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
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.
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
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
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
Long-awaited hearings and a farewell mark the final weekend Madison Symphony Orchestra music director John DeMain has made it (or continued?) a tradition of closing each season with a major work for chorus and orchestra. He has said on occasion in recent years that he has long wanted to program Brahms’ A German Requiem—but waited… Continue reading Madison Symphony Closes Its Season on Very Human Notes
MSO players get their wish—and audience approves that, too It was one of those nights at Overture Hall on Friday. John DeMain returned from his recent forays into Turandot with Virginia Opera (a reliable source indicated the reviews were off the charts), and we had another return that was as welcome. There’s some sort of… Continue reading Bianconi Soars; Overture Hall Roars