Category Archives: Cuban Music

Help for Small-Handed Pianists, with Jessica Johnson; Pianist Christopher Taylor solo recital; Cuba Trumpet Expert performs with UW Jazz; and more!

News and Concert Highlights from the UW-Madison School of Music. February 9, 2016

Join us this Sunday for Symphony Showcase: UW Concerto Winners perform solo. Sunday, Feb 14, Mills Hall, 7:30 PM. $10 general public/all age students free. And see our complete calendar, including recitals, jazz, classical, voice and percussion concerts, colloquia, and opera, at this link: http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/


A Solo Recital with Pianist Christopher Taylor, Feb. 26, 8 PM, Mills Hall
Christopher Taylor
Christopher Taylor

On Feb. 26, acclaimed pianist Christopher Taylor will play music of Bach, Brahms, and Scriabin in his only solo Madison concert this academic year. On the program: J.S. Bach’s French Suite No. 1 in D Minor, Aleksandr Scriabin’s 12 Etudes, and the lovely Johannes Brahms’s Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 1.

Read Jessica Courtier’s review of Taylor’s 2015 performance with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. “We in Wisconsin are privileged to call Christopher Taylor one of our own,” she wrote. Tickets are $15 for the general public; free for students of all ages.


Jessica Johnson holds out hope for pianists with small hands

How big are your hands? If you aspire to be a professional pianist, that’s an important question. On average, women have smaller hands than men, and are frequently stymied when trying to stretch their fingers to reach the larger octaves written into many major concertos, such as those by Liszt and Rachmaninoff. That simple fact bears on another simple fact: There are fewer women in the top echelons of professional concert pianists. Injuries are also common.

Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson

On Sat., Feb. 20, Jessica Johnson, professor of piano and piano pedagogy, will hold a full day of all-free events to demonstrate what has been working for her: The adoption of a specially sized piano that is 7/8 of normal size. Made by Steinbuhler & Co., one of these is now owned by the School of Music, and Prof. Johnson has found that playing it has been a “life-changing” experience.

Join us on Feb. 20 at 2:30 for a workshop, master class, hands-on demonstrations, and concert, all featuring the Steinbuhler DS 5.5 7/8 piano. Learn more here. And watch for an article about this revolutionary new approach in an upcoming story by Gayle Worland, in the Wisconsin State Journal.

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Trumpeter & Cuban Music Expert Mike Davison to perform with the UW Jazz Orchestra

Master class: Mon Feb 22, Mills Hall; Concert: Weds., Feb. 24, 7:30 PM, Music Hall. Read more here.

Even after a semester with Juan de Marcos, we’re still feeding on Cuban music! This month, we’re bringing Mike Davison (DMA, trumpet performance 1987)  to campus from the University of Richmond, where he teaches and performs. He’ll join the UW Jazz Orchestra, the Waunakee High School Jazz Ensemble I and the UW Latin Jazz Ensemble in an evening of rousing Caribbean tunes. Davison’s bio includes concerts around the world, four recorded jazz CDs, and performances with well-known singers, musicians, and even for a pope.


UW Wind Ensemble travels to Verona and west Madison for concerts
Tom Curry
Tom Curry

Find the UW Wind Ensemble in your corner of Dane County! Last December, the Wind Ensemble made an appearance at the Sun Prairie High School and will continue its out of town concerts this spring. Find them at Verona High School on Feb. 19, at Oakwood Village – West (Mineral Point Road) on March 31, and of course at the School of Music as well (Feb. 20). Both February concerts will feature Tom Curry, adjunct professor of tuba, in a work titled “Heavy Weather,” by the composer Jess Turner.

 


Summer Music Clinic registration now underway

Registration is open through May 2 for UW-Madison’s legendary Summer Music Clinic, which offers dozens of classes in all kinds of musical skills for kids completing grades 6-8 (junior session) and 9-12 (senior session). For one week, students live in UW dorms and attend classes that they choose from a lengthy list, including band, orchestra and choir; sight-singing; jazz improvisation; opera; swing dance; yoga; and even specialized classes on subjects ranging from the music of film composer John Williams to Stephen Sondheim to rock’n roll. Instructors are all highly skilled; many are university professors or other working professionals. Taste the fun by visiting SMC’s Facebook page! For more information, email anne.aley@wisc.edu.

Below: Summer Music Clinic photographs by Michael R. Anderson.


Faculty News: Daniel Grabois, Laura Schwendinger.

Alumni News: Violist Elias Goldstein.


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


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

“Sensual” soprano returns for Opera Benefit; “Buena Vista Social Club” legend on campus to teach and perform

Coloratura soprano Brenda Rae returns to alma mater to raise funds for University Opera

Gazing at herself in a bewitched mirror, she is obsessed with her radiant beauty; she caresses her own face and simpers at an imagined lover. That would be Brenda Rae in Seattle Opera’s February production of Handel’s “Semele,” where she was described by Opera News as “sensual,” “dazzling,” and “moving.”

Above: Brenda sings “Myself I shall adore” in Seattle Opera’s Semele.

Discover the dazzle for yourself on September 27, when Appleton native and School of Music/Juilliard alumna Brenda Rae – who has spent most of the last decade performing in Frankfurt, Berlin and other major European opera halls  – visits Mills Hall at 7:30 PM to sing a benefit concert for University Opera. She’ll be paired with the UW Symphony Orchestra as she sings Gliere’s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano, having just finished a run in Milwaukee Symphony’s Cosi fan Tutti.  She’ll then fly to Paris’s  du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées to sing Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. 

Brenda’s return is part of a larger three-day fund drive to place University Opera – which has existed at UW-Madison for 57 years, but relies mostly on ticket sales and donations to finance productions  – on secure financial footing. On Friday, there will be a free master class in Music Hall from 5-7 PM. On Saturday, two special donor events are planned: the first, a VIP dress rehearsal followed by a private University Club reception for event sponsors. The weekend’s events comprise a fund drive that honors opera alumna Karen K. Bishop, who passed away in January. Her husband, Charlie Bishop, donated $500,000 to the opera program in her name, now matched by a $1 million gift from the Morgridge Fund and local supporters. Read a story in the Wisconsin State Journal about the larger effort.

Brenda Rae. Photo credit: Kristin Hoebermann.

You are invited to join the many others in Madison who love opera and who have supported University Opera for all or part of its history. Please consider becoming a sponsor:

The Impresario
$250–$499
Includes admission for you and one guest to the private University Club reception with Brenda Rae on Saturday and two tickets to the Sunday concert in a prime seating area.

The Prima Donna
$500–$999
Includes the benefits of the Impresario level, plus your name(s) will appear in the concert program as a master class sponsor.

The Bishop Circle
$1,000 or more
Includes the benefits of the Prima Donna level, plus your name(s) will appear in the concert program as a concert sponsor. You and one guest will also receive admission to the VIP dress rehearsal on Saturday.

Table Sponsorship
Give a gift of $2,500 or more, and you will receive a reserved table in your name for a maximum of eight people at the private University Club reception on Saturday. This includes all the benefits of the Bishop Circle level for the named sponsor, so your name will appear in the concert program at the Bishop Circle level.

– See more at: http://www.uwalumni.com/event/brendarae/#sthash.gcqNtse2.dpuf

Tickets for the Sunday evening concert are $25 for adults, and are available online now; they will also be sold at the door, day of show. Students are free. We invite you to pack Mills Hall and see her now… before she hits the stratosphere!


Legendary “Buena Vista Social Club” musician Juan de Marcos here to teach, perform and inspire

UW-Madison will host legendary Cuban musician, Juan de Marcos González, a driving force behind the Buena Vista Social Club, as the Fall 2015 Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence.

Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. Photo credit Tom Ehrlich.
Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. Photo credit Tom Ehrlich.

During his residency, notable Cuban artists and groups including Afro-Cuban All Stars, Telmary Diaz, Pellejo Seco, and musical members of his family (who also are part of Afro-Cuban All Stars) will perform in Madison. He will present numerous lectures on the history of Cuban music and teach a lecture course called “Afro-Cuban Music: Roots, Jazz, Hip Hop” and a production course “Music Production: Afro-Cuban and Hip Hop Music.” A complete schedule of classes and performances is listed at this website: http://artsinstitute.wisc.edu/iarp/juandemarcos/

Juan de Marcos González was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up surrounded by music. As a musician, composer, and producer, it is his mission to showcase the wealth, diversity, and vitality of Afro-Cuban music to the world. Through his work with the Afro-Cuban All Stars, the Buena Vista Social Club, Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Sierra Maestra, and others, he has made an extraordinary contribution to raising the profile of Cuban music throughout the world. He has been nominated for a Latin Billboard Award and multiple times for Grammy Awards. During his career, Juan de Marcos has arranged, conducted, produced/co-produced, and/or performed on more than twenty-five albums.

Juan de Marcos González’s residency is presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute and is hosted by the School of Music and the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI). Additional co-sponsors and supporters are listed here.


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.

Personalize your calendar view! Click on the “view as” link on the right of our calendar page.

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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.