Friday, January 18 12:15 pm at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison.
Pianist Karlos Moser. “Everything You Wanted to Know about Bach Fugues”
Friday, January 28, 7:30 pm (repeated Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm) ay Overture Center-Overture Hall: The Madison Symphony Orchestra conducted by John DeMain with pianist Gabriela Montero who will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Also on the program are Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6.
John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO) celebrate the first concert of the New Year with the MSO debut of Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, who will perform Beethoven’s playful Piano Concerto No. 1. The January 18-20 concerts open with blue cathedral by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon and close with Dvořák’s sunny Symphony No. 6.
Many will remember Montero as the pianist who joined legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman and popular cellist Yo-Yo Ma at President Obama’s 2008 inauguration. “Simplicity and joy of life are the essence of her music making,” said Ma of Montero’s artistry on that occasion. Montero has enchanted audiences on CBS’s “60 Mintues” and National Public Radio with her powerful playing and fearless improvisations that echo the skill of great classical masters like Mozart and Beethoven, who commonly improvised their own cadenzas. In fact, Beethoven wrote his Piano Concerto No. 1 during his early days in Vienna, where he had arrived just months after Mozart departed. He poured all his youthful power and enthusiasm into it. Although Montero will play Beethoven’s cadenza for his concerto, she will take suggestions from the audience to improvise on for her encore.
Raised in El Sistema, the same groundbreaking Venezuelan music education program that produced conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s charismatic music director, Montero was forced to keep her improvisational skill a secret until the great pianist Martha Argerich “discovered” her and put her on the path to an international career.
DeMain continues his highly successful mission of bringing new works to light for MSO audiences with his choice of the opening piece for this concert. Jennifer Higdon, one of America’s most popular composers, has won numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for her Violin Concerto. blue cathedral has been one of her most successful works, composed shortly after the death of her brother. Higdon said she thought of cathedrals as places of “thought, growth, spiritual expression, serving as a symbolic doorway into and out of this world.” The work was commissioned for the 75th Anniversary of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2000 and has received more than 400 performances since then.
Dvořák wrote his Symphony No. 6 for the Vienna Philharmonic nearly a century after Beethoven introduced his piano concerto, and it was the first of his symphonies to be performed widely outside of his native Bohemia. Expansive in scope and genial in nature, this radiant work expresses the sheer joy of being alive in the soaring, lyrical style and folk rhythms so associated with this composer.
Sunday January 20, 12:30 pm at the Chazen Museum of Art-Brittingham Gallery III, 750 University Avenue, Madison.
The Prometheus Trio (the resident trio of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music).
Sunday January 20th, 3 pm at 5729 Forsythia Place, Madison WI
Trevor Stephenson presents a fortepiano house concert with music of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, this may already be sold out.
Phone contact: 608-238-6092.
Wednesday, January 23, 12 pm at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue, Madison.
Organ concert with organist Bruce Bengston.