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

At Madison Symphony, Everyone Is Home for the Holidays

DeMain rounds up his Madison Symphony Christmas community   For 26 years now, John DeMain has put together his “Madison Symphony Christmas” like a time-honored recipe, and it satisfies his guests’ expectations even as he tweaks it with a little bit different spice each time. It’s no mean trick — after all, you have to… Continue reading At Madison Symphony, Everyone Is Home for the Holidays

Opera the Way It Was Meant to Be

Madison Opera opens its 59th season with a spot-on La Traviata   Call me old-fashioned—or if you prefer, an old-school conservative—but when it comes to the way an opera should look, I generally want operas such as Carmen to look the way they did when the creative teams created them. Thus I came away from… Continue reading Opera the Way It Was Meant to Be

“Thirty-Onederfuls” Are Coming!

Being a series of reflections and snapshots of 31 years of reviewing…and a lifetime of listening   Any of my regular readers who have been signed up for about a year and a half or so may remember that I touted a new series of posts collectively titled “Thirty-Somethings.” November 1, 2018 was the 30th… Continue reading “Thirty-Onederfuls” Are Coming!

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 Delivers a Better-Late-Than-Never Debut

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin graces Overture Hall at last Any local music lovers who had long desired to be awed by the artistry of Canadian-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin had their wish granted Friday night at Overture Hall. Prior to this opening concert of the penultimate program of John DeMain’s 25th season at the helm, one would… Continue reading Madison Symphony Delivers a Better-Late-Than-Never Debut

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