Our third E-News of 2021 highlights a number of upcoming events including a free virtual Organ concert and MSOL Connect. Plus, meet the winners of The Final Forte 2021, and much more!

Ansel Norris + Greg Zelek

Premiers Tuesday, April 27th at 7:30 p.m.

Join Principal Organist Greg Zelek for a FREE virtual organ performance featuring Ansel Norris, trumpet! A Madison native and 2009 Bolz Young Artist Competition finalist, Mr. Norris’s remarkable technique and singing lyricism will be on full display in a program filled with music that is both written and arranged for this electrifying pairing of instruments. The performance, recorded live from Overture Hall, premieres April 27 and is free to view after registering on our website.

Congratulations to the Winners of The Final Forte 2021

Our annual Bolz Young Artist Competition looked a little different this year, as the two preliminary audition rounds were held virtually in January. Out of 14 competitors, four finalists were selected to perform in Overture Hall as part of The Final Forte on March 3, recorded live in Overture Hall. That evening, the four finalists performed their concerto selections with piano accompaniment for a panel of three judges, and we are pleased to announce the results!

First Place: Sophia Jiang, Piano
Second Place: Dexter Mott, Violin
Honorable Mention: Qing Ng, Violin
Honorable Mention: Carrie Wang, Violin

Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte post-production will be done by PBS Wisconsin. The final production will be presented online in the spring, and may also be broadcast. Stay tuned to madisonsymphony.org/finalforte for the latest information on the premiere date, and to learn more about our four finalists!

Other Recent News & Stories

MSOL Connect: The Development of our Modern Orchestra Pt. 2
Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Madison Symphony Orchestra is part of a centuries-long tradition of instrumental ensembles in Western Classical Music. But how did we get to where we are now? Last November, Steve Kurr presented a fascinating talk tracing the development of the modern orchestra, from its roots in ancient music a thousand years ago, as well as the evolution of the instruments themselves. The Part One presentation brought us up through the mid-1700s (the Baroque and Classical musical eras). On March 25, we’ll move closer in time to the orchestra we have now and the (somewhat) standardized group of instruments we have seen on the Overture Center stage. Continue to explore the musical evolution at out next MSOL Connect on Thursday, March 25, when Steve Kurr presents “Part 2: The Development of our Modern Orchestra and its Instruments.” Registration is open now and is free to all MSOL members and MSO guests!

After registering, you will receive the Zoom invitation with instructions about attending the event. Learn more and register by March 23.


Youth Education Initiatives Highlight

Organizations in the Madison area and around the midwest are taking steps to introduce a new generation of music lovers to classical music. Here are five programs we think you should know about in the interest of music education. Read more on our website.



Parties of Note Registration Opens April 5

A mailing announcing this year’s Parties of Note line-up has been sent. Party information is also available on the Parties of Note website. There are 18 parties; six new events and 12 rescheduled from last year. Our first two parties will open for registration April 5.

As a reminder, reservations for parties will be taken online only. For answers to questions about 2021 Parties of Note, please see our FAQ.


Watch Now: Greg Zelek’s 20/21 Organ Season Premiere
Back by popular demand — no registration required!

In October, we launched our virtual 20/21 Organ Season with a streamed performance featuring Greg Zelek, Principal Organist and Elaine and Nicholas Mischler Curator of the Overture Concert Organ. Due to popular demand, we’re extending access to stream this concert for FREE! Experience the performance for the first time, or relive the moments. The concert runs for just under one hour. No registration is necessary! Visit our website to watch the concert.


Upcoming Community Events and Virtual Resources


Bach Around the Clock
March 19 through March 26
Bach Around The Clock, an annual local music festival celebrating the works of J.S. Bach, is taking place virtually this year through March 26. Daily festival segments start at 8:00 a.m. and evening programs start at 7:00 p.m. All programs can be viewed anytime after posting throughout the entire festival. The pre-recorded evening performance premiering tonight at 7:00 p.m. features our Principal Oboe Marc Fink and Bruce Bengtson on organ. Learn more and watch the performance.

Wisconsin Union Theater: Wisconsin Sound Series
Sunday, March 21
Johannes Wallman, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is joined by fellow quintet members Russ Johnson on trumpet, Tony Barba on tenor saxophone, Peter Dominguez on bass, and Jon Deitemyer on drums to perform as part of the Wisconsin Sound Series hosted by the Wisconsin Union Theater Sunday, March 21 at noon. Learn more and buy tickets.

American Players Theatre: 2021 Winter Words
Monday, March 22
Winter Words is a public play-reading series where APT artists explore new-to-APT plays, some of which may someday make their way to the stage. Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue begins this Monday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. Learn more and buy tickets.

LunART Live
Friday, March 26
LunART Live is a local festival which takes place on the last Friday of every month and features female musicians from around the country. This month’s free performance, happening on Friday, March 26 at 12:00 p.m. is led by Seraph Brass, a group of all-female brass players who primarily play in either a quintet or sextet, but also participate in groups with as large as ten members. Learn more and watch the performance.

WYSO: Masterclass with Naha Greenholtz
Sunday, March 28
MSO Concertmaster Naha Greenholtz will be teaching the latest in a series of masterclasses hosted by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras on Sunday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m. While active participation in the classes is limited to current WYSO students, the programming is open to the general public. The event takes place via Zoom, where students submit video recordings and engage in 30-minute conversations including technical advice and personal stories. Learn more and register to observe the class.

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