The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Should events without a program or other important information be included here? Guest violist Molly Gebrian gives a free master class and free recital on Thursday at the UW-Madison | September 14, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

Guest violist Molly Gebrian (below), who is on the faculty at  the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will teach and perform this Thursday at the UW-Madison


The Ear is announcing her appearance despite some problems and because the viola, which has a distinguished history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, deserves more attention.

But there are problems.

Problems like where and when is the master class?

And is it open to the public?

Her FREE recital is this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall.

But there is no word about the program for the recital.

No specific works.

Not even composers.

Such lack of information not only frustrates The Ear, but also, he imagines, is disrespectful of the general public, potential audiences and the readers of this blog.

But then he wonders:

What do readers of the blog and other musicians think?

Should the lack such information, especially programs, which often go unstated or get overlooked or communicated too late to be put on a website, disqualify an event from being listed here?

What do you think?

The Ear wants to hear.


  1. This has been a longstanding problem with UW Music events in particular going back decades. Disappointing to see it still be a problem. Time for someone in charge at UW SoM to step up and fix this problem. I usually won’t go to concerts without knowing through program.

    Comment by Musiclvr — September 14, 2016 @ 7:06 pm

  2. Yes, post as much information as you have. Often your blog us the only way many of us hear about these events. If program information is unavailable its up to each one of us to decide if we want to go and take our chances on the program.

    Comment by Elizabeth Conklin — September 14, 2016 @ 5:31 pm

    • Please note that the School of Music at UW Madison has a Calendar section which lists info on performances (just click on “concerts and events”), including this one. The problem, as the Ear points out, there is not enough info there on this program.

      You can find it here:

      Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2016 @ 6:43 am

  3. Yes, keep posting whatever you know, and keep poking the music school to get more info to you–master classes are fascinating experiences

    Comment by Mary Gordon — September 14, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

  4. Live performances always offer some surprise, and more so when I don’t know the program. If I already know a piece I can build more anticipation, but in the case of the viola, I don’t know the repertoire so I’ll have to be open-minded!
    Certainly glad you are promoting the event, and letting folks know the specific program is not announced prevents anyone blaming you.
    Thank you!

    Comment by Karl — September 14, 2016 @ 10:55 am

  5. I’ve seen posters for the recital up for weeks at the Humanities building, which I recall as having program information. If that didn’t make it onto the website, that’s the fault of whoever is maiantaining the listing – the performer should have been prompted, as all student performers now are, to provide a complete program as a condition of listing. Then again, it’s possible she booked far enough in advance that she didn’t yet know the program. In any event, I see no reason whatsoever why The Ear ought to apply such a strict litmus test and thus limit the potential audience for an unfamiliar but likely interesting performance. If nobody at the School knows anything, all the more reason for community audiences to show up and fill the hall.

    Trios for 2 is indeed the advertised title on the posters I saw, but I don’t recall if specific works were promised. I expect the masterclass info is on there too.

    Comment by Mikko Utevsky — September 14, 2016 @ 10:29 am

  6. If, say, Yo Yo Ma were playing, I’d want to go no matter the program. I went to a concert the other evening by esteemed musicians and disliked the program. Perhaps had I known, I would not have gone. And yet this is all part of my musical education. While the program should be one factor it should not be the only one. So, dear Ear, speak on about the musicians, their backgrounds, past reviews of their performances.

    Comment by Ronnie Hess — September 14, 2016 @ 9:36 am

  7. I agree that as much info as possible should be part of the advertising.

    Comment by Eva Wright — September 14, 2016 @ 8:33 am

  8. Now I’m confused. In the western hemisphere, Thursday is Sept. 15 & I have to work Wed. Sept. 14 so I’m hoping it’s Thursday night, Sept. 15?

    Comment by Larry Retzack — September 14, 2016 @ 1:46 am

    • According to the UW School of Music website, the performance is Thursday, September 15, at 7:30 PM in Morphy Recital Hall. (Maybe your confusion re: date stems from the date of the blog post.)

      Comment by Steve Rankin — September 14, 2016 @ 5:50 am

    • HI Larry,
      I’m not sure where the 14th even comes into it except as the date of the posting. The post says in two places that the concert takes place on Thursday, the 15th. No word on the master class, however. Sorry for any confusion.

      Comment by welltemperedear — September 14, 2016 @ 7:55 am

  9. I think the Ear’s right: program details would make for a more informed decision about attendance, but the lack of details provides a rather mysterious atmosphere that can be attractive too. Since I’m not working that night & I’m an EC grad, I think I’ll go. Thanks for the announcement.

    Comment by Larry Retzack — September 14, 2016 @ 1:37 am

  10. With some research, I was able to find this on Molly Gebrian’s web site (she makes it difficult there too, because there is no section that has upcoming concerts, most performers have this) in the unlikely section called “Trios for Two”:

    ” In Trios for Two, violist Molly Gebrian teams up with Danny Holt, who plays piano and percussion simultaneously. Over 25 composers have contributed works to Holt’s Piano/Percussion Project since 2003, and Trios for Two includes works for viola and piano/percussion by Chiayu Hsu, Karl Blench, Daniel Corral, Christopher Goddard, Ingrid Lee, and Casey Cangelosi. Gebrian and Holt were recently featured in Los Angeles at REDCAT (in Walt Disney Concert Hall) and are touring the U.S. in the 2016/17 season to celebrate the release of their CD on the Innova Recordings label.”

    That’s still pretty vague but indicates that the public performance in Madison will be along these lines. May I suggest to Molly Gebrian that she has fewer pictures over at her web site and more information, and one heading should certainly be public performances!


    Comment by fflambeau — September 14, 2016 @ 1:27 am

    • Thank you for your hard and detailed sleuthing. Too bad it is too much work for The Ear — or for many other members of the public.

      Comment by welltemperedear — September 14, 2016 @ 7:57 am

  11. Certainly it is better to have the program works and as much detailed info. as possible about any performance. That is surely better for planning and should be just part of any professional performance.

    On the other hand, just because that info is not included should not disqualify that event/performance from a listing here or elsewhere. The audience (or lack of it) will probably simply reward more info than less.

    In this case, I can understand the reticence of a university to give out master class info. because that likely is only available to advanced students and they will surely be told all about it.

    Comment by fflambeau — September 14, 2016 @ 1:18 am

    • I think most of the master classes that are announced on the UW website are also open to the public. But the place and time, and whether to is open to the public, should be included in the information.

      Comment by welltemperedear — September 14, 2016 @ 7:58 am

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