A Journey Through Madison's Classical Music Scene
Classically Speaking
Norwegian Trumpet Player Breaks the Mold in Madison—and Beyond

02/12/14

Norwegian Trumpet Player Breaks the Mold in Madison—and Beyond

Norwegian sensation Tine Thing Helseth is a trumpeter for the 21st century, and comes to Madison this weekend with a pair of concertos for the MSO

Posted at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

A “Daughter” We Can All Adopt

02/08/14

A “Daughter” We Can All Adopt

Madison Opera presents an early valentine of Donizetti’s fluffy “Daughter of the Regiment”

Posted at 01:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Super Celebration (Before the Football Game)

02/03/14

A Super Celebration (Before the Football Game)

Beverly Taylor and the Madison Symphony Chorus sing their way through America

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

Two Events Too Good to Miss This Weekend (OK, Make It Three!)

01/29/14

Two Events Too Good to Miss This Weekend (OK, Make It Three!)

Three unique events highlight another busy weekend for musical Madison

Posted at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

Madison Debut of “Beyond the Score” Opens New Worlds of Dvorak

01/27/14

Madison Debut of “Beyond the Score” Opens New Worlds of Dvorak

DeMain and the MSO introduce the Chicago Symphony’s multi-media program to open our eyes and ears for Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony

Posted at 05:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Goes Big, Small and Just Right

01/21/14

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Goes Big, Small and Just Right

Andrew Sewell illustrates every aspect of what a chamber orchestra can be—to a sold-out house

Posted at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

All I Needed Was a Bigger Living Room—and a Live Orchestra

01/16/14

All I Needed Was a Bigger Living Room—and a Live Orchestra

With Beyond the Score, the Madison Symphony Orchestra teaches as never before

Posted at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

Viva Verdi! — Boxed sets of his operas come in all sizes this year

12/19/13

Viva Verdi! — Boxed sets of his operas come in all sizes this year

Marking the composer’s bicentennial are some lovely DVD gift sets: a stocking stuffer, a six-pack, and a case of a dozen operas

Posted at 06:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

Filling the Stockings with Christmas Chestnuts and Holiday Rarities

12/17/13

Filling the Stockings with Christmas Chestnuts and Holiday Rarities

New and reissued DVDs and CDs range from 'The Nutcracker' to Bach cantatas and Christmas music from the Vatican

Posted at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Want to Give a “Ring” for Christmas? Now Wagner’s epic cycle comes two ways

12/15/13

Want to Give a “Ring” for Christmas? Now Wagner’s epic cycle comes two ways

Wagner’s bicentennial brings a flood of releases, old and new

Posted at 09:59 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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