2016 Fall Arts Preview: Classical music

Madison's classical music season has tons to offer
2016 Fall Arts Preview: Classical music

“Charlie Parker’s Yardbird”
Madison Opera, Feb. 10 and 12

This season Madison Opera is one notch short of a world premiere. “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird” will receive its second staging following great reviews last year for Daniel Schnyder’s compelling score. The story of a great jazz legend who left us too soon is told in “its melodies–including real arias–seize the ear, its ensembles crackle with energy,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Masterworks III
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Feb. 24

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra hit the programming jackpot for its February concert. Fans will hear a late Haydn symphony (No. 102) and a suite from Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale” with narration by James DeVita and a performance by teenage phenom Julian Rhee, who won the WCO young artists competition in 2015.

“Concerto for Orchestra”
Madison Symphony Orchestra, April 7-9

Ever wonder if the Madison Symphony players get to choose what they play? Sometimes they do, including this April program. Reportedly, the MSO musicians have lobbied for several years to have a go at Lutoslawski’s early “Concerto for Orchestra.” An early work full of folk influences, everyone onstage is going to have their hands full, and the audience will get a wonderful earful!

St. John Passion
Madison Bach Musicians, April 14 and 15

After hearing Trevor Stephenson and his Madison Bach Musicians restore and revitalize Handel’s “Messiah” earlier this year, it will be exciting to hear to what they do with J.S. Bach’s “St. John Passion”–with performances on Good Friday and the following day.

University Opera, Nov. 11, 13 and 15

David Ronis is launching his career as the permanent director of University Opera and is setting the bar high. Commemorating the quadcentennial celebration of Shakespeare’s death, Ronis will direct Verdi’s final masterpiece, “Falstaff.” The composer was an octogenarian when he wrote it, but the opera, based on “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” overflows with spirit and irresistible music.

It would be enough if the Salon Piano Series continued to present keyboard artists of international renown in the intimate setting of Farley’s House of Pianos, performed on lovingly restored historic pianos, which is what attracted these luminaries there in the first place. But SPS continues to branch out, and on Oct. 28 and 29 a real rarity will be offered: “4 on the Floor.” Daniel Del Pino, Lucille Chung, Alon Goldstein and Robert Plano will make the only North American appearance of a unique event, a repertoire for four concert grand pianos. The arrangements include “Danse Macabre,” “Carmen Fantasy” and Ravel’s own arrangement of “Bolero.” The SPS always offers an intimate (and delectable!) reception with the opportunity to meet the artists and ask Farley’s owners Tim and Renee Farley just how they create their showroom magic.

Click here for the 2016 fall dance preview.

Click here for the 2016 fall visual arts preview.

Click here for the 2016 fall theater preview.