Curtain Calls for a Career

John Schaffer retires from UW-Madison—and we all owe him more gratitude than we probably realize   The major musical groups in and around Madison, and the people who create their music, rarely lack for applause and general appreciation. But there are those who toil beyond the footlights, and their passion and dedication doesn’t often give… Continue reading Curtain Calls for a Career

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

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

Madison Symphony Gives Warm Welcome to Two New Guests

Canadian conductor Tania Miller and cellist Zuill Bailey are the latest to discover the joys of the MSO and Overture Hall   Madison Symphony music director doesn’t miss many concerts, but when he does it’s always intriguing to see how the group will respond to a fresh dynamic. This past weekend saw the local debuts… Continue reading Madison Symphony Gives Warm Welcome to Two New Guests

Summer Leftovers, One Last Helping: Token Creek #3

Harbisons offer a potent potpourri   Painful to admit (and hard to believe) that the final program of the 29th Token Creek Chamber Music Festival was given four weeks ago…but in a season when I finally made it to all three offerings, I hope my readers will indulge me with a “better late than never”… Continue reading Summer Leftovers, One Last Helping: Token Creek #3

Summer Leftovers: Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Concert #2

Rare sounds (and sighting) of the Kepler Quartet   It seems absurd that someone who has attended only the last eight years of the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival would suggest that the concert of August29 was the epitome of what the Festival is at its best—and yet such a case could be made. Festival… Continue reading Summer Leftovers: Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Concert #2