A Journey Through Madison's Classical Music Scene
Classically Speaking
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Proves All of Us Are Lucky This St. Patrick’s Day

03/19/12

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Proves All of Us Are Lucky This St. Patrick’s Day

Andrew Sewell plays the role of leprechaun in assembling a memorably Irish-tinged program

Posted at 08:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Symphony Guests Sizzle and Dazzle

03/10/12

Madison Symphony Guests Sizzle and Dazzle

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet a strong draw, but guest conductor Carl St.Clair shines brightest with Madison Symphony

Posted at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

Wanted: Name for an Off-the-Charts Piano Trio

02/27/12

Wanted: Name for an Off-the-Charts Piano Trio

The Finckel/Han/Setzer Piano Trio offers maxed-out Mendelssohn at the Union Theater

Posted at 09:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

One Night, Two Glorious Events

02/20/12

One Night, Two Glorious Events

Cloning, anyone? Friday night offers a tough choice between two fabulous concerts

Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Opera Reaches for the Heavens in 'Galileo Galilei’

01/30/12

Madison Opera Reaches for the Heavens in 'Galileo Galilei’

Philip Glass gets an early 75th birthday present via a stellar production

Posted at 09:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Symphony Developing a Surprising Tradition

01/23/12

Madison Symphony Developing a Surprising Tradition

MSO stamps a musical passport with style, and yet again delivers a definitive Russian violin concerto

Posted at 07:23 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Andrew Sewell and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Offer a Lesson in Programming

01/17/12

Andrew Sewell and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Offer a Lesson in Programming

Cellist Amit Peled illuminates old and new, and the WCO follows suit

Posted at 08:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

What Lingers in the Ear: Madison’s Year in Review, Classically Speaking

12/27/11

What Lingers in the Ear: Madison’s Year in Review, Classically Speaking

From the Pro Arte Quartet completing a century to Madison Opera beginning a new half-century, we had news … and some great performances

Posted at 02:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

Got Beethoven?

12/19/11

Got Beethoven?

New DVD traversals of the nine Beethoven symphonies and five piano concertos can be the cornerstone of a collection—yours or that of your music-loving friend

Posted at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers for Classical Music Lovers

12/14/11

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers for Classical Music Lovers

Here are some timely—and unusual—choices for the music lovers on your list

Posted at 01:47 PM | 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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