A Journey Through Madison's Classical Music Scene
Classically Speaking
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

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra: Two Great Halves Equal One Spectacular Evening

03/23/13

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra: Two Great Halves Equal One Spectacular Evening

Shai Wosner’s pinch-hit pianism knocks Mozart out of the park; Sewell leads fascinating — and beautiful — Bruckner

Posted at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

An Operatic Valentine on St. Patrick’s Day

03/18/13

An Operatic Valentine on St. Patrick’s Day

University Opera offers a rare staging of the tender 'L’amico Fritz'

Posted at 11:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Symphony Delivers an “a la carte” Feast

03/11/13

Madison Symphony Delivers an “a la carte” Feast

With violinist Kraggerud back in town, and the orchestra in fine form, who cares if Mozart and Shostakovich don’t mix?

Posted at 06:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

Wisconsin Pops Gives a Magical Mystery Tour with a Little Help from Their Friends

03/03/13

Wisconsin Pops Gives a Magical Mystery Tour with a Little Help from Their Friends

Tony Kishman headlines “Live and Let Die”: He’s “Paul” and WCO backs the “Beatles”

Posted at 10:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

Middleton Community Orchestra: “Rising Stars” (and High Aspirations)

02/28/13

Middleton Community Orchestra: “Rising Stars” (and High Aspirations)

Conductor Steve Kurr and his willing group make their case for their niche in our concert life

Posted at 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Most Successful Composer You Never Heard of Is Here

02/22/13

The Most Successful Composer You Never Heard of Is Here

UW Wind Ensemble strikes up the band Saturday night for Steven Bryant

Posted at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Symphony Delivers Three Proofs of an Old Artistic Axiom

02/09/13

Madison Symphony Delivers Three Proofs of an Old Artistic Axiom

Cellist Alban Gerhardt returns to take on Prokofiev; DeMain offers “new” Ravel and classic Beethoven

Posted at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

So I Went to the Symphony, and a Badger Game Broke Out

01/19/13

So I Went to the Symphony, and a Badger Game Broke Out

Madison Symphony draws via unusual repertoire…but no one expected “Bucky” to show up!

Posted at 12:21 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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