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

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