Meet New Faculty, Part 2; New Laura Schwendinger CD; “Schubertiade” Jan. 28; Calling All Oboists, Bassoonists, and Clarinetists

December 14, 2017

Holiday Greetings from the Mead Witter School of Music!

455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706
http://www.music.wisc.edu/

We wish everyone a harmonious holiday season and a happy New Year.

For our last newsletter of 2017, we offer three more faculty profiles, a sneak peek at events in late January, and news about a brand-new CD release featuring the music of Laura Schwendinger.

We’re also pleased to announce four of our five winners of our annual Concerto Competition. Our fifth winner will be a composer, selected later this month. 2017-2018 instrumental winners are Eleni Katz, bassoon (first bassoonist in 20 years!); Eric Tran, piano; Aaron Gochberg, percussion; and Kaleigh Acord, violin. Read about these winners here, and save March 18 on your calendar for our Symphony Showcase concert and free lobby reception!

Our second semester begins on January 20.

Our Annual “Schubertiade”: Sunday, January 28, 3:00 PM

This year’s Schubertiade will present at least one work from each year of Schubert’s all-too-brief but brilliant career. Beginning with one of his earliest piano duets, written when he was 14 years old, and ending with songs from his final year, this 5th Annual Schubertiade at the Mead-Witter School of Music will take place on Sunday afternoon, January 28, 2018 at 3pm in Mills Concert Hall.

Once again, pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes will be joined by School of Music faculty, students, and guest mezzo-soprano Rachel Wood, professor of voice at UW-Whitewater.

Please join us for a reception in the University Club following the performance.

$15 adults/$5 non-SOM students.
http://www.music.wisc.edu/about-us/tickets/


Are there any young clarinetists, bassoonists or oboists in your midst?

If so, sign up now for Double Reed Fest (for oboists and bassoonists) on Saturday, January 20 and Clarinet Day, Sunday, January 21. Each day features master classes, lessons with our faculty, and a recital by special guests.

Double Reed Fest with Mead Witter faculty Marc Vallon, professor of bassoon; Aaron Hill, adjunct professor of oboe; and guest oboist Nancy Ambrose King, professor of oboe and chair of the Winds & Percussion Department at the University of Michigan. Ms. King won first prize in the Third New York International Competition for Solo Oboists, held in 1995.

Hear Ms. King perform Benjamin Britten’s 6 Metamorphoses After Ovid for Solo Oboe:

Clarinet Day with Mead Witter faculty Alicia Lee, assistant professor of clarinet, and special guest Gabriel Campos Zamora, a native of San José, Costa Rica, the newly appointed principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra. Campos was most recently the associate principal clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Houston Symphonies in addition to serving as the Virginia Symphony’s principal clarinet.


New CD from faculty composer Laura Schwendinger

Prof. Laura Schwendinger’s second recording for Albany Records features four works for quartets: two for the traditional string quartet; one for mezzo soprano and three strings; and one for piano quartet. The music is performed by the acclaimed JACK Quartet, mezzo-soprano Jamie Van Eyck, and pianist Christopher Taylor. The CD is already available for pre-ordering from Amazon.


Choral Union wins applause from local reviewer

Emeritus history professor John Barker had this to say about our fall Choral Union performance of Mozart’s Great C Minor Mass and Brahms’ Schicksalslied.  “An excellent performance that should alert listeners to neglected treasures,” he wrote in The Well-Tempered Ear. Read the review here.


Meet New Faculty

We’ve posted interviews with several new faculty members on our WordPress blog. Read about their views on teaching, what excites them and even their most enjoyable and embarrassing moments in their musical histories. Interviews conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertation in piano performance. Here are a few quotations from our interviews (click the links to read the entire interview).

Chad Hutchinson, conductor
Chad Hutchinson

“This season we performed works of Mason Bates and Christopher Theofanidis on our first two concerts, and will feature Caroline Shaw and Stephen Shewan on concerts in the spring. Many of these works have never been performed in Madison or the state of Wisconsin, so it is very exciting to bring something fresh and invigorating to the area. The “Composer’s Datebook” segment on National Public Radio always says that “All music was once new,” which is true. I feel that if we only perform works that have been vetted in classical music we will miss out on exciting new opportunities.”

Alicia Lee, clarinet
Alicia Lee

“Six years ago, I along with some close musical friends founded a chamber collective called Decoda. Our mission from the start was to bring meaningful musical experiences to all audiences. As a freelancer (in my former life), it can be difficult to feel real ownership over the work that we find ourselves doing, and Decoda became a very important part of my life since we built it from the ground up. I would love to bring colleagues from Decoda to Madison and also to UW-Madison, because I think we have a unique process and way of presenting our music.”

Alex Noppe, trumpet
Alex Noppe. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

(Upon the founding of the Mirari Brass Quintet). “Originally, it was a group of graduate students at Indiana that formed the group, but over the years we changed a few members (adding Stephanie Frye, UW-Madison MM 2010 & DMA 2013). We’ve always had a bit of an interesting model in that we live in four different states scattered across the country, which definitely presents some challenges for rehearsing and performing.

“Mirari is in its ninth season together and we spend most of our time doing concert tours, educational residencies, and new music commissioning. We play a fairly eclectic mix of music that we’ve affectionately dubbed “stylistic whiplash”–everything from Renaissance to jazz to contemporary classical to Latin to musical theater, and on and on. At this point we’ve performed in about 30 states and did our first international concert tour this past summer in China. We have one album out from a few years ago and another one being released in just over a month on Summit Records.”


Our Full Concert Calendar

calendar

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. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to newsletter editor..


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.

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Meet New Faculty: Chad Hutchinson, conductor

Chad Hutchinson, a native of Iowa, came to Wisconsin as adjunct professor to conduct both the UW-Madison Symphony and University Opera Orchestras. Prior to his appointment here, he was assistant conductor of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras, and has also conducted in Minnesota, Iowa, and Williamsville, New York. Prof. Hutchinson holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Morningside College. Read Chad’s full biography here. His commitment to outreach and the performance of new music is strong, and he has been recognized for his opera conducting skills with a third-place award in the American Prize in Opera Conducting.

Conductor Chad Hutchinson in rehearsal with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Interview conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertator in piano performance.


When you go to the Coasts, what questions do people ask you about the Midwest, and how do you answer?

When traveling outside the Midwest, when I say that I live in South Dakota people automatically assume that I live in a small town and don’t have access to resources. Sioux Falls has 175,000 people and I feel that it is my job to educate others that the Midwest has both rural and urban areas.

Having lived in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and South Dakota, truthfully they are all quite similar.  The generosity and genuine care for others is something that sets people apart in this part of the country.  The biggest difference living in South Dakota is that the state itself has a small population, so no matter where you are in the state the degree of separation is much less.  Also, my wife always has told me that the beauty of the prairie will grow on me.  There is a sense of calm that one experiences when being able to see the sunset to the west for many miles.

Concert audiences here can expect to hear the programming of both old and new music. How do you choose the newer works? 

Exposing students and audience members alike to new music is a core value of my educational philosophy.  I try to select repertoire by composers who are getting a lot of recognition and being performed regularly across the country in professional orchestras, or are composers that I feel are under-represented.  This season we  performed works of Mason Bates and Christopher Theofanidis on our first two concerts, and will feature Caroline Shaw and Stephen Shewan on concerts in the spring.  Many of these works have never been performed in Madison or the state of Wisconsin, so it is very exciting to bring something fresh and invigorating to the area.  The “Composer’s Datebook” segment on National Public Radio always says that “All music was once new,” which is true.  I feel that if we only perform works that have been vetted in classical music we will miss out on exciting new opportunities.  As an assistant with the South Dakota Symphony, I learned from Maestro Delta David Gier as he programmed living composers on nearly every subscription concert during his tenure with the orchestra.  There has been a transformation in the audience’s and orchestra’s reaction to new music there and I hope to make the same type of footprint here.  The School of Music at UW-Madison has so many applied faculty with experience in these endeavors that it has been a joy to have so much support from others with our selections of new music.

The “Composer’s Datebook” segment on National Public Radio always says that “All music was once new,” which is true.  I feel that if we only perform works that have been vetted in classical music we will miss out on exciting new opportunities.

After a helping of Babcock ice cream last summer, Chad Hutchinson’s daughters Lauren, 4 and Julia, 7, take a spin on the famous Terrace chair.

Share one memorable and one embarrassing musical experience.

When I was 20, I traveled to Spain, France and England as part of a college choir tour.  On successive nights in London, I saw the Philadelphia Orchestra on tour perform Wagner’s  Die Meistersinger and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.  For a young kid from Iowa, this was life-changing and made me realize the power of opera as well as the possibilities of color and dynamics within a professional orchestra.  I am always taken aback not by the loud playing of the great professional orchestras, but the control of soft dynamics.

My embarrassing moment came in Europe a few years later when doing a conducting workshop in the Czech Republic. As a college baseball player, I always would represent the number 2 as the index finger and pinky finger.  I got on the podium and said in my broken Czech, “Second movement please,” while holding up two fingers.  Pretty soon the entire orchestra is laughing and doing the same back to me.  I came to realize that in the Czech culture this is the equivalent of our middle finger gesture.  The orchestra liked “giving the finger(s)” to the young conductor.

What is different about conducting today vs. 30 years ago?

I think that the dictatorial days of the conductors of the past seems to have shifted quite a bit in recent years to a more level playing field with musicians.  Social media has changed the professional landscape with marketing campaigns for the top conductors of the major orchestras.  However, at the end of the day, the joy of collaborating with great musicians on amazing works of art is still the same today as it was 30 years ago.

Chad and Karen Hutchinson at the Wisconsin-Iowa football game.

You’ve been involved in quite a few unique events. Are there any that you would like to replicate here?

I spent the past year and a half working on a ballet project in South Dakota with four local companies and our youth orchestra.  I accepted this position [in Madison] before getting to the performance of the project, but I am happy to say that my successor is going through with the concert.  In this project, each company received a different composer – Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Copland and Gershwin – and the goal was to trace some of the evolution of the dance medium as well as giving the orchestra and dancers an opportunity to perform live with each other.  I hope to collaborate with the dance department on a project in the future as I feel that the more we work together in all the arts, the better.

Where were you guest conducting recently?

I have been in many high schools recently in South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin recruiting first and foremost.  I also recently conducted the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony  and just returned from doing a High School Area All-State Festival in New York.

Your wife and family visited Madison this fall for the Badgers-Iowa football game. Did your family enjoy it (even though Iowa lost)?
I will admit that being a die-hard lifelong Iowa fan has been a bit difficult in recent years, both by getting my graduate degree from the University of Minnesota and now working here at UW-Madison. However, I root for the Badgers when they are not playing the Hawkeyes.  I had high hopes for the Iowa-Wisconsin game as it started so well for the Hawks, but the tides quickly turned and the Badgers had a great day. This being said, even though the Hawkeyes lost, the atmosphere at Camp Randall stadium was amazing and a lot of fun to be a part of.  Karen and I also took our kids to the Badger men’s and women’s basketball games, where they were super excited to meet Bucky Badger.


Professor Hutchinson will next conduct these performances:
University Opera presents La Bohème, February 23, 24 and 25 at the Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall, David Ronis directing.

Symphony Showcase, a concert featuring our concerto competition winners, March 18, Mills Hall.

Faculty Interviews, Part 1; Choral Union presents Mozart’s C Minor Mass; Take a class on Japanese music; Alumni News

December 1, 2017

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music

University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706

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

Post-Thanksgiving greetings, and welcome to Part 1 of a two-part end-of-semester newsletter!

Choral Union presents Mozart’s Great C Minor Mass and Brahms’ Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”)

With Beverly Taylor, conductor, the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, and soloists Sarah Richardson, soprano; Chelsie Propst, soprano; Wesley Dunnagan, tenor; and Matthew Chastain, baritone. Event webpage.

Saturday, December 9, 8 PM and Sunday, December 10, 7 PM. $15 adults, $8 students.

The Great Mass in C-Minor “represents a super-human leap in the capacity of Mozart’s style. Someone once defined two kinds of genius: the person who is like us, only ten times better; the person whom nobody could predict. In the mass, Mozart becomes the second – in effect, a magician.” — Steve Schwartz, Classical.net

The Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”) is based on poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin, an 18th-century German poet, and “portrays the brush between spiritually blinded, self-doomed mortals and the Elysian spirits.” — Carol Tailback, San Francisco Choral Society

Click here to see buying and parking options.


Curious about our new faculty?

We’ve posted interviews with several new faculty members on our WordPress blog. Read about their views on teaching, what excites them and even their most enjoyable and embarrassing moments in their musical histories. Interviews conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertation in piano performance. Here are a few quotations from our interviews (click the links to read the entire interview).

Double bassist David Scholl:
You’ve described Madison as “crunchy.” Define “crunchy.”
” ‘Crunchy’ is a term that comes from the type of health-conscious people who eat lots of granola, and the connotations that are associated with granola consumers, such as being environmentally conscious and having a more do-it-yourself lifestyle. Madison has a lot of great health food with all of its great restaurants, co-ops, and farmers markets; and with the thriving bike and artistic culture here the word seemed to fit. I meant it as a term of endearment, as I myself strive to be crunchier everyday.”

David Scholl

Flutist Timothy Hagen:
“One final point I try to impart to my students that I learned from Jim Walker: being the best musician you can be is not a guarantee of success. There is nothing wrong with capitalizing on every skill you have. This mindset has not only led me to career success in areas outside playing and teaching the flute, such as community outreach, composing, and curriculum design, but it also has enriched my artistic life and my personal life.”

Timothy Hagen

Jazz drummer & jazz history instructor Matthew Endres:
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching the students here at UW?   “These kids work and have a real passion for music. I’ve noticed substantial maturity in their playing in a very short period of time. They have a hunger for progress and the standards put onto them by faculty elevate their musicality immensely. I’m very honored to be working with world class educators here within the Mead Witter School of Music.”

Matthew Endres

In two weeks: Clarinetist Alicia Lee, orchestra conductor Chad Hutchinson, and trumpeter Alex Noppe.


Take a class on Japanese music (or other topics)

Musicology instructor Matthew Richardson (Ph. D, Northwestern University, 2016) has developed a brand-new class called “Music in Japan.” It’s an overview of the stylistic and historical depth of music in Japan, including traditional genres like classical court culture, kabuki, and geisha performance, as well as modern J-pop, film music, and anime music. “What Japanese hear in Japanese music is different from what Americans often hear in Japanese music,” he says. “And when Japanese fans listen to American music, it often means something different to them, too. One good example might be punk rock. In the US, that sort of sound is associated with rebellion and counterculture. But in Japan, a lot of artists use it as simply an energetic, youthful style without intending any of the political and meanings it has in the US.”
Read our complete blog post here.

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, Late, 1789-1868. Courtesy Harvard Art Museum.

Additional classes offered next semester (please check with the instructor; not all classes are open to non-majors):

  • MUSIC 416: Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century with Professor Susan C. Cook
  • MUSIC 542: Choral Literature and Performance Practices of Today with Associate Director of Choral Conducting Bruce Gladstone
  • MUSIC 546: String Literature with Artist-in-Residence and Pro Arte Quartet Violinist Suzanne Beia
  • MUSIC 319: Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States (Delta Blues) with Professor Charles Dill
  • MUSIC 318: Cultural Cross Currents: West African Dance/Music in the Americas with Associate Professor of Dance Christopher Walker

and a variety of Special Topics courses (all MUSIC 497):

  • Opera Production with Assistant Professor David Ronis
  • Electro-Acoustic Ensemble with Associate Professor Daniel Grabois
  • Advanced Aural Skills: From the Conservatoire with Professor Marc Vallon
  • Marching Band Techniques with Assistant Director of Bands Darin Olson
  • Acting for Singers with Assistant Professor David Ronis
  • Jazz Innovators: Armstrong, Ellington and Beyond with Adjunct Professor Matthew Endres
  • Music, Critical Pedagogy = Social Change with Associate Professor Teryl Dobbs
Learn more about “Music in Japan” and other music courses available this spring by checking the “Public Search” option at this website.

Alumni News

Nathaniel Wolkstein
Allyson Fleck
Nick Connors
CHROMOS Tuba Quartet

The Chromos Tuba Quartet.

Click here to read.


Our Full Concert Calendar

calendar

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. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to newsletter editor..


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.