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Koh & Biere

Fri., March 8, 2019
7:30 p.m.

Sat., March 9, 2019
8:00 p.m.

Sun., March 10, 2019
2:30 p.m.

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Music Program:
Schubert | Symphony No. 8, Unfinished
Prokofiev | Concerto No. 2 for Violin
Debussy | Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra
Vaughan Williams | Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra
Gershwin | An American in Paris

John DeMain, Conductor
Naha Greenholtz, Violin
JJ Koh, Clarinet
Joshua Biere, Tuba

Read the Program Notes

Prelude Discussion
Enjoy a 30-minute talk by John DeMain starting one hour before each concert in Overture Hall. Free to ticketholders.

Our orchestra is truly top notch — and when they play, you get the feeling it’s not just their job, it’s their passion. This concert throws focus on the musicians of the Madison Symphony, both collectively, and individually. This year we feature more than one artist, with the spotlight shining on three remarkable members, all soloists in their own right — Concertmaster Naha Greenholtz, Principal Clarinetist JJ Koh, and Principal Tubist Joshua Biere. Their virtuosity exemplifies the depth of talent that is characteristic of the musicians in our orchestra. Because I have spent such a large part of my life performing works by George Gershwin, and most notably his opera Porgy and Bess, I’ve specifically chosen his great tone poem, An American in Paris, which is another personal favorite of mine — as a vehicle to showcase the orchestra in all its brilliance. Another great classical hit, Schubert’s Unfinished, opens the program.  – John DeMain

About our solists…

Naha Greenholtz
Canadian violinist ​Naha Greenholtz​ was born in Kyoto, Japan, where she began her violin studies at age three. Since her solo debut at 14, concerto performances have included engagements with the San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and National Repertory Orchestras, as well as the Vancouver, Quad City, Burnaby, and Kelowna Symphonies. In the Madison area she makes regular solo appearances with the Madison Symphony and the Middleton Community Orchestra.

Naha also maintains an active career as an orchestra musician. In addition to her duties as Concertmaster of both the Madison and Quad City Symphony Orchestras, past performance highlights include guest concertmaster appearances with the Oregon, Omaha, and Memphis Symphonies, the San Francisco Ballet, as well as the Calgary and Louisiana Philharmonics, among many others.

In 2019 she will appear as guest concertmaster with the Chicago Philharmonic (in collaboration with the English National Ballet) and will make her Australian debut in a concertmaster residency with the Australian Ballet in Melbourne. From 2011–2014 she maintained a partnership with the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto, performing and touring frequently with the company as guest concertmaster and soloist. Additionally, she has performed often with the Cleveland Orchestra both domestically and abroad. She began her career in 2007–2008 with the Louisiana Philharmonic and later with the Milwaukee Symphony.

Naha has participated in music festivals throughout the US and Europe including Kneisel Hall (Maine), Taos (New Mexico), Spoleto (Italy), Lucerne (Switzerland), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Wisconsin), and the New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. She is currently on artist faculty at Renova Music Festival (Newcastle, Pennsylvania) and since 2012 she has been Artistic Director of Davenport, Iowa’s ​Signature Series.

Naha studied with Donald Weilerstein and Joel Smirnoff at Juilliard and with William Preucil at CIM. Other teachers have included Andy Dawes, Akira Nagai, and Judith Ingolfsson. She performs on a 1778 Antonio Gragnani violin.

JJ Koh
JJ Koh joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra as Principal Clarinet in 2016. In addition, he holds a position with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Prior to joining the MSO, JJ was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed with Toronto Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and ProMusica Chamber Orchestras as well as the Lexington Philharmonic.

Mr. Koh is a founding member of the Arundo Donax Reed Quintet, a winner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. As principal clarinetist of KammerMahler, JJ participated in a world premier recording project, which featured chamber versions of Gustav Mahler’s Fourth and Ninth Symphonies. He also premiered Kaleidoscope by Perry Goldstein, which was recorded through New Dynamic Records.

Joshua Biere
Josh Biere joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra as principal tubist in 2013. He also holds the principal tuba chair with the Kenosha (WI) Symphony and regularly performs with the new Chicago Composers Orchestra. Mr. Biere has also performed at the Grant Park Music Festival (Chicago), and with the St. Paul (MN) Chamber Orchestra. An established chamber musician, Mr. Biere plays in numerous ensembles and in dozens of venues in the Chicagoland area, and has soloed with many groups and given numerous recitals throughout the region. He is a highly sought after clinician and teacher, maintaining a studio of well over thirty-five tuba and euphonium students.

Online, or visit or call the Overture Center Box Office, 201 State St., (608) 258-4141

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Presenting Sponsor:

Kelly Family Foundation

Major funding provided by:

Louise and Ernest Borden

Scott and Janet Cabot

Elaine and Nicholas Mischler

Additional funding provided by:

von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts


It is a pleasure to support the very talented musicians of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Maestro John DeMain in his 25th season as conductor. Congratulations on this milestone, John! You bring joy to all of us as we listen to the gorgeous music you present.

Elaine and Nicholas Mischler


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Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
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