The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Let us now praise afternoon concerts. The Ear looks forward to two this weekend – by the Perlman Piano Trio and the Pro Arte String Quartet. Plus, wind music and harpsichord music are featured this week at the First Unitarian Society of Madison

April 6, 2016
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ALERTS: This week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale, held from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meeting House of the First Unitarian Society of Madison, features the Mad Reeds Trio. The group’s members are: Laura Medisky, oboe; Bethany Schultz, clarinet; and Cindy Cameron-Fix, bassoon. They will perform music by Georges Auric, Alexander Tansman and Damian Montano.

Then on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., in the same venue, a recital by harpsichordist Mark Shuldiner. April 9, 7:30 p.m. will feature works by Jean-Henri D’Anglebert, Louis Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Bernardo Storace and Girolamo Frescobaldi.

It is a free concert, but donations will be accepted to benefit Madison Music Makers, which helps underserved children study music.

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear has always found the weekend afternoons are good times for concerts. One is usually both relaxed and attentive. And indeed, both the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music and Edgewood College often schedule appealing concerts at an afternoon time.

They are not alone. As an aside, The Ear recalls that Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. was the preferred time for famed piano virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz, who felt that then both he and the audience were at their optimum.

Anyway, this weekend there are two FREE chamber music concerts that The Ear wants to draw your attention to.


On Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, the Perlman Piano Trio (below) will perform its only concert of the season.

The program, all masterpieces, features the Piano Trio in E Major, K. 542, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; the Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44, by Robert Schumann; and the Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101, by Johannes Brahms.

The trio of scholarship winners, funded by retired chemist Dr. Kato Perlman, consists of Adam Dorn, violin (below left); SeungWha Baek, piano (below center); and Micah Cheng, cello. For the quintet, the trio will be joined by Keisuke Yamamoto on the violin and Luke Carmichael Valmadrid on the viola.

Here is a link with more information:

And here is more background from A Tempo, the music blog at the UW-Madison compiled and written by concert manager and publicity director Katherine Esposito:

“It’s my first piano trio,” says violinist Adam Dorn, a Minneapolis native. “It’s very high-caliber playing, very different from anything I’ve ever done. And being given a scholarship to do something that you love is amazing.”

The trio is coached by Martha Fischer, UW-Madison professor of collaborative piano, and Parry Karp, UW-Madison cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet.

A reception will follow the concert.

Perlman Piano Trio 2016


Then on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW-Madison’s Pro Arte Quartet (below, in a photo by Rick Langer) will give a FREE concert of some interesting rarities.

Pro Arte Quartet new 2 Rick Langer

The program features UW-Madison guest soprano Elizabeth Hagedorn (below top), in a work by Ottorino Respighi plus another Respighi work, the Doric Quartet, and the String Quartet No. 3 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (below bottom), the Viennese-Czech Jewish composer and child prodigy who was exiled in Hollywood when he fled Hitler, the Nazis and World War II and who made his name and livelihood by composing popular film scores and compositions that won Oscar and Grammy awards.

You can hear the lovely slow movement of Korngold’s String Quartet No. 3 in the YouTube video at the bottom.

To The Ear, the Korngold work seems an especially fitting choice for the Pro Arte Quartet, which was founded in Brussels, Belgium, and itself was exiled in Wisconsin when Hitler invaded its homeland.

The quartet, which had come to play in the Wisconsin Union Theater the complete cycle of string quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven, was then offered a job as artists-in-residence at the UW-Madison — the first such appointment anywhere for a musical group — and it has remained here ever since. It is now more than 100 years old, making the Pro Arte Quartet the oldest string quartet in history.

Elizabeth Hagedorn singing 2

erich wolfgang korngold at piano

Here is a link with more information:

Classical music education: Here is a photo essay of chamber music groups in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) whose players will perform with the larger Youth Orchestra and Philharmonia this afternoon in Mills Hall.

May 19, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

Names usually tell the story, so it is only natural that we tend to think of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras for the large ensembles.

But the fact is that talented and committed student players in the large ensembles also break up and perform great chamber music in much smaller groups.

So, here is a reminder of the WYSO concerts by the Youth Orchestra and the Philharmonia that will take place today, Sunday, May 19, at 1:30 and 4 p.m., respectively, in Mills Hall on the UW-Madison campus. (Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students.)

(The Philharmonia concert at 4 p.m. also marks the retirement of conductor Tom Buchhauser after 30 years with WYSO. Here is a link to his interview on this blog:

I offer this photo essay about WYSO chamber music concerts that took place last weekend in the smaller Morphy Recital Hall.

These great photos come to The Ear via blog fan and talented WYSO performer (violinist and pianist) Isabella Wu (below), who 7th-grader sister Audriana Wu will perform a movement from a piano concerto with the Philharmonia.

Isabella Wu 1

Photo credit goes to Isabella’s dad, Cheng-Wei Wu, who is a photographer for WYSO. His work strikes The Ear as typical of the deep parental support  and pride that WYSO students and WYSO itself enjoy.

Isabella Wu writes: “I should, perhaps, introduce myself first: I will be an incoming freshman at Memorial High School in Madison next year.

“I am a classical pianist and violinist, and have played in WYSO for four years now. You may remember me from your earlier blog two years ago on the MSO Fall Concerts.

“I performed in the first group of the 3:30 p.m. recital. My piano trio performed the 1st movement of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor (at bottom with superstar pianist Lang Lang in a YouTube video) that was heard on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Midday” earlier this week. (There is a gorgeous cello solo in the opening that I love to sing!) Unfortunately, my dad was unable to catch any photos of my group.

“Here IDs for the photos:

Below are: Isabelle Krier and Charlie Morgan, violins, Tatiana Tandias, cello


Below are: Steven Liu, Ani Sivakumar and Mary Schroeder, violins, Majestica Lor and Simone Hendrix, cellos


Below are: Tina Cheng, Gwen Pyeatt and Megan Wilhelmi, violins


Below are: Jules Eicher and Erik Nuenninghoff, violins, Tony Holmes, viola, Sam Seery, cello


Below are: Sarah DiPiazza, Monica Lueck and Steven Bilke, clarinets


Below are: Maynie Bradley and Sierra Herale, violins, Kayla Whip, cello, Antonia Rohlfing, piano


I am currently learning the Chopin Scherzo No.1; there is a very beautiful middle section based on the Polish tune “Lulajze Jezuniu.”

Best wishes and thank you,

Isabella Wu

And thank you Isabella and all the other performers who are pictured and who are not pictured, and who will perform today too, I hope, full houses.

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