Tag Archives: Dan Grabois

Student Recitals – Alumni News – Steve Miller Jets In – Kudos for Recent Concerts – Hunt Quartet in Stoughton – EARS goes to the Science Festival

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/

Student Recitals November & December

Our calendar is brimming with free student recitals, and the public is always welcome. Just click our calendar link and type “recital” in the search box for November and December. Bottom: Poster for senior Eleni Katz’s bassoon recital with pianist Kangwoo Jin, Friday, November 3 at 6:30 PM in Morphy Hall.


Steve Miller jets into Mills Hall

Our recent “Careers in Music” session with rocker Steve Miller – who also guest conducted the UW Marching Band at the Homecoming game on October 21 – drew about 40 young engaged music students, a few old-timers, and a few young wannabe rock stars, too. Miller described his unique path to stardom – starting in his parents’ Milwaukee living room visiting with famed guitarist and family friend Les Paul – fielded questions about music streaming, and exhorted students to be independent and to own their own work.


Praise for performances

Recent productions of the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, UW Strings with David Kim, University Opera’s “Kurt Weill” Cabaret, and the Pro Arte Quartet & Wingra Wind Quintet collaboration each garnered enthusiasm from local writers. Scroll down to read excerpts and click on full reviews.

New faculty conductor Chad Hutchinson makes an impressive and promising debut with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra. “The ambitious program that Hutchinson put together says a lot about his priorities and instincts, and about his confidence in himself and the abilities of his student players, who performed superbly.”   Read the review in The Well-Tempered Ear, a classical music blog.

Hear the UW Symphony this Saturday, November 4, performing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

David Kim Bares His Heart and Soul (Musically and Otherwise). “The UW players exhibited tremendous alertness and shading of phrasing. Principal cellist James Waldo had numerous passages of delicate interplay with Kim, and particularly in the “Spring” concerto, first-chair first and second violinists Kaleigh Acord and Thalia Coombs respectively, also flourished in some brief spotlight moments.” We thank the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund for supporting Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim’s visit. Read the review in What Greg Says, a classical music blog.

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University Opera stages “compelling and engaging” production of Kurt Weill songs. “Throughout the evening I was unaware of the passage of time, which is one of my acid tests for a good performance. Likewise, I felt fully engaged.” Read the review on The Well-Tempered Ear.

Next up for University Opera, in February: Puccini’s La Bohème in the Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall.

Sarah Kendall in Le Train du Ciel from A KURT WEILL CABARET. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

The UW Pro Arte Quartet and Wingra Wind Quintet prove exceptional partners in a joint all-Schubert concert. They performed Schubert’s Octet with faculty bassist David Scholl.  Faculty flutist Timothy Hagen opened the program with variations for flute and piano, D. 802, on Schubert’s song, Trockne Blumen. Read the review on The Well-Tempered Ear.

Next Pro Arte Quartet concert: November 5, Noon, Chazen Museum.

See the Wingra Wind Quintet: November 5, 3 PM, Mills Hall.

Our Full Concert Calendar

calendar


Alumni News

J. Griffith Rollefson. Photograph by Kathleen Karn.

In alumni news, musicology PhD J. Griffith Rollefson saw his book, “Flip the Script,” published by the University of Chicago Press. He writes, “Hip hop is unique both in its directness and in the depth of its contradictions. We simultaneously laud hip hop as the ultimate politically conscious music and decry it as the most vapid commercial expression of materialism, sexism, homophobia, and violence. Something’s gotta give with this contradiction – and I think I offer some good, and potentially illuminating answers in the book.” Read our interview with Griff here.


Hunt Quartet to perform in Stoughton Opera House

The Hunt Quartet, UW-Madison’s graduate string quartet, performs nearly every week or more at area schools and venues. Next Monday, November 6,  see them at the Stoughton Opera House as part of their Music Appreciation Series. 3:00 PM.  The Hunt Quartet is funded by the School of Music and the Madison Symphony Orchestra as part of their “Up Close and Musical” outreach program.

The Hunt Quartet, 2017-2018. L-R: Kyle Price, cello.; Vinicius “Vinny” Sant’Ana, violin; Blakeley Menghini, viola; Chang-En Lu, violin. Photograph by Katrin Talbot.

Play a Theremin and a Moog Synthesizer at the Wisconsin Science Festival

Associate professor Daniel Grabois will make electro-magnetic waves this Friday from 6 to 8PM at the Discovery Building Atrium, 330 North Orchard Street, as part of the Wisconsin Science Festival. The new Electro-Acoustic Research Space, Room 2401, will also be open on Saturday, November 4 from 4PM to 5:30. Bring an instrument to play!

To read news coverage of the new EARS studio, check our Media page.

Below: Students experiment with a theremin at the inauguration of the EARS open house on September 15.


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.

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.

handspan

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.

New Building Named for Hamels; Concerto Winners Solo Feb. 8; Christopher Taylor Recital; Did you know…

HappyNewYear2015

To Friends of the School of Music,

We thank you so much for all your support and enthusiasm in 2014 and look forward to 2015 — a year that will include a major groundbreaking for a new music hall! We hope you are just as excited as we, and that you will join us this spring for one of our many inspiring concerts.

 

NEW MUSIC BUILDING NAMED AFTER PAM AND GEORGE HAMEL

In early December,  UW-Madison announced that the new music performance center at the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue will be named in honor of Pamela Hamel and her husband, UW-Madison alumnus George Hamel (BA’80, Communication Arts). Pamela is a member of the School’s Board of Visitors. Read the full story here.

We thank the Hamels for their generosity! If you would like to join them with a gift of your own, you may do so at this website.

 

 

MEET JOHN WUNDERLIN: BACK IN SCHOOL AT 50

At the School of Music’s “Horn Choir” concert at the Chazen Museum of Art last month, one could easily discern John Wunderlin from the swarm of horn players on the stage.

John Wunderlin. Photo by Katherine Esposito.
John Wunderlin. Photo by Katherine Esposito.

He was the only one with gray hair.

Last fall, business owner Wunderlin, 50, returned for a master’s degree in horn, studying with Daniel Grabois, assistant professor of horn. We asked John to tell us what inspired him to study music after all these years. Read the interview here.

CONCERTO COMPETITION WINNERS IN CONCERT WITH UW SYMPHONY: FEB. 8

Five talented students are winners of our annual Concerto Competition and will perform with the UW Symphony Orchestra in our “Symphony Showcase” concert, Sunday, Feb. 8, in Mills Hall. The concert will begin at 7 pm and will conclude with a free reception. We hope you will join us for what is always a joyous and unique event! Tickets for adults are $10.00 and will be available at the door or in advance at the Union Theater Box Office. Students are free. Ticket info here.

L-R: Keisuke Yamamoto; Anna Whiteway; Ivana Ugrcic; and Jason Kutz.  Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
L-R: Keisuke Yamamoto; Anna Whiteway; Ivana Ugrcic; and Jason Kutz. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Our winners and the works they will perform are:

Jason Kutz, piano, a master’s candidate studying with collaborative pianist Martha Fischer. Kutz, who also performs and composes jazz music, is a native of Kiel, Wisconsin, and studied recording technology and piano at UW-Oshkosh. He will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43.

Ivana Ugrcic, flute, a doctoral student and Collins Fellow studying with flutist Stephanie Jutt. A native of Serbia,  Ugrcic has performed as a soloist and chamber musician all over Europe, and received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from University of Belgrade School of Music. She will perform Francois Borne’s  Fantasie Brillante (on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen).

Keisuke Yamamoto, violin, an undergraduate student of Pro Arte violinist David Perry, earning a double degree in music performance and microbiology. Keisuke, born in Japan but raised in Madison, received a tuition remission scholarship through UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic, and also won honors in Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Bolz Competition, among others. He will perform Ernest Chausson’s Poème Op. 25.

Anna Whiteway, an undergraduate voice student, studying with Elizabeth Hagedorn, visiting professor of voice. Whiteway is a recipient of a Stamps Family Charitable Foundation scholarship as well as the Harker Scholarship for opera. Whiteway, who was praised in 2013 for her singing in University Opera’s production of Ariodante, will star in the Magic Flute this spring. For this night’s performance, she will sing Charles Gounod’s Je veux vivre (Juliette’s Aria).

Our composition winner this year is graduate student Adam Betz, a Two Rivers native who wrote a work titled Obscuration. Betz received his undergraduate degree from UW-Oshkosh, where he was named Outstanding Senior Composer. He also holds a master’s degree from Butler University in Indianapolis.

CATCH CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR IN HIS ONLY SOLO MADISON APPEARANCE- JAN. 23

Pianist Christopher Taylor will take the Mills stage on Friday, January 23, 8 pm, in his only solo Madison appearance this year. He will perform Johannes Brahms’ Sonata no. 3 in f minor, op. 5; William Bolcom’s Twelve Etudes; and Beethoven’s Symphony #6 as arranged by Franz Liszt. Tickets for adults are $10.00 and will be available at the door or in advance at the Union Theater Box Office. Students are free. Ticket info here.

Last November, Taylor performed Bach’s Goldberg Variations at New York’s Metropolitan Museum on their historic double-keyboard Bösendorfer piano designed by Emáuel Moór. In Madison, Taylor not only performs and tours with the world’s only Steinway double-keyboard piano (owned by UW, and also designed by Moór) but holds a patent on a third double-keyboard piano, this one with electronic components.

The Wall Street Journal published a story about Taylor and the Met Museum’s unique piano. Read it here.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: A SECOND “SCHUBERTIADE” WITH FISCHER & LUTES- JAN. 30

The Music of Franz Schubert
Our first Schubertiade, January 2014. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

 

A Schubertiade is an intimate “house concert” featuring the songs (known as “lieder”) and chamber music of Franz Schubert. In the 19th century, Schubertiades became a popular form of informal entertainment among his friends and aficionados of his music, frequently with drink and food, and often with Schubert himself at the center. Nowadays, Schubertiades are often much larger multi-day affairs held in swank European locations.

Our Schubertiade, the brainchild of UW-Madison collaborative pianist Martha Fischer, will be presented on the Mills Hall stage festooned with chairs, rugs, and lamps. Join us! Friday, January 30, 8 pm, Mills Hall. Tickets for adults are $10.00 and will be available at the door or in advance at the Union Theater Box Office. Students are free. Ticket info here.

Performers will include Fischer; her husband, pianist Bill Lutes; her brother, cellist Norman Fischer of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music; singers Jennifer D’Agostino, Cheryl Bensman Rowe, Daniel O’Dea, Joshua Sanders, Michael Roemer and Paul Rowe; and violinist Leslie Shank. The program will include songs set to the poems of Friedrich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Mayrhofer, and will be capped by two Polonaises for piano duet, played by Fischer and Lutes.

Read a review of last year’s Schubertiade on the local blog, The Well-Tempered Ear.

GRADUATE COMPOSITION STUDENT WINS FIRST PRIZE IN COMPETITION

Congratulations to Sin Young Park, whose composition “Three Preludes for Piano” was recently selected as the winner of the 2015 Delta Omicron Triennial Composition Competition.  Read more here.

GRADUATE FLUTIST ADVANCES TO FINAL ROUND OF ASTRAL ARTISTS COMPETITION

Mi Li Chang. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
Mi Li Chang. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

2014 concerto competition winner Mi Li Chang has advanced to the final round of the national Astral Artists Competition and will play in the final round on January 8 in Philadelphia. The mission of Astral Artists, which was founded in 1992, is to “discover the most promising classical musicians residing in the United States, assist their early professional career development, and present their world-class artistry to the community through concerts and engagement programs.” Congratulations and best wishes, Mi Li!

Click here for Alumni News:  Scott Gendel

FACULTY TROMBONIST WINS $30,000 CREATIVE ARTS AWARD

And congratulations to Mark Hetzler, 2015 winner of the $30,000 UW-Madison Arts Institute Creative Arts Award, which recognizes and honors extraordinary artistic projects and endeavors of the highest quality carried out by tenured members of the UW-Madison arts faculty in the areas of Art, Communication Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Environment, Textile and Design, Music Composition and Performance, and Theater and Drama.

DID YOU KNOW…that our new website has a page devoted just to PARKING?

We created a page just to make it a bit easier to visit the SOM. In a nutshell: Weekday parking is not free, but evening and weekend parking sometimes IS free and not that far away. It’s complicated, however, so your best bet is to click here and read!

(Editor’s note: For over six or seven years, the editor routinely visited the School of Music by car, attending concerts and WYSO rehearsals. She always paid for parking, but recently did some digging and learned that UW-Madison actually offers free parking at nights and on weekends. After realizing this, she sighed deeply at the thought of how much money she could have saved had she known…. but now she offers the same information to all our loyal readers as a reward for reading to the end of this newsletter post.)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

This fall, our alumni percussion ensemble Clocks in Motion put its own spin on a famous holiday tune while demonstrating the [somewhat variable] dance skills of its members. Thanks for the laugh, Clocks!

 

 

HELPFUL LINKS

Main Website

Concert Calendar

Ticketing

Richard Davis on WORT Radio; Wind Ensemble and Brass Quintet on tour; NYC violinist plugs in to perform; Pro Arte premiere

Richard Davis to speak on WORT radio about the Black Music Ensemble, his work on racism and music relevant to black history

On Thursday, February 13 from 9 to 10 am, bass professor Richard Davis, recently dubbed a “Jazz Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts, will be a guest on WORT radio’s  “Diaspora” show with host Terry O’Laughlin, who describes his show as “a weekly journey across the musical spectrum.” Davis is the founder of the Institute for the Healing of Racism, which offers a ten-week series of Thursday evening classes to address issues of racism and allow discussion and solutions to heal it. (Click here for class info.)   That evening, Feb. 13 at 8:30 PM in Morphy Hall,  Davis’s Black Music Ensemble will present a concert of jazz, soul, and blues, and songs by artists such as Sam Cooke, John Legend, Snarky Puppy and Nat King Cole. Says BME member Ellen Breen: “There’s no a better way to celebrate Black History month than by coming out to the concert and enjoying the gifts black artists have given to the musical world!”

Meanwhile, registration is now open for Davis’s 21st annual Foundation for Young Bassists conference, to be held April 18-19 in Madison at the Pyle Center. Learn more here: http://www.richarddavisfoundation.org/

The Hunt Quartet,
The Hunt Quartet, the graduate quartet of the UW-Madison School of Music. Left to right: Ju Dee Ang, viola; Elspeth Stalter, violin; Paran Amirinazari, violin; and Lindsey Crabb, cello.
Please join us for the Hunt’s annual concert, Sunday, February 23, at 3:30 pm in Morphy Hall.
The program includes Haydn’s “Sunrise” Quartet, Op. 76/4; Bartók’s String Quartet #1; and Brahms c minor Quartet, Op. 51/1. Photograph by Katrin Talbot.

UW-Madison Wind Ensemble and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet to tour western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota

Do you live near Bloomer, Wisconsin, or Mankato, Minnestota? If so, you’ll have an opportunity to watch the UW Wind Ensemble and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet in live performances in late February, as the two groups wend their ways on a chartered bus through western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota in order to showcase the School of Music’s band program while livening up the winter with a bit of brassy cheer. Not only do the tours spread Wisconsin Badger pride, they are also an important illustration of the Wisconsin Idea: that the boundaries of the campus are the boundaries of the state (stretching the boundary a bit, though, in this case).

Mi-Li
Flutist Mi-Li Chang and an unidentified high school student, on tour last spring with the UW Wind Ensemble.

The tour, the Wind Ensemble’s fifth, is scheduled for February 25 through the 28th; specific stops include high schools in Cameron and Bloomer, Wisconsin, plus five small cities in Minnesota: Mankato, Rosemount, Watertown, Owatonna, and Edina. At each stop, the two groups will offer an evening concert, with afternoon workshops in some locations.  All events are free. The program will include Amazing Grace (Traditional/Himes), Lincolnshire Posy (Percy Grainger/Fennell), First Suite in E-flat for Military Band (Gustav Holst), March from “Symphonic Metamorphosis” (Paul Hindemith) and Shadowcatcher, for brass quintet and wind ensemble (Eric Ewazen).

In Madison, the Wind Ensemble will perform on February 22 in Mills Hall, presenting music of Karl Husa, Roger Zare (Wisconsin premiere) and Steven Byrant.

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Professor Scott Teeple, is a 41-member group of wind and percussion players, both undergraduate and graduate students. Entrance is by audition. For more information about the tour, contact Barb Douglas at the School of Music, bldouglas@wisc.edu.

Violinist Todd Reynolds and laptop in concert February 19

Think of great composer-performers of the past. Think of great singer-songwriters of the present. Now, meet violinist Todd Reynolds. A virtuoso performer, Todd writes much of the music he performs. He has collaborated with countless other musicians, but his most frequent partner in his solo work is the electronics software on his computer.

Todd will be in at UW-Madison February 19-21, performing and leading masterclasses and workshops. His recital on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 PM in Mills Hall will include some of his own music and some works written for him, all played on violin with electronics. He will be holding a variety of other events during his visit that will reach many School of Music students and community members. These will include:

  • A violin masterclass: Friday, Feb. 21, 2:30-3:30PM , Morphy Hall.
  • “How I Did It: A Career Workshop”: Thursday, Feb. 20, 12:00-1:00PM, 1321 Humanities.
  • “Performing with Electronics” workshop: Thursday, Feb. 20, 6:00-7:30PM, Eastman Recital Hall, Humanities.

The violinist of choice for Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, and Bang on a Can who has also performed with electronic cellist Zoe Keating, Todd Reynolds’ compositional and performance style is a hybrid of old and new technology, multi-disciplinary aesthetic and pan-genre composition and improvisation. He has released a double CD of solo works on Innova Records which was rated best of classical by Amazon. His music is soulful but edgy and filled with brilliant violin playing.

Todd is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the New School Mannes College of Music, and was a frequent collaborator with School of Music horn professor Daniel Grabois, who was based in New York City for many years.

Horn professor presents concert of UW-Madison composed music

Speaking of Dan Grabois: On Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 pm, Dan and and piano professor Jessica Johnson will offer a faculty recital comprised of all-UW-Madison-composed music, some only recently. Dan writes:

“John Stevens wrote his ‘Sonata’ in 2008. Like much of his music, it is written in a lyrical style that has a jazz influence lurking under the surface.

“Les Thimmig’s ‘Four Ballads,’ from 2000, are pure emotional song.

“My own ‘Antilogy’ was written last week. It alternates sections of driving Bulgarian style odd-meter rhythms with sections of slow lyrical writing.

“And the final piece was written by Alex Charland, who is a sophomore sax major here at the SOM. He is a Stamps Scholar, and as such a member of a group of six undergraduate high-achieving musicians whom I advise. Alex is an extremely talented player and composer. He offered to write this piece, ‘War Suite,’ for this recital – an offer that was gladly accepted. The piece was completed over winter break this year.”

Download the program here.

Mernier Composition Brings Pro Arte Quartet Full Circle

New Chamber Work to Premiere in Madison March 1, 2014

Mernier’s String Quartet No. 3 will receive its world premiere by the Pro Arte on Saturday, March 1, at Mills Concert Hall in the Mosse Humanities Building on the UW-Madison campus. The 8:00 p.m. event is free and open to the public, with no tickets required.

The March 1 concert will be preceded on Thurs, Feb. 27, by an open rehearsal from 9 a.m. to noon, also at Mills Hall, during which the composer will coach the Pro Arte as they prepare for the premiere of the work, composed in honor of the quartet’s Belgian heritage.

Click here for the full story. 

The UW-Madison School of Music offers a smorgasbord of mostly free concerts and events during the academic years. Click here for the full calendar. And bookmark it to plan your next visit!

Young pianists competition Feb. 28; Hornist to spend a semester in Vienna; TA wins major university award; more news

Welcome to the New Year! We hope you enjoy the new look of Fanfare!, our news blog. We plan to feature more news and shorter announcements, allowing room for much more information. We hope you like it!

UW-Madison piano studio sponsors Young Pianists Competition for high school students

The piano department at UW-Madison invites entries for its “Piano Extravaganza” competition for talented high school pianists aged 15-19, Feb 28 through March 1. The three-day event will feature masterclasses and performance by graduate students and faculty members, including Prof. Christopher Taylor (Feb. 28, 8 pm, Mills Concert Hall) and Prof. Johannes Wallmann (workshop and concert, Sat., March 1, noon (Morphy Hall).

The UW-Madison Piano Extravaganza Competition was established to encourage emerging regional pianists to participate in a competition and attend masterclasses, workshops and performances hosted by UW faculty and students. This year’s Piano Extravaganza will feature piano works influenced by jazz and blues. Full details are available here.

Application materials must be received no later than 5:00 pm Friday, January 31, 2014.  More information and the application can be downloaded here: Piano Extravaganza form

Hornist to spend a semester in Vienna

Amanda Fry
Amanda Fry
Photograph by Michael R. Anderson

Amanda Fry, a junior hornist studying with Prof. Daniel Grabois, will soak up Viennese culture this spring as part of the IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students) program, a Chicago-based organization that facilitates study abroad. While there, she will take classes in music theory and history, lessons with a prominent hornist, attend concerts and operas, and travel around Europe. Two previous School of Music students have previously participated in IES Abroad, flutist Elspeth Hayden and trumpeter Louis Menchaca. “The level of horn playing in the city is incredibly high, and I am going to soak up as many new ideas as I can during my semester abroad,” Fry says. “The Vienna Philharmonic hornists play a different kind of instrument known, not surprisingly, as the Vienna horn. This horn produces the distinctly sylvan sound associated with the music of Brahms and Mahler. My task is to learn how to make that sound.  I can’t wait to plunge into this incredible experience!”

Voice grad student wins campuswide TA award

Jordan Wilson, a doctoral student in voice who studies with Prof. Mimmi Fulmer, has received the “Early Excellence in Teaching” award from UW-Madison. The $500 award “recognizes outstanding and inspirational performance on the part of TAs with fewer than four semesters of teaching experience.” Says Prof. Fulmer: “Jordan has been an outstanding TA for the voice program since fall 2012, when he began his DMA at UW-Madison. There was a surge of interest in the 143 voice class for non-majors for both spring and fall 2013, reflecting the reputation among students about Jordan’s teaching. The students from his class who have chosen to continue with individual voice lessons show high levels of motivation, comprehension of basic musical skills, and sensitivity to musical phrasing and interpretation.” Congratulations, Jordan!

Fischer and Lutes to celebrate the music of Franz Schubert with a “Shubertiade,” January 31

The husband-and-wife team of pianists Prof. Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes, emeritus professor of piano, have planned an all-Schubert program for January 31, 8 pm, using the stage of Mills Hall as a makeshift living room adorned with rugs, lamps and period furniture. The program will include songs, vocal ensembles, and instrumental works, featuring the Fantasie in F Minor for piano four-hands and the gorgeous piano trio Notturno. Fischer and Lutes will be joined by faculty members Mimmi Fulmer, Elizabeth Hagedorn, James Doing, Paul Rowe, and Parry Karp, as well as graduate students Jordan Wilson, Tom Leighton, and Sarah Richardson, and undergrad violinist Alice Bartsch. 

Martha Fischer & Bill Lutes
Martha Fischer & Bill Lutes

Stephanie Jutt to perform concert of Spanish and Latin American music

On February 1 at 8 pm in Morphy Concert Hall, flute professor Stephanie Jutt and pianist Thomas Kasdorf  will perform works of Carlos Guastavino, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Salvador Brotons, Jesús Guridi, and Astor Piazzolla.  Download the concert program and notes here

This concert is part of a recording project of Latin American and Spanish masterpieces for flute and piano, works that Prof. Jutt researched during a 2010 sabbatical to Argentina. The recording will take place in New York next August with pianists Elena Abend of Venezuela, on faculty at UW-Milwaukee, and Pablo Zinger, a Grammy award-winning pianist and arranger from Uruguay. The project is funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

Prof. Jutt is the co-founder of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, a summer chamber music festival in Wisconsin. Kasdorf graduated from UW-Madison in piano performance, studying with Prof. Christopher Taylor.

“Symphony Showcase” on Feb. 8 presents solo performances by School of Music concerto winners, as well as the premiere of Poema for Saxophone and Orchestra by composition winner Daria Mikhailovna Tennikova

We hope to see you at our special concert and reception honoring the winners of our annual Concerto Competition, which also will feature pianists Sung Ho Yang and Seungwha Baek, flutist Mi-li Chang, clarinetist Kai-Ju Ho, and violinist Madlen Breckbill. To read our recent post, click here.

Works on the program include Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto; Jacque Ibert’s Flute Concerto, movements 2 & 3; Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major and Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major (movement 1) as well as the first movement of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto.

left to right: Mi-Li Chang (flute), Madlen Breckbill (violin), SungHo Yang (piano), SeungWha Baek (piano), Kai-Ju Ho (clarinet)
left to right: Mi-Li Chang (flute), Madlen Breckbill (violin), SungHo Yang (piano), SeungWha Baek (piano), Kai-Ju Ho (clarinet).
Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

The post-concert reception will include a cash bar and appetizers. Tickets are $10, and must be purchased in advance. You can buy them here (click “box office”).

The concert begins at 7 pm at Mills Concert Hall, in the Humanities Building. The reception will be in Tripp Commons at the Memorial Union, following the concert.

For a UW parking map, click here.

Trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth to offer a master class at the School of Music

Trumpeter Tine (pronounced “Tina”) Thing Helseth, in town in mid-February to perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, will share her talents with School of Music students and the community in a master class on February 13, at 1:30 pm in Mills Concert Hall. Read more here.

The Norwegian native is a seasoned soloist with dozens of orchestral engagements under her belt from around the world.  This eclectic musician is also a jazz trumpeter and leader of an all-female brass band.

Horn alum joins U-Tennessee faculty; tubists win top honors in competition

The School of Music congratulates Katie Johnson, 2012 DMA graduate of the horn program, who will begin this fall as assistant professor of horn at the University-of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Katie writes: “I began my MM work in the fall of 2008.  I came to UW to study horn with Douglas Hill.  From the beginning, he was incredible.  The opportunity to study with him literally changed the course of my career. I came to him in 2008 wanting to be an orchestral performer and I left his studio having truly found my calling as an educator.  Observing Doug teach during those first months all the way to the time of his retirement was a remarkable opportunity.  We developed a great friendship over the years and I am happy to say that I am still learning about the horn, teaching and life from him.

“I had such an extraordinary experience with Doug during my MM work that I decided to stay at UW to complete the DMA degree.  I began that degree in the fall of 2010. It was shortly after I began my DMA work that Doug announced his retirement.  Although it took my studies on a different trajectory that I expected, I had the opportunity to study with Doug and our new horn professor, Dan Grabois.  They are quite different teachers but I learned a great deal from both of them.  The situation worked out quite well for me.  I completed my DMA in the spring of 2012 and I have taught horn lessons and freelanced in the Chicago area for the past year.  Now I am thrilled to be moving to Knoxville to fill the position of Assistant Professor of horn at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.”

Katie Johnson, UW DMA, horn performance, 2012
Katie Johnson, UW DMA, horn performance, 2012

We also are happy to announce the fabulous performance of the UW Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble at the 2013 International Tuba Euphonium Association Midwest Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference at Illinois State University. Here are the results:

Jacob Grewe, 1st place Tuba Artist Competition.
Tim Morris, 1st place Euphonium Young Artist Competition.
Aaron Hynds, 1st place Mock Orchestra Tuba Audition.
Matthew Mireles performed a recital as a featured guest artist.
The UW Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble performed a concert as a featured ensemble.

Says Matt Mireles, UW undergrad euphonium instructor: “We had a blast over there, and it was great to see all of our hard work pay off.  Congratulations to everyone.  UW swept all of the competitions we competed in, and the tuba ensemble was the talk of the conference!”

Dr. Matthew Mireles
Instructor, Undergraduate Euphonium
Conductor, University Band and Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
University of Wisconsin-Madison
President, Andy Mireles Charitable Foundation

Mixing musicians with meteorologists: UW’s new SoundWaves series offers audiences an intellectual smorgasbord

"Sinister Resonance," in rehearsal
“Sinister Resonance,” in rehearsal

So this is a big university, with all sorts of smart people learning all kinds of fascinating stuff and sharing all that great knowledge with lots of others. Right?

Well, sometimes, yes, sometimes no. The truth is, it’s all too easy to remain in our silos and not trumpet what we do. Somebody will ask, eventually, right?

Maybe. But we also are learning that if we bring disparate disciplines together in attractive locations to mingle, chat, and (preferably)  eat and drink a little, amazing things will likely occur. Friendships will develop. Collaboration may ensue.

That’s the case with SoundWaves, which had its roots in a small idea between UW horn professor Dan Grabois and a few others on the UW campus: to combine science talks with concert performances. One thing led to another, and before you could blow the next note, Dan was curating a series of ten-minute talks by intellectual people, always on a theme, followed by live music provided by faculty at the UW School of Music. It was a way to bridge the streets and avenues and roads and alleys that separate people on this campus. And by all accounts, it’s been a success.

Next Friday, May 10, at 7 pm, at the Town Center at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St., the public is invited to the final SoundWaves event of the 2012-2013 academic year. (And you can have dinner beforehand, at the in-house restaurant, Steenbock’s on Orchard.) This months’s theme:

Getting the Job Done: Humans and the Tools We Use

Electricity? What is it really and how does it work? (John Booske, engineering)
Can we connect emotionally with our robot helpers? (Bilge Mutlu, computer science)
Do musical instruments help create musical styles?  (Dan Grabois, music)
How can a computer link animal sounds to linguistics? (Michael Coen, biostatistician)

Helping to answer the third question will be music from a new band called “Sinister Resonance,” comprised of Mark Hetzler (trombone and electronics), Vincent Fuh (piano), Nick Moran (doublebass) and Todd Hammes (drums/percussion). Sinister Resonance will not sound like any music any of us have ever heard before. We promise. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on that topic.

Here’s the scoop on how SoundWaves got started, from Dan Grabois:

“SoundWaves started as a small idea: what if we had an evening where we had some science lectures and some live classical music? I love learning about science, and UW-Madison is filled with scientists doing fascinating stuff. Also, I like learning about how everyday stuff works; once, meeting a civil engineer at a party, I began peppering her with questions about road construction. What is tar? What is asphalt? I don’t know much about the world I live in, and I’d love to learn more. I figured there must be other people like me, who are interested in learning science and are equally interested in hearing great music. It seemed like a good way to stitch together two very separate areas of the university, and a good way to increase the audience for each area.

“I brought the idea to [School of Music director] John Stevens, who thought it interesting enough to suggest I bring it to the Arts Institute. The Arts Institute thought it interesting enough to suggest I bring it to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. I made an appointment to speak with Laura Heisler, who is the program pirector for WARF (if you are getting confused, so was I, but here’s an explanation: the Arts Institute is in charge of managing development for all the arts on campus. WID is the fancy new building on University Avenue right before it meets up with Johnson. WARF is the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. WARF operates WID, and WARF is the organization that provides research funding for the university).

“Preparing to meet Laura, I thought my original idea lacked punch. Bringing science and music together was nice, but we needed to do it thematically, to explore an issue from different sides. I came up with some possible themes and wrote them up. I pitched them to Laura, expecting her to say either NO or to agree to try one of them. Instead, she said we would do them all and see where it went (thank you, Laura!).

“We decided to start with the theme of sound itself, and our first SoundWaves event was entitled Music to Our Ears. I found a physicist to talk about the structure of sound, a hearing specialist to talk about how the ear works, a neuroscientist to talk about how the brain processes the signal from the ear, and a psychologist to talk about how our emotions transform brain signals into feelings. Then I performed the Brahms Horn Trio with my colleagues Felicia Moye and Kit Taylor. We held this debut event at the Science Festival, and it was a big success, with a great audience.

“After that, we didn’t have the benefit of the Science Festival’s built-in audience, and we didn’t know what to expect. But our next project, The Consequences of Sequences, had an overflow audience. For the third project, Inch By Inch, Measure for Measure (about, what else, measurement), we moved to the largest space in the WID building, and we had an audience of over 250 people. Our final event of the year takes place on May 10. Entitled Getting the Job Done: Humans and the Tools We Use, we’ll have Mark Hetzler and his band Sinister Resonance performing two pieces, plus talks by Mark himself and by electrical engineer John Booske (I always wondered how electricity works), computer scientist Bilge Mutlu (with his robots!), and biostatistician Michael Coen (he uses the computer to analyze animal vocalizations in order to understand them linguistically – he’s basically a one-man university). I’ll be speaking about how musicians’ tools, their instruments, have a two-way relationship with style, both influencing stylistic evolution and being influenced by the demands new styles put on players.

“One other thing: I am grateful to the Kemper K. Knapp Bequest Committee for awarding a generous grant to SoundWaves. We’ll be holding eight SoundWaves events next year. And we have sponsored a student logo design competition – the winning design will be revealed on May 10. As of that date, we will have brought over fifteen science departments into the SoundWaves fold, and heard a lot of great music, too.”

Listen to Dan Grabois and Mark Hetzler discuss SoundWaves with WORT radio’s Rich Samuels, May 9th, about 7 am,  89.9 FM.

Website for Rich Samuels’ show on WORT-FM radio

For more info about SoundWaves:

SoundWaves website