The Presence of All Means Presents for All

The 24th “Madison Symphony Christmas” treats us royally   As we get older and families often branch out, we often experience Christmas and holiday gatherings that are wonderful, but tinged with a little sadness that someone we love is missing. One celebration that always brings the whole gang back together is the “Madison Symphony Christmas,”… Continue reading The Presence of All Means Presents for All

Early Thanks Given, Courtesy of DeMain and Co.

Guitarist Sharon Isbin gives us a pair of concertos   Like most people, I don’t wait for one day a year to give thanks for all the blessings poured into my life, but last Sunday was a particularly good day for Madison music lovers to get a head start on gratitude. In closing the third… Continue reading Early Thanks Given, Courtesy of DeMain and Co.

Sharon Isbin and Her Never-ending Legacy

A recent DVD and new CD add insights and break new ground to the guitarist’s singular accomplishments   Sharon Isbin long ago earned the right to drop the word “female” from the phrase “greatest (female) classical guitarist.” If anyone cares to argue the point, just hand them a copy of the 2015 DVD “Sharon Isbin:… Continue reading Sharon Isbin and Her Never-ending Legacy

Madison Opera’s Carmen So Easy to Love

Baseball may be over, but the season-opener is a home run It isn’t just that Bizet’s incarnation of Carmen, the wanton gypsy girl who ruins lives almost as quickly as the composer strung together hit numbers in his opera, seduces Don Jose so easily—she is responsible for ensnaring many a first-time listener into the world… Continue reading Madison Opera’s Carmen So Easy to Love

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

This Year DeMain Honors Two Traditions

Madison Symphony season opener suitably subtle   He hasn’t always done so in his previous twenty-three seasons as Music Director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, but in recent years John DeMain has made it a tradition to spotlight the orchestra itself in its season openers. He did so again Friday night in Overture Hall, and… Continue reading This Year DeMain Honors Two Traditions

The Madison Symphony Orchestra, Now in Its 24th DeMain Edition

There’s more to pique the ears this season than some people think Growing up loving classical music and opera, and later as a critic, I always had a personal wish list of works I wanted to experience live in the concert hall or opera house. Living a commuter train’s ride away from Lincoln Center didn’t… Continue reading The Madison Symphony Orchestra, Now in Its 24th DeMain Edition