The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Wisconsin Public Radio has cancelled the “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen” FREE chamber music series after 36 years of success. Other classical music from around Wisconsin is slated to replace it starting this fall. | May 8, 2014

PLEASE NOTE: Some corrections have been made from the original posting. I have noted them below in an updated version. I apologize for any inaccuracies, although the basic points remain the same.

By Jacob Stockinger

This Sunday’s edition of “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen” will mark not just the end of the current season; it will also mark the end, after 36 years, of the FREE chamber music series that has been broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio throughout the state.

(Below is the Pro Arte Quartet, frequent guest performers who always attract a full-house at SAL.)

The concert series, which now reaches some 200,000 listeners across Wisconsin, will simply no longer exist. (NOTE: Potter says the actual figure is closer to 10,000, but that serving statewide listeners and not accumulating higher ratings is the motivation behind the change.)

SALProArteMay2010

Pianist Eugene Alcalay (below), who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will close out the series with a solo recital of Schubert, Beethoven and Wagner, broadcast live as usual, on this Sunday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery 3 of the Chazen Museum of Art on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, where it has attracted a full house almost every week.

(You can hear Eugene Alcalay play the first movement of the Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, “Funeral March,” Op. 35, by Frederic Chopin in a 2011 performance at the Chazen in a YouTube video at the bottom.) In the Madison area, you can hear it at WHA FM 88.7.

Eugene Alcalay

“This will be the last concert in that series for this season and forever,” said Wisconsin Public Radio’s Director of Marketing Jeffrey Potter.

The news comes just after WPR finished its successful spring pledge drive.

“The making of the decision and the timing of announcing it was not easy for us,” Potter told The Ear in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon.

Potter also said that the decision to cancel the series was the decision solely of WPR, and not of the Chazen Museum of Art officials, although he said they understood the reasons and appreciated being kept in the loop.

Potter said the decision should not be interpreted as a sign of failure of the SAL series that started in 1978.

“The most important message to get out is that it has been a great run,” Potters said, praising the audiences, the musicians, the venue and WPR’s longtime host Lori Skelton (below).

Lori Skelton

“It hasn’t been that there is something wrong with the program,” Potter said. “It is just that Wisconsin Public Radio is also looking out for the best way to serve the public because we are the single biggest presenter of classical music in the state. We want to highlight music in Green Bay, Superior, Milwaukee, Lawrence University in Appleton, even Mills Hall at the UW-Madison.” He added that doing that would serve the Wisconsin Idea — that the borders of the university are the borders of the state — as well or even better than the current “Sunday Afternoon Live.”

“The resources we put into a live broadcast are not insignificant,” Potter said. “Live music may be exciting, but being live music doesn’t determine whether it is great music or not.”

Potter said that other forms of classical music besides chamber music, in a format yet to be determined, will replace SAL in the fall. That programming will be done by SAL host Lori Skelton working with Peter Bryant, WPR’s new director of News and Classical Music Service Peter Bryant.

The emphasis, Potter said, will be on recorded music from around the state rather than on live performances in Madison by musicians from around the state.

WPR new logo

In the meantime, WPR will follow the usual summer format. Performances by the Madison Opera’s productions of Puccini’s “Tosca” (May 17) and Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” (May 24) will occupy the next two Saturday  (NOT Sunday, as Potter originally stated) afternoon time slots, starting the weekend after the live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera end.

Potter also said the WPR would be contacting musicians (NOTE: a letter was sent to them and to the Chazen officials on Wednesday, according to Potter) and the public about the program change in the near future, starting this week and weekend. More information will soon be posted on the website www.wpr.org

NOTE: Adds Potter on Thursday: “I wanted to share the link with additional details about the decision. It can be found on the home page, right side middle of the page under the “Announcements” section. Here’s the link: http://www.wpr.org/news-about-wprs-sunday-afternoon-live-chazen

SALmicrophone sign

The decision to cancel “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen” was met with disappointment and disapproval by Russell Panczenko, the longtime director of the Chazen Museum of Art.

“I was caught completely by surprise,” said Panczenko (below). “Frankly, I knew nothing about it,” he added saying he was disappointed because killing off the series would lower the profile of the free public museum statewide.

Russell Panczenko of Chazen

“A year ago said they thought might be doing something, but then at a meeting this spring where I thought they would just be discussing the next season, they came out of the blue and said they were canceling it,” Panczenko explained. “They just cancelled, no discussion.”

“I always thought it was wonderful program, not just for us but also for the people who went into the galleries after the concerts,” Panczenko added. “People also heard about the museum around the state because there was always a 7-minute promotion piece about the touring or permanent exhibitions. I thought it was a good deal all around. It was wonderful. It was the also the only live performances they regularly had.”

ChazenMusArt_open11_7430

Both Potter and Panczenko said they anticipated negative reactions and backlash from the public. But, Potter said, that is unlikely to change the decision, as happened when WPR tried to cancel live broadcasts on Saturdays from the Metropolitan Opera and tried to change Classics by Request from Saturday to Friday, then rescinded each decision.

“Anytime you have a program change and lose something, it is hard on people,” said Potter, who added that WPR gets about 36,000 emails and phone calls about programming each year.

“I don’t think we will reverse this decision despite opposition” said Potter. “We are really trying to look at the bigger picture. We want to hear opposition. But we didn’t enter in this lightly and we wouldn’t exit it lightly.”

But Potter said he wanted the public to know that the change will not lessen the amount of classical music that will be heard on WPR,

Said Potter: “We at WPR remain committed to serving our customers throughout the state. We feel that people will continue to enjoy classical music on WPR.”

If you want to leave a public opinion or statement, please use the COMMENTS section of this blog.

And don’t forget that you can copy and paste from comments to private emails and vice-versa.

Here are some contact email addresses to send WPR a message:

http://www.wpr.org/staff

Director of Radio: mike.crane@wpr.org

Director of News and Classical Music Service: peter.bryant@wpr.org

Director of Marketing: jeffrey.potter@wpr.org

Listeners or musician or even performer, what do you think about Wisconsin Public Radio killing off “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen”?

The Ear wants to hear.

 

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29 Comments »

  1. In reply to Alan at #26: 1. You indicate “it looks like they (WPR) will replace it with other live performances.” Not so. Read Potter’s own comment: “Live music may be exciting, but being live music doesn’t determine whether it is great music or not.” Surely that means that a de-emphasis on live music is in the works; probably recorded “great music” (it is much cheaper to do that from a studio than present a live broadcast).

    2. I’m not sure what the demise of the classical music situation in Milwaukee has to do with this poor decision. Your argument seems to be: since we don’t have it, why should you? That’s not a very strong position. Maybe the kind of lackadaisical response you wrote is indicative of the situation in Milwaukee and perhaps the reason for the decline of classical music there?

    I do agree that Madison in almost all ways has far surpassed its larger neighbor. But that’s a reason for keeping the live broadcasts coming from the Chazen since Madison really is not only the political capital but the capital of classical music in the state.

    Comment by fflambeau — May 14, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

  2. I’m missing something. All of this anger is misplaced, at best. It looks like they are replacing it with other live musical performances..why is this bad? Who is paying for these FREE concerts anyway? If WPR is footing the costs, then it is their prerogative to do what makes financial sense to them. Living in the Milwaukee area, we don’t have a classical station at all, except for online, or HD (or something like that). Be thankful WPR is still giving you SOME classical music. Obviously, live music is something special, and it’s sad to see anything stop. The Milwaukee Symphony almost folded, the Green Bay Symphony is done…why is it WPR’s job to keep classical musicians in business?

    Comment by Alan — May 12, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

  3. The claim of WPR management that they are replacing SAL to better pursue “the Wisconsin Idea” is blatant nonsense. The unique SAL format and the many benefits it provides for musicians and audiences statewide is the quintessential embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea. (Ask the artists how much they resent driving to Madison to perform in a prominent venue simultaneously for a new, live audience and statewide listenership.) WPR’s assertions about TWI reflect either ignorance or hypocrisy and probably both.

    Comment by Marius — May 12, 2014 @ 9:14 am

  4. As is so often the case, the insult, ill will, and burned bridges that will result from the inept handling of this decision will do more long-term harm than the poor decision itself.

    The loyal “Sunday Afternoon Live” audience would have been the first to understand and accept a tough financial decision if this had been made public at the time the decision was reached three weeks ago. It is entirely likely that loyal supporters of the show would have generously stepped up to help fund it — but we’ll never know.

    What we do know is that the decision was kept from all parties and the public until the very last moment, and it is difficult not to conclude that the announcement was timed to follow the recent fund drive which required Lori Skelton’s effervescent, always positive participation. The arrogance and utter disregard for members and supporters reflected in this approach — not to mention the magnitude of the insult to Lori and her own professional standing — is jaw-dropping.

    The appearance of the top floor brass from WPR at the final concert only added fuel to the fire The vague reference to “many factors” behind the decision and equally vague references to “future opportunities” did not sit well with the capacity crowd, persuaded no one, and came across with the same level of credibility as Putin’s assurances that he is simply helping to keep order in Ukraine. The uncomfortable occasion revealed the loving affection audience members have for Lori — and the disdain they hold for this current crop of station managers. They looked entirely the part of corporate takeover artists who buy out the company and then fire the workers and bolt the plant’s doors shut.

    If it is true that the cutbacks are the result of the discovery of an internal WPR accounting snafu which had mistakenly projected greater pledge income, then WPR members and donors have more to worry about than whether they are being respected, appreciated and listened to — they should be worried about how the station handles its finances and, frankly, whether it should be trusted with donor funds.

    Please let your state legislators know you are unhappy with WPR’s actions.

    Comment by Pam — May 11, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

  5. Bad decision but maybe lemon juice can be made from this lemon?

    Why don’t the Chazen, UW Music and UW continue the series without WPR? Either put it on WORT or better yet, stream it live AND archive each show on the web sites of all parties? I think it would then reach an even larger audience and UW would get away from the market driven forces that clearly are operating at WPR. I also think that all the partners could get financial support for doing this from lots of angry donors and from their own support base.

    Comment by FFlambeau — May 9, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

  6. Sent to Mike Crane.

    Sir:

    I am not happy about the cancelling “Live from the Chazen,” one of the few WPR offerings that I can experience in the flesh as well as on the radio.

    I moved back to Madison from New York City a few years ago to attend the UW. I recall telling friends in New York and London, where I also lived for a couple years, about WPR’s wonderfully intimate, live performance series from the university’s art museum. Most were pleasantly surprised that such a series existed and had been in existence for so long in a state as small as Wisconsin. I felt it was something to be proud of, a great counterpoint to the “cheesehead” and Packer image of the state.

    If you’re looking for a live show to cancel, please consider cancelling that embarrassing Feldman show, “Whadya Know?” It’s not funny, it’s not fresh, and induces more cringes than laughs.

    I have been a subscriber since moving back, though my student budget precludes more than a basic membership at present.

    Dean Olsen

    Comment by Dean Olsen — May 9, 2014 @ 6:28 am

  7. Here is my letter: Dear Sirs,

    For years, my cellist husband and I have envied Madison its wonderful classical music station; even when Milwaukee had a classical station, it was in no way comparable, and though it supported local performers by inviting us in for interviews, it lacked the facilities for actual live concerts.

    On and off since we moved to Milwaukee in 1987, and consistently since 1999, we have performed annually at the Chazen, either as the Duo Coriolan or as the Prometheus Trio. We were extremely disappointed to have our January concert cancelled this year, but looked forward to returning next season. We were even more disappointed to read your email today and to learn that you have decided to eliminate Music from the Chazen from your programming.

    The Chazen concerts have been so important to the Prometheus Trio. We gave our very first concert (EVER) there, and it was the recording of that concert that convinced us that yes, we were a viable group. As we’ve continued to play at the Chazen over the years, Lori’s incredible enthusiasm for new music has inspired us to play some extremely challenging repertoire, live and on-the-air, and to be absolutely glad that we took the risk to do so.

    Perhaps you are unaware of the many, many loyal fans who troop to the Chazen each week to hear live music for a modest fee. To me, their loyalty speaks volumes–as does the loyalty of the performers. What other concert series would inspire our willingness to drive to Madison in January, even though the pay is (frankly) miserable, to have the privilege of playing in that beautiful setting, for that appreciative audience, and to be heard state-wide (and streamed beyond)?

    Surely, this loyalty has translated into dollars for your network at pledge time. Equally surely, today’s decision will translate negatively the next time said pledge-time rolls around.

    I urge you to reconsider what I feel to be a terrible, short-sighted decision.

    Sincerely,
    Stefanie Jacob
    pianist, Prometheus Trio
    Milwaukee

    Comment by Stefanie Jacob — May 8, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

  8. A clarification: I know Classics by Request was not cancelled but relegated to a day and time that had no consideration for most of the listening audience. That it was returned to its rightful time was a welcome cause for hope. I repeat we are not giving up on Sunday Afternoon Live.

    In addition I underscore the remarks that noted the opportunity for the Chazen Museum to reach out to the entire state by way of this remarkable union of music and art. This loss too is immeasurable.

    Comment by Anne — May 8, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

  9. How insulting to have it thrown in our faces that efforts to change the course of this ill-founded action will have absolutely no effect as did the outcry regarding the cancelation of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts or Classics by Request. The WPR PTB ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. They talk self-righteously about the bottom line? I will reflect carefully upon the future of my membership and contributions in their bottom line. Arrogance is the thanks we get for treasuring a superlative live music offering, now historically rich, that uniquely enriches our state’s residents in person or over the airwaves. I have had enough.

    Comment by Anne — May 8, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  10. My family and I liked coming to these concerts. The music was always the best. And on top of that we could look at the artwork in the Museum. Without this option, Sunday afternoons will be open. Lori Skelton is a great host, but this will just be another classical music show on WPR. The weekday shows are more convenient to listen to. It’s disappointing that WPR has decided that a very successful show is not necessary anymore, regardless of what listeners and musicians think, Maybe WORT could pick up the live from the Chazen show. They listen to their donors.

    Comment by Genie Ogden — May 8, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

  11. A broadcaster that prides itself in serving the state wanting to make things less Madison-centric, and eliminating the need for many performers to drive hours to get a hearing? Fine with me. And, really, don’t many of the complainers still have plenty of live concerts to hear, close by?

    Comment by Cesar Kwee — May 8, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  12. Seems this past story got it right as to the intentions of wpr on classical music
    https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/

    Comment by Lynn — May 8, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

  13. I share my letter to WPR for your readers. Let’s hope this decision can be reversed.

    Dear Mr’s Crane, Bryant and Potter

    I am writing to express my deep, deep disappointment with the decision to end the Sunday Afternoon Live series on Wisconsin Public Radio. I can’t help but see the decision as poorly thought out, wrong-headed, short-sighted and implemented without careful consideration of the impact on your stakeholders.

    It seems a complete betrayal of the many donors, sponsors and underwriters who have supported the program for over 35 years. It seems certain to damage long-standing partnerships with the School of Music and the Chazen. It can only create bad feeling and mistrust with Wisconsin musicians, musical audiences and donors.

    The fact that such a momentous and damaging decision was taken without any consultation with the Chazen or the regular artists is simply astounding in its arrogance. Even more damaging is that the decision is being announced immediately after a fund drive. How can you raise money on Sunday for a program you’re going to cancel on Monday? It’s absolutely shocking, and I know that many people who did give will feel seriously betrayed and may not give again.

    What could the possible benefits of this decision be? It will only make WPR’s offerings less distinctive, less original and less important. Live from the Chazen is one of the finest live music programs on the radio in the US, and one that has masterfully balanced music making of international standard with a distinctly “Wisconsin” flavor.

    That the program has served to bring live performances of chamber music to tens of thousands of listeners seems to have been overlooked in your deliberations. Also, the series has helped to enrich the connections between the museum, the campus, the music community and the larger community. The broadcasts help make Madison a cultural resource for the entire state, enriching the lives of listeners who could never realistically come the Chazen in person.

    Of course, it is welcome that WPR is considering broadcasting more orchestral concerts from across the state, but why does this have to be an “either-or” proposition? Surely the network would be stronger and more relevant if you were broadcasting more live music and less faceless background music from second-rate CDs. Nonetheless, even as a professional conductor, I can see that orchestral music is better represented in all broadcast threads than chamber music, let alone live chamber music. If it is an “either-or” decision, then surely maintaining an important and successful live chamber music series that has been robustly supported by your listeners for over 30 years should be your obvious choice.

    Finally, as a Madison native who has gone on to a life and career in music, I must say that Sunday Afternoon Live was a huge formative influence on me as a listener and a musician. it’s been a source of inspiration for countless young musicians in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras and the University of Wisconsin School of Music. It has introduced chamber music to thousands of listeners live and on the air who would never come to an evening concert on campus. It’s a totally different atmosphere than Mills Hall- a proper, intimate chamber music space in a beautiful and unique venue, where the connection with the musicians is particularly immediate.

    I’ve lived and worked all over the USA and can report there are painfully few series on the radio anywhere as good as Sunday Afternoon Live. Perhaps this is why you feel you can do away with it? If so, please don’t mistake this decision for adopting best practices. It’s far more a case of sinking down to the same lamentable level of mediocrity that has turned this precious national resource we call public broadcasting into something more resembling the cooking channel than a world class resource for news and culture.

    To me, this statement is deeply troubling: “I don’t think we will reverse this decision despite opposition” said Potter. “We are really trying to look at the bigger picture. We want to hear opposition. But we didn’t enter in this lightly and we wouldn’t exit it lightly.”

    Do you not understand that the network belongs to the public who built it and maintained it? It is not yours to do with as you please. It belongs your listeners and stakeholders. You seem to have forgotten the essence of public broadcasting.

    I implore you to reconsider this decision, and am very happy to discuss this further at your convenience

    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Kenneth Woods,
    Conductor, The English Symphony Orchestra

    Comment by Kenneth Woods — May 8, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

  14. Clearly WPR has it’s reasons for this but the explanations offered seem vague, evasive and completely bogus. They could hardly incur more wrath by simply coming clean.

    By the way, the piano in the Brittingham III gallery, which features the signatures of countless great artists on its harp and has been used for SAL all these years, actually belongs to the Wisconsin Union Theater and has been on extended loan to the Chazen (nee Elvejhem).

    Comment by Marius — May 8, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

  15. And for me, I am really mad at WPR to cancel the Chazen concert series. I hope the Chazen Museum will continue to schedule Sunday concerts.
    Will I continue to support WPR ? I am not so sure.

    Comment by Irmgard Bittar — May 8, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

  16. I thought something may be up when they stopped actively promoting it to the local event calendars and feature editors as of last fall…

    Comment by Bob — May 8, 2014 @ 11:29 am

  17. Yesterday afternoon I received the attached outrageous letter from Mike Crane of Wisconsin Public Radio announcing that “after much deliberation” this Sunday’s Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen broadcast will be the last in the program’s over 36 year history.

    Obviously the deliberations did not include the AUDIENCE for the program, the MUSICIANS who perform on the program or RUSSELL PANCZENKO director of the marvelous Chazen Museum of Art.

    What wonderfully inclusive deliberations they must have been. It cannot go unnoticed that this is being announced RIGHT after WPR’S pledge drive in which they touted this program as one that would be supported. It is obvious that the powers at be at WPR by announcing this at “one minute till midnight” didn’t want any input from anyone and want this to be a fait accompli.

    Having been very involved with setting up this highly successful program in the 1970s along with my colleagues in the Pro Arte Quartet at that time, and the forward-thinking people at WPR at that time, I find this very distressing, to say the least.

    It is hard to think of a better example of the “Wisconsin Idea” in action for the Wisconsin classical music community than Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen. It has brought together the wonderful classical musicians of Wisconsin and given them a way to be to be heard throughout the entire state. My musician friends from around the state have always looked forward to coming to Madison and performing in the beautiful Chazen Museum.

    If this change goes through, they will no longer have that option. Locally, it is also a wonderful series that brings many Madison people to the campus (both young and old) and museum that don’t necessarily feel comfortable coming to the campus in the evening. 

    As for Jeffrey Potter’s “Live music may be exciting, but being live music doesn’t determine whether it is great music or not.” the same can be said for recordings and in both cases, it is up to the listener and programmers to intelligently choose and judge what are worthy works and performances.

    That this program has had a tremendous amount of support shows many people have found it worthwhile. With the ability to access classical music stations around the world becoming easier by the day, getting rid of a program that has so successfully celebrated Wisconsin musicians greatly diminished the unique quality that has made WPR Wisconsin PUBLIC Radio.

    The Pro Arte Quartet has been the “ensemble in residence” for the series since its inception, performing 5 to 6 concerts there every season for a total of over 200 concerts. Over half of our annual Madison performances in the past 36 years have taken place on this series and this will no longer occur if this decision is not overturned. In Mike Crane’s letter, no reason is given for this change.

    I am in shock that such a wonderful and successful endeavor would be so unceremoniously killed. Here again is the contact information of the people who made this decision:
    (mike.crane@wpr.org, peter.bryant@wpr.org; and jeffrey.potter@wpr.org)

    Sincerely, 

    Parry Karp
    Cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet

    From: “Mike Crane, Director of Wisconsin Public Radio”
    To: Parry Karp
    Date: May 7, 2014 3:49:08 PM CDT
    Subject: News about Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen
    Reply-To: mike.crane@wpr.org

    Good afternoon!

    I hope this note finds you well.  As a friend of Wisconsin Public Radio and a past performer on our Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen broadcasts, I wanted you to be among the first to know that – after much deliberation – WPR has decided to end production of the program after the final concert of the current season on Sunday, May 11.

    It has been a genuine pleasure working on this program over the years.  Your musicianship, the support of our partners at the Chazen Museum of Art and our dedicated audience who found a seat in the beautiful Brittingham Gallery III each week have been truly inspirational. Thank you for all that you’ve done for the program and for our listeners.

    And, since I’m sure you’re curious about what WPR is planning, I’m happy to give you a preview.  We remain committed to classical music and to showcasing Wisconsin musicians.  WPR will be redirecting its resources to bring a broader range of Wisconsin music to our schedule from a variety of musicians and music organizations around the state.  This could include a showcase program of live-recorded performances by Wisconsin-based symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and instrumental soloists.

    The decision to end the program will have no impact on the total number of hours WPR dedicates to classical music each week.  We will continue to offer live music performances on programs like The Midday, and on special programs like the recent live broadcast featuring the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

    Classical music will still be heard on Sunday afternoons on WPR and Lori Skelton will continue as host of Afternoon Classics each weekday.  She will also continue to work as a producer for other music projects at the station and contribute to Central Time on WPR’s Ideas Network stations from time to time.  

    If you have questions or concerns, feel free to share those with me or Peter Bryant (peter.bryant@wpr.org), our Director of the News & Classical Music Network.  And, if you have high-quality, live recordings of a Wisconsin performance that you think our listeners might enjoy, please let Peter know – he’d love to hear from you.

    Warm Regards
    Mike Crane,
    Director of Radio

    Comment by Parry Karp — May 8, 2014 @ 9:23 am

  18. New program director eh? That explains a LOT. This person has been chosen to clean house, lower costs, and raise more money, all at the same time. And we, the loyal listeners, are supposed to watch this public entity get taken over, taken down a few pegs, and given to fund-raising and advertising. Yes, there are real, unadulterated ads on WPR now.
    Makes you wanna give even more to their impoverished cofffers, don’t it? NOT.
    I listen to the news. Music is now my own responsibility.
    MBB

    Comment by Michael BB — May 8, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  19. The biggest virtue of live music is that it really is LIVE – happening right in front of your eyes (or ears). That magic – that moment of creation and partnership with the audience – is what drives the entire music industry. Shame on WPR for turning its back on the main reason people first pick up an instrument! Who is being served here? In this case, certainly not the subscribers, friends, audiences, the Chazen, UW-Madison, nor the performers. Who else is there? Who else matters? I wonder…

    Comment by Clay — May 8, 2014 @ 8:27 am

  20. This was a wonderful series. I remember going to hear concerts by the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and other groups growing up and was privileged to have them perform one of my compositions in a live broadcast. This show helped inspire me as a musician and, while I think that ‘spreading the wealth’ by adding other recorded broadcasts from around the state has merit, replacing it with recorded broadcasts will not be the same.

    If you cannot keep the weekly live show, what about keeping a local live broadcast on the first Sunday of the month, with other performances filling in the other 3 weeks of the month?

    Comment by Joshua Hauser — May 8, 2014 @ 8:24 am

  21. Very sad day for live classical music. I was one of the performers that played on this series even before it was broadcast and have alway felt it was one of the things that made WPR unique. I think they have made a very bad decision. Michael Keller, pianist.

    Comment by Michael Keller — May 8, 2014 @ 8:07 am

  22. Can’t say it any better than Mikko.

    Comment by Ronnie — May 8, 2014 @ 1:18 am

    • Hi Ronnie,
      Thank you for reading and replying.
      I agree with you.
      And of course with Mikko.
      I hope Wisconsin Public Radio is listening and reading.
      Jake

      Comment by welltemperedear — May 8, 2014 @ 7:20 am

  23. I think it’s unconscionable. Classical music and live classical music are not equivalent. Live music is vastly more valuable – there is an energy in live performance that is lost in recordings, and a dynamism that exists in the act of listening to something that is happening right now, even if you’re not there. I am frankly disgusted that Potter would outright say that yes, we absolutely care what the audience thinks, but not enough to let it influence our decisions that we’ve made with no public input. I will certainly be writing a few angry letters, and I hope many others do too.

    Comment by Mikko Utevsky — May 8, 2014 @ 12:06 am

    • Mikko,
      Thank you so much for reading and replying with such a thoughtful and insightful reaction.
      Your own young career as a performing musician — a viola recitalist and chamber musician, and also a conductor of chamber orchestras — only add to the credibility of your remarks.
      One inly hopes that the powers that be at Wisconsin Public Radio pay attention to your objections and then reverse their decision.
      Best,
      Jake

      Comment by welltemperedear — May 8, 2014 @ 7:18 am

    • Mikko, You said it really well.

      Comment by Irmgard Bittar — May 8, 2014 @ 11:56 am


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