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Kenneth Woods,
Guest Conductor

The Miracle

Fri., Mar. 6, 2020
7:30 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 7, 2020
8:00 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 8, 2020
2:30 p.m.

Music Program:
| Symphony No. 96, Miracle
Mendelssohn | Violin Concerto in E minor
StraussEin Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)

Kenneth Woods
, Guest Conductor
Blake Pouliot, Violin

Read the Program Notes
Click here to read.

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

Blake Pouliot Plays Mendelssohn
Kenneth Woods Conducts

Symphony No. 96 is popularly called the Miracle Symphony because it is said that, during its premiere, a chandelier crashed to the floor from the ceiling of the concert hall. The audience managed to dodge the chandelier, thus the nickname.

“Meet Madison born, and now internationally renowned guest conductor Kenneth Woods, as he makes his Madison Symphony debut, which also includes, what we expect to be an equally auspicious debut from Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot playing the beloved Mendelssohn violin concerto. Kenneth opens with the MSO premiere of Haydn’s Symphony no. 96, the Miracle, and closes with the massive and virtuosic orchestral tone poem by Richard Strauss — Ein Heldenleben. This all Germanic program is sure to provide the most delicate, and at the same time, the most powerful of sonic thrills.” – John DeMain


Buy single tickets

Overture Center Box Office
201 State St.
Single Tickets: (608) 258-4141
Ticket Office Hours:
Mon. – Fri., 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Additional hours on Sunday event days.

About Blake Pouliot

Establishing himself as one of Canada’s most promising artists, violinist Blake Pouliot is the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) Manulife Competition. Mr. Pouliot has been described by the Toronto Star as, “One of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime,” and after his performance of the Korngold Violin Concerto at his debut with the Montreal Symphony and conductor Vasily Petrenko in February 2017, he was described by Montreal’s La Presse as “Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly virtuoso.”

In September 2017, Mr. Pouliot recorded his debut album for the Canadian label Analekta Records. The CD features the works of Ravel and Debussy, and was released in early 2018. Upcoming and recent highlights include return engagements with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Toronto and Montreal Symphonies, and debuts with Seattle, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Edmonton, Newfoundland and Pasadena Symphonies. He will also be featured in recital at the Banff Centre, Fête de la Musique Mont Tremblant, Orford Arts Centre, and Pasadena’s Boston Court.

Since his solo orchestral debut with the Toronto Trinity Chamber Orchestra at age 11, Mr. Pouliot has performed as soloist with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra in Colorado, Ottawa Symphony, Pacific Symphony, the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and with conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Nicolas McGegan, Tito Muñoz, Carl St. Clair, Alain Trudel, and Hugh Wolff. Mr. Pouliot has performed in recital in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Toronto, and was featured on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series with Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Pouliot has been a featured performer on CBC Radio Canada on many occasions. In 2013 he received the Canada Council for the Arts’s Michael Measure Prize which gave him the opportunity to tour major Canadian cities with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Mr. Pouliot has also had the honor of performing a private recital for Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper in 2012.

About Kenneth Woods

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “a symphonic conductor of stature”, American conductor Kenneth Woods was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra in 2013, and has quickly built up an impressive and acclaimed body of work and recordings with them. Woods was also recently appointed Artistic Director of both the Colorado MahlerFest – the only US organisation other than the New Year Philharmonic to receive the International Gustav Mahler Society’s Gold Medal – and the Elgar Festival in Worcester. As a guest, Woods has conducted ensembles including the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal  Northern Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra, and has made numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has appeared on the stages of some of the world’s leading music festivals, such as Aspen, Scotia and Lucerne.

Tonight, we were simply spellbound, thanks largely to the meticulous attention to detail on the part of conductor Kenneth Woods.  – Hartford Times


Major funding provided by


Skofronick Family Charitable Trust


Cyrena and Lee Pondrom

Additional funding provided by


Chuck Bauer and Chuck Beckwith


Marian and Jack Bolz


The Burish Group at UBS


Martha and Charles Casey


Friends of Kenneth Woods


Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

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


Event Category:


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