Lincoln Center Sizzles on State Street

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis delivers the big picture   For seventeen years I’ve been saying that the night I heard Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (pictured above, courtesy of Joe Martinez) in Santa Barbara, CA was one of the “Top 10” live performances I had ever experienced.… Continue reading Lincoln Center Sizzles on State Street

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

Madison Symphony Closes Its Season on Very Human Notes

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

Bianconi Soars; Overture Hall Roars

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

Madison Symphony Scales New Heights

Two returning guests take the audience to rarefied air   Even when John DeMain is away (he’s been at Virginia Opera, rehearsing Turandot), he gives his orchestra—and guest artists—the kind of fun agenda he would lead himself. On Sunday afternoon, the last of three performances of the latest Madison Symphony program of the season, we… Continue reading Madison Symphony Scales New Heights

Faux-New (and Tried and True) Heat Up Overture Hall

Madison Symphony matches February heat wave If there is a theme to John DeMain’s 23rd season as music director of the Madison Symphony, it is to perform works that the orchestra has heretofore missed. Friday night’s concert (with repeats Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2:30) gave us a first half based on that premise.… Continue reading Faux-New (and Tried and True) Heat Up Overture Hall

Madison Symphony Goes Well “Beyond the Score”

Scheherazade gets the multi-media treatment When the Madison Symphony Orchestra offered Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony in the “Beyond the Score” format in 2014, many people were left wanting more. The presentation is one of about 30 works that the Chicago Symphony has produced and rents to other organizations. The basic premise is to take a… Continue reading Madison Symphony Goes Well “Beyond the Score”