Tag Archives: Richard Davis

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!

Davis, Jutt receive awards; Early Music Fest inspires & entertains

Everyone says that summer is slower at the UW-Madison School of Music. Don’t believe them. June was the month of the two-week-long Summer Music Clinic. July is the Early Music Festival. Sandwiched in between them was a national award given to bassist Richard Davis, longtime professor of jazz here and director of the Black Music Ensemble, a student group that performs repertoire of black composers. Added to that is an award given just this week to Stephanie Jutt, UW-Madison professor of flute and co-founder of Bach Dancing & Dynamite, the three-week music festival that concluded two week ago. Jutt is also principal flute of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Richard Davis
Richard Davis
Stephanie Jutt
Stephanie Jutt

We’ve already featured the SMC and we’ll offer up a story about Prof. Davis sometime soon. Meanwhile, Prof. Jutt has received the Margaret Rupp Cooper Award from MSO, “presented annually to two orchestra members based upon years of service, commitment to the orchestra, and musicianship.” The other winner is MSO hornist Bill Muir. Congratulations to all!

Back on campus, the 14th edition of the Madison Early Music Festival (“A Festive Celebration of the German Renaissance”) is underway and continues until Friday night. The Festival is based at the UW-Madison School of Music, and orchestrated by our own Chelcy Bowles (recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal’s Know Your Madisonian“), a harpist and Professor of Music and Director of Continuing Education in Music; Paul Rowe, baritone, Professor of Voice; and soprano and Grammy award winner Cheryl Bensman-Rowe. Each of the three bring impressive credentials, which you can read here. 

The festival has already received extensive press coverage and full houses for its many offerings, which include Piffaro, the Renaissance Band,  July 6; Parthenia: A Consort of Viols,  July 7; Handel Aria Competition, July 8; The Dark Horse Consort,  July 9; MEMF Participant Concert,  July 11, 1 pm; Calmus Ensemble Leipzig,  July 11, 7:30 pm; and All-Festival Concert,  July 12, 7:30 pm. There are also multiple workshops and lectures. Obviously, several have already taken place, but you can still catch the Calmus Ensemble on Thursday night and the All-Festival Concert on Friday.

One of the highlights of the fest was the Handel Aria Competition, the first ever held at MEMF, sponsored by local businessfolk Dean and Carol (“Orange”) Schroeder. The competition was designed to encourage vocalists to explore the music of George Frideric Handel, and offered prizes from $1000 to $500 for first, second, and third places, respectively. Both local newsweekly Isthmus and blogger Jake Stockinger put time into reviewing this event; you can read their thoughts below.

Review by Isthmus writer Marie Loeffler: Young talent abounds at Madison Early Music Festival’s first Handel Aria Competition

Review by Well-Tempered Ear blogger Jake Stockinger: Classical music: The Ear finds himself in Handel Himmel and enjoys the first Handel Aria Competition at the 14th annual Madison Early Music Festival.

In addition, WISC-TV Channel 3 produced a special segment about the festival for their “Live at Five” show. Click the link to watch. “Live at Five”

The SOM congratulates the organizers of and donors to the MEMF for all their efforts, and the competition winners and finalists as well.  While School of Music vocal alumna Saira Frank (MM, 2008) was not among the winners, she received a nice compliment from Isthmus reviewer Marie Loeffler, who wrote:  “One of the evening’s highlights was soprano Saria Frank’s precise technical work in “A Ruggiero crudel…Ombre Pallide” from Alcina, which featured beautiful intonation on the scales. Frank also commanded complex rhythmic passages, notably the measured dotted eighth notes that appear throughout “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth” from Handel’s famous Messiah.” Saira will next appear with the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee during Festa Italiana on the Summerfest grounds, July 19-21.

Saira Frank
Saira Frank in “Bella Rose,” Fresco Opera