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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 60.0° F  Fair


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
 Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra ends its 2013-14 season with a display of pianist Stewart Goodyear's improvisational prowess

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra concluded its 2013-14 season with some novel combinations at Overture Hall's Capitol Theater on Friday. There was, of course, the inevitable guest soloist, this time the young Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear. >More
 With guest conductor Julian Wachner, Madison Symphony Orchestra and Chorus bring power and precision to Mozart's Requiem

The Madison Symphony Orchestra is in the baton-less hands of visiting conductor Julian Wachner this weekend at Overture Hall. The first performance was on Friday night, and the program will be repeated on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Wachner begins strangely with a throwaway opener: Dvorák's Slavonic Dance in C, Op. 46, No. 1. >More
 William Farlow says goodbye to University Opera with Berlioz's take on a beloved Shakepeare comedy

After 16 seasons directing the University Opera, William Farlow will retire with a farewell production of Hector Berlioz's comic opera masterpiece Béatrice et Bénédict. Though Farlow will no longer oversee productions at the UW, he will continue to serve as artistic adviser for Madison's Fresco Opera Theatre. >More
 Conductor John DeMain assesses the Madison Symphony Orchestra's music choices for the 2014-15 season

The Madison Symphony Orchestra announces its plans for the 2014-15 season today, marking the beginning of a discussion about the works on the docket. Conductor and music director John DeMain walked Isthmus through the season's highlights, providing insider commentary along the way. >More
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