The WORT 89.9 FM Madison, Wisconsin Area Classical Music Calendar for the Week Beginning May 1, 2014 Compiled by Rich Samuels, Host of “Anything Goes”

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 | Rich Samuels

Friday May 2, 12:15 pm at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison
The Noon Musicale presents the Driftless Winds, the UW-Platville faculty reed trio: Laura Medisky, oboe; Corey Mackey, clarinet; Jacqueline Wilson, bassoon

Music of Mozart, Ibert, Schulhoff and Beethoven

Friday May 2 7 pm at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street, Madison.
SoundWaves presents Heavy Metal: the Science and Music of Metal

SoundWaves combines scientific lectures about the world with live classical music performances. Each event revolves around a theme, exploring it first from many scientific angles and then through the lens of music. The program concludes with a live performance of music related to the evening?s theme. The science lectures are delivered using language that the curious layman can understand, with a minimum of jargon and formulas. The music lectures, while demanding careful listening, are likewise designed for the layman and not the specialist. Every SoundWaves event brings UW?Madison scientists from several departments together with UW?Madison School of Music faculty performers to explore a topic that is relevant to our world and our lives. SoundWaves is free and open to the public. This series generally is held in the evening at the Town Center of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

Friday May 2, 7:30 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church 326 South Segoe Road, Madison.
The Madison Chamber Choir presents “Hopes and Dreams”. Works by Mendelssohn, Whitacre, Gjello & more.

Friday May 2 7:30 pm at Overture Center-Overture Hall, 201 State Street, Madison (repeated Saturday 5/3 at 8 pm and Sunday 5/4 at 2:30 pm_
The Madison Symphony Orchestra presents Works by Gershwin, Bernstein, Arlen & Sondheim, with guest vocalists Karin Olivo, Ron Raines & Emiliy Birsan.

John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra will close out the 2013-2014 season with a rousing musical sampling of the famous American composer George Gershwin and his unique blend of Broadway, American popular song, and classical forms. The concerts, May 2, 3, 4, 2014, will also explore cherished composers – Leonard Bernstein, Harold Arlen, and Stephen Sondheim – who carried on the musical theater tradition of Gershwin.

Broadway stars Karen Olivo, mezzo soprano, and Ron Raines, baritone, will take center stage along with rising opera star Emily Birsan, soprano, who trained at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. And, Madison’s own piano prodigy, Garrick Olsen, will perform the virtuosic solo piano part in Gershwin’s Variations on I Got Rhythm.

DeMain is no stranger to bringing American music to life. He is a Grammy award winner for his conducting of Gershwin’s opera, Porgy and Bess. Selections from it will be performed in an orchestral suite entitled Catfish Row. DeMain said, “For me, [Gershwin] embodies what it means to be an American musician. Trained in the classics, but deeply connected to the music of his country, Gershwin fused American folk music and jazz into a concert format that continues to thrill and resonate with audiences all over the world to this present day.”

The concerts are Fri., May 2, at 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 3, at 8 p.m.; and Sun. May 4, at 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, 201 State Street.

Born in Brooklyn, Gershwin was largely self-taught in piano and composition. By age sixteen he had quit school, and was working in Tin Pan Alley. He began to make a name for himself as a Broadway composer, scoring his first huge hit in 1919 with Swanee. He frequently collaborated with his brother, Ira, and the two sides of his long career (stage works for Broadway and Hollywood, and “serious” concert music) continued to influence each other through his final masterpiece, Porgy and Bess, in 1935.

The MSO’s program will open with Overture to Strike up the Band, from the 1927 Gershwin musical. Interestingly, this deeply satirical take on America’s taste for war was a flop with audiences that by the peak of the roaring 20’s preferred fluffier fare. A revision three years later, now resonating with the post-stock market crash culture, became a landmark, showing that musicals could indeed deal with serious topics.

Emily Birsan, Karen Olivo, and Ron Raines will delight the audience with a series of Gershwin’s memorable songs for the stage: They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Our Love is Here to Stay, By Strauss, Embraceable You, S’Wonderful, and Somebody Loves Me. The first half will close with selections from Gershwin’s operatic masterpiece, Porgy and Bess, an innovative and sympathetic look into the lives of African Americans living in a fictionalized version of Cabbage Row (a cluster of shabby tenements in Charleston, South Carolina). The suite, entitled Catfish Row, provides a stunning overview of his famous “folk opera”.

Following intermission, the program moves to some of Gershwin’s famous successors. Leonard Bernstein’s operatic take on the 1759 Voltaire play, Candide, is a satire of the parochialism of 1950’s America. The May concert will feature both the Overture to Candide and the song Glitter and Be Gay, sung by Ms. Birsan.

The audience will also sample Bernstein’s music from West Side Story, the modern Broadway adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in New York City. Ms. Birsan and Ms. Olivo will sing the duet A Boy Like That/I Have a Love and the orchestra will perform Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, an instrumental survey of the memorable tunes from this show.

Harold Arlen was a contemporary of Gershwin, and easily stands alongside him as one of America’s great songwriters. He wrote over 500 songs, perhaps most famously Over the Rainbow for The Wizard of Oz in 1939. Mr. Raines will sing the lead in That Old Black Magic, a 1942 hit that appeared in Paramount’s wartime morale-booster, Star Spangled Rhythm.

Stephen Sondheim is arguably our most famous living Broadway composer, whose first big break was his collaboration on West Side Story. His musical, Follies (1971), centers on the reunion of aging Broadway performers whose heyday was the 1920’s. Ms. Olivo will sing Losing My Mind, a melancholy song about love that has crossed into obsession.

Tickets are $16.50 to $82.50 each, available at and through the Overture Center Box Office at 201 State Street or call the Box Office at (608) 258-4141.

Student rush tickets can be purchased in person on the day of the concert at the Overture Box Office at 201 State Street. Full-time students must show a valid student ID and can receive up to two $12 or $15 tickets. More information is at:

The Madison Symphony Orchestra marks its 88th concert season in 2013-2014 by celebrating John DeMain’s 20th anniversary as music director. The Symphony engages audiences of all ages and backgrounds in live classical music through a full season of concerts with established and emerging soloists of international renown, an organ series that includes free concerts, and widely respected education and community engagement programs. Find more information at

Major funding for this concert is provided by an anonymous friend and BMO Private Bank. Additional Funds are provided by Carla and Fernando Alvarado, Capitol Lakes, Mildred and Marv Conney, Terry Haller, J.P. Cullen and Sons, Inc., Ann Lindsey and Charles Snowdon, Tom and Nancy Mohs, and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Sunday May 4 4 6:30 pm at Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall, Madison
The UW-Madison Guest Artist Series presents The Lincoln Chamber Brass, musicians of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

–Victor Ewald, Brass Quintet No. 3
–David Sampson, Morning Music
–Franz Biebl (arr. Barker), Ave Maria
–Giles Farnaby, Suite of Dances.

Ansel Norris and William Cooper, trumpets.
Kevin Haseltine, horn.
Joseph Peterson, trombone.
Scott Hartman, bass trombone.

Sunday May 4 2 pm at the Mitby Theater, Madison College-Truax Campus 1701 Wright Street, Madison.
Madison College Community Show Choir, Student Choir

Madison College’s Community Show Choir and Student Choirs will perform their annual spring SuperShow on Sunday May 4 2:00-3:30 in the Mitby Theater, 1701 Wright St. $8 ($7 for students and seniors). Tickets available online at or at the box office. Phone 243-4000.

Sunday May 4 2 pm at Mills Hall, 455 North Park Street, Madison.
The UW-Madison Concert Band

Sunday May 4 3 pm at Heritage Congregational Church, 3102 Prairie Road, Madison.
Zephyr Woodwind Quartet

Come to hear David Newman and friends as they entertain us with both classics and popular music from across the years. This group of exceptional musicians is sure to make you smile.

Call: 608-274-0833

Sunday May 4 7:30 pm at Mills Hall, 455 North Park Street, Madison
The UW-Madison Chamber Orchestra conducted by James Smith.

Hommage a Mozart, Jaques Ibert
Danse Suite after Couperin, Richard Strauss
Symphony No. 39, W.A. Mozart

Tuesday May 6 7 pm at Oakwood Village-West Auditorium 6209 Mineral Point Road, Madison.
The The Rapsodie Quartet

Experience one of the finest quartets around. Usually reserved for the HeartStrings community engagement program, the Rhapsodie Quartet will thrill you with their artistry! A $5 good-will donation is suggested at the door.

Tuesday May 6 7:30 pm at Mills Hall, 455 North Park Street, Madison
Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations: “MISTRESSES AND MASTERPIECES”

On Tuesday, May 6th at 7:30pm, Jeffrey Siegel will be presenting a Keyboard Conversation, dedicated to love and love affairs. More information is available by calling the Box Office at 608-265-ARTS (2787). Tickets are: $32 General Public, $28 Wisconsin Union Member, UW-Madison Faculty & Staff, and Non UW-Madison Student (with ID), and FREE for UW-Madison Student (with ID). Buy tickets online here, call the Box Office at 608-265-ARTS (2787), or purchase in person at the Campus Arts Ticketing box office in Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave. Tickets are required for entry even when free, so please reserve ahead of time.

Whether you’re a classical music aficionado, a history buff, or just love a good story, Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations will take you beyond the music and into the lives and loves of some of the greatest composers of all time. In “Mistresses and Masterpieces,” Siegel introduces us to the romantic inspirations behind many popular works of classical music. While names like “Brahms” and “Schumann” may bring to mind proper-looking gentlemen in oil portraits, these brilliant composers’ lives were often closer to a soap opera than a history book blurb. As Siegel will tell you, these men not only loved and lost — they put their pain and passion into incredible works of music that still inspire those emotions to this day. Read more about these affairs in our blog.

As skilled as he is knowledgeable, Siegel adds an extra dimension to the traditional format of musical performance, giving deeper meaning to the classics we know and love. Each Keyboard Conversation concludes with a question and answer session, allowing the audience to learn even more about the composers who shaped musical history. Because Siegel gives life and color to the language of classical music, Keyboard Conversations is the perfect way to introduce novices to the incredible body of work created by these composers. Whether you know the music or not, Siegel’s love for what he’s playing is contagious.

This performance is sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee.

Wednesday April 7 Noon at Luther Memorial Church 1021 University Avenue, Madison.
Organ concert with Bruce Bengston.

Anything Goes
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Thursdays @ 5:00 am
Rich Samuels
Classical music of all eras and varieties.

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