The Well-Tempered Ear

A busy weekend of online concerts features the UW Symphony, Edgewood College, Madison Opera, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Bach Around the Clock and more

March 25, 2021
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By Jacob Stockinger

With only a little over a month left before the academic year ends at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it’s not surprising that the last weekend in March is very busy with noteworthy – and competing – online concerts.

Each morning at 8 through Friday, Bach Around the Clock will release the last concerts of its 10-day online festival. You can find the programs – including the finale Friday night at 7 with Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 — and link for streaming here: https://bachclock.com/concert-schedule

The weekend starts tonight with one of The Ear’s favorite groups during the Pandemic Year: the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra

Here is a day-by-day lineup. All times are Central Daylight Time:

TONIGHT, MARCH 25

The UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra (below) performs a FREE virtual online concert TONIGHT starting at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be preceded by a 7 p.m. talk about Igor Stravinsky with modern musicologist and Penn State Professor Maureen Carr as well as conductor Oriol Sans and Susan Cook, UW musicologist and director of the Mead Witter School of Music.

The program is: Suite from the opera “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell, with student conductor Alison Norris; Duet for Two Violins and String Orchestra by the contemporary American composer Steve Reich; and  the Neo-Classical “Apollon musagète” (Apollo, Leader of the Muses) by Stravinsky. (In the YouTube video at the bottom, you can hear an excerpt of the Stravinsky played by the Berlin Philharmonic with Simon Rattle conducting.)

Here is the link to the talk and concert. Click on more and you can also see the members of the orchestra and the two violin soloists: https://youtu.be/2rgHQ4lWTV8

For more information about the program, including notes, go to: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/uw-madison-symphony-orchestra/

FRIDAY, MARCH 26

At 7:30 p.m. the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra will post for three days the third of its four online chamber music concerts (below). There will be excerpts of music by Beethoven and Brahms as well as complete works by Jessie Montgomery and Alyssa Morris.

Tickets to the online on-demand event are $30, with some discounts available, and are good through Monday evening.

Here is a link to more about this concert, including program notes by conductor and music director Andrew Sewell, and how to purchase tickets: https://wcoconcerts.org/events/winter-chamber-series-no-iii

At 8 p.m., the music department at Edgewood College will give a FREE online Spring Celebration concert. It will be livestreamed via music.edgewood.edu

The performers include: the Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Sergei Pavlov (below); the Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of Nathan Wysock; and the Chamber Winds, directed by Carrie Backman.

Highlights include the Guitar Ensemble’s performance of Wish You Were Here, by David Gilmour and Rogers Waters, and the Chamber Winds epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Chamber Orchestra, which will perform live, will feature Musical moment No. 3, by Franz Schubert and Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg.

SATURDAY, MARCH 27

At noon, in Grace Episcopal Church on the Capitol Square downtown, there will be a FREE online concert. Grace Presents: “A Patient Enduring”: This early music program of medieval conductus (a musical setting of metrical Latin texts) and ballade, English lute song, and duets from the early Italian Baroque features two sopranos, Grammy-winnner Sarah Brailey (below) and Kristina Boerger, with Brandon Acker on lute and theorbo.

Here is a link: YouTube.com/GracePresentsConcerts

You can also go to this webpage for a link: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/grace-presents-a-patient-enduring/

At 3 p.m. the Perlman Trio, a piano trio that is made up of UW-Madison graduate students, will give a FREE online concert. The program includes piano trios by Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. 

Here is a link to the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/EAjK0DfWB3A

Here is a link to the complete program plus background, names and photos of the performers as well as to the performance: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/perlman-piano-trio/

At 7 p.m. the UW-Madison’s Wingra Wind Quntet (below) will perform a FREE pre-recorded online concert. Here is a link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn7eobSnfr8

And here is a link to the page with more background information about the faculty members – including bassoonist Marc Vallon (below top) and flutist Conor Nelson (below bottom) – and to the complete program: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/wingra-wind-quintet/

SUNDAY, MARCH 28

From 4 to 5:30 p.m., guest mezzo-soprano Julia Ubank (below) will give a free online recital with pianist Thomas Kasdorf.

The program features songs by Mahler, Debussy, deFalla, Jake Heggie and Ellen Cogen.

Here is the complete program plus a link to the recital: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/julia-urbank-voice-recital/

From 4 to 5:30 p.m. the Madison Opera will host a Opera Up Close cocktail hour discussion with four general directors of opera companies. Here is the website’s description:

“Four opera general directors walk into a chat room…. Stepping outside the Madison Opera family, Kathryn Smith (below, in a photo by James Gill) is joined by three colleagues: Michael Egel of Des Moines Metro Opera, Ashley Magnus of Chicago Opera Theater, and Lee Anne Myslewski of Wolf Trap Opera.

“From how they got into opera, to the ups and downs of running an opera company, their favorite productions, funniest moments, and more, it will be a unique and entertaining afternoon.

Here is a link with more information including the cost of a subscription: https://www.madisonopera.org/class/general-directors/?wcs_timestamp=1616947200

At 6 p.m., Rachel Reese, a UW-Madison doctoral student in violin, will give a lecture-concert about the Violin Concerto No. 2 by the rediscovered African-American composer Florence Price (below). She will be accompanied by pianist Aubrie Jacobson.

Here is a link to the concert plus background about Rachel Reese: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/rachel-reese-lecture-recital/


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Classical music: FREE percussion, brass and wind concerts are featured this week at the UW-Madison

March 9, 2020
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PLEASE HELP THE EAR. IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG POST, 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 readers and subscribers to the blog.

By Jacob Stockinger

In the week before Spring Break, the Mead Witter School of music at the UW-Madison will feature FREE concerts of percussion, brass and wind music.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10

At 7:30 p.m. in the Collins Recital Hall of the new Hamel Music Center, 740 University Ave., the percussion department will give a FREE recital. No program is listed.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11

At 7:30 p.m. in Collins Recital Hall, guest percussionist-composer Mark Stone (below) will give a FREE solo recital of original compositions for mbira and gyil.

The program will include music for the newly invented array mbira, an American-made 120 key lamellaphone. Stone will also share music composed for the Dagara gyil, a xylophone from Ghana as well as mbira traditions of South Africa and Uganda.

Also on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall, the acclaimed Wisconsin Brass Quintet will give a FREE faculty recital.

The program is:

Johann Sebastian Bach – Contrapunctus IV from “Die Kunst Der Fuge” (The Art of Fugue). You can hear Canadian Brass perform it in the YouTube video at the bottom.

Andre Lafosse – “Suite Impromptu”

Werner Pirchner – “L’Homme au marteau dans la poche” (Man With a Hammer in His Pocket)

Rich Shemaria – “Pandora’s Magic Castle”

Per Nørgård – “Vision”

The 2019-2020 Wisconsin Brass Quintet (below) is: Jean Laurenz and Gilson Silva, trumpets; Daniel Grabois, horn; Mark Hetzler, trombone; and Tom Curry, tuba.

Please note: In spring 2020, Mark Hetzler will be on sabbatical. His replacement will be Will Porter (below), instructor of trombone at Eastern Illinois University . Read about Porter here

THURSDAY MARCH 12

At 7:30 p.m. in the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall, the UW Wind Ensemble will give a FREE concert.

The ensemble will perform under the batons of director Scott Teeple (below) and guest conductor Ross Wolf.

The program is:

Frank Ticheli: “Apollo Unleashed” from Symphony No. 2

Ching–chu Hu: In Memory Of…*

With special guest The Hunt Quartet
*World Premiere Performance/UW Band Commissioning Member

Morten Larudisen/Reynolds: “Contre Qui, Rose”
Beverly Taylor, guest conductor.

Jodie Blackshaw: Symphony, “Leunig’s Prayer Book”*
*Wisconsin Premiere

 


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Classical music: The popular and FREE Winter Concert by the UW-Madison choirs will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Also, two UW bands and the UW Chamber Orchestra will perform on Sunday. Plus, the UW School of Music has received a gift of $25 million from the Mead Witter Foundation.

December 4, 2015
5 Comments

NEWS ALERT: The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music has just received a major gift of $25 million from the Mead Witter Foundation. It will be used for the new performance center, which will open in 2018. Here is a link with details and background:

http://news.wisc.edu/24218

By Jacob Stockinger

It’s that time of the year.

It’s the end of the semester, and concerts are starting to stack up like planes over O’Hare.

Take this Sunday:

WINTER CHORAL CONCERT

If you’re looking for a seasonal treat, the annual Winter Concerts of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music Choral Program will be this Sunday, Dec. 6, at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave.

There will be two performances: from 2-3 p.m. and then 4-5 p.m.

The performances are FREE and popular, so people are urged to arrive early.

The public will hear holiday pieces performed by the Madrigal Singers, Chorale, the Masters Singers, the Women’s Chorus, the University Chorus, Concert Choir and pieces sung by all the singers, as well as an organ prelude by UW-Madison Prof. John Chappell Stowe.

Sorry, no word yet on specific pieces or composers.

UW Winter Concert 2014

UW Winter Concert audience 2014

UW-MADISON BANDS

There will be two FREE band concerts on this Sunday.

At 2 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Concert Band will perform a FREE concert under director Scott Teeple. Sorry, no word about the works or composers on the program.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the University Bands, under several directors, will perform a FREE concert. Sorry, no word yet about the program.

UW concert band

UW CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

At 7:30 p.m. the UW Chamber Orchestra (below), under director James Smith, will perform a FREE concert. The program features the hauntingNeo-Classical ballet score “Apollon Musagete” (Apollo Leader of the Muses, heard at bottom in a YouTube video) by Igor Stravinsky and the Suite, Op. 6, by the Czech composer Josef Suk.

uw chamber orchestra USE


Classical music education: The University of Wisconsin-Madison will have a chamber orchestra after all for this season.

September 9, 2015
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

In the on again-off again saga of having a chamber orchestra at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, there is good news to report.

That is heartening to hear, given that the music school has been ranked in the Top 10 of the nation and a chamber orchestra is important for student education because it offers a very different educational experience than a symphony orchestra. (The UW-Madison continues to have the UW Symphony Orchestra.)

This academic year and concert season, 2015-16, the UW-Madison will indeed once again have a chamber orchestra (below), which, if The Ear recalls correctly, had been threatened earlier with the lack of various instruments and players of high enough quality.

That lack was blamed on the lack of scholarships to lure top students away from competing music schools.

UW Chamber Orchestra entire

First, it was the lack of winds and brass that threatened the orchestra.

So the chamber ensemble was redesigned as a string orchestra.

But even a couple of weeks ago, the stumbling block appeared to be a lack of violists.

But now that problem has apparently been solved.

Conductor James Smith sent The Ear a tentative schedule of concert programs for the first semester. And the repertoire – subject to change — looks quite engaging.

Here it is:

SUNDAY, OCT. 4, AT 2 P.M. IN MILLS HALL: Serenade for Strings by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and “Death and the Maiden” by Franz Schubert as arranged by Gustav Mahler.

SUNDAY, NOV. 1, AT 2 P.M. IN MILLS HALL: Chamber Symphony for String Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich as arranged by Russian violist and conductor Rudolf Barshai; and the Serenade, Op. 22, by Antonin Dvorak

SUNDAY, DEC. 6, AT 7:30 P.M. IN MILLS HALL: the haunting beat score “Apollon Musagete (Apollo, Father of the Muses, heard at bottom in a YouTube video) by Igor Stravinsky; and the Serenade, Op. 6, by Czech composer Josef Suk.

 


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