New Music Building Announced; New Opera Director Stages Britten Comedy; UW Symphony teams with Noted Wildlife Ecologist

PLANS FOR NEW PERFORMANCE CENTER UNVEILED

At long last, the School of Music is moving forward with its plans to build a new performance center, a $22 million building composed of a 325-seat recital hall, a large rehearsal room, and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. The plans will be presented to the city of Madison’s Urban Design Commission on October 1. We thank our generous donors, as yet unnamed, who are funding the entire project.

RENDERING-1-PHASE-I_WEB
An artist’s sketch of the new performance building, as viewed from the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue.

UW-Madison’s announcement.

Wisconsin State Journal story.

UNIVERSITY OPERA STAGES BENJAMIN BRITTEN COMEDY, “ALBERT HERRING”

On October 24, 26, and 28, University Opera will present its first operatic production of the season, Albert Herring, composed in 1947 by Benjamin Britten. The libretto is based on Guy de Maupassant’s novella Le Rosier de Madame Husson, and was written by Eric Crozier. It will mark the first opera staged under the direction of David Ronis, visiting director of opera at UW-Madison.

Read about the opera here.

What plans does David Ronis have for University Opera? Read an interview here.

MOSER FUND PROVIDES FREE STUDENT TICKETS TO PROFESSIONAL OPERAS- GET ‘EM WHILE THEY LAST!

Former University Opera Director Karlos Moser and his wife, Melinda, once again offer free opera tickets to Madison and Milwaukee opera and (new this year) the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The two created the fund in 2006 with $10,000 they raised by selling tickets to a concert. The fund has since grown to $30,000, enough to allow them to offer even more free tickets. Click here to see which shows are available.

The fund’s inception came from Melinda’s long-lasting love of opera since her school days, and Karlos’s memory from his college days at Princeton University, where he also benefited from a similar fund. “Between 1946 and 1950 I heard, at the old Met on Broadway, such memorable performances as Helen Traubel and Lauritz Melchoir in Tristan, Zinka Milanov in Trovatore, Ljuba Welitsch in Salome, Dorothy Kirsten in Louise, and Ezio Pinza in Boris Gudonov,” Moser says.

“These have had an indelible impact on my musical consciousness and have informed my approach to the glories of opera, and led me to wish to pass on the opportunity.  In the past eight years, not only singers and drama students have asked for and received tickets, but also violinists, bassoonists, flutists, conductors. What influence this will make no one knows for sure.  But it will probably make a difference.”  To request tickets, email Karlos Moser.

BRASS FEST STARTS OCTOBER 8!

The School’s first all-brass music festival in decades begins in little more than a week, showcasing our own brass faculty and students as well as visiting guest artists Øystein Baadsvik, tubist extraordinaire

Øystein Baadsvik
Øystein Baadsvik

from Norway; the Western Brass Quintet from Michigan (including SOM alumna Lin Foulk on horn); hornist Jessica Valeri, also an alumna, now performing with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; and brass composer Anthony Plog. Events will include a Q&A forum with Baadsvik and an all-school colloquium with Plog; master classes on brass instruments plus coachings on quintet playing and auditioning; and four concerts. Watch for lots of Norwegian flags at our gala “Brass Alchemy” concert and reception, where you can meet and greet all the performers as well as concert bands professor Scott Teeple, the evening’s conductor, and trumpet professor John Aley, the festival’s organizer.  All events free for students!

UW SYMPHONY PARTNERS WITH WISCONSIN ACADEMY OF ARTS, SCIENCES & LETTERS IN PASSENGER PIGEON PROJECT

On November 2, the UW Symphony Orchestra will present a little-known work for orchestra, The Columbiad, that was written in 1850 in honor of the then-prolific passenger pigeon. The pigeon, which was famous for blackening Wisconsin skies during its migrations, became extinct 100 years ago.  The concert is part of a weekend of commemorative activities about the passenger pigeon:  lectures, a screening of a new documentary film (see trailer below), and a staged reading of a play.  Partners include the UW-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.

The November 2nd concert will include a short presentation by Stanley Temple, Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation.

For concert information, click here.

To learn more about the passenger pigeon and issues of extinction, click here. 

LAURA SCHWENDINGER RECEIVES KOUSSEVITSKY COMMISSION FROM LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Faculty composer Laura Schwendinger has learned she is a recipient of a $12,500 chamber music commission from the Serge Koussevitsky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston. The commission is for a 15-minute work scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

Meanwhile, Schwendinger’s recent CD, “High Wire Acts: Chamber Music by Laura Elise Schwendinger” recently received a glowing review from the New York Times. “Musical short stories of somnambulant fragility and purpose,” writes reviewer Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim. Click to read more.

ALUMNI NEWS: Warren Gooch,  Paula Matthusen, Gina Rivera, Brad Carman, and Alexander Norris.  Read their stories here.

School of Music website

Concert Calendar

Learn about:

2014-2015 Festivals

2014-2015 Showcase Series

Advertisements

Brass Fest, Pro Arte World Premiere, “Showcase Series” launches with faculty voice recital

NEW FESTIVAL TO SHOWCASE LYRICISM AND POWER OF BRASS MUSIC

Audiences will be treated to some of the most beautiful and thrilling brass music ever written–including  “Quidditch,”  composed for the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by legendary composer John Williams– at a six-day all-brass festival October 8-13 at UW-Madison.

Other works to be performed include “Elegy,” by Pulitzer-Prize winner Kevin Puts, and “Four Sketches,” by trumpeter and composer Anthony Plog. Plog will also be in residence for two days of the festival.

Watch “In Medias” Brass Quintet performing “Four Sketches” by Anthony Plog, to be performed by the Wisconsin Brass Quintet on Wednesday, October 8.

Jessica Valeri
Jessica Valeri , SOM alumna, now plays horn with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

The festival will feature world-renowned brass musicians performing four concerts, and master classes on all the brass instruments—from trumpet to tuba and everything in between. Students and the general public are encouraged to attend. Guest musicians include virtuoso solo tubist Oystein Baadsvik of Norway; renowned trumpeter and brass composer Anthony Plog; the Western Michigan Brass Quintet; the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Brass Quintet; and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra horn player  Jessica Valeri (BM, UW-Madison, 1997). Click here for the full schedule. All events free to the public except “Brass Alchemy” headline concert, October 11, which is ticketed.

Featured concert: “Brass Alchemy,” October 11, 8 PM, Mills Hall. Click to learn more. A full contingent of our soloists, guests, and students presenting dramatic and inspired works of John Williams, Morten Lauridsen, Juan Colomer, Ennio Morricone, Scott Hiltzik, Kevin Puts, Anthony DiLorenzo, and an original work of Baadsvik’s, “Fnugg.”  School of Music professor Scott Teeple will conduct.   Tickets for the general public are $25; UW music majors with ID are free; other students, $10.00.  Ticketing info here. 

Oystein Baadsvik
Oystein Baadsvik

Says John Aley, lead organizer and longtime professor of trumpet as well as principal trumpet of the Madison Symphony Orchestra: “Brass instruments are so much more expressive than many people assume. While brass players take great delight in the excitement of filling a concert hall with grandeur and power, it is the lyrical quality of each these instruments that touch the heart of the listener.”

For a full calendar of Celebrate Brass! events, click here. 

PRO ARTE QUARTET PRESENTS ITS FINAL CENTENNIAL WORLD PREMIERE

Composer Pierre Jalbert’s “Howl” for clarinet and string quartet will receive its world premiere by the Pro Arte Quartet on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Wisconsin Union Theater on the UW-Madison campus. The event, free and open to the public, will be the first classical music concert to take place in the historic theater’s newly refurbished Shannon Hall.

The 8 p.m. concert will be preceded by a 7 p.m. concert preview discussion with Jalbert in Shannon Hall. In addition to Jalbert’s composition, the evening’s program includes the String Quartet No. 2 in A Major (1824) by Juan Crisóstomo Arriga and the Clarinet Quintet in A Major (1791) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The concert will be repeated Sunday, Sept. 28, at 12:30 p.m. in Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art, also on the UW-Madison campus. Joining the Pro Arte for both concerts will be clarinetist Charles Neidich, a regular member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and noted guest performer with orchestras and string quartets worldwide. Read about the inspiration behind the commission here.

PROFESSOR STUDIES HOLOCAUST CHILDREN’S OPERA

Teri Dobbs
Teri Dobbs

Hans Krása’s operetta Brundibár became indelibly associated with the Holocaust when the score was smuggled into the Theresienstadt concentration camp, and a production was mounted that lasted for more than 55 performances. Sung and acted by children, Brundibár was held as an example of the cultural programming offered to Jews at the Terezín “show camp” during the 1944 International Red Cross visit and the subsequent propaganda film, The Führer Gives the Jews a City.  Associate Professor of Music Education and Jewish Studies affiliate Teryl L. Dobbs recently returned from a sabbatical trip to Prague and Terezín (the Czech name of the garrison town where the Theresienstadt camp was located), where she studied the history of the operetta. Read the full story here.

“SHOWCASE SERIES” CONCERTS TO HIGHLIGHT STUDENT/FACULTY MUSICIANS

Each concert $10.00;  season passes available for $60.00; students free. Proceeds to the School of Music. Please note:  Only seven concerts are ticketed– Most concerts at the School of Music are still free!

Seven student/faculty concerts will be “showcased” this year, starting with a all-faculty voice recital on November 2.  Professors Mimmi Fulmer and Elizabeth Hagedorn, sopranos; James Doing, tenor; and Paul Rowe, baritone, each will sing. The program will include a premiere of a new work by composer and UW professor Les Thimmig, “White Clouds, Yellow Leaves,” a cantata on poems of ninth-century China.

Christopher Taylor
Christopher Taylor

Other “Showcase” concerts will include a solo recital by pianist Christopher Taylor on January 23. (On Nov. 21, Taylor is also engaged to perform JS Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; in April, he will perform Liszt and Bach with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.)

Later in January, pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes will be joined by cellist Norman Fischer of Rice University plus students and faculty for a second “Schubertiade”  of chamber music. In early February, join us for a captivating evening of solo student performances as we present our annual concerto winners concert (the “Symphony Showcase”). A reception will follow this concert. Learn about all these special events here.

Our concerto winners relaxed at last year's post-concert reception. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.
Our concerto winners relaxed at last year’s post-concert reception. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

Tickets for the general public are $10.00, and a seven-concert “pass” is available for $60.00. Students from all schools are free with identification. To save on service fees, buy in person at the box office or on the day of the show. Ticket info here.

INHORNS RECEIVE AWARD FROM MADISON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

The inaugural DeMain Award for Outstanding Commitment to Music will be awarded to philanthropists Stan and Shirley Inhorn by the Madison Symphony Orchestra League at its fifth annual gala banquet at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Friday, Sept. 12. Named after music director John DeMain, the annual honor will go to an ardent supporter of the MSO and Madison-based music in general. The Inhorns are longtime and much-appreciated supporters of the UW-Madison School of Music. Read more here.

TANDEM PRESS ANNOUNCES NEW FRIDAY FALL JAZZ SERIES

Beginning this September, Tandem Press will host a concert series featuring several student ensembles from the UW-Madison School of Music’s Jazz Program under the leadership of Johannes Wallmann, Director of Jazz Studies at UW-Madison, and Les Thimmig, Professor of Saxophone.

      • UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, September 26,  5-7 pm
      • UW Jazz Composers’ Septet, October 24, 2014 – 5-7 pm
      • UW Blue Note Ensemble & the Latin Jazz Ensemble, November 21, 5-7 pm

Tandem Press is located at 1743 Commercial Avenue in Madison. Concerts are free and open to the public.  Free parking is available, and refreshments will be served.

invited

Tandem Press is one of only three professional fine art presses operating within a university in the United States. Founded in 1987, it is affiliated to the UW-Madison Art Department in the School of Education. Each year, a select number of internationally renowned artists are invited to participate in Tandem’s artist-in- residence program, where they collaborate with a team of master printers assisted by UW students to create exclusive editions of prints.  Tandem prints hang in museums and corporations throughout the United States and Europe. This program is made possible with support from the Brittingham Fund.

ALUMNI PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE PRESENTS CONCERT AT GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Contemporary chamber ensemble Clocks in Motion brings new music, new instruments, and new sounds to the Grace Presents concert series Saturday, Sept. 20 at 12:00 p.m. with a program that highlights the power and diversity of percussion music. Their free program will include Marc Mellits’ new mallet quintet, “Gravity”; “Music for Pieces of Wood” minimalist pioneer Steve Reich; “Drumming Part 1”, also by Reich; “Four Miniatures,” an original composition by Clocks in Motion member Dave Alcorn; and “Third Construction”, by John Cage. Grace Church is located at 116 W. Washington Avenue, on the Capitol Square.

Formed in 2011, Clocks in Motion began as an extension of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Graduate Percussion Group, and now serves as the ensemble in residence with the UW-Madison percussion studio. In August, the group released its debut studio album, titled Escape Velocity,  recorded in Madison, WI, at Audio for the Arts and available as both a digital download and hard copy.  Links to purchase both digital and hard copies of the album can be found at Clocks in Motion’s website. 

Alumni Notes

1964 alumnus F. Gerard Errante releases new CD

For a complete rundown of events this year at the School of Music, click here.

For parking information, click here.