The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: A piano recital next Sunday afternoon by college educator Father Robert Koopmann will benefit the Benedictine Women at the Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton. Reservations must be made by Wednesday.

July 15, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

A piano recital by Father Robert Koopmann (below), a member of the Order of St. Benedict, called “Celebrating Benedict” will be presented next Sunday, July 21, at 4 p.m. in the Assembly Room, Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 County Road M, Middleton. Here are links to the monastery’s website and to a map with directions on how to get there:

http://benedictinewomen.org

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=4200+county+highway+m,+middleton+wi&sll=43.091648,-89.485442&sspn=0.008321,0.022724&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=4200+County+Highway+M,+Middleton,+Dane,+Wisconsin+53562&ll=43.119468,-89.452057&spn=0.008317,0.022724&z=16&iwloc=A

Robert Koopmann

The 70-minute program includes the Prelude in G-sharp minor, Opus 32, No. 12; Prelude in E-flat major, Opus 23, No. 6; and the Prelude in C Major, Op. 32, by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943); the Rondo in D Major, K. 485 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791); the “Prelude, Chorale and Fugue” by César Franck (1822-1890); Intermezzo in B Minor, Op. 119, No. 1; Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2; and Capriccio in G minor Op. 116, No. 3, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897); “Jeux D’Eau” (Waterplay or Fountain, played by Martha Argerich in a YouTube video at the bottom) by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937); and Two Sacred Improvisations by the pianist Robert Koopmann, “Adoro Te Devote” and “Precious Lor.”

Donations will be accepted at the door or online to support the mission of the Benedictine Women of Madison at Holy Wisdom Monastery (below). A light reception will follow the concert.

If you do plan on attending this concert, please let Mike know by this Wednesday, July 17 at mikesb@benedictinewomen.org or call (608) 836-1631, ext. 124 so that food and seating can be provided for all. More information is at the Holy Wisdom website.

Holy Wisdom Monastery Exterior3

Father Bob Koopmann is a longtime friend of the sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery. He is Professor of Music and President Emeritus, and has been on the faculty of Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota since 1975, where he has taught piano, music literature, and courses on creativity and the creative process.

He has performed as a piano soloist and accompanist, as well as in chamber ensembles and with orchestras throughout the USA and abroad, including 20 states, Europe, South Africa, Chile, Kenya, and Tanzania.

He has released a number of recordings since 1994. His doctorate is from the University of Iowa, with other degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Saint John’s University, and post-doctoral work with faculty from The Royal Academy (London) and The Juilliard School (New York).

Koopmann was president of Saint John’s University from 2009 until July 2012. He was on sabbatical for the 2012-2013 academic year, studying music, theology, and spirituality in Berkeley, California and New York City.

He will present a concert tour in Japan in August.


Classical music: The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society will perform music of Kenji Bunch, Mozart and Mendelssohn on Thursday, June 13, at the Prairie Rhapsody restoration and ecology benefit for the Benedictine Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton.

June 7, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Each had what the other one needed or wanted, so a deal was reached.

On the one hand, the Benedictine sisters needed a music group to play for their annual Prairie Rhapsody benefit, held in at the Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 County Road M in Middleton, not far from Allen Boulevard off University Avenue.

Holy Wisdom Monastery Exterior3

On the other hand, the annual summer performers in The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society needed a place to stay and eat, rehearse and practice.

And so a deal was reached.

On Thursday evening, June 13 — the night before BDDS opens its June 14-June 30 season called “Deuces Are Wild!” — the Prairie Rhapsody benefit will host members of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (which earned Musician of the Year last year from The Ear) as performers along with food and walks around the beautiful grounds of the monastery.

Prairie Rhapsody 2011 setting

In return, the BDDS players can stay and rehearse for a week at Holy Wisdom. (You may recall that the past two years featured outstanding performances by Trevor Stephenson and members of the Madison Bach Musicians in the spacious, airy and light-filled auditorium, below.)

Holy Wisdom Monastery interior

Says Holy Wisdom’s director development Mike Sweitzer-Beckman: “I think it will be fantastic for Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society to stay here and rehearse here for the week. It should be interesting to mix things up a little bit since we try to maintain a very quiet, serene space most of the time.”

Adds BDDS’ Executive Director Samantha Crownover: “We’re thrilled to embark on this partnership. We are performing in the Prairie Rhapsody for them and they are hosting all of BDDS (food, lodging, rehearsal space) for our entire week 1. We’re excited to spend some quality time in the beautiful setting of Holy Wisdom!”

Prairie Rhapsody 2011 Holy Wisdom architecture

I have attended the event and it is well worthwhile — both enjoyable and constructive for a good cause. Here are details of the Prairie Rhapsody benefit, which benefit prairie restoration efforts and ecological work on the grounds of the monastery:

The benefit starts with a reception of eating, drinking and and socializing (below) at 5:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction. Then the concert runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Complimentary chocolates are available after the performance.

Tickets can be purchased on the Holy Wisdom website for $50 per person ($25 is tax-deductible) or you can download the registration form and return it to Benedictine Life Foundation, 4200 County Road M, Middleton, WI 53562. Space is limited, so it is suggested that you  register as soon as possible.

Prairie Rhapsody 2011 socializing

According to BDDS, the program of music, with co-founders and co-directors flutist Stephanie Jutt and pianist Jeffrey Sykes (both below in a photo by C&N Photographers) at the center, is likely to feature contemporary composer Kenji Bunch’s “New Moon and Morning” for flute and string quartet; Mozart‘s “Kegelstatt” Trio in E-flat, K. 498, for clarinet, piano and viola; and Felix Mendelssohn’s Sonata in C Minor (the opening is in a YouTube video at the bottom) featuring Yura Lee on viola.

Stephanie jutt and Jeffrey Sykes  CR C&N photographers

Here are links to the Holy Wisdom Monastery and to the Prairie Wisdom Benefit:

http://benedictinewomen.org

http://benedictinewomen.org/support-our-work/prairie-rhapsody-benefit-concert/

And here is a link to the Madison-based Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society’s homepage, which starts its summer season next weekend. The webpage has a full listing of performance times, venues, programs and performers as well as ticket information, CDs and photos:

http://www.bachdancinganddynamite.org


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