Category Archives: Jake Stockinger

UW-Madison’s Top Musicians to Solo in Annual “Symphony Showcase”

News and Events from the UW-Madison School of Music – January 26, 2016

“Symphony Showcase” brings out the best, literally

They’ve prepared for months and now are ready to show off a bit on the stage of Mills Hall: Our annual Symphony Showcase, a concert featuring the winners of our annual concerto competition in solo performances with the UW Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Smith.  This year’s winners are all graduate students with impressive worldwide resumés; one is a composer whose new work will be premiered by the orchestra. Please join us on Sunday, February 14, at 7:30 PM for our concert and reception in Mills Hall! (Note: Parking is free on Sundays in Grainger Hall.) Concert tickets are $10 but are free for students of all ages. Buy in advance ($4 fee) or in person in Mills lobby.

Concerto winners
L-R:
Kangwoo Jin, piano; Luis Alberto Peña, piano; Garrett Mendelow, percussion; and Paran Amininazari, violin. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
Yunkyung Hong, composer. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
Yunkyung Hong, composer. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Meet the winners and the works they will play, and read full biographies on this webpage.

Violinist Paran Amininazari, doctoral student of Assistant Professor Soh-Hyun Park Altino. Paran is also a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Willy St. Chamber Players. Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63, one movement.

Yunkyung Hong, a doctoral composer studying with Professors Laura Schwendinger and Stephen Dembski. “Yun” has won many awards and commissions worldwide and is employed by UW-Madison’s MOOCS (massive online courses) program as a sound designer. Her new work is called Transparency.

Pianist and Collins Fellow Kangwoo Jin, doctoral student of Professors Christopher Taylor and Jessica Johnson. Kangwoo is a winner of many competitions and received his master’s degree from Indiana University. He is also a teacher in the school’s Community Music Lessons program. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18, third movement.

Garrett Mendelow, doctoral percussionist and Collins Fellow studying with Professor Anthony Di Sanza. In 2012, Mendelow won second place in the biennial Tromp Percussion Competition in The Netherlands, and in 2014, he was a semifinalist at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany. Arena Concerto, by Swedish composer Tobias Broström.

Luis Alberto Peña, a doctoral piano student of Professor Christopher Taylor.  Luis has soloed with many orchestras and won awards in Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela and the USA. Richard Strauss’s Burleske in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra.


The Wisconsin Idea at Its Most Audible

Did you know that the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, the Wingra Wood Quintet and the Pro Arte Quartet are our contribution to the Wisconsin Idea? Over decades, the three ensembles have logged thousands of miles giving concerts and master classes in high schools, concert halls and colleges all over Wisconsin. And we want to visit your town!

We’ve given it a new name: the “Music Engagement & Outreach Program,” and we have a new coordinator, Beth Larson,  a violinist who graduated from UW-Madison in 2011 and performs with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Willy Street Chamber Players.  With Beth’s help, the three groups have begun an exciting new partnership with Milwaukee’s High School of the Arts, working not only with bands and orchestra but with literature and science classes as well. Contact Beth to learn more.

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Find the ensembles in your corner of Wisconsin! Upcoming concerts include:

Pro Arte Quartet (please note: due to injury, the Pro Arte concert for Feb. 3 in Mills Hall has been canceled)
2/23/16 5:30 PM Concert & Clinic | Wisconsin Philharmonic | Waukesha, WI
2/28/16 2:00 PM Concert | Marcus Center for the Performing Arts | Milwaukee, WI
4/5/16 7:00 PM Concert | University of Wisconsin – Platteville | Platteville, WI
4/7/16 7:00 PM Concert | Oakwood Village – University Woods | Madison, WI
4/11/16 7:30 PM Concert | Three Lakes Arts Association | Three Lakes, WI
5/14/16 7:30 PM Concert | Midsummer’s Music | Sister Bay, WI
Wisconsin Brass Quintet
3/4/16 7:30 PM Concert | Concordia University | Mequon, WI
Wingra Wind Quintet
2/11/16 3:30 PM Concert | Coventry Village | Madison, WI
2/18/16 10:00 AM Educational Concert | Edgewood High School | Madison, WI
2/26/16 7:30 PM Concert | Nicolet Live @ Nicolet College | Rhinelander, WI


Music reviewer Greg Hettsmanberger gets his own TV blog

Blogger Greg Hettsmanberger has been writing about classical music for Madison Magazine for several years now, and has now begun a stint on TV as well and started a new personal blog, “What Greg Says,” mostly about music. You can catch his TV segment on occasional Wednesday mornings just after 6:30 AM on WISC-TV/Ch. 3. In his debut appearance, he included our upcoming Schubertiade as one of his recommendations.

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Meanwhile, another faithful classical music critic, Jake Stockinger, just passed the 1.4 million mark in hits to his blog, The Well-Tempered Ear, in continuous publication since 2009. Congratulations, Jake!


Want to burnish those rusty piano or trombone skills? UW-Madison’s Community Music Lessons can help

The CML program was founded in 1968 and is still busy offering lessons to students young and old(er) in our community. Our teachers are graduate students recommended by their major professors, and are available in the areas of instrumental, voice, and even composition. Registration for the spring semester just opened; click here to learn more.
Read biographies of our current teachers.


Faculty News: Laura Schwendinger, Uri Vardi & David Perry.

Alumni News: Violist Elias Goldstein.


Hire a Musician!

Do you seek one or more musicians for your wedding, private party, corporate event, or church service? Our students routinely gig in the community and now there’s an updated place for you to advertise. See this website and send your request to the email listed. Note: All arrangements are made between the students and the employer.


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.

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UW Opera Wins National Award; 3rd “Schubertiade” coming on Jan. 30

Happy New Year from the UW-Madison School of Music!

University Opera’s Albert Herring wins award from the National Opera Association

Albert Herring, an opera composed by Benjamin Britten and produced by University Opera in October, 2014 at Music Hall, has won third place in Division III of the National Opera Association‘s annual opera production competition. The opera was directed by interim director David Ronis and conducted by Kyle Knox, a graduate student studying conducting with professor James Smith.

It is the first NOA award for UW-Madison and the fourth for Ronis, whose previous wins came while he taught at Queens College in New York City.

All photographs by Michael R. Anderson

This past weekend, Ronis collected the award at the association’s yearly meeting in Indianapolis. “When I arrived in Madison, I felt that the quality of the work being done by University Opera was of a very high caliber, certainly of the level of other college and university opera departments that I had seen win awards,” Ronis said in an email. “So I thought, ‘Why not? We’ve got nothing to lose.’ So I submitted both last year’s productions of Albert Herring and The Magic Flute and I guess it paid off.”

“Good opera has been produced by UW-Madison for years. It’s just very gratifying to have the recognition of a national organization,” he continued.

The competition is blind, meaning that performing companies are not identified to judges. Those eligible include small professional opera companies and opera training programs from academic institutions, music conservatories, summer opera training programs, and opera outreach programs. Entries are separated into seven divisions by the judges; the criteria include the size and scope of institution’s music and opera program and the level of vocal training of the singers in the cast.

Congratulations to University Opera!

Mark your calendars now for University Opera’s spring show, Transformations, Conrad Susa’s thought-provoking opera from 1973. Susa’s chamber opera for eight singers and eight players is an adult re-telling of ten classic fairy tales (among them, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel) as seen through the eyes of poet Anne Sexton. Sexton’s struggle with mental illness frames the darkly humorous and audaciously recounted tales, filled with mid-twentieth-century references, both literary and musical. Performance dates are March 11-15, 2016. Buy tickets here.


Third “Schubertiade” coming January 30 to Mills Hall!

(Please note ticketing and parking tips below!)

In homage to a beloved composer, the UW-Madison School of Music will present its third annual Schubertiade, an evening of songs, piano duets and chamber music by Franz Schubert, one day before the composer’s 219th birthday.

All photographs by Michael R. Anderson

The concert will take place on Saturday evening, January 30 at 8 p.m. in Mills Concert Hall. The concert is hosted by pianist Martha Fischer, who is professor of collaborative piano and piano at the School of Music, and her pianist husband Bill Lutes, emeritus artist-in-residence. Alumna soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine, who has sung with many major opera companies including Wolftrap in Washington, D.C., the Santa Fe Opera, the Minnesota Opera, as well as Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera and Madison Opera, will be a guest soloist. Guarrine now teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The program will include a major work for piano duet, the Allegro in A minor, known as “Lebensstürme” or Life’s Storms, performed by Fischer and Lutes. Guarrine will sing one of Schubert’s final works, the delightful “Shepherd on the Rock,” along with Fischer and clarinet faculty Wesley Warnhoff.

Additional guests will include UW-Madison voice faculty Mimmi Fulmer and Paul Rowe; current University Opera director David Ronis; alumni singers Daniel O’Dea and Benjamin Schultz; current DMA candidate Sara Guttenberg; soprano Marie McManama; UW-Madison horn faculty Daniel Grabois; UW-Madison faculty violinist Soh-hyun Park Altino; UW-Madison faculty violist Sally Chisholm; adjunct professor of clarinet Wesley Warnhoff; alumnus cellist Ben Ferris; and Leo Altino, cellist, the husband of Park Altino.

Read more here.

Tickets are $15.00 for adults. Students of all ages are free.

Tickets are available through the Union Theater Box Office. Patrons may buy online ($4 fee) or save the fee and buy in person at Memorial Union or in Mills lobby day of show.

Please note: We recommend that patrons arrive early, both to secure a parking spot and to buy a ticket (if you haven’t already). Parking will be tight due to UW hockey, but parking passes may be ordered two weeks in advance to guarantee a space.

To buy a parking spot, complete this online request form or call the Special Events Office at (608) 262-8683. Please allow two weeks for processing. In the box for “special instructions,” please indicate “Schubertiade.” [Note: This form may be used for any concert.]


Meanwhile, Martha Fischer has won “Musician of the Year” from local blogger and former Capital Times arts editor Jake Stockinger.

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He writes: “Fischer is a first-rate collaborator who performs and records regularly with other faculty instrumentalists and singers. They include UW trombonist Mark Hetzler, trumpeter John Aley and singers, baritone Paul Rowe and soprano Julia Faulkner, who has since moved on to the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“A model of the Wisconsin Idea in action, Fischer also serves as a juror for piano competitions, gives talks around the state and helps recruit talented students.

“As a researcher, Fischer – who trained at the Juilliard School, Oberlin College and the New England Conservatory of Music — traveled to England and interviewed famous collaborative pianists about playing Schubert’s art songs.”  Thanks, Jake! Read his full post here.


And one more: UW-Madison’s classical side was lauded in Isthmus’s “Best of 2015” list, via concert reviewer and emeritus history professor John Barker. Among his favorites were last year’s “Schubertiade” concert in January with pianist Martha Fischer, Bill Lutes and many friends; pianist Christopher Taylor at the Madison Symphony in Feb; David Ronis, James Smith and University Opera’s Marriage of Figaro in Sept; David Ronis and Marc Vallon with Madison Bach Musicians; and many alumni who performed with the brand-new Willy Street Chamber Players over the summer. Meanwhile, jazz studies prof Johannes Wallmann was complimented by writer Marc Eisen. “A jazz scene plus,” Eisen writes.

Christopher Taylor
Christopher Taylor

Mark your calendar! Pianist Christopher Taylor will perform solo at the School of Music on February 26. On the program: the French Suite No.1 in D minor, BWV 812 of Johann Sebastian Bach; 12 Etudes, Op.8   of Aleksandr Scriabin; and Piano Sonata No.1, Op.1 of Johannes Brahms. Read more here.

Buy tickets in advance.

NEXT ISSUE: We’ll announce the winners of our annual Concerto Competition and invite you to hear them perform solo at Symphony Showcase, Feb. 14.


 

Alumni News: Nathaniel Wolkstein, Jonathan Posthuma.

http://www.music.wisc.edu/alumni-news/


Hire a Musician!

Do you seek one or more musicians for your wedding, private party, corporate event, or church service? Our students routinely gig in the community and now there’s an updated place for you to advertise. See this website and send your request to the email listed. Note: All arrangements are made between the students and the employer.


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.

Breaking News: Mead Witter Foundation gives $25 million to School of Music

(A lot of) News and Events from the UW-Madison School of Music – December 4, 2015
Gift spurs re-naming of the music school

“Though none of our family studied music at the UW, a fondness for music unites us,” says George W. Mead II, chairman of the foundation. “Everyone needs music. It is an inspiration point for all areas of creativity and learning. This is a way to recognize the connection we’ve enjoyed with the UW and to project that connection into the future.”

The gift will provide major funding for the UW School of Music’s new performance building, sited at the corner of University Avenue and Lake Street and scheduled to begin construction in late 2016. In appreciation of the gift, UW-Madison will name its music school the Mead Witter School of Music, and the large concert hall within the performance building will be known as the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall.

Music_building

The music performance center had its beginnings in 2007 when Pam & George Hamel of California pledged $15 million toward Phase I of the project, and in 2014, the UW announced it would name the new building the Hamel Music Center. Read full news release here.


Holiday Notes: Concert Tickets make great gifts! Scroll down to view a list of upcoming concerts, ranging from Fischer & Lutes in January (our third Schubertiade) to a week’s worth of jazz with LA-based saxophonist Bob Sheppard in April.


Student News: Meet Kyle Price, UW-Madison cellist with a grand idea for his boyhood summer home
Kyle Price
Kyle Price

It all started with an idea for summer fun, in the midst of a verdant paradise, at a family home he’d visited every year since he was a wee toddler. Now he was a 19-year-old cellist who wanted his college friends to hang out and play music at his grandma’s lake house. They could play string quartets practically in their sleep. Why not invite a few neighbors to hear them?

Want to read the full story? Click here to read on the School of Music website.


Raves for debut concert of new violin professor, Soh-Hyun Park Altino

“If a perfect debut concert exists, new UW-Madison faculty violinist Soh-Hyun Park Altino gave it last Friday night,” wrote local writer Jake Stockinger in his blog, The Well-Tempered Ear. 

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On Nov. 13, Altino teamed with faculty pianist Martha Fischer to present a concert of Bach, Brahms, Ives and Beach. It was on the same night as the Paris attacks, and Altino dedicated a movement of Bach to the residents of Paris. “Let’s start by saying that Park Altino is a complete violinist and has everything: pitch, tone, speed, depth and stage presence. But hers is the quiet and self-effacing kind of virtuosity. There were no show-off works by Paganini or Sarasate on the program,” Stockinger continued.  “It must be also be said that Park Altino had the perfect partner in Martha Fischer, who heads the collaborative piano program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.”

You can read Jake’s full post here.

And you can hear Altino and Fischer perform a Brahms sonata here.


 

‘Tis the season for student ensemble concerts!

ChoralUnion_InsideUW_12.15
This weekend and next week: Upcoming concerts include the UW-Madison/Madison Schools Jazz Fest (Sat. Dec. 5); Winter Choral Concerts, UW Concert Band & University Bands, and UW Chamber Orchestra, (Sun. Dec 6); Western Percussion Ensemble (Mon Dec 7); UW Wind Ensemble featuring clarinetist Wes Warnhoff, (Fri. Dec. 11); World Percussion Ensemble & UW Choral Union with the UW Symphony; and the UW Horn Choir  (Sat. Dec. 12). Meanwhile, the Wingra Wind Quintet performs on Thurs. Dec. 10. Check our calendar for details.

 

Alumni, Students & Faculty sing in Milwaukee Thanksgiving Concert

On Nov. 22, the Milwaukee ensemble Present Music held its annual Thanksgiving concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, featuring numerous singers from UW-Madison including Chelsie Propst (doctoral student, musicology; MM, voice); Christina Kay (MM, voice); Dan O’Day (DMA, voice), Lee Stovall (BM, music ed/voice) plus voice professor Paul Rowe and Cheryl Bensman-Rowe of the Madison Early Music Festival. “The solo voice of Chelsie Propst, a member of the PM vocal ensemble Hearing Voices, was the highlight of Robert Honstein’s O Lucidissima Apostolorum Turba, a reimagined setting of a 12th-century chant by Hildegard Von Bingen,” the reviewer wrote.

Read the review in Milwaukee Magazine.


Happy Holidays from Us to You!

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May we offer suggestions for holiday gifts: Tickets to concerts at the School of Music! Are you a fan of jazz, of Schubert, of classical piano, or perhaps of world music? Here’s our list of upcoming ticketed concerts. Remember: all students and children are free to these concerts!

Buy tickets through the Union Theater Box Office; click here for a general link.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, MILLS HALL. 8 PM. Choral Union and UW Symphony Orchestra. Presenting “Gloria” of Francis Poulenc and “Symphony of Psalms” by Igor Stravinsky. Tickets: $15 general public, $8 students and seniors.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, MILLS HALL. 8 PM. Our 3rd “Schubertiade,” with Prof. Martha Fischer & husband Bill Lutes on piano, alumna soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine, and friends & students. Tickets $15. Reception to follow.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, MILLS HALL, 7:30 PM. “Symphony Showcase,” a joyous annual concert featuring winners of our concerto competition, soloing with the UW Symphony Orchestra. Tickets $10. Reception to follow.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, MILLS HALL, 8 PM. Pianist Christopher Taylor in solo recital. Tickets $15.

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 7:30 PM, MORPHY HALL: duoJalal brings its mix of classical, Middle Eastern, jazz and Klezmer music to Madison. With Kathryn Lockwood on viola and Yousif Sheronick on percussion. Tickets $15.

FRIDAY-TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 13, 15, MUSIC HALL. University Opera stages Transformations (Conrad Susa/Anne Sexton). Tickets $25/$20/$10.

APRIL 26-29, MILLS & MORPHY HALLS: UW Jazz Festival with Bob Sheppard, LA-based multi-woodwind performer, recording artist, and jazz musician. Adult Tickets: $15 single show/$25 both Thursday and Friday shows.


Alumni News:

Filippo Santoro, Sean Greene. Read about them 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.

Susan Cook on the Beatles; Classical Revolution & Christopher Taylor in concert; Violin grad interviewed about audition plans; and more

Classical Revolution presents UW students performing at a pub…

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Tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 20, Classical Revolution Madison will be back with a jam-packed show of classical and contemporary favorites at Brocach Irish Pub on the Square (7 W Main St.) on Thursday, February 20th at 7 pm.  From 7-8 pm, CRM will present a dynamic program featuring works by Brahms, Shostakovich, Haydn, and more. Then, from 8-9 pm, they will open up the floor for anyone who wants to sight read or jam, so come with your fiddle or the sheet music of your favorite chamber work if you would like to join in on some casual music making.

Performers will include Kai-Ju Ho, clarinet (who recently soloed in our Symphony Showcase; see note below); and Thalia Coombs, Teddy Wiggins, Tony Oliva, Keisuke Yamamoto and Nathan Giglierano, violins; Marissa Reinholz, Mikko Utevsky and Mara Rogers, violas; Zou Zou Robidoux, Chris Peck, Tori Rogers and Rachel Bottner, cellos.

…meanwhile, pianist Christopher Taylor reveals his program for February 28 in Mills Concert Hall

On Friday, February 28 at 8 pm, in his only Madison appearance this year, celebrated pianist Christopher Taylor will perform the Sonata no. 6, op. 82 (1939) by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and the Symphony no. 3 in E♭ Major, op. 55 (“Eroica”) by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), as transcribed by Franz Liszt (1811-1886). The concert will take place in Mills Concert Hall and is free.

Taylor writes: “I find altogether exhilarating the opportunity to re-experience works that inspired me even before taking my first piano lesson. Although, needless to say, a pianist cannot hope to duplicate the precise effect of Beethoven’s orchestrations, the attempt to simulate a few of them gives rise to endlessly fascinating pianistic possibilities. Virtually every technical resource of fingering, voicing, articulation, and pedaling (even the middle pedal, a device that Liszt himself lacked till late in his career) proves useful in these mighty transcriptions. While tonight’s version of the Eroica can obviously never displace the original form, I do hope that the pairing of a single musician with one versatile instrument can produce a fresh view of this immortal work, whose turbulent historical genesis and juxtaposition of heroism, tragedy, and redemption complement the Prokofiev so aptly.” Read full program notes here.

That Special Something: Susan C. Cook on what made the Beatles so legendary

In case you missed it, February 9 was the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles in America, a day that went down in history as either the best or the worst example of popular music at the time. “Visually they are a nightmare, tight, dandified Edwardian-Beatnik suits and great pudding bowls of hair. Musically they are a near disaster…”– Newsweek. (William F. Buckley called them “god awful.” Read more quotations in the LA Times.)

beatlesWell, those pudding bowls of hair caught on, didn’t they?  In a session with “Live at Five’s” Mark Koehn and Susan Siman at NBC’s Channel 3, our director and music historian Susan C. Cook talked about how the Beatles finally won us over. Click the link to watch.

http://www.channel3000.com/entertainment/-/1628/24339670/-/130bb5tz/-/index.html

Violin grad on how he’s preparing for master’s auditions

After graduating in 2011, Clayton Tillotson spent a year in Toronto at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, where he received an artist diploma. Then he took a year off.

“I’m currently a first violinist with Orchestra Iowa and The Quad City Symphony,” he writes.

Clayton Tillotson
Clayton Tillotson

“I was originally reluctant to take this year away from school, but ultimately thought it would be better than the massive debt I would have accumulated had I accepted offers from Master’s programs last year. It’s turned out to be a fantastically productive and empowering year though. Realizing that I can actually solve problems and make progress on my own has been one of the best discoveries I’ve ever had.”

Now he’s back on the audition circuit, and recently sat down with Minnesota Public Radio to talk about how he prepares. “He recently Googled teachers from the universities where he would like to get a master’s degree in violin performance, and taped their photos up in his practice room,” writes the author. ”  ‘I just wanted to see what their faces look like,’ he said. ‘I’m really glad that I did, because some of them are pretty scary-looking people.’ ” (Perish the thought!) Read the story here.

Schwendinger’s “High Wire Act”  receives critical acclaim in San Francisco

Faculty composer Laura Schwendinger’s work “High Wire Act” was included in a recent program of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, a program that intentionally included works devoted to “serious fun,” as they called them. “The circus that the Wonder Pets were saving was the one imagined up by Laura Schwendinger for the composition that preceded Horowitz’. Interpreted by the same performers on their same instruments, the piece was a five-movement suite entitled High Wire Act. All but one of the movements were inspired by wire depictions of circus scenes designed by Alexander Calder. The other remaining movement recalled the composer’s own memory of a bird caught under a circus tent that could not find a way to escape,” wrote critic Stephen Smoliar. Read the full story here.

Symphony Showcase “reimagined” proves popular

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Pianist SeungWha Baek, enjoying applause after her performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, movement 1. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.
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At the reception, from left: composer Daria Tennikova; saxophonist Erika Anderson; violinist Madlen Breckbill; pianist Sung-Ho Yang; flutist Mi-Li Chang; and clarinetist Kai-Ju Ho. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

On February 8, the annual concert of the UW Symphony Orchestra featuring concerto competition winners was held in Mills Hall, to a packed crowd and ovations for every performer. Rechristened the “Symphony Showcase,” it was favorably received by many, including local blogger Jacob Stockinger, who wrote: “If you weren’t there -– well, you probably should regret it. You missed out on a lot of fun and a lot of beautiful music-making by a very impressive group of talented students.” Read the full story here. 

Pro Arte’s Sally Chisholm to perform February 23 in a 90th birthday tribute to former Minnesota Orchestra conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

The Chamber Music Society of Minnesota plans a night of premieres and favorites to honor legendary maestro Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who conducted the Minnesota Orchestra from 1960 to 1979 and did so again recently after the end of their bitter lockout. “I will be principal viola for the orchestral works on the second half of the program, and violist in the string quartet premieres by Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, and Steven Stucky, ” Sally writes. Read the news release here.

For the full calendar of concerts and events at the school, click here.

Sally Chisholm
Sally Chisholm. Photo by Jim Gill.

Isthmus Vocal Ensemble in concert: Aug. 2 and 4

With August nearly here, the music school has quieted down considerably. A few ensembles are smart, however, to schedule their performances for this interim period when the competition for audiences is scant.

First up is the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble (IVE), which received attention today from Well-Tempered Ear blogger Jake Stockinger, who acknowledged the heavy UW-Madison School of Music influences in the ensemble. The IVE’s concerts are Friday, August 2 at 7:30 pm (Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue) and Sunday, August 4 at 3 pm. Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 South Segoe Road.  Tickets are $15 adults/$10 students and seniors. On the program: masterworks by Bach, Brahms, Mahler, Sweelinck, and Britten.

Jake interviewed founder Scott MacPherson, a former faculty member at our school who now resides in Ohio as director of choral activities at Kent State University and returns to Madison every summer to rehearse with the group. Jake writes:  “This summer’s concerts, mostly a cappella although some pieces have organ accompaniment, are coming up this weekend on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Especially noteworthy is how the group emphasizes talent with local and regional ties -– the singers, the conductor, even the instrumentals and the composers. Many are alumni of the University of Wisconsin-School of Music.” One of those alumna is alto Linda Kachelmeier,  a member of the Minneapolis-based Rose Ensemble, a 2005 recipient of the Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and first prize winner in both sacred and secular music categories at the 2012 Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain.

Conductor Scott MacPherson
Conductor Scott MacPherson
photo by Jim Pippitt

You can read much more about the IVE in Jake’s post:

Well-Tempered Ear on IVE: July 29, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, we received an email from a friend who sings in the ensemble who is particularly excited about the upcoming performances:

” Just been reviewing our  music for this seasons Isthmus Vocal Ensemble (rehearsals start tomorrow).  My god, this is fabulous stuff.  Some Brahms that is absolutely sublime in its subtle nature of melody and chordal harmony.  Ich lasse dich nicht by Bach is a wonderful double chorus thing.  Very exciting.  And an early music piece by the Flemish Sweelinck is just so much fun (in two choruses), in French!  Got some Mahler in there and a couple of modern things too.   This chorus – lauded by the critics of this town – is a direct result of the Fountain program at the UW.  The conductor and music director (Scott McPherson) coming out of that tradition and the choral members being a core of singers from that era.  You should meet him.  I think that you would take pleasure in our concert this year, first weekend in August.  So, two weeks of immersion chorus and we are there!”

Next up: Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra, another seasonal group comprised of local students, assembled and conducted by UWSOM violist Mikko Utevsky. The concert will  feature a brand-new composition by UW-SOM graduate Jerry Hui plus the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, performed by Ansel Norris, two-time first prize winner at the National Trumpet Competition and now a student at Northwestern University. Also on the program will be Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto for Violin and Oboe (transcribed for trumpet, performed by Norris and his brother, UW-SOM graduate Alexander Norris) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. One performance, Friday, August 9, 7:30 pm, at Music Hall.

MAYCO2013

No shortage of summer talent and ambition at the UW SOM

It’s summer now, and the UW-Madison School of Music hasn’t slowed down one bit. That’s because it is a hothouse of creative people with tons of musical ideas and ambition.

Jeffrey Sykes and Stephanie Jutt
Jeffrey Sykes and Stephanie Jutt

For two weekends now, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, co-founded by UW flute professor Stephanie Jutt and SOM doctoral alumnus Jeffrey Sykes, has presented concerts of spellbinding charm. (Fanfare ought to know-she attended the first one and will attend the last as well.) But for the second, we have a wonderful review by Jake Stockinger, whose blog The Well-Tempered Ear should be a must-read by any classical music aficionado in Dane County.

Jake called this concert “nothing short of a triumph” due to Sykes’ creation of an original story about the complex romances of Robert Schumann, his wife Clara Wieck Schumann, and Johannes Brahms by way of a “two-act mini-drama -– an experimental scissors-and-paste tapestry woven together with snippets of letters, diary entries and of course music -– proved successful on every count. It was greeted with cries of Bravo! and an enthusiastic, prolonged standing ovation.”

The concert also featured UW SOM vocal alumna Emily Birsan (now at The Lyric Opera of Chicago), Madison Symphony orchestra conductor/pianist John DeMain, UW SOM cellist Parry Karp, UW SOM/MSO violinist Suzanne Beia, and bass-baritone Timothy Jones. You can read Jake’s full review here.  You can also attend their final weekend of concerts; click this link to learn more.

Meanwhile, last Friday night at Music Hall, UW SOM violist and aspiring conductor Mikko Utevsky presented the first of two concerts this year of the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra, a three-year old ensemble created anew each summer of high school and college classical players. Utevsky, a graduate of Madison East High School, is an enterprising and sophisticated student of classical music who was profiled recently in a Q&A in Jake’s The Well-Tempered Ear. For the first concert, which featured local musicians Diedre Buckley on viola and Eugene Purdue on violin as well as WPR host Lori Skelton as narrator, featured Aaron Copland’s “Our Town,” Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” and Mozart’s “Sinfonia concertante.” It received a positive review from emeritus professor of history John Barker. “Utevsky has been able, in a short time with limited rehearsal opportunities, to forge them into a thoroughly credible, and creditable, ensemble,” he writes. Read Barker’s full review here. 

MAYCO will present a second concert at Music Hall on Friday, August 9, featuring a work by local composer Jerry Hui and former East High School trumpeter and Wisconsin Youth Symphony alumnus Ansel Norris, now a junior at Northwestern University. That program will feature the Haydn Trumpet Concerto and music of Hui and Beethoven.

Of course, then there’s the ongoing festival in the Humanities Building known as the Summer  Music Clinic. You can find photos of students at last week’s junior session below and on our Facebook page. And later this week, we’ll offer up another first-hand reflection by guest blogger, SOM percussionist, and SMC counselor, Jacob Wolbert.

A full house at one of SMC's final concerts. Photo by Mike Anderson.
A full house at one of SMC’s final concerts. Photo by Mike Anderson.