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

A Wrenching, Roaring “Miss Saigon” Lands at Overture Center

Thirty years as a smash hit—and still problematic   I’m always a little embarrassed to admit that one iconic work or another has remained unknown to me—but usually glad that when I get the chance to experience it firsthand. Miss Saigon, the hit musical that opened in London thirty years ago and broke records there… Continue reading A Wrenching, Roaring “Miss Saigon” Lands at Overture Center

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

Tidings of Great Joy (for the 25th time)

“Madison Symphony Christmas” replicates its winning formula   I’ve only heard the last nine editions of the “Madison Symphony Christmas,” so I’m not sure exactly how long it took music director John DeMain to hit upon his winning formula. Last weekend was the 25th edition during his tenure, and perhaps the most impressive thing about… Continue reading Tidings of Great Joy (for the 25th time)

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