The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: On Saturday, concerto competition winners perform with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO). On Sunday, Edgewood College gives a FREE concert of choral and guitar music

May 3, 2019
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ALERT: This weekend at Edgewood College, the Women’s Choir, Chamber Singers, Guitar Ensemble and Chorale will give FREE concerts. The performances are on Sunday, May 5, at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive.

The concert features the Women’s Choir, directed by Kathleen Otterson; the Chorale and Chamber Singers, both conducted by Sergei Pavlov; and the Guitar Ensemble, directed by Nathan Wysock. 

The Women’s Choir will perform works including “One Voice” by Ruth Moody; the Chamber Singers continue with a variety of works, including “Ballad to the Moon” by Daniel Elder. The Guitar Ensemble performs “Walk, Don’t Run,” arranged by Nathan Wysock, and “New Beatles Medley,” arranged by Guitar Ensemble member Dick Stransky. The concert concludes with the Chorale performing works including “Schlof Mayn Fegeleby” by Mikhail Lermontov.

The Women’s Choir and Chamber singers are student ensembles, while the Chorale and Guitar Ensemble have both student and community members. 

By Jacob Stockinger

This weekend, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will start presenting the Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Spring Concerts series on Saturday, May 4 and Saturday, May 18 in Mills Concert Hall, 455 North Park Street, in Madison. A schedule of times and groups is below.

Winners of the annual Youth Orchestra (below) and Philharmonia Orchestra Concerto Competitions will perform a concerto with their orchestra.

Youth Orchestra cellist Grace Kim (below), of Waunakee, will perform the Cello Concerto No. 1 by Camille Saint-Saens.

Youth Orchestra violinist Ellen Zhou (below), of Middleton, will perform the Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn.

Philharmonia Orchestra percussionist Anais Griffith-Oh (below), of Madison, will perform the Concertino for Xylophone and Orchestra by Toshiro Mayuzumi.

WYSO orchestras will also perform pieces from Modest Mussorgsky, Lili Boulanger, Jean Sibelius, Antonin Dvorak and more. Visit wysomusic.org to view the concert repertoire and learn more about the WYSO program. You can listen to young participants talk about WYSO in the YouTube video at the bottom.

Tickets for each concert are available at the door 45 minutes prior to each concert, and are $10 for adults and $5 for youth 18 and under.

WYSO students travel from communities throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois during the concert season to rehearse on the UW-Madison campus.

Each orchestra performs three concerts per season, with additional performance opportunities available to students.

Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Spring Concerts

Saturday, May 4, in Mills Hall at 4 p.m. — 
Youth Orchestra

Saturday, May 18, in Mills Hall — 1 p.m. Opus One and Sinfonietta; 4 p.m. Harp Ensemble and Concert Orchestra; 7 p.m. Percussion Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra


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Classical music: The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) perform their annual Winterfest concerts this Saturday afternoon — with guest clarinetist Amitai Vardi — and on Saturday, March 2

February 15, 2019
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO, below is the Youth Orchestra) will present the Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concerts this Saturday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, March 2, in Mills Concert Hall in the Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street in Madison, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music.

WYSO orchestras will perform pieces by Carl Maria von Weber, Antonin Dvorak, Georges Bizet, Sergei Prokofiev, Richard Wagner, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Manuel DeFalla, Johann Strauss, Modest Mussorgsky  and others.  For a complete program listing, go to: https://www.wysomusic.org/diane-ballweg-winterfest-2019-repertoire/

“These are wonderful works and the orchestras are progressing beautifully in rehearsal,” said WYSO music director Kyle Knox (below). “It looks to be a memorable concert series.”

Guest clarinetist Amitai Vardi (below) will perform Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 26,  with the Youth Orchestra during their Feb. 16 concert. (You can hear Weber’s Concertino in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Amitai Vardi — his father Uri Vardi teaches cello at the UW-Madison — is a WYSO alumnus who grew up in Madison. He performs regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra and is currently a professor at Kent State University in Ohio.

“WYSO was the first orchestra I ever played in,” Vardi said. “The experience developed my listening skills, knowledge about ensemble playing, love for orchestral music, and taught me how to be a well-rounded musician.”

Concert tickets are available 45 minutes prior to each concert, and are $10 for adults and $5 for youth 18 and under.

Visit www.wysomusic.org to learn more about the various orchestras and about the WYSO program.

WYSO students travel from communities throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois each weekend throughout the concert season to rehearse on the UW-Madison campus.

Each orchestra performs three concerts per season, with additional performance opportunities available to students, including ensembles and chamber groups.

Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concerts

Saturday, Feb. 16 in Mills Hall
4 p.m. Youth Orchestra
With guest artist Amitai Vardi, clarinet

Saturday, March 2, 2019, Mills Hall
11:30 a.m. Opus One and Sinfonietta
1:30 p.m. Concert Orchestra
4 p.m. Philharmonia Orchestra and Harp Ensemble


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Classical music: Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras perform the Evelyn Steenbock fall concerts TODAY and next Friday night. The Edgewood Chamber Orchestra performs this Sunday afternoon

November 10, 2018
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ALERT: This Sunday afternoon, Nov. 11, at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra will give its fall concert. Conducted by Blake Walter, the chamber orchestra will play Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Word on the Moon” Overture, Arthur Honegger’s Pastorale D’été (Summer Pastoral) and Symphony No. 1 in C minor by Felix Mendelssohn. Tickets are $5 for general admission, free with Edgewood College ID.

By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO, below) will present their first concert series of the 2018-19 season, the Evelyn Steenbock Fall Concerts TODAY, Saturday, Nov. 10, and next Friday, Nov. 16.

WYSO orchestras will perform works by Igor Stravinsky, Aram Khachaturian, Soon Hee Newbold and more. The Youth Orchestra concert will include a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo” Variations with special guest cellist Joseph Johnson.

“Joseph Johnson is an extraordinary artist and person and it will be a treat for us all to hear and collaborate with someone of his stature,” says Youth Orchestra Conductor Kyle Knox (below).

Johnson has been heard throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician and educator. Principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since the 2009-10 season, he previously held the same position with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. (You can hear an interview with Joseph Johnson in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

He also serves as principal cellist of the Santa Fe Opera, and during the 2008-2009 season was acting principal cellist of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his Milwaukee appointment, Johnson was a member of the Minnesota Orchestra cello section for 11 years.

“The Youth Orchestra couldn’t be more excited to present a program of all-Russian music for our first concert of the season,” Knox says. “We will begin with a rarely performed gem by 20th-century composer Igor Stravinsky, followed by one of the great solo works in the cello repertoire, the “Rococo” Variations by Tchaikovsky. Finally, we will finish the evening with the mighty Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikovsky, one of the most famous orchestral works in history, which features all sections of the orchestra.”

TODAY’S concerts begin at 11:30 a.m. in Mills Hall at the UW-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music, 455 North Park Street, Madison.

The Nov. 16 Youth Orchestra concert with guest soloist Joseph Johnson begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Middleton Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol Street, next to Middleton High School, with a reception to follow.

WYSO students travel from communities throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois each weekend throughout the concert season to rehearse on the UW-Madison campus.

Each orchestra performs three concerts per season, with additional performance opportunities available to students, including ensembles and chamber groups.

Concert admission is $10 for adults, and $5 for youth 18 and under, with tickets available at the door.

Full concert repertoire is available at https://www.wysomusic.org/evelyn-steenbock-fall-concerts-repertoire/

To learn more about Joseph Johnson, go to: www.joecello.com.

Evelyn Steenbock Fall Concerts

Saturday, Nov. 10, Mills Concert Hall
11:30 a.m. Opus One and Sinfonietta
1:30 p.m. Harp Ensemble & Concert Orchestra
4 p.m. Percussion Ensemble (below) and Philharmonia Orchestra

Friday, Nov. 16, Middleton Performing Arts Center
7:30 p.m. Youth Orchestra, reception to follow
With guest artist Joseph Johnson, cello


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Classical music education: The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras showcase both soloists and ensembles on this Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Plus, a FREE collaborative concert-arts event takes place tonight at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

May 13, 2014
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ALERT: University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music viola student Sharon Tenhundfeld (below) is the director of the Artist Collective Concert Series. She writes: “You are invited to the FREE DEBUT concert tonight, Tuesday, May 13, at 8 p.m. in DeLuca Forum at  the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, located at 330 North Orchard Street. This concert series is an opportunity for UW-Madison musicians, dancers, visual artists, and actors to freely explore collaboration across art disciplines and present their collaborative works of art to the public. The concert includes three performance pieces as well as an audience art piece. The three works involve a total of 15 collaborating artists. The concert is free of charge and should be a ton of fun! The program includes: Distance – video art and musicians; Tomato Magic – actress, comics, and musicians; and Mobile – dancers and a string quartet. We look forward to seeing you.”

Sharon Tenhundfeld

By Jacob Stockinger

On this Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18, 2014, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will present the annual Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Spring Concerts, the last major event of the current regular concert season. (There are summer events.)

The Bolz Family Spring Concerts will be held in Mills Concert Hall, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the George Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, in Madison.

There is not much The Ear can add except that he is almost sure you will be impressed by the skills of these many young people – hundreds of middle school and high school student from dozens of communities around south-central Wisconsin –- especially if you have never heard them before. Just listen to them tackle the massive and iconic Fifth Symphony by modern Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich in the YouTube video at the bottom.

WYSO Youth  Orchestra

I suspect you, like me, will also be impressed with the size, young age and enthusiasm of the audiences, who cheer when the musicians first come on the stage and never stop. It is as if you are at some kind of sporting event – an atmosphere that the performing arts and various academic events could use a lot more of.

WYSO young audience

I say: Try it, you’ll like it! And you will be supporting a great cause. Music skills last a lifetime and translate into other careers and endless appreciation and ageless enjoyment.

Tickets are available at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18 years of age. The family-friendly concerts, informal in atmosphere, generally last about 90 minutes.

Here are programs and performers:

On Saturday, May 17 at 1:30 p.m., WYSO will kick off the concerts with Sinfonietta (below) performing “Oblivion” by Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla; a traditional Chinese tune entitled “The Brilliant Red Shandadan Flowers: and American composer Aaron Copland’s “Grovers Corners.”

Sinfonietta strings

The Concert Orchestra (below) will perform “Song of Jupiter” by Baroque master George Frideric Handel; the “Triumphant March from Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique” by Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; “Vignettes”by Kirk; “Song without Words” by Gustav Holst; and Gavotte in D minor by the Baroque French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully.

wyso concert orchestra brass

At 4 p.m., WYSO’s Philharmonia Orchestra will feature its two concerto competition winners. Davis Wu will play Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor by the American composer Edward MacDowell; and violinist Isabelle Krier will perform Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Op. 20, for solo violin and orchestra by the Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate. The Philharmonia Orchestra will then play the fourth movement of the Symphony No. 6, Op. 74, B Minor and the Danse Bacchanale by French composer Camille Saint Saens, and the Caucasian Sketches No. 2, fourth movement by the Russian composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov.

Davis Wu

Isabelle Krier

On Sunday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m., WYSO will display three of their smaller ensembles: Percussion Ensemble (below top) under the direction of Vicki Jenks; the Brass Choirs under the direction of Dan Brice; and the Harp Ensemble (below bottom) under the direction of Karen Beth Atz.

WYSO percussion Ensemble 2013

WYSO Harp Ensemble 2011

At 4 p.m., WYSO will welcome its Youth Orchestra, which will feature the four winners of the concerto competition. Violinist Savannah Albrecht (below top) will perform Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens; marimbist Ephraim Sutherland will perform Concerto for Marimba and Strings by Sejourne.

Savannah Albrecht

Ephraim Sutherland mallets

Pianist Isabella Wu will perform the Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 1, by Sergei Rachmaninoff; and pianist Charlie Collar will perform the Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

Isabella Wu2

Charlie Collar

The Youth Orchestra will also perform two additional works it will play on its concert tour to Argentina this summer: Overture to “Candide” by Leonard Bernstein and the Danza final (Malombo) from “Estancia” by the Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera.

For more information about those concerts and about WYSO, including its history, how to support it and how to audition to join it, visit:

http://wyso.music.wisc.edu

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Classical music education: Trust The Ear — you will be pleased and perhaps even astonished by the annual Winterfest concerts of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras on this Saturday and Sunday on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

March 11, 2014
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By Jacob Stockinger

This weekend brings the annual Winterfest concerts given by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras.

WYSO Winterfest logo 2014

Once again, The Ear predicts, audiences will see and hear some of the city’s biggest, most enthusiastic and youngest audiences (below) greet equally young, enthusiastic and talented young players who turn in performances of astounding and often unexpected high quality.

The Ear knows that from personal experience. I will never ever forget a remarkable performance of the Symphony No. 8 by Antonin Dvorak that I heard at a spring WYSO performance several years ago. It was serious music-making, not just student music-making.

WYSO young audience

In retrospect, all that should be no surprise. Young people from all around southcentral Wisconsin become members of WYSO only through a rigorous audition process, and the training is hard and long. But WYSO’s young performers end up making great music greatly, so that when they are invited to go on tour to Europe (two summers ago) and South America (this coming summer) it seems a natural outcome.

wyso violas

The concerts on this Saturday and Sunday are the primary concert fundraisers for the group that holds the most promise of insuring the future of classical music and music education among young people, especially at a  time when arts funding is being taken away from many public schools.

The concerts also serve as the run-up to the all-important Art of Note gala fundraiser on Saturday, March 29, from 6 to 10 p.m. at CUNA Mutual. The concerts are guaranteed to whet your appetite for the Art of Note, which will feature fine food, wine, live music by student groups, auctions of items from sports matches and restaurants to vacations and entertainment, and old violins (below bottom) recycled as art.

Art of Note 2014 logo

Art of Note violins 2014

(In the interest of full disclosure, The Ear has to say that he is a member of the Board of Directors of WYSO — precisely because he considers it such a vital investment in the future of the performing arts and arts education. You should attend the concerts if you can, and also donate what you can to WYSO because I can’t think of a better or more deserving investment you can make.)

On this Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and March 16, more than 350 talented young musicians will perform both classical and contemporary works.

The Winterfest Concerts will be held in Mills Concert Hall in the University of Wisconsin-Madison George L. Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street, in Madison.

WYSO concerts generally last about 1-1/2 hours, and provide a great orchestral concert opportunity for families. Dress is casual and the atmosphere is respectful, but informal. These concerts are, in a word, fun. 

Tickets are available at the door: $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18 years of age.

WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin.

The concert series kicks off on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with Sinfonietta (below) performing works by Aaron Copland, Peter Illich Tchaikovsky, Bedrich Smetana, Gazda, and Leyden.

WYSO Sinfonietta

Then on Saturday at 4 p.m. the Concert Orchestra (below) will perform numerous works, including “Three Songs of Chopin” by Frederic Chopin, “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Gustav Holst, “Band of Brothers” by Michael Kamen, and “The Great Gate of Kiev” from “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modeste Mussorgsky.

wyso concert orchestra brass

On Sunday at 1:30, the Philharmonia Orchestra (below, rehearsing) will perform the irresistible final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5 in C minor, the fourth movement of Dmitri Shostakovich’s searing Symphony No. 5, “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1” by Edvard Grieg, “March and Procession to Bacchus” by Leo Delibes, and finally “Procession to the Cathedral” by Richard Wagner.

WYSO rehesrsal Philharmonia Violins

Then also on Sunday at 4 p.m., the Youth Orchestra (below, in performance under WYSO’s music director and UW-Madison conducting professor James Smith) will close the concert series with Symphony No. 4 in E-Flat by the 19th-century Romantic Russian composer Peter Illich Tchaikovsky (it is The Ear’s favorite of Tchaikovsky’s six wonderful  symphonies); “Liturgical Scenes” by the 20th-century American composer Ellsworth Milburn; and “El sombrero de tres picos” (The Three-Cornered Hat) by the 20th-century Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. (At bottom is a YouTube video of the finale to Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 as performed at last year’s WYSO Winterfest.)

WYSO Youth  Orchestra

For more information about the Winterfest concerts and the Art of Note gala fundraiser on Saturday, March 29, as well as for information about auditioning to join WYSO and ways to support WYSO, visit:

http://wyso.music.wisc.edu

WYSO extends special thanks to Diane Endres Ballweg for her generous multi-year support of the Winterfest Concerts. The concerts are also generously supported by Dane Arts, with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Classical music education Q&A: Conductor Tom Buchhauser offers tips about music education and young people. This weekend, Buchhauser will retire after 30 years with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO), which perform their annual Bolz Family Spring Concerts this Saturday and Sunday afternoons on the UW-Madison campus. Plus, Wednesday is the deadline to sign up for the Make Music Madison festival on June 21.

May 14, 2013
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REMINDER: Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15, is the deadline for signing up to take part in the inaugural Make Music Madison festival that will take place outdoors and citywide on the summer solstice, Friday, June 21. The Ear loves the idea and hopes classical musicians will be well represented in the offering of FREE concerts. Here is a link to the festival’s home webpage where you can sign up and also find out what other groups and individuals are participating. Plans call for four open-mike acoustic pianos, probably located at fire stations around town, to be part of the event; but signing up for them is not required: http://www.makemusicmadison.org

Make Music Madison logo square

By Jacob Stockinger

One of the annual rites of spring in the Madison area is to be amazed once again at how well elementary, middle and high school students can play great music.

That talent will go on display this Saturday and Sunday afternoon when the various orchestras and ensembles of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will perform concerts to help raise money for the large non-profit educational program. (Below, WYSO director Bridget Fraser introduces last year’s concerts.)

WYSO Bridget Fraser thanks sponsors, parents

The two-day event includes the final concert by conductor Tom Buchhauser (pronounced Buckhauser) who is retiring after working for 30 seasons with WYSO.

Here is the schedule:

All concerts are held on the UW-Madison campus in Mills Concert Hall
of the Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, in Madison.

Concerts generally last about 1-1/2 hours. Dress is casual and informal. Children are welcome. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for young people 18 and under, and are available at the door 45 minutes prior to each concert.

Call the WYSO office at (608) 263-3320 for up-to-date concert and ticket information. Or check out this website:

http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/events/concerts-recitals/

For general information about WYSO, including its impressive record of community service since its founding in 1965 by educating over 5,000 young people from more than 100 communities in southcentral Wisconsin, visit: http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/about/

WYSO Logo blue

On Saturday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m., WYSO will introduce the first joint concert to feature the Percussion Ensemble, Brass Choirs and Harp Ensemble (below top, middle and bottom, respectively). The varying styles of the groups will provide a diverse selection of repertoire, from Wagner’s “Siegfried’s Funeral March” to “Sunlight” by jazz fusion artist Pat Metheny.

WYSO Percussion Ensemble 2012

WYSO Brass Choir

WYSO Harp Ensemble 2011

At 4 p.m., WYSO’s string orchestra, Sinfonietta (below top), will perform pieces including Richard Meyer’s “Carpe Diem,” and Paul Creston’s “Five Little Dances.” The Concert Orchestra (below bottom, in a photo by Krystal Stankowski)) will follow with selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and several contemporary selections.

WYSO Sinfonietta

WYSO Concert Orchetsra by Krystal Stankowski

On Sunday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m., WYSO’s Youth Orchestra (below) — which toured and performed in Prague, Budapest and Vienna last summer —  will shine the spotlight on four talented Concerto Competition winners, who will perform as soloists with their orchestra. Their pieces include Ravel’s Tzigane, Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Haydn’s Oboe Concerto in C Major, and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major.

WYSO Youth Orchestra Violins

At 4 p.m., WYSO expects a sold-out house as it welcome hundreds of alumni, music teachers and community members as to celebrate the memorable career of conductor Tom Buchhauser, who will lead the Philharmonia Orchestra (below) for the last time.

WYSO Philharmonia Tom Buchhauser 2011

The concert will feature audience favorites including Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, and Sibelius’s “Finlandia.” Concerto Competition winner Audrianna Wu will also perform the first movement of Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major.

A public reception to honor Tom Buchhauser — who is conducting “Greensleeves” in a YouTube video at the bottom  — will follow the concert.

These concerts are generously supported by Goldstein and Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., the Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family, and Dane Arts with additional funds from the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. This project is also supported in part by additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the State of Wisconsin, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tom Buchhauser (below, in a photo by Jon Harlow) recently granted an email Q&A to The Ear:

Tom Buchhauser close up Jon Harlow

Can you briefly introduce yourself and summarize your career?

I guess my career started out by accident when I entered high school. I went to Lane Tech (a school of 5,000 boys) in Chicago with the idea of becoming a math teacher. They had a great math department. I majored in music so I could take four years of math but not have to take the shop classes. (I had been taking piano lessons since age five from a neighborhood lady.

I did go to the Chicago Musical College in 7th and 8th grade for piano and theory.) This is when Carl Blum (father of Rich Blum, former violist of the UW Pro Arte Quartet and Madison Symphony Orchestra) started me on cello. By my junior year I had changed my mind about the math teacher and wanted to pursue music.

(Thirty years after Carl Blum started me on cello, his grandson George was in the Memorial High School Orchestra and playing the Beethoven violin concerto on our concerto concert.) The Blum’s were good friends of the Crietz’s as Lowell’s father was orchestra at Austin High School in Chicago. Lowell had joined the Pro Arte Quartet in 1955. During Christmas break of my senior year, Carl arranged for me to audition for Lowell at his parents home just a few mile from where I lived. Lowell accepted me and even got me an out-of-state scholarship to the UW-Madison. I entered the School of Music in 1957 (the same year that Rich Blum joined the Pro Arte).

In the spring semester of 1962, Art Becknell went full-time to the UW and recommended that I take over the orchestra/string classes at Wisconsin High School, even though I was still finishing my student teaching. I got my student teaching credit and $50 a month. (I took five years on my BM because of a double major -– Music Education and Music Theory & History.) I stayed at Wisconsin High in 1962-63 while going on for my Masters. From 1963 to 1966 I taught at Madison Central and in 1966 I went to the new Memorial High School (below). And I stayed there until I retired in 1999.

Memorial High School

Why are you retiring? Where will you live and what will you do after retiring?

I am retiring because I think 51 years of teaching and conducting is enough. While I still look forward to going to WYSO every Saturday, I think it is time to have a new and younger person. I also wanted to be able to give WYSO a full year’s notice so they could find the right person take over. (Editor’s note: Buchhauser will be succeeded next year by Michelle Kaebisch (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot) of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.)

I will remain in Madison as this has been my home for 57 years and it is such a wonderful place to live. All my friends are here and there is so much to do and hear musically. I have no special plans in mind, but I’m sure I will keep busy. I will continue to be on the MSO Education committee and sing with and be librarian for the church choir. Hopefully I can spend even more time in the garden.

Michelle Kaebisch WYSO cr Katrin Talbot

What was the best part of working so many years with WYSO?

Of course the best thing about being with WYSO all these years has been the kids. They have been so dedicated to developing their skills, accepting the challenging music and bringing that music to life. Being part of a team of such wonderful conductors and educators, including Jim Smith, Mark Leiser, Christine Eckel (and Lygia Topolovic before Christine), for so many years has been incredible.

We all agree that WYSO is all about the kids, and that the focus is on music education. We are very supportive of each other and are great personal friends.

WYSO had a huge impact on the growth of the Memorial High School orchestra program. When Memorial opened there were three string students in the high school. When I retired there were 155 strings students in three orchestras. Hundreds of Memorial music students were in WYSO and brought back to the high school orchestra the advanced skills and musicality they received from being part of WYSO. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of WYSO, which has contributed to my career. (Below is a photo by Jon Harlow of Tom Buchhauser conducting.)

Tom Buchhauser Conducting Philharmonia Jon Harlow

Can you tell us the programs you will conduct for the Spring Concerts and what would you like audiences to pay special attention to?

The spring concert will be:
Verdi’s Overture to “Nabucco,”  Strauss/Davis’ “Allerseelen,” the first movement of Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 5, Sibelius’ “Finlandia” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s First Ballet Suite.

Our piano soloist is Audrianna Wu (below, in a photo by Lloyd Schultz) a 7th-grader at Jefferson Middle School. She is FANTASTIC!!!

Audrianna Wu CR Lloyd Schultz

Have you picked up any secrets or tips about educating young people, musically or otherwise, that you would like to pass on?

I think the most important thing for being a teacher is that you have a passion for your subject and that you love the kids. In music you are generally teaching different age groups at different stages of musical ability and you have to adjust your expectations and vocabulary from class to class.

The first 10 years at Memorial, I taught 4th grade through 12th sometimes going from a Beethoven Symphony at the high school to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in the 4th grade in 20 minutes. You have to understand that to a 4th-grader playing “Twinkle, Twinkle” is like a high-schooler playing a Beethoven symphony.

I have always had respect for my students and that respect was given back. I laughed at them, they laughed at me and we all laughed together. Music is very demanding, but you can still have fun while working hard. I never had challenges for seating but rather emphasized that we were there to make music not occupy a chair.

The only challenge was between the student and what the composer put on the page. When we needed to go to two orchestras there was a freshman and a grade 10-11-12 orchestra and then three orchestras, freshman, sophomore and 11-12.

wyso violas

What do you think is the way to get classical music to appeal to more young people today?

I never found it hard to get the kids to like classical music. They love playing a concerto grosso by Vivaldi or Corelli in the middle school years. If you give them good music to play and you are excited about it, they will get excited about it also.

I think the hardest job of a conductor is choosing music that will advance the students’ technical skills, enhance their musicality, and will be music that they will like and also that an audience will enjoy hearing in a concert.


Classical music education: Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras offer fall concerts all day this Sunday in Madison. UW violinist Tyrone Greive performs tonight.

November 14, 2012
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ALERT: Tonight at 7:30 p.m in Mills Hall, UW violinist and former Madison Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Tyrone Greive (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot) will perform a FREE recital on the UW-Madison Faculty Concert Series. Greive will be joined by pianists Martha Fischer and Ted Reinke and as well as his wife cellist Janet Greive. The program will feature Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 115 by Jean Sibelius; Sonata in E for violin and piano by Paul Hindemith; Sonata in D minor, Op. 9 by Karol Szymanowski; a collection of short duets for violin and cello; Romance in E-flat Major, Op. 44, No. 1, by Henryk Wieniawski; and Three Dances by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz.

By Jacob Stockinger

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will hold the first performance series of the season, the Steenbock Fall Concerts, all day this coming Sunday, Nov. 18. More than 350 young musicians will display their talents to the community during the three concerts, which are dedicated to local music teachers.

The Evelyn Steenbock Fall Concerts will be held in Mills Concert Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street, in Madison.

WYSO concerts are generally about an hour and a half in length, providing a great orchestral concert opportunity for families. Tickets are available at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for youth 18 and under. WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin. 

On Sunday, WYSO’s youngest members, the string orchestra Sinfonietta (below), will kick off the concert series at 1:30 p.m. with selections including “Four Royal Dances” by Eric Ewazen. The Concert Orchestra will follow with works by Berlioz and von Gluck.  

At 4 p.m., the popular Percussion Ensemble (below top) will perform an arrangement of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor under the direction of Vicki Jenks, in her 31st season at WYSO. The Philharmonia Orchestra (below bottom, photo by Jon Harlow) will then entertain the audience with Copland’s “An Outdoor Overture,” and works by Strauss, Vaughan Williams and Borodin. 

At 7 p.m., the Harp Ensemble (below top), a unique group of performers age 11-17, will perform Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor.  The Youth Orchestra (below bottom) will close out the concert series with Joaquin Turina’s “Danzas fantásticas” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphony No. 2.

The Ear would only add that the playing is much better than you might think from student groups (listen to the finale of Shostakovich’s epic Symphony No. 5 on YouTube at the bottom). And it is also great fun to see the large WYSO audiences, which are made up of young friends, family members and admirers. WYSO concerts draw the youngest, most animated and most enthusiastic audiences in town.

Especially in this time of tight family and educational budgets, special mention should be made of sponsors. This WYSO project is supported by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation and the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times. This project is also supported by the Alliant Energy Foundation and by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Classical music datebook: For the second week in a row, Spanish music will take winter listeners to a sunnier and warmer clime. And young students in WYSO get to show their stuff at Winterfest.

March 7, 2012
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By Jacob Stockinger

Musically speaking, this winter Madison snowbirds can stay at home and still flee from even this relatively mild and snow-free winter for the sunnier clime of Spain.

Last week, the travel agent was a spectacular and memorable four-hour piano and voice marathon concert by UW-Madison students who performed music by Iberian and Latin American composers.

This weekend — on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — it is the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s turn. The MSO will take listeners to a warmer place via guitar music as well as music by a Spanish composer and by a Russian composer, and master orchestrator, who composed a work to evoke the Spanish spirit.

Guest conductor Carl St. Clair (below), who heads the Pacific Symphony Orchestra near Los Angeles and who studied with Leonard Bernstein, will return to Madison to perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto Andaluz” with the LA Guitar Quartet. Also featured on the program are Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnole” and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3.

Performances are in Overture Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $13.50 to 78.50. You can go to the MSO website or call the Overture Center box office at (608) 258-4141.

Here is a link to the MSO website for tickets, videos and more information:

http://madisonsymphony.org/lagq

Here is a link to downloadable program notes by J. Michael Allsen:

http://facstaff.uww.edu/allsenj/MSO/NOTES/1112/6.Mar12.html

The other major event this week is the annual Winterfest concerts by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (below) on Saturday in Mills Hall.

In my experience, WYSO consistently takes top prize for the most animated audiences – even if those audiences are made up of family and friends. The concerts are always a bargain and uplifting or even inspiring events, especially at a time when funding for arts in the schools has been cut.

Of course that is not all that is on tap. There is also a good amount of chamber music to be heard, include music by cello, bassoon, voice and various other combinations.

Just take a look:

TODAY

Jitro, Czech Girls’ Choir performs a concert at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (7337 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton) tonight at 7 p.m. The concert is open to the public; a free will offering will be taken at the door.

The concert will feature an opening performance by Madison Youth Choirs Cantabile choir and Jitro’s performance will include works by Britten, Gallus, Dvorák, Smetena, Macha, Badings and more.

The Jitro (“The Daybreak” in Czech) is co-sponsored by the Madison Youth Choirs and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, with additional support from The Edgewater.

Here is the press release with iterating details:

“This internationally acclaimed touring choir is selected from over 350 children in six preparatory ensembles. In the span of 38 years, they have performed 2,500 concerts and have toured 700,000 miles around the globe. In the Fourth World Choir Games in Xiamen, China (2006) they received three gold medals. Among its many tours, Jitro has performed 12 tours in the US, six in Japan, and over 200 throughout Europe. Their discography includes 30 recordings.

Since 1997, Jiri Skopal has led the choir as Artistic Director, winning high praise for his brilliant leadership. Pianist Michael Chrobak’s superb playing adds luster to the choir’s remarkable performances.”

THURSDAY

From 3 to 5 .m. in Room 2441 of the UW’s Mosse Humanities Building, the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (below) will hold a free and public master class for School of Music guitar students. The guitar quartet is in town to perform on the subscription concerts of the Madison Symphony, Friday-Sunday. See www.madisonsymphony.org for program and ticket information.

FRIDAY

Friday’s FREE Noon Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, features Joseph Spoelstra, guitar and Alyssa Anderson, soprano, in music of Argento, Dowland, Giuliani and Matyas Sieber.  For information, call 608.233-9774 or visit www.fusmadison.org 

 

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Faculty Concert Series features Parry Karp (below), cello, and Eli Kalman, piano, in a FREE and public recital.

The program includes: Seven Variations on the duet “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” for piano and cello by Beethoven; Sonata in C major for piano and cello, Op. 102, No. 1 by Beethoven; and 24 Preludes with Postlude for cello and piano (written in 1999) by Lera Auerbach.

SATURDAY 

All day Saturday, more than 300 talented young musicians from the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform the annual Winterfest concerts of both classical and contemporary works.

At 11:30 a.m., WYSO’s Harp Ensemble will introduce the audience to the sounds of “Japanese Melodies,” arranged by Molnar, followed by a performance by Sinfonietta, WYSO’s string orchestra. Sinfonietta will play selections from “The Chronicles of Narnia” by Harry Gregson-Williams and the Overture to “The Abduction from the Seraglio” by Mozart.

At 1:30 p.m., the Percussion Ensemble will provide an energetic opening to the concert, followed by Concert Orchestra, performing Gliere’s “Russian Sailor’s Dance” and Holst’s “Jupiter” from “The Planets.”

At 4 p.m., the Philharmonia Orchestra will present some of their most complex and challenging repertoire of the year, including “Masquerade Suite” by Khachaturian and “John Henry” by Aaron Copland.

At 7 p.m., WYSO’s most advanced performing group, the Youth Orchestra, will perform Vaughan Williams’s “A London Symphony” and Lalo’s Overture from “Le Roi d’Ys.”

The Winterfest Concerts will be held in Mills Concert Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street, Madison.  WYSO concerts are generally about an hour to an hour and a half in length, providing a great orchestral concert opportunity for families.

Tickets are available at the door, $8 for adults and $5 for children under 18 years of age.

WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin.  For information, contact WYSO, Room 1625 Humanities Bldg., 455 N. Park St, Madison, WI 53706; call 608-263-3320 or visit wyso.music.wisc.edu

At 3 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Guest Artist Series offers a FREE and public concert by Hein Jung (below), soprano, and Grigorios Zamparas, piano.

The program includes “Rejoice” from “Messiah” by Handel; “Oh! Quand je dors” and three Petrarch sonnets by Liszt; “Valse Impromptu in A-flat major” by Liszt; songs, mazurkas and preludes by Chopin; and “O Zittre Nicht” from “The Magic Flute” by Mozart.

Hein Jung received the M.M. (2003) and D.M.A. (2007) degrees from UW-Madison, where she was a Paul Collins Fellow. Jung and Zamparas are members of the music faculty at the University of Tampa.

At 8 p.m. in Morphy Hall, the UW Faculty Concert Series offers a FREE and public concert by Marc Vallon, bassoon, and friends. Vallon (below, holding baroque and modern bassoons in a photo by James Gill) performs on the dulcian and modern bassoon in works by Frescobaldi, Schubert, Alex Nohai-Seaman and others.

Vallon’s collaborators are Edith Hines, baroque violin; Lauren Basney, violin; Sally Chisholm, viola; Martha Giese-Vallon, baroque cello; Mark Bridges, cello; Christopher Allen, guitar; Dave Alcorn, percussion; Paul Rowe, baritone; John Chappell Stowe, organ; and Martha Fischer, piano.

SUNDAY

This week’s “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” offers cellist Parry Karp and pianist Eli Kalman from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery Number III at the Chazen Museum of Art. It will be broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Radio.

The program includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in C Major for Piano and Cello, Op. 102, No. 1, and Lera Auerbach’s 24 Preludes with Postlude for Cello and Piano.

Members of the Chazen Museum of Art or Wisconsin Public Radio can call ahead and reserve seats for Sunday Afternoon Live performances. Seating is limited. All reservations must be made Monday through Friday before the concert and claimed by 12:20 p.m. on the day of the performance. For more information or to learn how to become a museum member, contact the Chazen Museum at 608 263-2246.

NOTE: Due to the 2012 UW Art Department Faculty Exhibition, the post-concert reception will not be held again until the April 15th concert. We would like to thank our generous donors, Fresh Madison Market, Steep & Brew, and Coffee Bytes. A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW’s University Bands will give a FREE concert under the direction of Justin Stolarik (below), Matthew Schlomer and Matthew Mireles.

TUESDAY

At 12:05 p.m. in Morphy Hall the UW Guest Artist Series presents a FREE and public concert by Rebecca Johnson (below), flute and piccolo, and Cara Chowning, piano.

The program includes works by Schubert, Lili Boulanger, Valerie Coleman and Ken Benshoof.

Rebecca Johnson is flute instructor at Eastern Illinois University and second flutist with Sinfonia da Camera. Cara Chowning is music director for the vocal series of the Bar Harbor Music Festival and assistant conductor of the University of Illinois opera program.

At 7:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, organist Nathan Laube (below), 26, will play works by Widor, Bach, and Duruflé, as well as his own transcriptions of pieces by Mendelssohn, and Liszt. Tickets are $18.50. Call 608 258-4141.

Here is a link to more information including the program:

http://www.madisonsymphony.org/laube

 

LAUBE


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