Tag Archives: David Perry

School of Music shares $2.5M grant to study Jewish Culture; Brass Fest in Pictures; A French Composer in the Spotlight, 250 years later

Teri Dobbs
Teri Dobbs

SCHOOL OF MUSIC TO SHARE $2.5M INTERNATIONAL GRANT TO EXPLORE JEWISH CULTURAL HERITAGE

As a girl in South Dakota, Teri Dobbs had no idea she had Jewish roots, until one day her mother took her aside and unveiled a long-kept secret. Now, the professor of music education has joined a team of international researchers dedicated to unearthing Jewish cultural treasures from the 1880s to the 1950s. Along the way, she’s developed a deeper kinship with her own past. “It’s a way for me to return to my roots by remembering actively those who went before me, maybe even to make things a bit better for those who come after me,”  Dobbs says. “In Judaism, this can be considered a type of ‘tikkun olam,’ or ‘healing the world.'”

Read the full School of Music news release here.

 

BRASS FEST SUCCESS!

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Hundreds of patrons of all ages turned out for our first brass festival in three decades, held October 8 – 13 at the School of Music. The festival featured two brass quintets: the Western and Wisconsin Brass Quintets, plus Norwegian guest solo tubist Øystein Baadsvik and alumna Jessica Valeri, now with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. It was an inspiring event and great fun; thanks to all who attended! For many more photos, click here.

 

AFTER 250 YEARS, A COMPOSER GETS HIS DUE

It’s not very often that one receives international recognition 250 years after being placed in the ground. But with help from scholars at UW-Madison and internationally, that’s exactly what’s happening for Jean-Philippe Rameau.

UW-Madison is embarking on a yearlong series of events to note the contributions made by Rameau to the world of music, courtly dance, and music theory. The series kicks off November 13 with a discussion of Rameau’s music by David Ronis, visiting director of opera, and Anne Vila, professor of French and Italian. The next night there will be a performance of Baroque works by bassoon professor Marc Vallon, accompanied by a rich assortment of faculty and students.

Charles Dill
Charles Dill

The series has been organized by Rameau scholar Charles Dill, a musicologist at UW-Madison who participated in many international Rameau-related events held this past year. Read a musicology Q&A about Rameau with Charles Dill.

 

VOICE FACULTY PERFORMS FIRST “SHOWCASE” CONCERT, SUNDAY, NOV. 2

The UW voice faculty present an evening of chamber music featuring the solo voice. Featuring a premiere, White Clouds, Yellow Leaves, written by composer and saxophone professor Les Thimmig. Featuring Mimmi Fulmer and Elizabeth Hagedorn, sopranos, and Paul Rowe, baritone. Tickets are $10.00 adults; students are free. Tickets will be sold at the door.  Learn more here.

 

THE BIG PAYBACK, A UW ALUMNI BAND, CELEBRATES A FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH A SHOW AT THE FREQUENCY

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Music not only attracted a group of musicians to Wisconsin from across the country, but also helped bring them together to form a band. Today, that band is the wildly successful jazz/funk/R&B orchestra The Big Payback, which is famous for playing ambitious compositions that incorporate rare musical elements (e.g. rhythms from around the world and a mashing of genres) that challenge even the most virtuosic instrumentalists. The band has won multiple Madison Area Music Awards (MAMAs), including Jazz Song of the Year in 2012 for “Overture.” Its lineup constitutes a “who’s who” of the most acclaimed musicians in the Midwest.

On Thursday, Oct. 30th, The Big Payback will be celebrating their five-year anniversary with a star-studded reunion show at The Frequency, 121 West Main Street, Madison, where they played their very first gig and premiered a host of original hits like their crowd-pleasing single “Lookin’ at Me.” The show begins at 11PM and is preceded by a jazz jam at 7:30 PM followed by the band “Level Five” at 9:45 PM. Tickets are $5.00. The Big Payback

“This show means a lot to us,” Jamie Kember, the band’s trombone player and front man, said. “For five years, this band has been our big payback – the place where we could write original music, connect with the Madison community, and share our knowledge with music students all over Wisconsin. We owe a lot of our success to UW-Madison and the School of Music.”

The Big Payback ensemble includes:

Lead singer Leah Isabel Tirado, former Vocal Captain of UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Singers and member of UW Director of Choral Activities Beverly Taylor’s Concert Choir, UW professor Richard Davis’s Black Music Ensemble, and the UW Jazz Orchestra.

Front man Jamie Kember, member of the UW School of Music Alumni Association Board, former director of UW’s PEOPLE Program Jazz Ensemble, and past instructor at UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic. Kember earned his master’s degree in trombone performance at UW in 2007 and his K-12 instrumental music teaching certification in 2008.

Guitarist Kyle Rightley, who earned his master’s degree in euphonium performance at UW-Madison in 2009.

Saxophonist David Buss, who played with the UW Jazz Orchestra, the UW Little Big Band (a jazz combo), and the Wisconsin Singers during his undergraduate years. In 2006-2007, he served as Assistant Music Director for the Wisconsin Singers’ band.

2012 MAMA Bass Player of the Year Jeff Weiss, who graduated from UW-Madison’s School of Music in 2011.

Charley Wagner of Youngblood Brass Band fame, who will be traveling all the way from his home in Switzerland to play on trumpet, and who graduated in trumpet performance from UW-Madison in 1999.

Peter Baggenstoss, who graduated from UW-Madison with a double major in math and piano performance in 2009.

Grammy-nominated drummer and 2014 MAMA Drummer / Percussionist of the Year Joey B. Banks.

Former band members, including saxophone player Brad Carman, who graduated from UW-Madison with a Music Education degree in 2004.

 

PIANIST CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR TO PERFORM GOLDBERG VARIATIONS IN CALIFORNIA  AND AT NEW YORK’S METROPOLITAN MUSEUM

Christopher Taylor
Christopher Taylor

When J. S. Bach wrote The Goldberg Variations, he specified that they were to be played on an instrument with two manuals, or keyboards. On Nov. 16 in Penn Valley, California, UW-Madison pianist Christopher Taylor will play the Goldberg Variations on the School of Music’s unique double-keyboard Steinway–Moór Concert grand piano, transported to California specially for this concert. Tickets available here.

The Metropolitan Museum’s Musical Instruments collection is home to one of only 60 double manual pianos ever made. On Nov. 21 at the Met, Christopher Taylor  will perform the Goldberg Variations on a Bösendorfer double manual ca. 1940 piano—a new twist on what Bach had intended.  The performance will be held in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at 7PM; tickets are available here.

Read a review of Taylor’s performance in New York City’s Miller Theater, May 2013.

See Christopher Taylor perform solo at the School of Music on January 23! Included on the program: Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven Symphony #6. Tickets are only $10.00 for adults; students are free.  Ticketing information here.

Taylor will also perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in April. Learn more here.

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

Visiting Opera Director David Ronis profiled in the Capital Times

Chamber Music Conference Features Laura Schwendinger in its roster of new music composers – New York Times

Violinist David Perry Performs Chausson Solo with the Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra – Chicago Sun Times 

Albert Herring an Enjoyable Debut for Visiting Opera Director David Ronis – Isthmus

ALUMNI NEWS

Scott Roeder, Steven Morrison.  Read their news here.

Click here to send your alumni story.

Interested in an upcoming show? We offer large ensemble concerts, chamber concerts, jazz, student recitals, and more.  Click here for full SOM calendar.

To be placed on our mailing list, please send an email to join-musicdigest@lists.wisc.edu 

New Pro Arte CD featuring centennial commissions now for sale

Pro Arte Quartet Release Centennial CD

New recording features four commissioned works

by Mike Muckian

MADISON, Wis. – The Pro Arte Quartet, the string ensemble-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, has released The Pro Arte Quartet Centennial Anniversary Commissions on the Albany Records label. The double-CD, which contains the first four compositions commissioned to celebrate the Pro Arte’s 2011-2012 100th anniversary season, is now available. 

The four new compositions recorded by the Pro Arte, considered the world’s oldest continuously performing string quartet, will soon be joined by a fifth commissioned work, the String Quartet No. 3 by Belgian composer Benoît Mernier. The world premiere of Mernier’s work is scheduled to take place March 1, 2014, in Mills Concert Hall in the Mosse Humanities Building on the UW-Madison campus, and will bring the Pro Arte full-circle to its Belgian roots.

ProArte CD

The Quatuor Pro Arte of Brussels, founded in 1911, was performing at the Wisconsin Union Theatre on the UW campus on May 10, 1940, when Belgium was overrun and occupied by Nazi forces, turning three of its original four musicians into war orphans. By October of that year, the group had officially become the UW Pro Arte Quartet, making it the first artist ensemble-in-residence at any university in the world.

Current members of the Pro Arte who perform on the new CD include David Perry and Suzanne Beia on violin, Sally Chisholm on viola and Parry Karp on cello.

The recording, produced by multiple Grammy Award-winning classical producer Judith Sherman, contains commissioned work by American composers Walter Mays, Paul Schoenfield, William Bolcom and John Harbison. The Mays and Schoenfield string quartets were recorded in December 2011 in Mills Hall, where each received its world premiere, and the Bolcom and Harbison piano quintets were recorded in May 2012, also in Mills Hall.

Mays’ String Quartet No. 2 “Dreaming Butterfly” is based on writings in the second chapter of the Zhuangzi, the ancient book of Chinese Taoist philosophy. The work is a follow-up to Mays’ String Quartet in G Minor, written for the Pro Arte during the summer of 1998. The new work takes as its inspiration Master Zhuang’s dream of being a butterfly, floating free of worldly cares, then awakening to wonder if he wasn’t really a butterfly dreaming that it was the Taoist philosopher. 

“’Dreaming Butterfly’ is laid out in five connected sections, three scherzo adventures surrounded by two ‘sleep music’ episodes,” says Mays, a member of Kansas’s Wichita State University composition faculty. “There is also a brief codetta, inspired by Zhuang’s idea that he might still be a butterfly. An important feature is the virtuosity of the first violin part, which represents the spirit of the butterfly.”

Schoenfield’s Three Rhapsodies for Piano Quintet combines three very different influences to comprise a 25-minute work inspired by literature, Yiddish ceremony and even 1950s pop music.

“Every time I sit down to compose a piece of music, a little voice in my head asks, ‘When are you going to get a real job?’” says Schoenfiled, a Detroit native and professor of music composition at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “So that became the first movement of my work.”

The composition’s first rhapsody is based on the 1957 Silhouettes doo-wop hit “Get A job.” The second rhapsody takes both its title and tone from “The Beach of Desolation,” an elliptical Henry James story about unrequited love, a threatened breach-of-promise suit, and a surprise solution. The third rhapsody, “Klezmorim,” is “joyfully” composed and performed in Hasidic fashion, the composer says.

Brian (Keng-Lun) Hsu, a former University of Michigan doctoral student in piano studies and now assistant professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, performs with the Pro Arte on the Schoenfield composition.

Bolcom’s Piano Quintet No. 2 fulfills the composer’s mission to mirror society. “It’s a very broad and passionate piece,” says Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning composer who retired as musical composition teacher at the University of Michigan in 2008. “It’s kind of a warning, even a lament, perhaps, of what we’ve become in our world today.”

Bolcom’s four-movement composition features UW School of Music Professor Christopher Taylor on piano. Taylor, the recipient of numerous honors and accolades including the Van Cliburn Bronze Medal, had previously recorded Bolcom’s 12 New Etudes in 2000.

Harbison’s String Quartet No. 5, which completes the CD’s lineup, is comprised of 10 short movements. It’s an approach that Harbison, winner of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius award, the Pulitzer Prize and the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, had never before taken in his string quartets.

“Many of these movements were longer when they started out,” says Harbison. “I retained the parts of each that were closest to the central theme.”

The composition replicates in structure the Leonard Stein Anagrams, a piano work Harbison composed in honor of the late Leonard Stein, composer Arnold Schoenberg’s personal assistant and former head of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute in Los Angeles. Stein’s predilection to turn names of friends and acquaintances into anagrams inspired Harbison’s short-movements approach to both the piano work and string quartet.

Copies may be purchased through Albany Records or at the School of Music.  Call 608.263.1900 to order from the School of Music, or check this site: http://apps.music.wisc.edu/cdstore/all.asp 

Review copies of The Pro Arte Quartet Centennial Anniversary Commissions are available to critics and journalists upon request. Please contact Sarah Schaffer at the UW School of Music, 608-217-6786 or slschaffer@wisc.edu for more information.

Older releases (dating back to 1931) by the Pro Arte Quartet can be found here.