June’s classical events dominated by silver linings
It has been decades since Madison music lovers have lacked for musical stimulation in the month of June, and this year we can join in a celebration of a local tradition that would be the envy of many other cities in our nation. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. Co-founders Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes have nurtured a three-weekend festival that for years has attracted major guest artists, but most importantly has presented superbly executed, unerringly fascinating programs.
As this is the event’s silver anniversary, the programs have whimsical titles playing upon that shiny word. This season, the June 10 opening night concert will be at the Stoughton Opera House, and the remaining Fridays and Saturdays between June 11-25 are at the Playhouse in the Overture Center. As usual, each program will be repeated on Sundays in a matinee and evening performance on June 12, 19 and 26 at the Hillside Theater at Taliesin in Spring Green.
To highlight reaching the grand number of a quarter-century, BDDS has co-commissioned the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts for a new work. The song cycle “In at the Eye” is based on poems of Yeats, and will receive its world premiere on June 11, with bass-baritone Timothy Jones as soloist.
The second and third weekends bubble over with music from Argentina, with pianist Pablo Zinger on hand to join BDDS with his arrangements of music from the movies, as well as tangos from Astor Piazzolla. The final two performances on June 25 and 26 pair Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” with Piazolla’s witty and beguiling “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.” Along the way BDDS will bring us a healthy dose of reportorial pillars, and continue their wonderful practice of presenting classical symphonies and concertos in irresistible chamber versions. This year’s treat is the Piano Concerto No. 25 (no other number would do!) by Mozart. More details and ticket information can be found at bachdancinganddynamite.org.
June in Madison wouldn’t be the same without the kickoff of Concerts on the Square. The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra brings the 33rd season of summer delights starting Wednesday, June 29. As usual, the opening concert presents the winner of the WCO’s Young Artists Competition. This year it’s pianist Liam Mayo (who was also a finalist in the Madison Symphony’s “Final Forte”), performing the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Copland’s “Danzon Cubano” will also liven up the evening. A caravan of wonderful food vendors will again be on hand, and if you’re worried about traffic, you can ride your bike and park it at the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., with bike parking sponsored by the Wisconsin Bike Fed. The Bike Mobile will also be on hand. There’s nothing like getting a tune-up for your bike while the orchestra tunes up!