Harbison and Stucky Headline a Stirring Naxos CD

Fascinating program from conductor David Alan Miller   A recent CD in the “American Classics” series from Naxos offers a compelling combination of works, masterfully played by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, conducted by David Alan Miller. John Harbison headlines the booklet, but the first work on the disc is the earliest, Sun-Treader, by Carl… Continue reading Harbison and Stucky Headline a Stirring Naxos CD

John DeMain Launches His 25th Madison Symphony Season

Five years have flown; shall we shoot for 30?   I hadn’t thought about it until I sat down to write this review, but five years can really fly by at my age…2013 marked John DeMain’s 20th anniversary as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and I was favored with penning an article for… Continue reading John DeMain Launches His 25th Madison Symphony Season

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

Greg Zelek in Recital: Volcanic, Organic, Romantic (and downright funny!)

Season opening of the organ series at Overture Hall is a thorough delight   In case you haven’t heard, 26 year-old Greg Zelek (pictured above, courtesy of Peter Rodgers), is the principal organist and curator of the Overture Center organ. He has just started his second season in the position, and Tuesday night opened the… Continue reading Greg Zelek in Recital: Volcanic, Organic, Romantic (and downright funny!)

Token Creek Chamber Music Festival: Ripe and Ready for the 29th Time

Opening program of Bach and Primosch is indeed a “harvest”   Any one of the previous incarnations of the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival’s end-of-summer celebrations might have been dubbed “Harvest.” As it happens, it is this year, the 29th go-round of great music, pithy insights and the precious camaraderie shared by a hundred or… Continue reading Token Creek Chamber Music Festival: Ripe and Ready for the 29th Time

Walton Wins Us Over

BBC Symphony and James Ehnes are revelatory on new Chandos CD   My first focused exposure to William Walton’s music was a recording of his early and celebrated Façade, and I was an instant fan. Still, I didn’t diligently seek out all of his works, but surely I encountered his Concerto for Viola and Orchestra… Continue reading Walton Wins Us Over