4 classical concerts to get to in January

Madison makes way for beautiful music
4 classical concerts to get to in January
Photo courtesy of Trio Céleste
Trio Céleste (left to right: Ross Gasworth on cello, Iryna Krechkovsky on violin and Kevin Kwan Louks on piano) play Sunday, Jan. 6, at Farley's House of Pianos.

Salon Piano Series

What better way to resume your enjoyment of live classical music in the New Year than by experiencing it up close and very personal on Sunday, Jan. 6, at Farley’s House of Pianos Salon Piano Series. This time it’s the California-based Trio Celeste, a piano/violin/cello ensemble that made its Carnegie Hall debut a year ago. The trio is also presenting a free masterclass at Farley’s on Saturday, with both events beginning at 4 p.m. The Sunday program includes work by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, composed a decade apart, and spiced up with a composition by Astor Piazzolla.

Oakwood Chamber Players

For a group deservedly known for stimulating programs, the Oakwood Chamber Players eally have taken it to a new level this season. All five of their concerts fall under the title of “Vignettes,” each consisting of an array of short works by disparate composers. Their concerts on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m., includes works by lesser-known names such as Thomas Dunhill, Leopold Jansa and Paul Lacombe, but also the “Table d’Hote” by Ferde Grofe (of “Grand Canyon Suite” fame), among others. It’s the perfect opportunity and venue — The Oakwood Center for Arts and Education at Oakwood Village West on Mineral Point Road –to hear unusual and delightful combinations of strings, winds and piano.

Madison Symphony Orchestra

This month we have one chance to hear the Madison Symphony Orchestra with the return of “Beyond the Score.” This is the multimedia program developed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to take audiences inside the creation of a great piece of music via projections, live actors and fragments of the music itself. This time it’s Felix Mendelssohn’s beloved “Italian Symphony,” and John DeMain will have some help from his friends at American Players Theatre: Sarah Day, Nate Burger and Jonathan Smoots. After learning how the young Mendelssohn’s trip to Italy led to one of his most famous works, the MSO will perform it in its entirety during the second half of the program. It all unfolds on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

One of the best things about January in Madison is that it marks the resumption of the Masterworks Series in the Capitol Theater by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. At the first of five concerts on Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m., maestro Andrew Sewell will lead the orchestra through stylistically different pieces by Domenico Cimarosa, Camille Saint Saëns and Beethoven. But focus of the evening will be the soloist for Saint-Saens’s “Cello Concerto No. 1” — 11-year old Miriam K. Smith.

Greg Hettmansberger covers the jazz, opera and classical music scenes in Madison for madisonmagazine.com.