also features a Vivaldi concerto, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major and the world premiere of a new work commissioned from Madison composer Jerry Hui.
      It would have been good to add that, and I wish I had. I am happy you did so.
      Best wishes,

      Comment by welltemperedear — July 25, 2013 @ 6:00 am

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