Some Enchanted “Evening” from Madison Early Music Festival

Tuesday night’s “Abendmusik” more than the journey MEMF promised   This year’s theme for the Madison Early Music Festival is “Journey to Lubeck,” the North German city that became as culturally influential in the 17th century as it had been economically. Tuesday night’s concert was titled “Abendmusik” (“Evening Music”), and further subtitled “Sounds of Grace… Continue reading Some Enchanted “Evening” from Madison Early Music Festival

Willy Street Chamber Players Are Back (Hallelujah!)

Opening program an ear-opener, exceptionally played as usual   Thank heaven violinist Paran Amirinazari wanted to play more in the summer, and four years ago or so found some like-minded (and splendidly talented) friends who agreed. The result was the Willy Street Chamber Players, and Friday night they commenced their fourth (all-too-brief!) season at Immanuel… Continue reading Willy Street Chamber Players Are Back (Hallelujah!)

Bach Dancing and Dynamite: The Devil Is in the Details

BDDS offers strong performances, but falls prey to temptation in Stravinsky   Now in its 27th memorable season, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society has never played it safe; if anything, co-founders Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes have thrived on adding all sorts of twists to their programs. Not every dart thrown hits the bullseye…but… Continue reading Bach Dancing and Dynamite: The Devil Is in the Details

Introducing “30-Somethings”

Celebrating my 30th year as a critic/annotator, an occasional series of the performances, people and places I just can’t forget   It was probably about five years ago, as I approached the 25th anniversary of my first published review, that I thought about making a “Top 10” list of the most memorable performances I had… Continue reading Introducing “30-Somethings”

Crying In Our Coffee: Madison Bach Musicians’ Fascinating Double Bill

Trevor Stephenson closes MBM season with light Bach, heavy Purcell The close of the Madison Bach Musicians  season (pictured above in a 2015 performance) gave me the opportunity to cross two famous works off my must-hear list: Bach’s frothy secular cantata, BWV 211 (known rightly as the “Coffee Cantata”), and Purcell’s seminal opera, Dido and… Continue reading Crying In Our Coffee: Madison Bach Musicians’ Fascinating Double Bill

“Les Miserables” at Overture: Some Little Misses, Then Big Hits

A packed house ignores the snow and quickly heats up the hall   Les Miserables might as easily describe the weather we endured on the night of April 3, but it didn’t keep local fans of the iconic Broadway show from packing Overture Hall and rocking the house when it was all over. This latest… Continue reading “Les Miserables” at Overture: Some Little Misses, Then Big Hits

Look, Learn, Listen…Love It!

Salon Piano Series delivers the total package Here is what one usually gets at a Salon Piano Series event at Farley’s House of Pianos: A world-class pianist, some fascinating tidbits from Tim Farley about a historically restored keyboard, a memorable performance in an intimate setting, and a scrumptious wine and appetizer reception during which one… Continue reading Look, Learn, Listen…Love It!