The Well-Tempered Ear

Music education: Suzuki Strings of Madison will perform its FREE all-school Spring Concert this Saturday afternoon in Middleton

May 9, 2018
Leave a Comment

ALERT: This week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, will feature  the Canzone for Flute and Piano, transcribed by Samuel Barber, from the second movement of his Piano Concerto, Op 38; and the Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano by Claude Bolling (1973) for flute, piano, drum set and bass. 

Performers are: Marilyn Chohaney, flute; Joseph Ross, piano; Bradley Townsend, double bass; and Thomas Ross, drums.

The concert runs from 12:15 to 1 p.m.

By Jacob Stockinger

On this Saturday, May 12, at 3 p.m. Suzuki Strings of Madison (below) will present a FREE all-school Spring Concert.

The performance runs about two hours, and will be at the Middleton Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol Street, which is attached to Middleton High School. The building is wheelchair-accessible. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

This Suzuki Strings of Madison Spring concert will showcase the string orchestra; the Sonora Strings touring ensemble, which has done pre-concert performances at the Wisconsin Union  Theater); a presentation of the 2018 Twinkle class; and an all-school performance.

Featured selections include the Hungarian Dance No. 1 by Johannes Brahms; “On Wings of Song” by Felix Mendelssohn; the Minuet from the String Quartet, Op. 15, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and with favorite concertos by Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach.

In the spirit of the Suzuki violin tradition, the children will perform selections from the method volumes with the addition of lovely rich harmonies.

The grand finale invites our youngest performers on stage with the Variations on the theme of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” (You can hear the same finale, with teacher and director Diana Popowycz, from last year’s concert in the YouTube video at the bottom).

Suzuki Strings of Madison has been providing quality violin instruction to all ages since 1990.

For more information about Suzuki Strings, call (608) 695-4020 or visit: www.suzukistringsofmadison.org


Classical music: The Middleton Community Orchestra offers a head start on celebrating the New Year this coming Wednesday night

December 15, 2017
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear has received the following information to post:

“Dear friends,

“The mostly amateur and critically acclaimed Middleton Community Orchestra (below) has a fun and entertaining evening planned for this coming Wednesday night, Dec. 20.

“Think of it as an early New Year’s Eve concert.

“The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Middleton Performing Arts Center that is attached to Middleton High School, 2100 Bristol Street.

“The program features:

Johann Strauss            Overture to Die Fledermaus (The Bat)

Johannes Brahms            Hungarian Dances 5, 6, 7 

Antonin Dvorak         Slavonic Dances Op. 46, Nos. 6, 7

Peter Tchaikovsky (below)   Selections from the Swan Lake               Suite; Opening Scene, Little Swans, Czardas, Dance Russe with Naha Greenholtz, violin

Johann Strauss            Persian March

Maurice Ravel             Tzigane, Naha Greenholtz, violin

Johann Strauss        Emperor Waltz (see the YouTube video below)

“The MCO is having a great time preparing this concert with our regular guest conductor Kyle Knox (below top) and our violin soloist, Naha Greenholtz (below bottom), who many of you know as the concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. The two musicians are also married.

“Tickets are $15 and are available at the door or in advance at the Willy Street Coop West. Students are FREE.

“The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 7p.m.

“A meet-and-greet reception (below) follows the concert.

“For information, call (608) 212-8690.

Hope to see you there.”

Mindy Taranto and Larry Bevic, co-founders of the Middleton Community Orchestra


Classical music: The Salon Piano Series at Farley’s House of Piano announces its new season of four concerts

August 8, 2017
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

The reliably virtuosic and musically enjoyable Salon Piano Series has just announced its 2017-18 season.

A piano duo, piano soloists and the Pro Arte Quartet provide traditional salon concert experiences with informal seating and restored pianos.

The 2017-18 Salon Piano Series season again includes piano soloists and ensembles typical of 19th-century European salon concerts, with well-known concert artists from Italy, Russia, Israel and Ireland.

According to a press release, the season’s offerings are:

Roberto Plano and Paola Del Negro Duo (below) on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Italian husband and wife piano duo Roberto Plano and Paola Del Negro kick off the season with Schumann’s “Pictures from the East” (Bilder aus Osten, Op. 66), Brahms’ Hungarian Dances 1-5, “The Moldau” by Smetana, and Brahms’ Sonata for Two Pianos, Op. 34b, the earlier version of his great Piano Quintet. The duo will perform on one piano for the first half of the program and on two for the second half. (You can hear them perform Hungarian Dances by Brahms in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Ilya Yakushev (below) on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Returning by popular demand, Ilya Yakushev will perform an exhilarating program of Haydn’s Piano Sonata in D Major, Tchaikovsky’s “Sentimental Waltz,” Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” in his November concert.

Alon Goldstein (below top) and the UW-Madison’s Pro Arte Quartet (below bottom in a photo by Rick Langer) on Saturday night, March 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, March 11, 2018 at 4 p.m.

To accommodate the crowds, Salon Piano Series booked two performances for Alon Goldstein and the UW-Madison’s Pro Arte Quartet in March. Goldstein will perform selected Scarlatti sonatas solo, then the Pro Arte Quartet and bassist David Scholl will join him for Mozart Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, in a reduced arrangement, and the Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34.

John O’Conor (below) on Saturday, May 12, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

To cap off the season in May, the great Irish pianist John O’Conor will perform Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert in his first Salon Piano Series appearance.

Visit salonpianoseries.org for complete concert programs, and artist information.

All concerts are at Farley’s House of Pianos, at 6522 Seybold Road, on Madison’s far west wide near West Towne Mall. All concert includes a post-concert artist reception.

Tickets are $50 at the door or $45 in advance; season tickets are $150.

You can purchase tickets online at brownpapertickets.com or in-person at Farley’s House of Pianos. Service fees may apply.

About the Salon Piano Series

Now in its fifth season, Salon Piano Series was founded by Tim and Renée Farley to continue the tradition of intimate salon concerts at Farley’s House of Pianos.

The setting replicates that experienced by audiences throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and offers audiences the chance to hear artists whose inspiring performances are enhanced by the setting and the fine pianos.


Classical music: Trevor Stephenson will unveil, play and explain a restored 1855 Bosendorfer grand piano on this Friday night.

May 12, 2016
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This Friday night, Trevor Stephenson (below), the founder and director of the Madison Bach Musicians, will unveil, discuss and perform on a recently restored his historic Bösendorfer Grand Piano (also below), dating from about 1855.

Trevor Stephenson standing with Bosendorfer

The event takes place in the Landmark Auditorium of the Meeting House of the First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Drive. The event includes with a lecture at 7 p.m. and a concert at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets available online at www.madisonbachmusicians.org and at the door:. They are $25 general admission; $20 for seniors; $10 for students.

Rebuilt over the last two years, the ca. 1855 Bösendorfer Grand Piano has a massive and entirely wooden frame without any of the metal insides of a modern piano–the result is an extremely complex and dark tone that suits the sensibility of most 19th-century piano music. Stephenson will discuss the restoration in detail.

Trevor Stephenson 1855 Bosendorfer collage Wein, Austria

Fittingly, the concert program will include works by Frederic Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, Arnold Schoenberg, Gabriel Fauré, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss Jr.

Trevor Stephenson will also discuss the rebuilding process and the overall character of this remarkable historical piano.

The specific program will be:

“Berceuse” (Lullaby) from the Dolly Suite, Op. 56, by Gabriel Fauré (1845−1924) with guest pianist Timothy Mueller (You can hear the opening charming “Berceuse,” along with the Spanish Dance, in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posthumous, and Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2, by Frederic Chopin (1810−1849)

Sonata in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein” by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770−1827)

Intermission

Two Hungarian Dances for piano four-hands, Nos. 1 in G minor and 5 in F-sharp minor, by Johannes Brahms (1833−1897) with guest pianist Timothy Mueller

Suite Bergamasque  by  Claude Debussy (1862−1918): Prelude, Menuet, Clair de lune, Passepied

Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19, by Arnold Schoenberg (1874−1951)

Moment Musical No. 6 in A-flat major by Franz Schubert (1797−1828)

The Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz, Op. 314, by Johann Strauss Jr. (1825−1899)


Classical music education: Report 2 about the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra tour in Europe: Days 3 and 4 include extensive sightseeing and a successful performance in Budapest.

July 11, 2012
3 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

As you may already know, the Madison-based Youth Orchestra (below), the premiere performing group of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, conducted by James Smith, is on a concert tour 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 to this blog and Utevsky’s entries, visit:

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

Here is Utevsky’s second report, with photos and videos by WYSO’s executive director Bridget Fraser, covering the concert and sightseeing in Budapest. More will follow:

By Mikko Utevsky

MONDAY/TUESDAY

Monday began with a tour of the city by bus, including stops in Heroes’ Square and the Vajdahunyad Castle (below). The latter was actually designed for Hungary’s millennial celebration as a cardboard model, featuring a hodgepodge of architectural styles borrowed from other famous buildings, but was so popular that a real brick-and-mortar copy was later constructed. (And yes, you read that right — millennial. The Hungarian state was founded in 896. America is just a toddler on the world stage next to nations like this.)

After lunch in the Great Market Hall, a cavernous building full of local vendors (I hear Madison is considering something like it – it’s great!), we headed up to the Military Museum for a rehearsal before our first concert.

The performance at the Military Museum (below) was a smashing success with the audience, who applauded furiously after every piece.

Receiving the European unison clap was a puzzling experience for many used to the American custom of random, discordant applause. Personally, I rather liked it. The applause continued long enough that the orchestra actually simply left the stage down the center aisle while the ovation continued. It was a very cool feeling. (Below is a snippet of an encore, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 1, taken by Bridget Fraser.)

Monday night ended late, finishing with dinner at the Citadella Restaurant (below top) overlooking the Danube, serenaded by a trio (growing into a quintet) of Gypsy musicians. The cimbalom (below below) player was especially impressive, in my opinion, as was the first violinist. They played a broad range of music, including colorful renditions of two pieces of imitation Gypsy music — Vittorio Monti‘s “Czardas” and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 — probably more authentic than the originals.

Tuesday was an early start, beginning with a long drive in the country out to the Esztergom Basilica (below), a beautiful edifice that serves as the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary. It is the tallest building in the country, holding the reliquaries of two martyrs. It also contains a massive organ, which we did not get to hear, which was played by Franz Liszt.

There were a couple of musicians outside the church busking – a young cellist delivering some lovely Bach in the open air, and a recorder player dressed as a jester with an immense repertoire ranging from Mozart and Handel to the themes from “Star Wars” and “The Pink Panther.” I confess to singing along with a few of them.

We then drove to Visegrád Castle (below), which unfortunately did not weather a 1544 siege by the Ottoman Turks terribly well; the building is more or less in ruins, and was indeed totally buried for many years before a recent excavation uncovered much of it. It is set up somewhat like a museum now, with rooms exhibiting reconstructed suits of armor and weapons and, of course, a gift shop.

Another little culture shock for today — I’m still not used to the total lack of bubblers or public toilets; those of the latter at museums and such are invariably only accessible for a fee. It’s a slick racket.

After Visegrád, we drove a bit more to the town of Szentendre, where we stopped for lunch. We were then turned loose for an hour or two to shop and explore the town in small groups.

It’s a lovely little place: hilly, with winding cobblestone streets and some admittedly touristy shops. Notably, the rather reckless Hungarian drivers are no less so in a small town than in Budapest, although they’re a bit slower. Not a good place to be in the habit of jaywalking, Hungary; I don’t know that anyone would slow down for you.

For the evening, we split up — half explored Moscow Square (below), near the Hotel Budapest where we’re staying (a big, cylindrical building in which every room, true to form east of the Iron Curtain, is exactly the same size), and half went to the Széchenyi Baths in City Park. I chose the latter option, which I do not regret in the slightest.

The bath complex (below) is built on two hot springs rich in minerals, which are reported to possess prodigious medical properties. I can’t report to their efficacy, but I can testify that the waters, which can be sampled at a wide range of temperatures in pools of varying size, are wonderfully relaxing. I checked out almost every pool and two of the saunas. The water did wonders for a sore neck and shoulders — totally worth the admittedly steep price of admission (about 15 euro, or 4,300 HUF).

Tomorrow is another early start, driving into Vienna (below). I can’t wait for our next concert!

Cheers!

Mikko


    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,190 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,047,211 hits
%d bloggers like this: