The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Let us now praise flutist Robin Fellows, who has died. He played with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Plus, this afternoon is your last chance to hear the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s all-French program with cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio. | November 22, 2015

ALERT: This afternoon at 2:30 p.m in Overture Hall of the Overture Center is your last chance to hear the acclaimed all-French program by the Madison Symphony Orchestra with guest cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio. Here are links to two very positive reviews.

Here is the review written by critic John W. Barker for Isthmus:

And here is the review written by Jessica Courtier for The Capital Times and the The Wisconsin State Journal:

And here is a link to an interview with more about the concert, the program and the soloist:

By Jacob Stockinger

This news is old and dated, and it comes late, too late for you to attend the memorial service. The Ear apologizes for his tardiness.

But the past several weeks have been very busy with concerts, and therefore with previews and reviews. Plus, he didn’t hear about the news until later.

Putting excuses aside, The Ear wants to take a moment to recognize the passing of an extraordinary talent many of us heard in performance and deeply appreciated.

Flutist Robin Fellows (below) has died of cancer at 66. For many years, he was principal flute with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. He was also a longtime music professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

robin fellows with flute

And he performed his share of other dates, such as playing with the Ancora String Quartet (below, in a photo by John W. Barker)

robin fellows plays with ancora string quartet cr john w barker

Here is a link to his obituary:

Robin Fellows copy

In his memory, here — in a YouTube video at the bottom featuring flutist Emmanuel Pahud and Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic — is a favorite work of The Ear with a major flute part: the Sarabande by French composer Gabriel Faure.

Please feel free to leave your personal memories and recollections in the COMMENT section for others and the family to see.

1 Comment »

  1. Speaking of deaths, this is the 52nd anniversary of JFK’s assassination.

    The Forth Worth Opera has commissioned the opera “JFK” for performance in April, 2016, with the Montreal Opera also assisting.

    Here’s a story on it:

    “Commissioned by the Fort Worth Opera for a premiere in April, “JFK” purposely stays away from depicting the assassination — an ending that presumably everyone already knows.

    “What is interesting to me is not so much the assassination itself or the conspiracy theories around it — although those are certainly significant — but our cultural interaction with his death and the very violent and public way that it happened,” composer David T. Little told AFP.

    “In Kennedy, we see our own death in his death, we project our fears, our anxieties and our hopes onto his mythology,” added Little, who is working with librettist Royce Vavrek, a team that created the acclaimed 2012 experimental opera “Dog Days.”

    The impending assassination plays out in ways both large and small throughout “JFK,” the first grand opera by Little and Vavrek.

    Jackie Kennedy, played by mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, in one scene asks if her famously dallying husband will “love me… every day for the rest of his life.”

    The music builds ominously and the opera closes with an aria in which Kennedy, portrayed by baritone Matthew Worth, reflects on his life and concludes, “I’m a lucky man.”

    …”JFK” is the most ambitious initiative for the Fort Worth Opera, which has increasingly become known for experimental and provocative work, including bringing the anti-death penalty “Dead Man Walking” to Texas, the US state that carries out the most executions.

    In “JFK,” general director Darren K. Woods said he saw a story with universal, thought-provoking themes, such as the “mask” that shields individuals from the world.

    “‘JFK’ is no more about Fort Worth than ‘Madame Butterfly’ is about Nagasaki,” he said.

    The Opera de Montreal recently signed on as a co-commissioner of “JFK,” with plans under way to bring it to Montreal, said Woods. New York’s American Lyric Theater is also involved.”

    Comment by fflambeau — November 22, 2015 @ 3:56 am

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