Home / Tag: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Renée Fleming is one of the most glamorous and renowned opera stars in the world. Now at the pinnacle of her spectacularly successful career, her public image highlights a generation of performers who are evolving from the traditional role of opera singer into the more contemporary view of "singing actress." Yet, in one of the most difficult of the vocal arts, challenging...
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Classical Preview

In 1899 Finland was just another province of the Russian Empire, but Finnish patriotism was ever on the rise. Even so, movement toward independence had to be cautious. That year, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) responded to a request for music ostensibly for festivals to be held in aid of the journalists' pension fund. In reality, the effort was aimed at the struggle for freedom. Sibelius composed several short...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Feeding Frenzy:

The Capital Grille’s lobster mac ’n’cheese, Crawdaddy’s jambalaya and the Mason Street Grill’s polenta and short ribs were among the culinary delights the recent “Taste of Milwaukee” benefit for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Southeastern Wisconsin at the Pfister. Radio personality Dan Kyle hosted.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Baroque opera needs an especially inventive director to relate to contemporary audiences. John La Bouchardière presented a deeply witty staging of Handel's Semele at Florentine Opera last weekend, a run of three performances at the Pabst Theater. The production combined stylized period movement with video projection. The scenery, a recreation of designs by Giuseppe Di Iorio, became a vital part of the direction...
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

Classical Preview

The next Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert program contains two rather substantial works by Czech composers and a smaller one by an American. Normally larger pieces outweigh the smaller works on concert programs, but this time the small, opening piece has taken on a sad and unexpected meaning. This is the Ode for Orchestra by Lukas Foss, the Berlin-born pianist...
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009
Last spring Frank Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, learned that a Stradivarius violin built in 1715, which some experts believed had disappeared, was in a bank vault in Milwaukee.The undisclosed owner offered Almond the opportunity to play it on long-term loan. “Strads,"...
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

Classical Preview

Composers often find inspiration for the concertos they write from the instrumentalists they befriend. Witness the four horn concertos of Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791), which are impossible to envision without his close friendship with horn player Joseph Leutgeb (1732-1811). Contemporary press reports concerning Leutgeb's artistry attest to a great and innovative talent-attributes Mozart explored fully in these concertos wherein solo passages...
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

Glamour Galore

The 44th annual Symphony Style show at the Milwaukee Art Museum was top-notch as always, with sponsorships aplenty and fashion galore. The Symphony Style book, featuring Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra history and glam photos, was highlighted by Dan Bishop’s stark cover photo of the birthday-suited Andrew Stoll...
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Classical Review

Some classical soloists are distinctive in their idiosyncrasies. Violinist Gil Shaham, who performed with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend, rarely plays to the audience. Rather, he turns to the musicians around him, but primarily to the conductor. You feel as if you are eavesdropping on a collaborative pleasure taking place onstage. Shaham played the Brahms Violin Concerto with an intense, large and colorful tone. He jumped in with both feet to attack formidable challenges and was wonderfully successful, from incisive drama to lyrical spin. Was humidity a factor in his not quite perfect tuning Friday evening?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Classical Review

The automatic, meaningless standing ovation has been out of control in the U.S. for years. Does it come from the American need to overstate everything? Maybe it indicates a lack of standards. It is refreshing to attend performances in Germany and Austria, where knowledgeable audiences applaud appreciatively at length, but never stand up. I am accustomed to being the only one sitting during applause, and am familiar with the resulting looks I get. It is a ridiculous situation. A good performance does not merit a “standing O.”

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