The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Madison Symphony Orchestra is offering an unlimited, season-starting single ticket sale with 20 percent off, through this Saturday | August 28, 2019

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By Jacob Stockinger

For the first time ever, the Madison Symphony Orchestra (below, in a photo by Peter Rodgers) is offering a sale on tickets to the first three concerts this season.

You will get 20 percent off if you buy tickets through the Overture Center box office in person, by phone (608 258-4141) or online at https://www.overture.org/events

The discount code to say or use is FIRST3SYMPHONY.

Be forewarned: You will NOT find the ticket sale on the MSO website.

There is no limit of how many tickets you can buy, says MSO marketing director Peter Rodgers who also said the traditional holiday ticket sale, with two-tiered discount pricing, will take place as usual from Dec. 16 through Dec. 31.

The season-starting sale runs through this coming Saturday, Aug. 31. You can get discounted single tickets to the concerts on Sept. 27-29, Oct. 18-20 and Nov. 8-10 with performances on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $19-$95, up about 2 percent from last year to keep up with inflation, Rodgers added.

Why isn’t the sale on the MSO website?

“We did it digitally and in a printed brochure that we mailed out just to try and reach out to either season subscribers or people who have already bought single tickets before and have already been to the symphony,” says Rodgers. “We just wanted to give some people a little nudge. But anyone can take advantage of the sale.”

Rodgers also said that the inaugural sale is not being held because ticket sales are slow. “Ticket sales for this season are competitive with last season’s,” he said, adding that some buyers might use the sale to get tickets as birthday gifts or for other special occasions.

Although there is no limit to the number of single tickets an individual can buy, Rodgers said that once you get to 10, you are better off going with the usual 25 percent off group rate.

MSO music director John DeMain (below, in a photo by Greg Anderson) will conduct all performances of the first three concerts.

The September concerts open the season with MSO organ soloist Greg Zelek (below) and features the Overture to the opera “Tannhauser” by Richard Wagner; the “Toccata Festiva” by Samuel Barber; the tone poem “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy; and the Symphony No. 7 by Antonin Dvorak.

The October concerts feature guest violinist Rachel Barton Pine. The all-Russian and all-20th century program includes the Violin Concerto by Aram Khachaturian; the Symphony No. 9 by Dmitri Shostakovich; and the Suite from “Lieutenant Kije,” for trumpet and orchestra, by Sergei Prokofiev.

The November concerts feature guest pianist Joyce Yang. The program is the Symphony No. 2 by Robert Schumann; the Piano Concerto No. 3 by Sergei Prokofiev; and “Newly Drawn Sky” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy Award-winning contemporary American composer Aaron Jay Kernis, who teaches at the Yale University School of Music. (You can hear “Newly Drawn Sky” in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

For more details about the three opening concerts and the entire 2019-20 season, including complete programs, go to: https://madisonsymphony.org/concerts-events/2019-2020-symphony-season-concerts/


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8 Comments »

  1. Thanks for sharing the info! Do you happen to know more about this Sunday’s Live at the Chazen? I saw mention of TBD and then a certain Steven Meyer . Is Steven Meyer the local guitarist perhaps or someone else? If you know or can find out that would be so great . Thanks so much.

    On Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 12:02 AM The Well-Tempered Ear wrote:

    > welltemperedear posted: “IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG POST, PLEASE SPREAD > THE WORD. FORWARD A LINK TO IT OR, SHARE IT or TAG IT (not just “Like” it) > ON FACEBOOK. Performers can use the extra exposure to draw potential > audience members to an event. And you might even attract new rea” >

    Comment by randall Wilkins — August 28, 2019 @ 1:03 pm

    • Hi Randall,
      Thank you for writing.
      Steven Meyer is indeed a local guitarist.
      His program is mostly classical.
      The Chazen tells me the website will be undated soon with the program.
      If not, check here on Thursday.
      Best wishes,
      The Ear

      Comment by welltemperedear — August 28, 2019 @ 4:44 pm

  2. Ummmm – Afternoon of a Faun by Debussy is not for clarinet and orchestra, unless we’re doing some new arrangement!

    Comment by Stephanie Jutt — August 28, 2019 @ 7:14 am

    • Dear Stephanie,
      Thank you for the correction!!
      My mistake!! I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I wasn’t thinking.
      I apologize and have corrected the description.
      Best,
      The Ear

      Comment by welltemperedear — August 28, 2019 @ 7:25 am

  3. Here’s the REAL explanation (from a symphony blurb I just received):

    “Ticket sales of MSO concert series tickets have been so audaciously hot that we have decided to hold a sale on them, knocking the price back an eye-popping 20%. It’s all because we love you and want to show you our appreciation in this most materialistic of ways. To hell with budgets, assets and deficits, balance sheets and all those trick accounting devices; have we got a sale just for you.

    Besides, this will allow people to use the tickets/and literature accompanying them to wallpaper their living rooms; this fits in line with a new trend of millennial’s (noted in a discarded copy of House Beautiful). We want your ticket purchase to be your wallpaper so we can always be with you, night and day!

    Step right up folks, get your white hot tickets at a huge discount and do you own interior decorating with them.

    We also have a once in a lifetime deal on the Fountain of Youth elixir that we are distributing. Together, with all discounts, you save almost 50%.”

    Comment by fflambeau — August 28, 2019 @ 3:16 am

  4. The price range I see on the Internet for Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra tickets is between $31 and $85 (lower than MSO’s top price); including the opening first performance of incoming new music director, Ken-David Masur.

    Comment by fflambeau — August 28, 2019 @ 2:04 am

  5. This is also not convincing: ”

    Why isn’t the sale on the MSO website?

    “We did it digitally and in a printed brochure that we mailed out just to try and reach out to either season subscribers or people who have already bought single tickets before and have already been to the symphony,” says Rodgers. “We just wanted to give some people a little nudge. But anyone can take advantage of the sale.”

    Sorry, that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Comment by fflambeau — August 28, 2019 @ 1:56 am

  6. “Rodgers also said that the inaugural sale is not being held because ticket sales are slow. “Ticket sales for this season are competitive with last season’s,” he said, adding that some buyers might use the sale to get tickets as birthday gifts or for other special occasions.”

    Why the sale then? People can always buy tickets as gifts. I don’t believe this explanation at all.

    I’ve said it before and will say it again; the MSO needs a shakeup at the top. A new maestro and new programming will bring people to Overture without the need for ticket sales.

    Comment by fflambeau — August 28, 2019 @ 1:53 am


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