A Reminder of Why We Go to Concerts

15th season finale of “con vivo” yields some surprises   I hadn’t thought about it specifically in a while, but I suppose when I go to a concert, it’s either for the performer(s), the music that is to be played, or most often, some combination of both. It had been at least two seasons since… Continue reading A Reminder of Why We Go to Concerts

Salon Piano Series Flips the Script

Together for the first time, Lippi Trio sounds seasoned   It has been proven repeatedly that the greatest works in the realm of chamber music invariably receive their greatest performances from players who have played together for years; many well-known string quartet members will tell you that their professional relationships are often closer than their… Continue reading Salon Piano Series Flips the Script

Sun Prairie Jazz Band Heads to “Big Apple”—Again

This week marks the 11th time Steve Sveum’s group makes the cut for the “Essentially Ellington” finals If high school jazz bands were a sport, we would say that we are living in the shadow of a major musical dynasty. Call it what you will—and feel free to use hyperbole—but the fact that the Sun… Continue reading Sun Prairie Jazz Band Heads to “Big Apple”—Again

Madison Symphony Closes Its Season on Very Human Notes

Long-awaited hearings and a farewell mark the final weekend Madison Symphony Orchestra music director John DeMain has made it (or continued?) a tradition of closing each season with a major work for chorus and orchestra. He has said on occasion in recent years that he has long wanted to program Brahms’ A German Requiem—but waited… Continue reading Madison Symphony Closes Its Season on Very Human Notes

29th Capital City Jazz Fest—What Took Me So Long??!!

Four amazing ensembles in five hours make for a quick Saturday   It didn’t take long—sometime around 11:15 Saturday morning, the juxtaposition hit me: Fifteen hours earlier I had been in the Capitol Theater, hearing a world premiere concerto for two pianos, with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Now I was equally enthralled by the Bria… Continue reading 29th Capital City Jazz Fest—What Took Me So Long??!!

Closing the Season with a World Premiere

Sewell, WCO and soloists end indoor season with Cabaniss’s Double Rainbow   We are happily accustomed to the stimulating programming of Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra music director Andrew Sewell, but the occasion of a world premiere is always an added treat. In the case of Friday night’s final Masterworks concert in the Capitol Theater, the new… Continue reading Closing the Season with a World Premiere

Madison Opera’s “Flute” Finds Plenty of Vocal Magic

Mozart’s late hybrid stage work proves a hit Friday night   Okay, let’s get this out of the way right now: Yours truly is not the optimal critic for a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I didn’t fall under its spell when I first heard it about 45 years ago, and no version since,… Continue reading Madison Opera’s “Flute” Finds Plenty of Vocal Magic