All posts by uwmadisonsom

Hamel Music Center gets attention; Student News; “La Bohème” Feb 23-25; Flute & Keyboard Days

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

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/

“What are those crazy round windows in the Hamel Music Center? It’s a question Gary Brown has gotten a lot lately.”

To answer it, UW-Madison’s Käri Knutson wrote a story for Inside UW, the weekly e-newsletter of UW-Madison.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“…They’re not windows, explains [Brown], the director of campus planning and landscape architecture. They’re sound chambers. And it’s just one of the features that will help the Hamel Music Center hit all the right notes. ‘It’s going to be amazing,’ Brown says. ‘The architecture and design is something we haven’t seen on this campus. It will really create a major gateway feature to campus.’ “

Read the full story here
View our ongoing construction photograph blog

Three-day “La Bohème” run at the Union’s Shannon Hall only three weeks away

The first University Opera production staged at the Union in 15 years, “La Bohème” features 56 cast members and a set designed by Madison’s dean of theater design, Joseph Varga.
In the Union’s “Green Room” blog, read Director David Ronis‘s description of his role as director: “What really interests me [in La Bohème] is seeing how the characters are changed from the beginning of the piece to the end,” Ronis writes. “They are forced to grow up; they become less self-involved; they learn about the fragility of life. Their sense of time changes – they won’t live forever – they learn the hard way how precious life and love are. For me, that’s the fundamental story we’re telling.”

The opera will be staged Friday, February 23, 7:30 PM start time; Saturday, February 24, 7:30 PM start time; and Sunday, February 24, 3:00 PM start time.

Buy tickets here

Fellowship string quartet and pianist heads to Florida

Once a year, a quartet or quintet comprised of graduate fellowship recipients travels to Florida to perform a private concert for  longtime School of Music donor Paul Collins. This year, they will perform works of Haydn, Beethoven, Manos Hadjidakis, Debussy, Liszt, Dvorak, and a passacaglia by Handel-Halvorsen.  Collins not only supports ten graduate students at the school, but also contributed $5 million toward the new Hamel Music Center. The new recital hall will be named for him.

Fellowship quartet
The 2017-2018 Fellowship String Quartet, L-R:
Ariel Garcia, viola; Kaleigh Acord, violin; James Waldo, cello; Richard Silvers, violin.
Pianist Anna Siampani

Harmony in performance: Violin Prof. Soh-Hyun Altino and cellist husband Leonardo Altino interviewed by the Wisconsin State Journal

“The Altinos, married in 2002, were born on opposite sides of the world. They had successful, growing, separate careers when they met and discovered two common languages between them: English and music.

Leo and Soh-Hyun Altino

“The couple came to Madison in 2015 when Soh-Hyun Park Altino was hired as assistant professor of violin at UW-Madison. Leo Altino now commutes from their West Side Madison home to Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, near Chicago, to teach three days a week.”

The Altinos were profiled by reporter Gayle Worland prior to their joint concert debut on January 26 with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

Read the full story

Synching science and music

Luke Valmadrid. Photograph by Sarah Morton.

Double degrees are hard, but a triple degree?  “Luke Valmadrid has forged a rigorous path pursuing degrees in chemistry, biochemistry and violin performance — and the dedicated senior wouldn’t have it any other way.”  Luke studies music with Prof. Altino, above. Written by UW-Madison’s Katie Vaughn.

Read the full story

Polish your playing skills at our annual Flute or Keyboard Days

Flute Day,  Sunday, February 11, includes performances by guest artist, flutist George Pope, as well as by UW-Madison flute faculty Timothy Hagen and the UW-Madison Flute Ensemble. In addition, participants will be offered a brief seminar on making practicing more effective and enjoyable. Most importantly, there are opportunities for younger participants to perform in master classes and mock auditions in preparation for WSMA Solo and Ensemble Festivals and other solo performances.

Keyboard Day, Saturday, February 17, will include workshops by UW-Madison piano faculty, including Artistic Pedaling Techniques for the Developing Pianist and Poems at the Piano: How Songs and Poetry Help Us Understand  a Composer’s Mind, Heart and Fingers. Guest pianist Marina Lomazov (Friday, Februrary 16 concert in Mills Hall) will offer a master class.


Music TA wins campuswide teaching award

We congratulate choral conducting graduate student Chris Boveroux, one of only 15 UW-Madison teaching assistants (out of 2,000 total) to win a Graduate School CampusWide Teaching Award. Not only has Chris TA’d in music, but also in mathematics, political science, and integrated liberal studies.

Chris Boveroux

Hire a (Student) Musician!

Not sure where to look for that wedding string quartet, an Easter trumpeter, a church pianist, or maybe you need an arts intern? Post your request on our Hire a Musician blog, about two to four months prior to your event. Recent listings include a request for a quartet for a 50th anniversary party, summer internships available at Bravo! Vail music festival, and a jazz vocalist.


Selected Upcoming Events

  • Guest artists: Anna Hersey, soprano & Alan Johnson, piano. February 11, 1:30 pm, Morphy Hall.
  • Guest artist: Blaise Magniere, violin. February 11, 7:30 pm, Morphy Hall.
  • Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, contemporary classical works. February 15, 8:00 pm, Mills Hall.
  • Master class with Alban Gerhardt, cello. February 16, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Morphy Hall.
  • Guest artist: Marina Lomazov, piano. February 16, 8:00 pm, Mills Hall. Part of UW-Madison Keyboard Day.
    View full calendar for more events.
  • Graduate composer Nathan Froebe, composer winner of the 2016-2017 concerto competition, offers two performances in the next month. February 19: Lecture recital on Pierre Jalbert’s “The Invention of the Saxophone,’ based on the poem of the same name by Billy Collins. Nathan Froebe, narrator; Patrick Specht, alto saxophone; and Kyle Johnson, piano. March 3: “Addiction’s Actuality,” for trombone, piano, and pre-recorded sounds. “Addiction’s Actuality” explores the topic of alcohol and drug addictions, from a person’s descent into addiction, through recovery, and life after. Disclaimer: This piece contains mature themes and content. Nathan Froebe, composer/electronics; Thomas Macaluso, trombone; and Vincent Fuh, piano.

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.

Advertisements

“La Bohème” in Shannon Hall – “Sound Out Loud” wins first prize – “Schubertiade” on Jan. 28

January 11, 2018

Welcome to 2018!!!!

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/

University Opera to stage “La Bohème” at Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall

University Opera takes over the Wisconsin Union Theater for a three-day run of Puccini’s masterpiece

Read full news release here.

On February 23, 24 and 25, University Opera, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Union Theater, will present a special production of Giacomo Puccini’s timeless masterpiece, La Bohème, at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall. This marks the first time in over 15 years that University Opera has staged a production at the Union Theater and the first bona fide opera production in the space since the theater’s renovation in 2014. Conducted by interim UW-Madison Director of Orchestras, Chad Hutchinson, and directed by Karen K. Bishop Director of Opera, David Ronis, the production will be performed in Italian with English supertitles. It will take full advantage of the many upgrades to Shannon Hall, in particular, the expanded orchestra pit which will accommodate the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, Feb. 23 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, Feb. 24 @ 7:30 PM
Sunday, Feb. 25 @3:00 PM

Tickets are $38 for premium seating, $30 general admission, $25 senior tickets, $15 non-UW-Madison students and $10 UW-Madison students and are available in advance through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online at https://union.wisc.edu/events-and-activities/event-calendar/event/la-boheme/. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Because shows often sell out, advance purchase is recommended. If unsold tickets remain, they may be purchased at the door beginning one hour before the performance.

Says longtime University Opera supporter Kathleen Harker: “I am excited to see opera return to Shannon Hall at the Union with the University Opera’s lavish production of Puccini’s La Bohème. I have fond memories of seeing my first opera, a touring Metropolitan Opera production of ‘Madama Butterfly,’ at the Memorial Union in 1965.”



Above: Maria Callas sings “Quando me’n vo” from La Bohème, 1958


Sound Out Loud Ensemble wins first prize in national competition

The School of Music congratulates the Sound Out Loud Ensemble for its first place award from The American Prize in chamber music performance, university division. Sound Out Loud! is a new music ensemble currently comprised of pianists Kyle Dee Johnson and Satoko Hayami, violinist Biffa Kwok, flutist Iva Ugrčić, clarinetist Pedro Garcia III, and composer/cellist Brian Grimm. All but Grimm are either former or current graduate students at UW-Madison.

Sound Out Loud. L-R: Biffa Kwok, Iva Ugrčić, Satoko Hayami, Brian Grimm, Kyle Johnson and Pedro Garcia III.

The group specializes in contemporary music from the early 20th century to the present, as well as commissions new works to be written for it. Having drawn inspiration from numerous performance ensembles (such as Eighth Blackbird, Silk Road, and the International Contemporary Ensemble), the group seeks to expand the realm of possibilities within the chamber ensemble repertoire through the implementation of experimental techniques, the incorporation of a variety of instruments and musical styles from the Middle East and Asia, innovative performance practice, and the use of live electronics.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually. The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories.


Our Annual “Schubertiade” only three weeks off!

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.  All are invited for a post-concert reception in the University Club.

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. Ms. Wood is a mezzo soprano whose performance credits include opera roles in Europe with Accademia Europea dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy and with Opera Studio Nederland, as well as numerous appearances in opera and recital in the US and Canada.

Rachel Wood

Tickets: $15/$5 students. Free to Mead Witter music majors, staff and faculty.

Ticket information here.


Please check our concert calendar for many other noteworthy upcoming events!

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..


And the concerto winners are: A bassoonist, a pianist, a violinist, a percussionist, and a composer

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/

January 3, 2018

Winners to perform solo on Sunday, March 18, 7:30 PM

They isolated themselves in practice rooms for months, and their efforts paid off.

Chad Hutchinson rehearses the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
The School of Music is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017-2018 concerto competition:

Bassoonist Eleni Katz will play Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K. 191 with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Chad Hutchinson. Eleni, a student of Professor Marc Vallon, graduates this spring with a bachelor’s of music degree in bassoon performance. Eleni’s win marks the first time in 20 years that a bassoonist has won the concerto competition.

She will join three other soloists on stage: Kaleigh Acord, violin, a doctoral student of Professor Soh-Hyun Altino; Aaron Gochberg, percussion, an undergraduate student of Professor Anthony Di Sanza; and Eric Tran, piano, a doctoral student of Professor Christopher Taylor.

In addition, the winner of the composition competition, doctoral student Mengmeng Wang, will have her work, “Blooming,” premiered by the symphony. Mengmeng studies with Professors Laura Schwendinger (composition) and Daniel Grabois (electronic music) of the School of Music and Professor Joseph Koykkar (composition) of the Dance Department.

The program will open with Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. “A dashing overture in … a shapely sonata form with points of canonic imitation and a sparkling Rossini crescendo to close.” —  John Henken.

The School of Music’s annual “Symphony Showcase” concert is a perennial crowd-pleaser that combines the joy of youthful accomplishment with the beauty of live music. The community is invited to attend and remain afterwards for a free reception in the lobby of Mills Hall. We will see you on March 18!

$10 adults, free to all students and children.

Ticket information here.


Kaleigh Acord, violin

Beethoven, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61, movement 1

Kaleigh Acord. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Violinist Kaleigh Acord hails from Fairfax Station, Virginia and is now pursuing a doctorate of musical arts at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music. There, she is a student of Soh-Hyun Park Altino and a recipient of the Paul Collins Fellowship. She holds a graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, as well as a master’s of music and an undergraduate diploma from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her previous teachers include Violaine Melancon and Laura Bossert. At Longy, Kaleigh served three years as Ms. Bossert’s teaching assistant, and received both the Margaret Rohde Award for Excellence in Solfege and Theoretical Studies, and the Roman Totenberg Award for Highest Academic and Artistic Achievement. An avid chamber musician, Kaleigh has spent her summers at music festivals including Bowdoin International Music Festival, Kent/Blossom Music, the Garth Newel Chamber Music Fellowship Program, Lyricafest, and the Charles Castleman’s Quartet Program. She made her solo radio debut on WQXR’s McGraw Hill Financial Young Artist Showcase in March 2014.

Aaron Gochberg, percussion

Keiko Abe, Prism Rhapsody

Percussionist Aaron Gochberg, an Oregon, Wisconsin native, is completing his fourth year of undergraduate study under Professor Anthony Di Sanza, a program which has presented him with opportunities to perform in Carnegie Hall, the Overture Center, and the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall, as well as to tour Beijing and Shenyang, China. In 2016, Aaron was a Performance Fellow at the nief-norf Summer Festival, where he performed, premiered, and recorded numerous works by both new and established composers. He has collaborated with artists and ensembles such as Sō Percussion, Clocks in Motion, Sound out Loud, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Acoplados Latin Jazz Project, the Wisconsin Collegiate All Star Percussion Ensemble, and he continues to seek shared experiences with performers from around the world.

Aaron Gochberg

Aaron has enjoyed an eclectic range of musical experiences, giving him a distinct perspective on percussive artistry. He is a collaborator at heart, and is deeply invested in working directly with living composers. His interest in Afro-Cuban music has granted him multiple opportunities to travel to Cuba, where he has been fortunate to study with some of the most influential musicians on the island, including Mario “Aspirina” Jagerui, Alejandro Carvajal Guerra, Marino Angarica, Luis Cancino Morales, Dolores Perez, and Maximino Duquesne. In 2017, the University recognized Aaron’s study of Afro-Cuban Batá drumming traditions by awarding him a Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Recently, he joined the Wisconsin Union Theater as the World Music Coordinator on the Performing Arts Committee.

Growing up in Oregon, Aaron was very fortunate to participate in a musical community, granting him many formative experiences. He would like to thank Lynn Callendar, a member of the School of Music Board of Visitors, for her gracious support over the past four years. He would also like to sincerely thank his many private and collegiate music teachers, who have included Dr. Anthony Di Sanza, Dr. Todd Hammes, Tom Ross, Donald Skoog, and David Skogen.

Eleni Katz, bassoon

Mozart, Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K. 191

Iowa City native Eleni Katz will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s of music in bassoon performance, where she studies with Professor Marc Vallon. While in high school, Eleni studied with University of Iowa Professor Benjamin Coelho, who sparked a new level of passion for the instrument. Her experience at the Interlochen Bassoon Institute was the pivotal moment when she decided to pursue a career in music.

Eleni Katz

Eleni has always loved the art of performance and is particularly excited to play W.A. Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B Flat K.191, because this is the first time in 20 years that a bassoonist has won the university’s concerto competition. This bassoon concerto is arguably the most important concerto in the bassoon’s repertoire, highlighting the instrument’s range, articulation, and refinement.

Eleni was a runner-up in the Marquette Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition and was a winner of the Irving Shain Piano-Woodwind Competition and the University of Iowa Double Reed Day Concerto Competition.

Under Professor Marc Vallon’s tutelage, Eleni has had six solo recitals participated in both the IMANI Winds and Madeline Island Chamber Music Festivals, and the Brevard Music Center and Chautauqua Institution Summer Music Festivals.

She plans to attend graduate school in bassoon performance next year. Her future goal is to gain experience in performance by playing in a symphony orchestra and chamber music groups. Her long-term goal is to teach bassoon at the university level and to lead a vibrant bassoon studio of her own.

Eleni would like to thank her friends and family, bassoon studio, and professors, who have inspired and supported her throughout her musical journey. Lastly, Eleni would like to thank Professor Vallon for every lesson and for always helping her find new ways to improve her performance of this concerto. Tonight’s performance is the “cherry on the cake” of an incredible, transformative four years of study at UW-Madison.

Eric Tran, piano

Bach, Concerto No. 4 in A Major, BWV 1055

Pianist-composer Eric Tran, originally from Piedmont, California, is pursuing a doctorate of musical arts in piano at UW-Madison with Christopher Taylor. He is known for his friendly stage manner, thoughtful programming, and bold risk-taking. He has appeared in music festivals such as PianoTexas, Aspen, Art of the Piano, as well as festivals in Europe. His principal studies were with pianists Sharon Mann, Thomas Schultz, and composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinski.

Eric Tran

Eric is a graduate of Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During his studies, he was the winner of the concerto competitions of both institutions, and he was awarded the prestigious Robert M. Golden Medal for outstanding contributions to the arts. As a composer, he won the Pacific Musical Society Composition Prize, and his sets of children’s music have been programmed for over six years on the syllabus of the US Open Music Competition. His music has been performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Friction Quartet, his generous friends, and his charming piano students.

​Eric also comprises one half of the notorious “Happy Dog” piano duo, with his piano partner, Nathan Cheung. They won both first prize and the Abild American Music Award at the 2017 Ellis Duo-Piano Competition, hosted by the National Federation of Music Clubs. For over a decade, they have performed four-hands originals, transcriptions, and classics alike with a focus on bringing humor and joy to the classical music world.

Mengmeng Wang, composer

“Blooming”

Mengmeng Wang

Mengmeng Wang, a native of China, is a doctoral student studying composition with Professor Laura Schwendinger and electro-acoustic music with Professors Daniel Grabois (School of Music) and Joseph Koykkar (Dance Department). She received her master’s degree in music in composition from Shanghai Conservatory of Music, studying with Professor Liang Zhao. She also studied composition with Professors Guang Zhao and Heng-lu Yao.

Her works have been performed in the Beijing Modern Music Festival, in a recital by German violist Christiane Edinger and also by the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra. Her film music was awarded the Honor Award of 1st eARTS Digital Audio China Competition in Shanghai, 2010; one of her art songs was awarded a golden prize at the 4th Chinese National Music Exhibition and Performance in Beijing in 2014; and she won the composition competition of Xinghai Conservatory of Music for one of her chamber music works. She was also named a “top-notch talent” of Chinese popular music by the China Association of Popular Music.

Program Note – “Blooming”
Blooming was inspired by flowers selected by Professor Schwendinger. “Blooming” is the language of flowers; I feel that they are trying to say something to me. I used different types of musical language to describe them. There are also important themes presented in bright metallic timbres and textures which express the flowers’ quiet glory as they bloom, and then a peaceful fading away.


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.

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.

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.

Meet New Faculty: Alicia Lee, clarinet

Clarinetist Alicia Lee, assistant professor of clarinet, came here this fall from New York City, where she performed regularly with many ensembles, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Knights, Alarm Will Sound, NOVUS, and ACME, and participated in music festivals all over the world. She co-founded Decoda, a chamber music collective affiliated with Carnegie Hall, and is also a member of NOW Ensemble, a contemporary music group comprised of composers and performers. For seven years, Alicia was associate principal of the Santa Barbara Symphony and also played bass clarinet with the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway in 2013-14. Her degrees are in French language and literature (Columbia University) She studied at The Juilliard School and earned additional degrees from the University of Southern California and The Colburn School as a student of Yehuda Gilad.

At the Mead Witter School of Music, she is now a member of the Wingra Wind Quintet.

Read Prof. Lee’s full biography here.

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

Alicia Lee. Photograph by Katrin Talbot.

In New York City you’ve had a very active performing career. Are you still shuttling back and forth between NYC and Madison? Did you ever foresee yourself entering academia?

Yes, I am still shuttling back and forth between NYC and Madison – this Thanksgiving, I was thankful for nonstop United flights between Madison and Newark. I am lucky to still have performing opportunities on the East Coast, but the main reason I am going back so often is because my husband is still living in New York! I was not necessarily focused on finding a college teaching job, but it was always among the mix of my interests. I grew up in Michigan with my parents teaching in the music department at Michigan State University, so there is definitely a level of familiarity with this environment that I am very much enjoying.

You hold a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature. What connections have you made between French language/lit and music?

My initial reason behind choosing French language/literature as a focus of study was because I knew that I was headed towards a career in music. I wanted to spend my time at university studying something that I always found beautiful and fascinating but perhaps not the most practical! I discovered that the process of learning a language is similar to my experience of learning music. In order to feel really comfortable expressing myself, I have to feel so comfortable in the language that it becomes second nature. There are so many subtleties within language and the more you catch onto them, the more you see them in every language, including music. Unfortunately, my French never became quite as fluent to me as music, but I guess that’s why I became a musician.

What is your most memorable musical or professional experience? Your most embarrassing?

One of my most memorable musical experiences is hearing a classic, live recording of Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, sung by Benita Valente. There is a moment where her voice almost, almost breaks, but doesn’t. To me it’s one of the most sublime musical moments that has taught me so much about how I want to be able to play the clarinet. My most embarrassing musical experience was when I was in high school at a summer music festival. I showed up to an orchestra rehearsal – one of my very first orchestral experiences ever – without my music, which I had left on my bed in my dorm room after dutifully practicing my part. Everyone around me was urging me to just run back and get it, but I was so nervous and worried that I just faked my way through Prokofiev’s Love of Three Oranges Suite. Somehow the intense anxiety and adrenaline of the moment got me through. I’ve never played that piece since and if you asked me to hum a tune from it, it would be impossible.

Above: Alicia Lee joins the Decoda Ensemble for a performance of Thomas Adès “Catch.” With Lee are Anna Elashvili, violin; Claire Bryant, cello; and Michael Mizrahi, piano.

Are there any New York City projects that you could bring to Madison audiences?

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.

About  UW-Madison’s Wingra Wind Quintet:

The Wingra Quintet is an opportunity for me to collaborate closely with my colleagues in the wind department. We look forward to expanding our performing season and programming many exciting works. One piece in particular that I am looking forward to is “Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet” by Gyorgy Ligeti. While it is considered a staple of the quintet repertoire, it is quite a time commitment, which often prevent it from being programmed. I am lucky to be in a situation where we have the time and space to put together such a masterwork from the repertoire, as well as have colleagues equally excited to work on this beast!

To contact Prof. Lee for information or a sample lesson, email her at anlee7@wisc.edu.

See Prof. Lee with the full Wingra Quintet, this Sunday at the Chazen Museum, noon. Click here for program.