The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: This Saturday night, pianist Emanuel Ax returns to the Wisconsin Union Theater in an all-Beethoven recital, and also is in a FREE and PUBLIC Q&A that afternoon. That same night, UW-Madison professor Alicia Lee gives a free clarinet recital

November 1, 2019
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By Jacob Stockinger

This Saturday night, Nov. 2, brings two separate but noteworthy recitals by Grammy-winning pianist Emanuel Ax and by UW-Madison clarinetist Alicia Lee.

Here are details:

EMANUEL AX

Emanuel Ax and Madison go way back.

Since 1974, the Wisconsin Union Theater has often seen Emanuel Ax (below, in a photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco) perform both as a soloist and a chamber musician with the legendary violinist Nathan Milstein and the superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who is also a close friend. (Ax has also performed with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra at the old Civic Center and with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in the Overture Center.)

This Saturday night, Nov. 2, Emanuel Ax returns again to help celebrate the centennial of the Union Theater’s Concert Series and to help kick off the Beethoven Year in 2020, which marks the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. in Shannon Hall with a pre-concert lecture, given by Andrea Fowler, a UW-Madison graduate student in musicology. Her lecture is at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Play Circle.

The program centers on the first three piano sonatas, Op. 2, by Beethoven (below) plus two rarely heard sets of theme-and-variations. In addition, he will start the performance with the popular “Für Elise” Bagatelle known to so many piano students, their parents and the public. (You can hear “Für Elise” and see a graphic depiction of it in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Tickets run from $15 for UW-Madison students to $70. For more information about tickets, Emanuel Ax, the program, sample reviews and links to Ax’s website, go to:

https://union.wisc.edu/events-and-activities/event-calendar/event/emanuel-ax/

NOTE: This time, there will also be a special event as part of his appearance.

On Saturday afternoon from 1 to 2 p.m. in Collins Recital Hall at the new Hamel Music Center, 740 University Ave., Ax will participate in a FREE and public Q&A.

Here is a publicity blurb about that event: “Join us for a Q&A with Grammy Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax. Now is your chance to ask how he selects repertoire, what his practice schedule is like, if he has any pre-recital rituals, or whatever you would like to know!”

“This event is intended for UW-Madison students and UW campus community, however the Madison community is welcome.”

For more information about the Q&A, go to: https://union.wisc.edu/events-and-activities/event-calendar/event/q-and-a-with-emanuel-ax/

ALICIA LEE

At 8 p.m. in Collins Recital Hall, UW-Madison clarinetist Alicia Lee (below), who also plays in the UW Wingra Wind Quintet, will give a FREE recital of chamber music.

The program includes music by Robert Schumann, Bela Bartok, Isang Yun, Eugene Bozza and Shulamit Ran.

Two faculty colleagues will join Lee: pianist Christopher Taylor and violinist Soh-Hyun Park Altino.

For more information about the event, go to: https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/alicia-lee-faculty-clarinet/

For an extensive biography of Alicia Lee, go to: https://www.music.wisc.edu/alicia-lee/


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Classical music education: On Day 5 of its European tour, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra visits Haydn’s home and arrives in Vienna.

July 12, 2012
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By Jacob Stockinger

As you may already know, the Youth Orchestra (below), the premiere performing group of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, is on a concert tour with conductor James Smith of Prague, Vienna and Budapest from July 7 through July 17.

Here is a link to an earlier entry with details about the tour including venues:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/classical-music-news-wisconsin-youth-symphony-orchestras-youth-orchestra-will-tour-in-europe-from-july-67-to-july-27-it-gives-a-free-preview-concert-at-olbrich-gardens-on-tuesday-night/

Last month, Mikko Utevsky agreed to blog for The Well-Tempered Ear from his tour, which is also his fist trip abroad.

Utevsky, as you may know from reading this blog, just graduated from East High School in Madison and will attend the University of Wisconsin and the UW School of Music this fall. He has been featured in this blog and also writes comments about its postings. (You can check him out using the blog’s search engine. He is a discerning listener and critic, and a fine writer.)

Utevsky (below), who plays viola in the WYSO group, is also the founder and director-conductor of the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (MAYCO), which has already performed its first summer concert this year and will perform another on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall.

For more information about WYSO pus a link tot his blog and Utevsky’s entries, visit:

http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/

Here is Utevsky’s third entry, with photos by WYSO’s executive director Bridget Fraser, covering the flight and arrival. More will follow:

WEDNESDAY

Today began with an early breakfast at the Hotel Budapest before we embarked on the three-hour drive to Austria.

Our first stop was Eisenstadt, home to the famed Schloss Esterházy (Esterházy Palace, below), where Josef Haydn lived and worked in the employ of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy.

The highlight of the tour, which unfortunately focused more on the far less interesting Esterhazy nobles than on Haydn (a bust of the composer is below top)  was the visit to the Haydnsaal (below bottom), the room in which the man himself performed in the 1700s.

While we were regrettably not able to perform there ourselves or see any live concerts in the space, we did listen to a recording of the first movement of Haydn’s early Symphony No. 6 “Le Matin” (“Morning”) at the end of the tour.

We ate lunch in Eisenstadt at the Storchenmühle (Stork Mill), a restaurant with a stork’s nest in the chimney, accompanied by another cimbalom player whose repertoire ranged from yet another rendition of Brahms’ fifth Hungarian Dance to Beethoven’s “Für Elise” to an assortment of ragtime and show tunes.

We checked in at the well-appointed Artis Hotel Wien (below top) after lunch (and a bit of a drive into the city), and proceeded from there to Vienna’s gigantic Prater Amusement Park (below bottom).

We headed back to the hotel after a few hours of fun to get a good night’s sleep – Thursday is our benefit concert (poster is below bottom) for St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Gläserner Saal (below top) of the famed Musikverein.

Cheers!

Mikko


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