A New Name for the School of Music

Good afternoon,

We are pleased to present a  mid-summer update from Susan C. Cook, Pamela O. Hamel/Music Board of Advisors Director of the Mead Witter School of Music

As many of you may remember, last summer the Mead Witter Foundation of Wisconsin Rapids made a gift to the School of Music that allowed us to move forward with simultaneous construction of both our recital hall and our new concert hall.  No longer did we need to construct the building in two phases! So, our architects made revisions to accommodate the new timeframe, and we plan to break ground this fall.

As of July 1, the UW-Madison School of Music was no more.

We are now the Mead Witter School of Music. Our website — www.music.wisc.edu — already reflects this change.

16-028 Concert Mast Head-Fnl-Hi-ResThe Mead Witter gift was combined with a previous major gift from Pamela O. and George Hamel, longtime friends of the University and School of Music.

In recognition of the Hamel’s gift, this new performance building will be named the Hamel Music Center.   The large concert hall will also be designated the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall.   It joins the Collins Recital Hall, named for longtime friend and contributor to the building project, Paul Collins and his wife, Carol.

The Mead Witter Foundation has touched the lives of Wisconsinites since 1894, when the company known as Consolidated Water Power Company first began. Current Mead Witter Foundation chairman George Mead II was the fourth-generation leader of the corporation that his great-grandfather J.D. Witter founded, and his grandfather George W. Mead I continued to lead to become a world renowned in coated papermaking. The company and foundation have had ties to the UW-Madison from the 1920s, when George Mead I was a university regent, and have supported scholarships, professorships and the Chazen Museum.

Pamela and George Hamel own Hamel Family Wines of Sonoma, California, and have strong ties to UW-Madison. Pamela is on the School of Music’s board of advisors, and George received his bachelor’s degree in communications arts at UW-Madison.  Paul Collins also serves on the board of advisors and graduated from the Business School; his mother, Adele Stoppenbach Collins, received her degree from the School of Music.  In 2001, Paul and Carol Collins endowed graduate fellowships and subsequently made a major gift to the new building project as well.

Director Susan C. Cook, seated in a chair intended for the new concert hall. This fall, the School of Music will unveil a new chair-naming campaign to complete fundraising for the new Hamel Music Center. For more information, contact Rebekah Sherman at 608-572-2077. Photograph by Hannah Olson.

Ground-breaking for the Hamel Music Center is planned for this fall with an expected completion within 24 months, and a year’s celebration of events beginning in Fall 2018.

There will be a chance for you to play a naming role. In order to support our students who will make these new performance spaces come alive, we will provide opportunities to name a chair in one of our new performance spaces.  You’ll hear more about that in the coming months.

On behalf of the Mead Witter School of Music, many thanks to all who support our students, programs and mission.  We are most grateful.

Susan C. Cook, Pamela O. Hamel/Music Board of Advisors Director of the Mead Witter School of Music


Gifts from alumni, friends, corporations, and community members help support the School’s goal and mission to provide a student-centered education that promotes the highest levels of professional development while challenging students to achieve their greatest potential.

Please consider making a gift payable to the UW Foundation:

UW Foundation , U.S. Bank Lockbox
P.O. Box 78807
Milwaukee, Wi 53278-0807

For help making a gift, or to discuss other giving opportunities, please contact Rebekah Sherman, Director of Development, University of Wisconsin Foundation

608-572-2077  Rebekah.Sherman@supportuw.org

For more information about how your gifts benefit the school, please see:

http://www.music.wisc.edu/donate/

 

David Ronis Appointed as University Opera’s Permanent Director

Good afternoon. Our last newsletter of the academic year contains good news. We’ll see you again in August!

David Ronis Appointed as University Opera’s Permanent Director

The UW-Madison School of Music is pleased to announce that David Ronis, interim University Opera director since 2014, has been selected as the program’s permanent director following a nationally competitive search.

“We are delighted to have hired someone with such wide-ranging experience and expertise, as well as a proven commitment to music education in the 21st century,” said Susan C. Cook, director of the school of music, adding that Ronis also plans to collaborate with other programs on campus and beyond.

David_Ronis. Image by Luke DeLalio.

The position is endowed, and was initiated with a pledge of $500,000 from Dr. Charles Bishop, CEO of Opko Health’s Renal Division of Miami, Florida. The pledge was in memory of his wife, Karen K. Bishop, who died of cancer in January 2015. Karen Bishop was a successful businesswoman who, after her diagnosis, returned to school for a master’s degree in opera and a doctoral degree in voice, both at UW-Madison.

Dr. Bishop’s gift was matched dollar for dollar with John and Tashia Morgridge’s matching gift for faculty support, making the professorship a reality. It was further bolstered by overwhelming support by the community’s opera lovers and friends.

Ronis will become the inaugural Karen K. Bishop Director of University Opera and will assume his position in the fall.

David Ronis came to UW-Madison as interim director in 2014 following the retirement of William Farlow. Prior to coming here, Ronis was a faculty member at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College/CUNY, where he directed the opera studio and co-founded the Baroque Opera Workshop, and at Hofstra University, where he taught voice and diction. Four of his productions have won awards in the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition, most recently his 2014 UW-Madison staging of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. This marked the first time that University Opera has won a national award.

Ronis also has taught at La Lingua della Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, and the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts. He has presented master classes and workshops across the country, coaching singers on acting and audition skills. As a performer, he has appeared in opera productions in Europe, Asia and the United States, in concert at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully Halls, toured the U.S. with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and worked in film and television commercials.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the fine students and terrific colleagues at UW-Madison, ” Ronis said, adding that his plans include continued emphasis on the theatrical aspects of both traditional and contemporary operatic repertory and exploring additional partnerships with campus and community organizations.

“We are so very grateful to Charles Bishop for helping ensure the future health and stability of our opera program. Karen was a remarkable student, and this professorship recognizes her many talents as well as her commitment to the School of Music and the opera program,” added Professor Cook.

Ronis will be only the third director of University Opera. The program began informally in 1958, with Karlos Moser formally appointed as director in 1961. He served until 1998 and was replaced by William Farlow, who retired in 2014.

 

Courtyard Concerts Caught on Video, Commencement News, “Jewish Archive” review, Community Music Lessons spring recital

News and Events from the School of Music – May 4, 2016. Next issue: stories about our students!

Commencement Countdown

Please join us for Commencement 2016 on Friday, May 13, 2:30-4:30 PM at Music Hall! We’ll hold our commencement, awards and hooding ceremony for all degree recipients: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Guests will include Susan Zaeske, Associate Academic Dean of the Arts and Humanities; alumna Dr. Yi-Lan Niu, DMA, voice professor at St. Norbert College in De Pere; and retiring associate director, Professor Janet Jensen, who will serve as master of ceremonies. We’ll feature live music from our students and a reception. New this year: Empire Photography will be on hand taking personal photographs of every graduate.

2015 commencement photographs by Michael R. Anderson.

General UW-Madison Commencement Information: https://commencement.wisc.edu/


Courtyard Concerts: Always a delight to passersby

Despite much-too-chilly weather, Sound Out Loud, a student-led contemporary music ensemble, played its inaugural concert on April 29, performing Steve Reich’s monumental “Music For 18 Musicians.” As of May 4, our post on Facebook had reached 2,240 viewers!

The UW Concert Band (Spring) with Mike Leckrone
Last year’s courtyard UW Concert Band performance was rained out, but this year’s was disrupted only by a few blowing sheets of music! Way to go, Band!


“Performing the Jewish Archive” concert earns respect from audience, reviewer

Madison Magazine’s “Classically Speaking” blogger Greg Hettsmanberger attended Monday’s concert of “Performing the Jewish Archive” at the First Unitarian Society, and writes: “An audience of significant size and extraordinary concentration experienced more than a concert. For as we absorbed—or in some cases were battered by, enraptured or flat-out awed—by the music of Schoenberg (as arranged by Webern), Korngold and Bloch, an overarching thought occurred to me: In focused festival events such as these, particularly in the context of artists who paid the price of exile or with their own lives, audience members come with heightened expectations. And the players come with an even sharper sense of purpose, layered onto, as it were, their own creative passion; when the synergy begins to work in the concert venue, the result transcends far beyond the usual ‘I liked that piece’ or ‘They sure played that one well.'”
Read the entire review: Madison Magazine “Classically Speaking” PJA Review
There’s two more days of events. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/performing-the-jewish-archive-may-2016-events/


Youth musicians on stage at Community Music Lessons recital

CML ended its year with a joyous recital! We thank all our participants, our teachers, and coordinator Samantha Sinai for making this happen. Registration for summer classes starts at the end of May. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/cml/

Community Music Lessons Recital, Spring 2016. Pictured (from left to right): Yunkyung Hong with piano student Shabnam Qader, violinist Bobby Henkelmann with teacher Isidora Miranda, violinist Andrew Ochoa with teacher Keisuke Yamamoto. Picture taken by Mr. Henkelmann.
Community Music Lessons Recital, Spring 2016. Pictured (from left to right): Yunkyung Hong with piano student Shabnam Qader, violinist Bobby Henkelmann with teacher Isidora Miranda, violinist Andrew Ochoa with teacher Keisuke Yamamoto. Picture taken by Mr. Henkelmann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faculty News: Marc Vallon

Student News: Hayden Victor

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at join-somnews@lists.wisc.edu or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.

Final Concerts: UW Choral Union, UW Symphony, Jazz; Jewish Archive; and more!

April 18, 2016
Greetings from the School of Music!  We’re overflowing with concerts the next two weeks; here are just a few highlights. Click here to see the entire calendar.
Choral Union presents Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation”

Beverly Taylor, conductor

Mills Hall, Sunday, April 24, 3:30 PM

Poster design by Tonka Raycheva

Haydn’s “The Creation,” written between 1797 and 1798, is considered one of the great masterworks of western music and civilization.  It has beautiful and exciting choral writing, demanding, intricate and soaring solos, and some of the most inventive orchestral writing of its time, both in the opening depiction of Chaos—the pre-creation state, and in the pictorial writing about animals, water, and light, all at their beginning stages.  Part I depicts the stages of creation, Part II a celebration of that creation, and Part III the new love between Adam and Eve.

“The Creation” debuted in London and was sung in English.  Our production uses the Robert Shaw version of the English text, which clears up some of the original strange grammar which resulted from the Haydn’s libretto going through a German translation and back to English. The libretto mixes Biblical language with new language for the soloists.

Our soloists include alumna Jamie-Rose Guarrine, as angels Gabriel and Eve; Voice Professor James Doing as angel Uriel; alumnus  Benjamin Schultz as angel Raphael; and current student Benjamin Li as Adam.

Tickets: $15 general public, $8 students. Buy online here or in person at the Memorial Union Box Office or at the door.

UW Symphony Orchestra with Guest Conductor Andreas Stoehr

Mills Hall, Friday, April 22, 8:00 PM- Free concert

Andreas Stoehr rehearses the UW Symphony Orchestra. Photograph by Hannah Olson.
Andreas Stoehr rehearses the UW Symphony Orchestra. Photograph by Hannah Olson.

Vienna native Andreas Stoehr will lead the university orchestra in performances of Overture to Der Freischütz (Carl Maria von Weber), Wesendonck Lieder (Richard Wagner), and Symphony No. 6 (Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky). With soprano Elizabeth Hagedorn.

“At first glance our program appears to be a nice bouquet of romantic pieces, but as I believe that music and philosophy share the same spiritual source, one can see that each composer tries to answer the main question: ‘Where is the exit from the burden of life?’ ” says Prof. Stoehr.

“Carl Maria von Weber’s answer: ‘There is God, there is hope, therefore good wins over evil.’ Wagner leads us to ‘unbewusst, höchste Lust’ (unaware, sublime desire; the last lines of Tristan and Isolde ) expressing his belief in uncontrollable, germinating power of love. The poetry by Mathilde Wesendonck, Wagner’s muse, reflects their profound, but impossible relationship and inspired him to Tristan and Isolde as his unique philosophy of escaping the world through an idealized love. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathétique’ Symphony No. 6  does not try at all to answer the question. We sense in his music his personal struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness. Like the most famous literary works of his time by Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece comes to us as a drama, but without words. When life is over – it’s over.”

Hear Andreas Stoehr on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Midday” with Norman Gilliland, noon on Wednesday, April 20.

Jazz Week with LA saxophonist Bob Sheppard

Nine area high schools to participate in final concert

April 26, 28, 29 – Various times and locations

The Jazz Studies program, led by Professor Johannes Wallmann, will present a weeklong residency with LA-based Bob Sheppard, worldwide multi-woodwind performer, recording artist, and jazz musician.

Bob Sheppard. Photograph by Suzuki K.
Bob Sheppard. Photograph by Suzuki K.

The three-day event includes master classes and two concerts. It will feature the UW Jazz Ensembles, the UW Jazz Orchestra, the UW High School Honors Jazz Band, and the Johannes Wallmann Quartet.  The 2016 Honors Jazz Band, directed by UW Director of Jazz Studies Johannes Wallmann and co-conductor Eric Siereveld, is a twenty-member big band that includes top jazz students from Edgewood, James Madison Memorial, Madison East, Madison West, Middleton, New Glarus, Portage, Sun Prairie, and Waunakee High Schools.

Events:
Free Master Class/Concert Tue, April 26, 8 PM, Morphy Hall (with the Composers Septet & Contemporary Jazz Ensemble)
Concert Thur, April 28, 8 PM, Morphy Hall (with the Johannes Wallmann Quartet) Ticketed $15 single
Concert Fri, April 29, 8 PM, Music Hall (with the UW Jazz Orchestra & High School Honors Jazz Band) Ticketed $15 single

$25 both Thursday and Friday shows. Students of all ages free!

Buy tickets to Thursday’s show.

Buy tickets to Friday’s show.

Buy tickets to both shows.


 

U.S. Air Force “Freedom Winds” percussion/wind quintet to perform April 21 – Free concert

Music Hall, Thursday, April 21, 7:30 PM

FWindslogo

The School of Music is honored to present the Freedom Winds, a visiting ensemble from the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America. Composed of six virtuoso Airman Musicians, the group adds percussion to the traditional woodwind quintet instrumentation to enhance standard literature and increase their musical capabilities. Repertoire includes jazz and ragtime classics along with popular themes from Broadway’s hit shows to Hollywood’s greatest films.  Please join us for what promises to be a fun and memorable concert!

“Out of the Shadows” Rediscovering Jewish Music, Literature and Theater

May 1-5, 2016, Madison, various locations and times

“Piecing together lost generations of creativity”: that’s how the Wisconsin State Journal’s Gayle Worland phrased it in her news story last summer. Generations of Jewish creativity lost due to the Holocaust and the diaspora, now placed front and center in a worldwide effort to discover those that were lost, reclaim those that are forgotten, and perform those that have been neglected.

From May 1 through May 5, that creativity will be on display in Madison as part of “Out of the Shadows,” coordinated by music education professor Teryl Dobbs and faculty at the University of Leeds, England. Over five days, events ranging from cabaret to ethnomusicology discussions to chamber music to theater will be presented at various locations in Madison. Ticket prices range from $5 to $10.00. Buy tickets here.

PJA-2016-flyer

The three-year “Performing the Jewish Archive” project involves a large number of partners, exploring archives, delivering community and educational projects, holding at least two international conferences and a series of symposia at the British National Library, as well as mounting five international performance festivals––in the United States (Madison, WI), the Czech Republic, South Africa, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Download the full schedule here (PDF)

Or check our online link: http://www.music.wisc.edu/performing-the-jewish-archive-may-2016-events/


Faculty News: Parry Karp

Student News: Claire Powling, Grace Subat



PHOTO GALLERY     A Day in the Life of a Music School: A master class with composer and cellist Paul Desenne, April 11, 2016. Images by Michael R. Anderson.


 

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at join-somnews@lists.wisc.edu or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.

Perlman Trio holds annual concert; Recital showcases teaching talent and their youthful students

News and Events from the UW-Madison School of Music – March 30, 2016

Happy Spring from the School of Music! In this newsletter:

–The Perlman Trio’s annual performance
–UW Masters Singers add State Capitol concert
–Three student recitals illustrate breadth of school; many more scheduled this month
–Community Music Lessons Spring Recital showcases youthful students and their college teachers
–Fresco Opera’s Clara features alumni
–Pro Arte, Wingra Wind Quintet, UW Symphony, and UW Varsity Band in concert
–University Opera’s Transformations earns critical praise

For a complete listing of events, please click to see our April calendar.

Perlman Piano trio to perform April 9
The Perlman Piano Trio. L-R: Adam Dorn, violin; SeungWha Baek, piano; Micah Cheng, cello.
The Perlman Piano Trio. L-R: Adam Dorn, violin; SeungWha Baek, piano; Micah Cheng, cello.

The Perlman Piano Trio, a student ensemble funded by donor Kato Perlman, holds its only concert of the academic year on Saturday, April 9, 3:30 PM, in Morphy Hall. The trio consists of Adam Dorn, violin; SeungWha Baek, piano; Micah Cheng, cello. On the program is the Mozart Piano Trio in E major, K. 542; the Schumann Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op.44; and the Brahms Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 101. For the quintet, the trio will be joined by Keisuke Yamamoto on the violin and Luke Carmichael Valmadrid on the viola.

“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, professor of collaborative piano, and Parry Karp, cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet.
A reception will follow the concert. To learn more about the backgrounds of our musicians, download this PDF of the program.
Perlman Piano Trio program

Catch Masters Singers at the State Capitol!

rotunda

This just in from graduate student and co-conductor Christopher Boveroux: The UW Masters Singers will entertain passersby in the State Capitol rotunda, Friday, April 8, 4:30 PM.  They’ll sing all a cappella in preparation for their spring concert on May 2.  

Recitals offer a peek into the world of our college musicians

April is jammed with college recitals of all sorts, many not even held in our halls. We encourage the community to hear our young musicians as they hone their skills for future careers in performance and education! A few examples:
–A graduate brass trio with Matt Onstad, trumpeter (also a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet); Melvin Cortez Jackson, a hornist, and Brett Keating, on the euphonium. They’ll play music of Poulenc, Beethoven, Hovhaness, and David Sampson’s “Duncan Trio.” Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 PM in Morphy Hall.
–Third year undergrad pianist Emili Earhart, a student of Christopher Taylor’s, will perform the Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, by John Cage. Sunday, April 10, 5:00 PM, Morphy Hall.
–Soprano Yanzelmalee Rivera, a graduate student of Elizabeth Hagedorn’s who hails from Puerto Rico, will sing works of Robert Schumann, Joseph Marx and Debussy, accompanied by graduate collaborative piano student ChanMi Jean. ChanMi Jean studies with Prof. Martha Fischer. Saturday, April 16, 6:30 PM, Morphy Hall.
Many more recitals may be found on our calendar: http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/2016-04/

April recital also showcases youth in the school’s Community Music Lessons program

From Samantha Sinai, Community Music Lessons Coordinator
The UW-Madison School of Music is pleased to announce an upcoming recital on Sunday, April 17th from 11:00-12:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall. This is not your typical School of Music recital, as our students will not be the ones performing. Instead, they are excited for students of their own to perform.

A youthful student takes lessons with a School of Music student. (File photo)
A youthful student takes lessons with a School of Music student. (File photo)

The recital will feature students on a variety of instruments. For example, Ian, a 12-year-old guitar student of Erik Gibelyou, will perform a piece by Leo Brouwer. Bobby, a 10-year-old violin student of Isidora Miranda, will also perform. In the future, we hope to offer a recital at the end of each semester to allow students a chance to share with the community how they have grown musically throughout the semester. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the joy of music and the progress these students have made this semester.  And please join us for a reception after the performances!

The Community Music Lessons program (CML) at UW-Madison provides music lessons on most instruments, from piano to trombone. This spring, CML enrolled 98 students, twice as many as last spring, and employed 33 School of Music students as the instructors. CML is very excited to have so many students this year; we look forward to attracting even more in the fall.

Pro Arte Quartet, Wingra Wind Quintet, the UW Varsity Band and UW Symphony also on tap this month

The Wingra Wind Quintet offers an all-French program, Sunday, April 3 at 7:00 PM in Morphy Hall.

The Pro Arte Quartet performs music of Respighi and Korngold: Sunday, April 10, 4:00 PM, Mills Hall.

April 14, 15 and 16: Our own Varsity Band, conducted by Michael Leckrone, plays in the Kohl Center. Buy tickets here.

The UW Symphony Orchestra will play the Overture to Der Freischütz (Carl Maria von Weber); Wesendonck Lieder (Richard Wagner); and Symphony No. 6 (Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky) with guest conductor Andreas Stohr. Friday, April 22, 8:00 PM, Mills Hall.

Clara, Fresco Opera’s spring show, features singers from the School of Music

Alumna Christina Kay (MM 2014) is only one of several graduates to perform in this weekend’s Fresco Opera show, Clara (April 1-3, Overture Center). Others include Melanie Cain (MM 2003, DMA 2005), artistic director and founder of Fresco Opera Theatre, owner of Maven Vocal Arts, and vice president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing; Chelsie Propst (MM, voice 2012, DMA minor in voice 2013); and Meghan Hilker, a current master’s voice student.

Fresco_Clara

The production features the music of Clara and Robert Schumann and Brahms, and centers around their alleged love triangle. Writes Christina: “For those of you unfamiliar with Fresco, they do ‘opera’ in a unique way, often incorporating dialogue and mashing together music from various operas and composers. This is the first time they’ll be using non-operatic songs to create their own story, and it should be really beautiful. A great intro to the genre of “art song,” for those unfamiliar.”

“Transformations” earns praise from area reviewers

For those who had not heard, last month’s opera, Transformations, was well-received by Madison’s critical community. “[David] Ronis’s direction (he also serves as visiting director of the opera program) is richly inventive, with snippets of choreography throughout, including a conga line and a parody of the Supremes. The staging is delightful, using the full height of the set to frame and reframe action,” Isthmus’s Jay Rath writes. “This entire production would easily compare well to any professional opera company.”   Read story here: http://isthmus.com/arts/stage/university-opera-transformations/


Alumni News: Eli Kalman releases new CD
Faculty News: Violist Sally Chisholm named Germain Prévost Professor of Music

New on SoundCloud: “Luminosity,” by Anthony DiLorenzo, as performed by the Festival Brass Choir at last fall’s Brass Fest II. Stay tuned for news of a third Brass Festival in late September!

Next issue: News about our upcoming Jazz Festival, Choral Union, “Performing the Jewish Archive,” and a guest concert with the U.S. Air Force’s “Freedom Winds” woodwind/percussion quintet

Review: UW Opera Scores with “Transformations”

University Opera’s “Transformations” called “breathtaking” by critic

News bulletin: Isthmus reviewer Jay Rath has called University Opera’s new show, Transformations, an “astonishing success,” and we wanted to let you know!

“Ronis’s direction (he also serves as visiting director of the opera program) is richly inventive, with snippets of choreography throughout, including a conga line and a parody of the Supremes. The staging is delightful, using the full height of the set to frame and reframe action,” Rath writes. “This entire production would easily compare well to any professional opera company.”

Read story here: http://isthmus.com/arts/stage/university-opera-transformations/

Transformations is a chamber opera based on poetry by Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Sexton, set to music by Conrad Susa. Sexton’s writing was confessional and often confrontational, and she drew on themes present in her own life, mental illness being just one. She took her own life in 1974, shortly after the Minnesota Opera premiered Transformations.

Despite the grim theme, the opera is often quite hilarious, and the cast is not only talented but enacts the humor with perfect timing.

The opera is directed by interim opera director David Ronis, with a chamber orchestra conducted by Kyle Knox (featured last February in this newsletter). Performers are sopranos Erin Bryan, Nicole Heinen and Cayla Rosché, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Buechel, tenors Dennis Gotkowski, Michael Hoke and William Ottow, baritone Brian Schneider and guest bass-baritone Benjamin Schultz. The design team includes David Gipson, lighting; Hyewon Park and Sydney Krieger, costumes; and Greg Silver, technical director. The production stage manager will be Delaney Egan and additional student staff includes Thomas Stone, master electrician, and James Dewhurst, assistant master electrician.

Don’t miss your chance to see Transformations! Tickets may be purchased at the Memorial Union Box Office, or at the door day of show. General Admission: $25; Seniors: $20; Students: $10.

Read our original news release here.

Performances:

Sunday, March 13, 3:00 PM, Music Hall.

Tuesday, March 15, 7:30 PM, Music Hall.

Above: Nicole Heinen as Rapunzel in Transformations. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

 

A Taste of the Middle East Coming to Morphy Hall

Special Concert Announcement from the UW-Madison School of Music – March 3, 2016
duoJalal – A fusion of cultures and styles, with Yousif Sheronick, percussion, and Kathryn Lockwood, viola

In Concert: Monday, March 14, 7:30 PM, Morphy Hall

$15 public, available at the Memorial Union Box Office and at the door. Free to students. Note: Seating is limited. We recommend patrons buy ahead of time or arrive early.

duoJalal_Anja HitzenberSMALL
Kathryn Lockwood and Yousif Sheronick. Photograph by Anja Hitzenber.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yousif Sheronick, a native of Iowa,  discovered the music of Arabian countries when his Lebanon-born mother sang tunes over the drone of the family vacuum cleaner. As a youth, he gravitated toward American rock and was a member of the local drum corps. His natural percussion skills landed him a full scholarship to the University of Iowa, but it wasn’t until he enrolled as a master’s student at Yale University that he really dug into the music of Eastern countries. He traveled to Brazil and studied music of India, Africa and the Middle East.

Kathryn Lockwood, a native of Australia, studied classical viola at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and came to the US in 1991, where she received a master’s degree at the University of Southern California. She then won several awards in succession: the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Grand Prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Concert Artists Guild Management Award, and awards at solo competitions such as the Primrose Competition, Washington International Competition, and the Pasadena Instrumental Competition.  She was an original member of the Pacifica Quartet and co-formed the Lark Quartet in 1985. Along the way she met Sheronick.

The two met, married and formed a new ensemble, duoJalal, that spanned cultures, genres and styles.  “duoJalal started organically when a friend and composer offered to write us a piece,” says Sheronick. “We had so much fun we decided to keep going and commissioned more pieces which showcases our unique voice as an ensemble of melody & rhythm.”

Hear duoJalal on SoundCloud:

“duoJalal” was named to honor the cross-cultural poetry of the 13th-century Turkish poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi, whose work Sheronick discovered when he arrived in New York City.

Today, duoJalal performs music ranging from classical to Klezmer, jazz to Middle Eastern. Wrote Toronto Star reviewer John Terauds: “Sheronick applies impeccable technique to a wide range of percussion tools, from the bodhran in the opening piece to a goat-hoof shaker in Glass’s ‘Duo for Solo Viola and Percussion.’ Lockwood is all slow, sensuous allure with her bowing arm one moment, a tempest of notes the next. If this is what world music’s future holds, bring on the party.”

At the School of Music, duoJalal’s concert was suggested by percussion professor Anthony di Sanza and viola professor Sally Chisholm, the long-standing violist with the . “They sit halfway between the Western classical world and global music, and that’s a world I find interesting,” says Di Sanza. “Yousif plays a lot of Middle Eastern percussion music, and we have a good number of students who have been playing Middle Eastern instruments and studying this regularly. And I also like the idea of collaboration with the string area, and with Sally Chisholm.”

“I am certain she will give wonderful feedback to our violists on standard viola repertoire as well as offer her unique perspective on paths musicians can create for themselves,” says Chisholm.

Additional Events:
String Master Class: Mon March 14, 12:05 PM, Room 2521- Free
Percussion Master Class: Mon March 14, 12:05 PM, Room 1629 -Free
Presentation/Discussion about Composing Global Chamber Music: Tuesday, March 15, 12PM, Room 2521 – Free

We hope you will join us for one or more events!
Here is the March 14 concert program:

  • David Krakauer (b. 1956): Klezmer a la Bechet (in the SoundCloud link above)
  • Evan Ziporyn (b.1959): Honey from Alast
  • Yousif Sheronick (b.1967): Jubb Jannin
  • Enzo Rao (b.1957): A Different World
  • Kenji Bunch (b.1973): Lost & Found (2010)
    I. Lost in Time (Dumbek)
    II. Found Objects (Djembe)
  • Somei Satoh (b.1947): Birds in warped time II (1983)
  • Giovanni Sollima (b.1962): Lamentatio

For more information, please contact the concert manager at 608. 263.5615.

We thank the University of Wisconsin Anonymous Fund for its support of this residency.

 

 

 

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music

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