A Healthy Orchestra in Strong Hands

Kenneth Woods takes the podium of the Madison Symphony, and unleashes all its gifts   One couldn’t be certain Friday night if the empty seats in Overture Hall had to do with the recent warnings about the corona virus, or the fact that this weekend’s Madison Symphony Orchestra concerts were without John DeMain or a… Continue reading A Healthy Orchestra in Strong Hands

In Case You Hadn’t Heard…Middleton Community Orchestra Opens Its Tenth Season

Season is dedicated to John Barker, recently retired critic emeritus   Of course if you are one of my regular readers, you know that the Middleton Community Orchestra was about to commence on their tenth season of adding a unique experience to the greater Madison music scene. I finally got around to blogging about their… Continue reading In Case You Hadn’t Heard…Middleton Community Orchestra Opens Its Tenth Season

Middleton Community Orchestra Gives a Performance Before the Season Opens

Loving tribute to John Barker goes to the heart of music making   When you get right down to it, people play music because they love it; audiences come to hear it for the same reasons. Believe it or not, critics love it, too; most of them were (and sometimes are) performers themselves. It is… Continue reading Middleton Community Orchestra Gives a Performance Before the Season Opens

Madison Symphony Opener Evokes a Memory

DeMain and company also provide an interesting musical perspective   John DeMain opened his 26th season as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra last weekend, and if he is still four years away from the next “round number” of his storied career, he and the orchestra still managed to provide interesting context, past and… Continue reading Madison Symphony Opener Evokes a Memory

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

An “Enigma” Explored

Madison Symphony’s latest foray into “Beyond the Score” illuminates Elgar’s masterpiece   I’ve come to believe that some riddles don’t need to be solved, or perhaps more accurately, it’s more fun to keep searching than to actually discover the definitive answer. That thought certainly comes to mind when examining the Variations on an Original Theme,… Continue reading An “Enigma” Explored

Olga Kern And DeMain Deliver Again

A touch of new(er) and old classics from Madison Symphony   If the opening concert of John DeMain’s 24th season with the Madison Symphony Orchestra eschewed a major guest soloist (a DeMain tradition—and not a bad one!), it also stayed far away from major warhorse repertoire. The first of three performances of the season’s second… Continue reading Olga Kern And DeMain Deliver Again