The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Ancora String Quartet closes its 15th anniversary season with music by Mozart, Schubert, Arthur Sullivan and a mystery composer this Saturday night. | May 18, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

This Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, the Ancora String Quartet (below, in a photo by Barry Lewis) closes out its 15th anniversary season with a selection of gorgeous favorites.

Ancora CR Barry Lewis

Here is the MUST-HEAR program of masterpieces by an ensemble that performs beautifully but too often flies under the radar, given how many chamber music ensembles have burst onto the local classical music scene:

The famed “Dissonance” string quartet, K. 465, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart journeys from its hauntingly modernistic and brooding opening to the most perfectly cheerful closing. (You can hear the opening in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

There will be a Mystery Piece that is billed as “a little gem of energy and drama.”

The late “Rosamunde” String Quartet in A Minor, D. 804, by Franz Schubert wafts an air of gentle melancholy.

And the program closes with a brief magical tale of long ago and far away from a man who knew how to set a scene, Sir Arthur Sullivan (below) of Gilbert and Sullivan fame.

sir arthur sullivan

Tickets at the door are $15 for general admission; $12 seniors and students; $6 children under 12.

A free reception follows the performance.

Members of the Ancora String Quartet are: Leanne Kelso League and Robin Ryan, violins; Marika Fischer Hoyt, viola; and Benjamin Whitcomb, cello.

Members of the quartet also play with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and both violinist Leanne Kelso League and cellist Benjamin Whitcomb teach at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


  1. You say I’m already subscribed. Yes, and I used to receive it. But I haven’t received it for months now – please get my name back on the active list.

    Comment by Nancy Klatt — May 21, 2016 @ 7:20 am

    • Good morning Nancy,
      I am sorry about your blog subscription.
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      Comment by welltemperedear — May 21, 2016 @ 8:38 am

  2. The slow movement of the Mozart contains what I like to call “Variations on ‘On Wisconsin.’ ” The four-note theme is passed around at 12:00 in this recording, and again at the end of the movement.

    Comment by Ron McCrea — May 18, 2016 @ 8:14 am

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