The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Madison Area Youth Chamber Music Orchestra (MAYCO) performs music of Haydn and Mendelssohn plus a world premiere of a work by Madison composer Olivia Zeuske this Friday night at the First Unitarian Society. | July 9, 2014

By Jacob Stockinger

Few young musicians, or older ones for that matter, lead a busier schedule than the young University of Wisconsin-Madison violist and conductor Mikko Rankin Utevsky (below).

Mikko Utevsky with baton

Recently returned from a stay in Europe, Utevsky will show his latest ambitious achievement in a program this Friday night.

That is when the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (MAYCO, seen below in a performance last year in Mills Hall at the UW-Madison), which was founded by Utevsky while he was still a student at Madison East High School, opens its fourth season on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

MAYCO orchestra close up

The concert will take place in the crisply designed Atrium auditorium of the First Unitarian Society of Madison (below, in a photo by Zane Williams), 900 University Bay Drive, on Madison near west side. Tickets are $7, with donations requested from students.

FUS Atrium, Auditorium Zane Williams

The gifted pianist Thomas Kasdorf (below), a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, where he studied with Christopher Taylor and where he will return as a graduate student this fall, joins the orchestra for the Piano Concerto No. 11 in D Major by Franz Joseph Haydn. (You can hear the legendary Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter play the concerto in a YouTube video at the bottom)

Thomas Kasdorf

You may recall that this spring Kasdorf answered a Q&A for this blog when he performed the Piano Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg with the Middleton Community Orchestra.

Here is a link to Kasdorf’s interview:

And here is a link to The Ear’s positive review of his performance of the Grieg concerto (below):

MCO june 2014 Thomas Kasdorf plays Grieg

Also on the program are the “Reformation” Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn and the world premiere of the chamber symphony “Experiment No. 1” by Olivia Zeuske (below). Zeuske just graduated from the UW-Madison with a double major in English and music composition, which she studied with professor and composer Steven Dembski.

olivia zeuske 2014


MAYCO’s next concert this summer will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 22, 2014. Called “Summer Magic,” it features soprano Caitlin Ruby Miller. The program includes the Overture to “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” by Samuel Barber: and the Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70, by Dmitri Shostakovich. The concert will be held in UW Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall, at the base of Bascom Hill.

For more information about MAYCO, including background, concerts, programs, photos and how to support and join MAYCO, visit:


  1. This in from Ms. Rice:

    Ms. Rice has just one change to suggest:

    In your title, don’t you mean to say Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (which you then abbreviate as MAYCO) ?

    Over and out,

    Ms. Rice

    Comment by Ann Boyer — July 9, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    • Hi Ms. Rice,
      Yes, I certainly did.
      You are absolutely right.
      Dumb mistake.
      It has been corrected now.
      Thank you.
      The Ear

      Comment by welltemperedear — July 9, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  2. What is the style or general nature of the Experiment chamber symphony? Has anyone heard a rehearsal? MBB

    Comment by Michael BB — July 9, 2014 @ 1:24 am

    • It’s a more demanding listen than some of our past premieres – its harmonic and rhythmic complexities are of structural (as opposed to simply coloristic) importance. It does not follow a traditional form (sonata, rondo, etc) but does have an easily intelligible form of its own within each of the three movements, and resonances between movements as well created by recurring sonorities and rhythmic patterns. You won’t walk out humming a tune, but you will enjoy the colors and harmonies, I think. It is not aggressively ‘modern’ or ‘angular’ either – one of the players compared it to Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” this morning in rehearsal, which I thought was interesting. Wouldn’t have been my analogue, but I can hear some sonorities in common.

      But please, come hear it and judge for yourself!

      Comment by Mikko Utevsky — July 9, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

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