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Symphony Gems

Venue: Overture Hall

Friday, November 17, 2023
7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 18, 2023
8:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 19, 2023
2:30 p.m.

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Mozart, Schumann & Dawson

November brings two great staples of the symphonic repertoire, Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony in our first performances in over twenty years, and another all-time favorite of mine, Schumann’s Piano Concerto. I am so looking forward to welcoming back the brilliant pianist Jonathan Biss who has a special affinity for this concerto. It is also with great excitement that we will perform William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony for the first time. This work, which was greeted with great acclaim when it premiered under the baton of Leopold Stokowski in 1934, was all but forgotten until recently, and has been heralded as a masterpiece. Using Negro folk melodies and spirituals as its thematic source, the work is colorfully orchestrated and an absolute delight to listen to. I wanted to perform this work with the orchestra the minute I first heard it and so look forward to sharing it with you.  – John DeMain, Music Director



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner”
Robert Schumann, Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
William Levi Dawson, Negro Folk Symphony

Program Notes will be available in August 2023.


John DeMain, Music Director
Jonathan Biss, Piano


Enhance Your Concert Experience

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

Particularly notable was the imaginative breadth of Biss’s sonic palette, his way of deploying color not merely as a decorative effect but as a narrative and expressive device within the work’s classical frame.

– The Boston Globe

Meet the Performers

mso music director john demain

John DeMain, Conductor

View Biography

Jonathan Biss, Piano

View Biography

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor

Myrna Larson, in memory of James F. Crow


Major funding provided by

university research


David and Kato Perlman

Additional funding provided by


Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.


Ronald J. and Janet E. Johnson


Prairie Trust

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


November 17
November 19
Event Category:


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