Loading Events
  • This event has passed.


Fri., Feb. 15, 2019
7:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 16, 2019
8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 17, 2019
2:30 p.m.

Buy tickets

Music Program:
Harbison | The Most Often Used Chords
Brahms | Violin Concerto
Mussorgsky/Ravel | Pictures at an Exhibition

John DeMain, Conductor
James Ehnes, Violin

Read the Program Notes

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

Mussorgsky’s masterpiece explores the colors of the orchestra — the correlation of an artist’s visual medium through the colors of sound and music. And its finale “The Great Gate of Kiev,” is one of classical music’s greatest hits. James Ehnes is a violinist who is completely to my taste. With an absolutely gorgeous sound and consummate technique, he goes to the heart of the music. He will approach the Brahms violin concerto as a violinist’s violinist, adored by the public, by his colleagues and by me, for the integrity in his playing. We celebrate the 80th birthday of the internationally-renowned (and Madison resident) composer John Harbison, with the first performance by the MSO of his delightful composition, “The Most Often Used Chords.”  – John DeMain

Take note…

John Harbison will have books and CDs available for sale before each symphony concert, and at intermissions. John will also be joining Randal Swiggum one hour before each performance for the FREE Prelude Discussions. James Ehnes CDs will be on sale only on Saturday and Sunday before the concerts and at intermission.

About James Ehnes

James Ehnes has established himself as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New York, London Symphony, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, DSO Berlin and the NHK Symphony orchestras.

Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings including a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’.

Ehnes graduated from The Juilliard School in 1997, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. He is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

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

Buy tickets


Major funding provided by:

Dr. Robert and Linda Graebner

Marvin J. Levy

Cyrena and Lee Pondrom

Additional funding provided by:

Martha and Charles Casey

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


BMO Harris Bank is proud to be a sponsor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and wishes them many years of success.

BMO Harris Bank

Part of what makes Madison so unique is our vibrant arts community. We feel it is not only our responsibility, but also an incredible privilege, to support the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Thank you to all involved for continuing to enrich the lives of our guests, our families, and our community.

The Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club


Event Category:


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