DeMain’s Gift to “Lenny”

Madison Symphony joins the global celebrations of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday   Leonard Bernstein’s 100th  birthday fell on August 25 of this year, but if you think the Madison Symphony and John DeMain were late to the party in celebrating this still larger-than-life icon, don’t fret. Some locales began after August 25, 2017—the year leading… Continue reading DeMain’s Gift to “Lenny”

Madison Opera Goes Old School

Some great singing and a traditional approach revive “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci”   It has been more than 30 years since Madison Opera staged that once-ubiquitous double bill of one-act operas, “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” That’s nothing—I’ve been attending and listening to opera for a little over half a century, and I never managed to… Continue reading Madison Opera Goes Old School

Madison Symphony Gives Warm Welcome to Two New Guests

Canadian conductor Tania Miller and cellist Zuill Bailey are the latest to discover the joys of the MSO and Overture Hall   Madison Symphony music director doesn’t miss many concerts, but when he does it’s always intriguing to see how the group will respond to a fresh dynamic. This past weekend saw the local debuts… Continue reading Madison Symphony Gives Warm Welcome to Two New Guests

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

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!)

Plenty of Bang for the Buck…and More

Sewell and WCO end the indoor season with a triple helping of Beethoven Rarely have I been more torn about which event to attend than last Friday night—and they both took place in the same building! While the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra was concluding its Masterworks Series in the Capitol Theater, organist Greg Zelek was giving… Continue reading Plenty of Bang for the Buck…and More

Madison Symphony the Only Sign of Spring This Weekend

DeMain and violinist Hadelich lead the way in a very warm performance Michael Allsen, bass trombone player and program annotator deluxe for the Madison Symphony, not only gets it right in his program notes for every concert, but always adds such great detail. He missed a little this time though—but then who could have known… Continue reading Madison Symphony the Only Sign of Spring This Weekend