A Journey Through Madison's Classical Music Scene
Classically Speaking
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society Goes All In with “Poker Face”

06/29/13

Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society Goes All In with “Poker Face”

BDDS ups the ante in a program of deft transcriptions

Posted at 09:49 AM | Permalink | Comments

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Brings Sun and Fun Back to the Square

06/27/13

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Brings Sun and Fun Back to the Square

30th Anniversary of “Concerts on the Square” shows superb timing

Posted at 09:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society Deals Winning Hands

06/13/13

Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society Deals Winning Hands

The 22nd incarnation of a beloved summer tradition stacks the deck with “Deuces Wild”

Posted at 01:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

Con Vivo!’s  “Homecoming” a Nourishing Celebration

05/21/13

Con Vivo!’s “Homecoming” a Nourishing Celebration

Chamber group’s season closer is more of the same old (wonderful) thing

Posted at 08:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

Three Snapshots of a Broadway-bound Band

05/07/13

Three Snapshots of a Broadway-bound Band

Sun Prairie High School’s Jazz Ensemble I heads to NYC this weekend to play at Lincoln Center—again

Posted at 09:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

Catching Up with the Ancora String Quartet

05/05/13

Catching Up with the Ancora String Quartet

Madison’s “other” string quartet continues to mature and impress

Posted at 10:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Opera’s 'Don Giovanni': Dark Shadows, Brilliant Flashes

04/27/13

Madison Opera’s 'Don Giovanni': Dark Shadows, Brilliant Flashes

Some major strengths in each area add up to a strong close to the company’s season

Posted at 01:14 AM | Permalink | Comments

Marc Fink Offers the Best Kind of Long “Goodbye”

04/16/13

Marc Fink Offers the Best Kind of Long “Goodbye”

UW Professor of Oboe gives eloquent farewell recital…with a lot of help from some very good friends

Posted at 09:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

Perfection? Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Comes Close in Closing the Season

04/14/13

Perfection? Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Comes Close in Closing the Season

Soprano Susanna Phillips stars individually; Sewell and the ensemble shine collectively

Posted at 11:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Symphony Closes Season with Surprises Galore

04/06/13

Madison Symphony Closes Season with Surprises Galore

Naha Greenholtz charms with Mendelssohn; DeMain pulls out all the stops with choral rarities—and we learn of an unexpected retirement

Posted at 12:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Years before I contributed my first classical review to the Los Angeles Times in 1988, I started a class in music appreciation for adults that had one aim: to put a few cracks in the “ivory tower elitism” I found pervasive in the classical music world since my boyhood days. Whether as a critic, program annotator or band director, that goal has never changed. After all, Mozart and Beethoven and the gang wrote their music for people like you—not critics or professors!

After growing up in the suburbs of New York City, and spending twenty years in and around Los Angeles, the last twelve years here leave me more amazed than ever at the musical riches of Madison. I’m a cheerleader at heart, because I always think more people would become classical fans if they’d give it a chance—but I’m also quick to tell you when you’re not getting your money’s worth. Classically Speaking brings you as much news and as many reviews as possible, and I hope you’ll join me for a fabulous musical journey.

–  Greg Hettmansberger
Follow Greg on Twitter @ghettmansberger

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