The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The second annual Madison New Music Festival will take place this Thursday through Sunday

August 9, 2017
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By Jacob Stockinger

The summer classical season in Madison just keeps getting busier and more interesting.

The Ear has received the following announcement from Zachary Green (below), a native Madisonian and composer who graduated from Oregon High School and the Juilliard School, which awarded him a grant to start the first Madison New Music Festival last year. He now directs the event:

Dear friends, family, colleagues, and mentors,

I am extremely pleased to invite you to the second season of the Madison New Music Festival, taking place this Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 10-12.

The Madison New Music Festival is an annual weekend-long concert series dedicated to strengthening Madison’s cultural vitality through the celebration of fresh classical music from our lifetimes.

The festival strives to affordably and accessibly share music by the world’s leading living composers with the Madison community, with special emphasis placed on Wisconsin-based composers and performers.

This year, over the course of four concerts, we will be featuring 30 performers playing the music of over 20 composers— including the music of a different living Wisconsin composer at every concert.

The concerts will take place Thursday at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (8 p.m.), Friday at Bethel Lutheran Church (8 p.m.), and Saturday at the Memorial Union Terrace (3 p.m.) and Robinia Courtyard (7:30 p.m.).

PROGRAM AND TICKET INFORMATION:

Thursday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in the Overture Center. (Below is a photo at MMoCA from last year’s festival)

After an incredibly successful launch in 2016, the Madison New Music Festival is set to return to MMoCA for a concert combining contemporary visual art and new music.

The festival presents brand new pieces by emerging composers, underplayed classics of the contemporary repertoire, and shines a spotlight on new music created here in Wisconsin.

The concert at MMoCA features music with thematic ties to MMoCA’s current exhibitions, including politically charged works such as “But I Still Believe” by composer Zachary Green and inspired by Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, and “Drums of Winter” from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and environmentalist John Luther Adams (below). You can hear “Drums of Winter” in the YouTube video at the bottom.

There will be a cash bar and opportunities to walk around the exhibits. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and FREE for MMoCA members.

Tickets: https://www.artful.ly/madison-new-music-festival/store/events/13011

Friday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. in Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Avenue

The festival’s second night features an eclectic range of music, from the inventive, folk-inspired music of Romanian composer Doina Rotaru (below top) to the improvisatory soundscapes of recently departed legend Pauline Oliveros (below bottom).

Also featured is local composer Scott Gendel (below top) , who will present a set of his own music with frequent Madison Opera guest soprano Emily Birsan (below middle). Both are graduates of the UW-Madison.

Other performers include Chicago-based new music ensemble Chartreuse (below top), local flutist Iva Ugrcic (below middle) and local violinist Lydia Sewell (below bottom).  Tickets are $10, $5 for students.

Tickets: https://www.artful.ly/madison-new-music-festival/store/events/13028

Saturday, Aug. 12, at 3 p.m., Memorial Union Terrace

Local new music wind quintet Black Marigold (below top) will perform “Beer Music” by Brian DuFord (below bottom), inspired by different kinds of beer– and you can sip as you listen!

But first, get your groove on with rhythmic works by emerging composer Andy Akiho (below top), Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, and local percussionist Dave Alcorn (below bottom) of Clocks in Motion — interspersed with interactive interpretations of Renaissance motets and an electroacoustic work for vibraphone. Featured musicians include percussionist Garrett Mendelow and Chicago-based new music ensemble Chartreuse.  Admission is FREE.

Saturday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 PM, Robinia Courtyard (Jardin Restaurant) at 827 East Washington Avenue. 

Join us at Jardin Restaurant, part of the newly redeveloped Robinia Courtyard to hear local ensemble Mr. Chair (below) present an eclectic, head-banging set ranging from original compositions to versions of Erik Satie, Olivier Messiaen and Igor Stravinsky.

Also featured are the genre-bending Echelon String Quartet(below) and a mesmerizing solo bass piece performed by Grant Blaschka.  Cash bar.  ($10/$5 student)

Tickets: https://www.artful.ly/madison-new-music-festival/store/events/13029

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Classical music: Edgewood College features a musical collaboration by faculty members to mark Valentine’s Day this Sunday afternoon. Plus a FREE guitar recital of Bach, Scarlatti and Villa-Lobos is at noon on Friday.

February 11, 2016
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ALERT: This week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale, to take place from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Madison Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, features classical guitarist Naeim Rahmani (below) who will perform music by Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos and more.

Naeim Rahmani

By Jacob Stockinger

You can celebrate Valentine’s Day this coming Sunday afternoon with “five musical conversations,” a collaborative faculty recital presented by six faculty members from the Music Department at Edgewood College.

The concert is at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive.

Performers include mezzo-soprano Kathleen Otterson, guitarist Nathan Wysock, violinist Laura Burns, percussionist Todd Hammes, and pianists Susan Gaeddert and Jennifer Hedstrom.

Below in the Edgewood College photo are (from left): music department faculty and staff Jennifer Hedstrom (piano), Todd Hammes (percussion), Laura Burns (violin), Nathan Wysock (guitar), Susan Gaeddert, (piano) and Kathleen Otterson (mezzo-soprano).

Edgewood College Five Musical Conversations - media

The six performers will present five musical sets featuring a variety of styles and chamber combinations.

Included on the program are a set of lute songs by John Dowland, performed by Otterson and Wysock; three works by Santiago de Murcia, performed by Wysock and Hammes, a set of modern works by Chick Corea and Todd Hammes, performed by Hammes on vibraphone with Jennifer Hedstrom on piano; Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite (heard at the bottom in a popular YouTube video that features Argentinean Martha Argerich and Chinese Lang Lang in a subtle and colorful performance) for piano, four hands, performed by Hedstrom and Susan Gaeddert; a set of Lieder or art songs by Louis Spohr, sung by Kathleen Otterson with Susan Gaeddert on piano and Laura Burns on violin.

Tickets are available at the door.

Admission is $7, or free with Edgewood College ID.


Classical music: “Grace Presents” offers a FREE concert this Saturday at noon by three UW-Madison graduate students: flutist Danielle Breisach; pianist Yana Avedyan; and percussionist Andrew Baldwin.

May 13, 2015
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By Jacob Stockinger

Our friends at the community-based “Grace Presents” write:

This Saturday from noon to 1 p.m., at Grace Episcopal Church (below are photos of the exterior and interior), 116 West Washington Avenue on the Capitol Square downtown, “Grace Presents” will offer a FREE concert.

grace episcopal church ext

MBM Grace altar

The program features three University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music graduate students: flutist Danielle Breisach, pianist Yana Avedyan and percussionist Andrew Baldwin.

Grace Presents is a free monthly concert series that takes place in the historic Grace Episcopal Church on Madison’s Capitol Square. The series features a diverse range of music, everything from classical and folk to jazz and bluegrass.

The weekend’s classical program includes: the “Undine” Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 167, by Carl Reinecke (you can hear the lovely slow movement played by Emmanuel Pahud in a YouTube video at the bottom); Sonata da Camera, Op. 67 for Flute and Piano by Nicolas Bacri; Reflections Nos. 1 (Crystalline) and V (Profound) “On The Nature of Water” by Jacob Druckman (1928-1996); Meditation for Solo Vibraphone by Takayoshi Yoshioka (b. 1955); “Toucher” by Vinko Globokar (b. 1934); “Torse III” by Akira Miyoshi  (1933-2013); and “Arabesque” for Solo Vibraphone by Claude Debussy as arranged by Karen Ervin Pershing (1943-2004).

Here are biographies of the three young but very accomplished musicians:

Danielle Breisach’s exuberance and compassion permeate her performing and teaching. In demand as a collaborative musician and teacher, Danielle has performed with several organizations in Michigan and Wisconsin and maintains a private studio of over 30 highly successful students. As an adjudicator and clinician, Breisach (below) has been invited to adjudicate auditions for Winds of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Flute Festival, teach the flute master class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic, and appear as a guest clinician for middle school and high school flutists in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Currently, Danielle Breisach is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Flute Performance studying with Stephanie Jutt. In addition to modern flute, she is a baroque flute specialist (studied with Jeanne Swack), and has participated in baroque master classes with Kim Pineda and Barthold Kuijken
As Artistic Director of the Madison Flute Club since 2012, Danielle has extended the reach of the organization through founding the Chamber Ensemble, which gave its debut performance at the National Flute Association’s annual convention in 2014. Additionally, Danielle founded the Middle School and High School Flute Ensembles in 2013, giving young, Madison-area flutists the opportunity to collaborate with one another and gain experience on auxiliary instruments.

Previously, Danielle has taught at Western Michigan University, where she received a BM in Music Education (’07) and MM in Music Performance (’09). She also held the position of Director of the High School Flute Ensembles for the West Michigan Flute Association from 2010-2012.

Danielle Breisach lives in Madison with her husband Jeff and their two dogs and three cats. In addition to teaching privately, Danielle is working towards completing her DMA at UW-Madison, working with the Madison Flute Club, and participating on the planning committee for the Wisconsin Flute Festival. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to Bay View, Michigan, kayaking, hiking and reading.

Danielle Breisach 2

Yana Avedyan, pianist, is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she attended Music School No. 9 and studied with Tatiana Glazirina majoring in piano performance. She began her studies with Karen Becker at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2007 and has participated in master classes with Evgenia Tzarov and Helen Huang. In the spring of 2011 Avedyan made her debut as soloist with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488.

She completed her Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Music and Accounting in May 2012, when she graduated summa cum laude. In the spring of 2013 Yana Avedyan and Danielle Breisach (flute) were the winners of the Annual Shain Woodwind­ Piano Duo Competition. In the Spring of 2014, Avedyan was one of the winners of the Annual Beethoven Competition. Avedyan is currently in the DMA program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she is a student of Van Cliburn Competition medal-winning pianist Christopher Taylor.

Yana Avedyan-low res

Andrew Baldwin is currently pursuing a master of music in percussion performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has had the opportunity to perform for master classes and festivals including artists such as Carl Allen, She-e Wu, Greg Beyer, Jack Van Geem, Nancy Zeltsman and Mike Truesdell.  Alongside the UW Whitewater Symphonic Wind Ensemble, he has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Center in Chicago.  He will again play in Carnegie Hall with the UW-Madison Symphonic Wind Ensemble.  With his jazz playing, he has shared the stage with Christian Howes (jazz violinist) and Roy “Futureman” Wooten.

An advocate of chamber and new music, he composes music and plays in various chamber groups both on and off campus.  During his undergraduate studies, he formed the saxophone/percussion duo, “Wood/Wind”, which made a recording of a chronology of pieces showcasing the development of pieces written for the pairing.  Andrew Baldwin also frequently engages in free improvisation with many of the UW-Madison studio members.

Andrew Baldwin-low res


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