Madison Symphony Delivers a Better-Late-Than-Never Debut

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin graces Overture Hall at last Any local music lovers who had long desired to be awed by the artistry of Canadian-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin had their wish granted Friday night at Overture Hall. Prior to this opening concert of the penultimate program of John DeMain’s 25th season at the helm, one would… Continue reading Madison Symphony Delivers a Better-Late-Than-Never Debut

A Wrenching, Roaring “Miss Saigon” Lands at Overture Center

Thirty years as a smash hit—and still problematic   I’m always a little embarrassed to admit that one iconic work or another has remained unknown to me—but usually glad that when I get the chance to experience it firsthand. Miss Saigon, the hit musical that opened in London thirty years ago and broke records there… Continue reading A Wrenching, Roaring “Miss Saigon” Lands at Overture Center

A Testament of Greatness

New documentary of Birgit Nilsson reminds us of what we had—and can still treasure I’ve spent most of my life believing that Birgit Nilsson was the greatest Wagnerian soprano of my lifetime. A 2018 Unitel DVD, “Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own,” (distributed by Naxos), gives ample evidence to even make the argument she… Continue reading A Testament of Greatness

Madison Symphony Celebrates Its Own

DeMain gives three players a chance to step out as soloists   For many years now, Madison Symphony Orchestra music director John DeMain devotes one subscription program to highlighting a player from his ensemble as the soloist. Often it is the first concert of the season, but this year scheduling needs necessitated a change. This… Continue reading Madison Symphony Celebrates Its Own

Trio Céleste Delivers Triple the Pleasure at the Salon Piano Series

Young trio from SoCal backs up their growing reputation   Most of the time the Salon Piano Series, an exquisite season of four concerts held in Farley’s House of Pianos showroom, features pianists, usually one at a time. But Tim and Renee Farley have developed a delicious habit of adding a small ensemble into the… Continue reading Trio Céleste Delivers Triple the Pleasure at the Salon Piano Series

Madison Choral Project Presents a Gift of Hope for the Season—and Beyond

The exquisite vocal ensemble offers a broader perspective on the season   The Madison Choral Project has become one of the special treasures of the Madison musical scene (does our artistic cup ever stop running over?!). Under the direction of Albert Pinsonneault, this group of 26 singers (as configured last Saturday night at Christ Presbyterian… Continue reading Madison Choral Project Presents a Gift of Hope for the Season—and Beyond

A Requiem Review for a Birthday

We celebrate John Harbison’s 80th birthday with a review of the first recording of his Requiem   We don’t need a reason to join thousands of other music lovers around the world in honoring John Harbison, the Pulitzer Prize-winning (among many other high honors) composer born December 20, 1938. But it is particularly fitting (even… Continue reading A Requiem Review for a Birthday