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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 46.0° F  Mostly Cloudy


Pianist Olga Kern dazzles with Rachmaninoff as Madison Symphony Orchestra performs Russian works both familiar and rare

The Madison Symphony Orchestra offered another big winner at Overture Hall with a program devoted to the music of three Russian composers. >More
 Rachel Barton Pine delivers a splendid rendition of Vieuxtemps' Fifth Violin Concerto with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra opened its 2014-15 season with a remarkably generous and diversified program at the Capitol Theater on Friday. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and violist Matthew Lipman served as guest soloists. >More
 Violinist Wes Luke proves a solid anchor for Ancora String Quartet in a program of works by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Beach

Because of the leave of absence being taken by first violinist Leanne Kelso League, the Ancora String Quartet has undertaken a second season of experimentation. Last season, that involved bringing in different instrumentalists in trio-plus collaborations. This season, it involves two visiting first violinists. >More
 Madison Symphony Orchestra's 2014-15 season-opener forgoes guest soloists to showcase the ensemble's own brilliance

The Madison Symphony Orchestra follows several precedents in the first program of its 2014-15 season. For one thing, there is no guest soloist grinding out a warhorse concerto. >More
 A thought-provoking work by C.P.E. Bach kicks off the 2014 Token Creek Chamber Music Festival

This year's Token Creek Chamber Music Festival (through Aug. 31 in the festival barn in DeForest) celebrates the operation's 25th anniversary, no mean achievement for so idiosyncratic an undertaking. This time around, there are three classical programs, two of them performed twice. The next program, involving only violin and piano, will be presented on Aug. 27. >More
 Madison Savoyards does justice to Gilbert & Sullivan's unfairly neglected Princess Ida

Princess Ida is unusual among the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. It is, for instance, the only one inspired by the work of an author other than Gilbert himself -- Tennyson, as it happens. It is the only one by the collaborators structured in three acts. >More
 Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society champions underappreciated masterpieces in its 2014 season finale

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society capped its 2014 season at the Stoughton Opera House with two chamber-music masterpieces, interspersed with two light works. >More
 A rewarding program of Ravel and Rachmaninoff begins Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society's 2014 season

Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society opened its 2014 season this weekend with the organization's typical combination of unfamiliar music with beloved masterpieces, in performances of the highest quality. The June 14 performance took place at Overture Center's Playhouse, and both of the weekend's programs will be repeated at Taliesin in Spring Green on June 15. >More
 Conductor Steve Kurr challenges Middleton Community Orchestra with an ambitious 2013-14 season finale

The Middleton Community Orchestra closed its 2013-14 season with an unusually long, if typically ambitious, concert at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. There were two works in the program of concerto character on Wednesday. >More
 New Comma Baroque joins the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble for a lively performance of early music written and inspired by Bach

The season closer by the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, offered at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Friday, was particularly novel. Not the usual program of individual shorter pieces, favoring this or that member of the group. This time, the music was instrumental, and by Bach, in one way or another. And it joined four players of the Ensemble with five players of the Illinois group New Comma Baroque. >More
 Ancora Quartet and guest artist Myung-Hee Chung present three fascinating works for piano and strings

On Friday evening, at the First Unitarian Society, the Ancora String Quartet closed a somewhat sparse season with a rich program. Sparse because its regular first violinist, Leanne League, has been on sabbatical, reducing the group effectively to a string trio (Robin Ryan, Marika Fischer-Hoyt and Benjamin Whitcomb). >More
 Pianist Garrick Olsen and soprano Emily Birsan dazzle in Madison Symphony Orchestra's Gershwin-themed program

John DeMain has long been identified with musicals, particularly the work of George Gershwin and his one opera, Porgy and Bess. DeMain has, in recent years, built Madison Symphony Orchestra concerts around Gershwin's music, as is the case for the season closer this weekend at Overture Hall. The concert will be repeated on Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m. >More
 UW Choral Union brings magnificent sounds, but not enough power, to Rachmaninoff’s Vespers

The UW Choral Union gave its spring performance in Mills Hall on Saturday, ending this month’s crowded concert schedule with a landmark piece by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. >More
 Madison Opera's Dead Man Walking is a landmark achievement that dramatizes a nun's relationship with a death-row inmate

The Madison Opera production of Jake Heggie's much-admired opera Dead Man Walking is the apex of the 2013-14 season and a landmark in the company's history of successful boldness. The second and final performance takes place at Overture Hall on Sunday, April 27, at 2:30 p.m. >More
 Madison Bach Musicians and Madison Choral Project deliver a commanding Mass in B minor for Easter weekend

The Madison Bach Musicians brought us a brave and convincing period-style performance of Bach's monumental back in 2008, and now they have done it again, even more triumphantly. >More
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