We are pleased to announce a wonderful gift from William (Bill) and Alexandra Dove and their family to endow and name MSO’s Assistant Principal Viola Chair: The Dove Family Chair!

Together, Bill and Alexandra were longtime subscribers and annual donors to the Symphony, and longtime residents of Capitol Lakes Retirement Community. Sadly, Alexandra passed away in January, two months before her 90th birthday.

“Our family endowment gift holds deep meaning for us and reflects our family’s connections with the Madison community.” says Bill. “With this gift, we also celebrate the 90th anniversary of Alexandra’s birth.”

The Dove Family’s history in Madison goes back about 100 years, as does the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s. MSO will celebrate its Centennial season in 2025-2026. A century ago, Bill’s father, Franklin Dove, came from a farm in Iowa to earn his doctorate in genetics at UW-Madison. Franklin was also an amateur violin carver, using instruments and tools that have been passed down in the Dove family. Bill and Alexandra (Shedlovsky) Dove joined the faculty and staff of UW-Madison in the 1960s. In retirement, Bill has maintained a professional connection with UW’s McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research.

Bill and Alexandra’s enthusiasm for this endowed chair is further fueled by two important connections with traditions of Madison’s musical community. Bill was a longtime colleague and friend of geneticist James F. Crow (former MSO violist and namesake of MSO’s Principal Viola Chair). Additionally, Bill and Alexandra enjoyed hearing the Karp Family Concerts featuring pianists Howard and Frances Karp, their son cellist Parry Karp, and Parry’s wife, violist Katrin Talbot—the very person who now holds the Dove Family Chair in the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Violist Katrin Talbot says, “I am so honored by this generous naming from the Dove family whom I have known since the early 80’s in my science years at McArdle Cancer Research Center. Alex and Bill were always bright lights, scientifically and socially, in my time there and I have loved to smile out at them from the concert stage all these years later. I am full of gratitude to the family for their investment in the Madison Symphony’s future.”

In recognition of the Dove Family’s gift, in addition to naming the Assistant Principal Viola Chair in their honor, the MSO welcomes the Dove Family to our Century Society which recognizes all donors who have made endowment commitments of $100,000 or more. MSO hopes to recognize at least 100 donors in our Century Society by our 100th Anniversary Season. For more information, contact Casey Oelkers at (608) 257-3734.

Please join us in thanking the Dove Family for this community-minded endowment gift which honors their special connections in Madison and will support the MSO in its second century.