Madison Symphony Dealt a Pair of “4s”—and Makes It a Winning Hand

Pianist Emanuel Ax takes us to heavenly heights, then DeMain and Mahler lead us through the celestial gates Just about a year ago at this time we were excited to see the announcement for the current season that Emanuel Ax would be returning to appear with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and play one relative and… Continue reading Madison Symphony Dealt a Pair of “4s”—and Makes It a Winning Hand

Some Mighty Winds Mark a Decade of Powerful Performances

Winds of Wisconsin, the high school ensemble that performs at UW-Madison, turns 10 years old this weekend It would be almost impossible not to be overshadowed by the staggering achievement of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras 50th anniversary last month; then again, the Winds of Wisconsin (WOW) has always been overshadowed by that marvelous institution.… Continue reading Some Mighty Winds Mark a Decade of Powerful Performances

What’s New for the Madison Symphony Next Year?—Only A Dozen Things or So!

The 2016-2017 season offers a dozen major works being performed by the MSO for the first time   If there was ever a season to get down to the Overture Center to hear the Madison Symphony Orchestra—and bring a friend or two—this is it. Launching his 23rd season as music director, John DeMain (pictured above,… Continue reading What’s New for the Madison Symphony Next Year?—Only A Dozen Things or So!

History Breathed On Us

Amit Peled performs a 100-year old program on a 300-year old instrument—and invokes the spirit of Pablo Casals   Any event at the Salon Piano Series at Farley’s House of Pianos contains at least a whiff of musical history: The establishment has long been renowned for its superb restorations of historic keyboards. So much so… Continue reading History Breathed On Us

Bottle It, and Label It “Vintage WCO”

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra achieves near-perfection in a typically varied program   We look forward five times a year to settling into the Capitol Theater and soaking up another program cleverly devised by Andrew Sewell, and more often than not, impeccably played by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Last Friday night, all concerned may have raised the… Continue reading Bottle It, and Label It “Vintage WCO”

The Festive Fruits of Fifty Years

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (and ensembles) put on an unforgettable celebration   It has been almost exactly forty-eight hours since the last note of a truly unique arrangement of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” hung in the air in Overture Hall last Saturday night—and I still don’t know how to even begin to describe the… Continue reading The Festive Fruits of Fifty Years

Madison Symphony Delivers a Bouquet of Passion, Precision and Power

Guest conductor Daniel Hege and violinist Alina Ibragimova make themselves at home   Madison Symphony music director John DeMain remains in demand throughout North America (currently spending about a month with Washington National Opera conducting Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars). Most of the time his absences are planned around the MSO and Madison Opera… Continue reading Madison Symphony Delivers a Bouquet of Passion, Precision and Power