The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Wisconsin words and Wisconsin music will meet when the Rural Musicians Forum in Spring Green hosts state Poet Laureate Max Garland and noted UW-Oshkosh pianist Jeri-Mae Astolfi performing Wisconsin composers on Monday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hillside Theater of the historic Frank Lloyd Wright compound Taliesin. | August 8, 2013

ALERT: Two days ago, I offered reviews by John W. Barker of last weekend’s concerts by the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble (below top) and pianist Frank Glazer (below bottom). Two more reviews, both by Greg Hettmansberger, have come to my attention. Hettmansberger writes his “Classically Speaking” blog for Madison Magazine. Here are links to his reviews:

http://www.madisonmagazine.com/Blogs/Classically-Speaking/August-2013/Isthmus-Vocal-Ensemble-Rewards-the-Faithful/

http://www.madisonmagazine.com/Blogs/Classically-Speaking/August-2013/98-Years-Young-Frank-Glazer-Amazesand-Teachesat-the-Keyboard/

Isthmus Vocal Ensemble group concert dress

Frank Glazer at the piano

By Jacob Stockinger

Here is a press release about an upcoming unusual event tat mixes words and music from a low-profile group that deserves wider circulation:

Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate, Max Garland (below), will visit the Wisconsin River Valley and Spring Green on Monday, August 12, as part of “Music for a Summer Evening,” the annual series of concerts sponsored by the Rural Musicians Forum. The concert of words and music, free with donations accepted, is at 7:30 p.m. in the hillside Theater of the historic Frank Lloyd Wright compound 

possible?

“Garland has been called the “Johnny Appleseed of Wisconsin’s poetry landscape,” travelling the state for the next year, sowing seeds of knowledge and promoting the value of arts and culture. (You can hear him reading at the bottom in a YouTube video from the Wisconsin Book Festival in 2010. Garland read at Avol’s Bookstore in Madison.)

“The laureateship, announced in 2012 by the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Science, is the latest addition to Garland’s long list of honors, which includes a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship, a James Michener fiction fellowship and two Wisconsin Arts Board literary fellowships.

“Garland is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a post he has held since 1996. Before entering the academic world, he worked at many non-academic jobs in his native western Kentucky, including 10 years as a rural mail carrier on the route where he was born, a route formerly run by his grandfather.

“This experience was drawn upon in his first book of poems, “The Postal Confessions” (University of Massachusetts Press), winner of the 1994 Juniper Prize for Poetry. The poems brought to the fore the unknown residents of his rural hometown. For Garland, the book was a tribute to a particular time and place in his home state of Kentucky.

The Postal Confessions

“When Garland (below, reading) visits the Wisconsin River Valley this month as part of RMF’s summer concert series, he will read his poetry to honor the countryside and ordinary people of Wisconsin.

Max Garland reading

“At the Hillside School Theater presentation Garland and noted Wisconsin pianist, Jeri-Mae Astolfi (below), will capture the spirit of the state’s people, places, events and culture, making the connection between music and poetry. 

Jeri-Mae Astolfi playing solo USE 

“Astolfi is the soloist for the Wisconsin Soundscapes project, which features new piano music inspired by the people and places of Wisconsin, commissioned by the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

“Astolfi is a Canadian-born pianist whose repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance era through the present, expresses her keen interest in “new” music, which has led her to commission and premiere many new solo and collaborative works.

“Jeri-Mae Astolfi is currently a member of the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Her concert appearance in Spring Green with Poet Laureate Max Garland is an extension of a 2012 state-wide tour made possible through the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers (WAC) and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

“In Spring Green she will play original compositions by Wisconsin composers Geoffrey Gordon, UW-Madison composer Joseph Koykkar (below) and Donald Young. The compositions create musical maps of such places as Black Earth, Mineral Point and Spring Green (Geoffrey Gordon) for example, as well as streets and bridges (Joseph Koykkar) and scenes along the Root River (Donald Young).

“The composers themselves will be present for the concert.

joseph koykkar

“The August 12 concert goes to the heart of what Max Garland most wants to do in his term as Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, examining, as he says, “the life that quietly happens in our heads and hearts, and the connection of that life to places where we live, the roots of that life in the places we know and love.”

“Taliesin’s Hillside School Theater (below), part of the historic Frank Lloyd Wright compound, is located at 6604 State Hwy. 23 in Spring Green.

“There is no admission charge for the concert. However, a free-will offering assists in underwriting the concert series.

“The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.  Seating is limited.

taliesin_hillside2

“For further information on Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland or to see a schedule of his upcoming appearances, please visit www.wisconsinacademy.org/poetlaureate.  For more information on the concert series see www.ruralmusiciansforum.org.”


1 Comment »

  1. Jacob,

    Your Well Tempered Ear is a truly invaluable source of great music. Without this post, I’d surely never have known about the Spring Green event. I’ve wanted an excuse to visit Wright’s locale for years and I can’t think of a better reason than this reading/piano concert. Thanks for all you do & keep up the great work.

    Comment by Larry Retzack — August 8, 2013 @ 12:29 am


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