Beautiful music on a beautiful summer evening in a beautiful setting. What could be better?

The Olbrich Botanical Gardens Thai Garden was indeed the perfect setting for a concert presented by the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Rhapsodie Quartet on Friday, July 16. This exhilarating concert marked the first live performance by Madison Symphony Orchestra musicians since March of 2020! The Rhapsodie Quartet, comprised of Suzanne Beia and Laura Burns, violin, Chris Dozoryst, viola, and Karl Lavine, cello, is the resident ensemble of MSO’s award-winning HeartStrings® Community Engagement Program and annually performs several full-length recitals in community venues.

“It was exciting to be back among friends, colleagues, and audience! A joyful reunion indeed!” said Dozoryst.

This free, outdoor performance was attended by an attentive audience of approximately 115 people who enjoyed the music from their picnic blankets or lawn chairs. The shimmering Thai Sala (pavilion), overlooking the fountain and landscaping, served as a stunning stage for the Quartet.

“Sharing great music with an enthusiastic audience is one of the greatest joys a musician can experience, and sharing it, surrounded by beauty on the most perfect evening of the year, after sixteen months of pandemic-induced deprivation increased that joy by a nearly unimaginable degree,” said Beia.

After MSO Director of Education and Community Engagement, Kathryn Schwarzmann, welcomed the audience, Ms. Beia introduced the first piece: Mozart’s String Quartet No. 22 in B flat Major, K. 589. Written in 1790, it is the second of Mozart’s “Prussian Quartets.”

The second piece on the program was Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3. Written in 1806, this work is the third of three “Razumovsky Quartets.”

“The first recital can be distilled into one word: Joy! Joy on the faces of the audience and my colleagues around me. Joy as we connected to each other through the music, under a beautiful pavilion on a gorgeous evening, overlooking a serene garden and the water.”, said Burns.

“We were back sharing great music with smiling faces. Truly a reason to celebrate,” said Lavine.

The Rhapsodie Quartet repeated the program on Sunday, July 18 in a private performance for Oakwood Village University Woods.

Special thanks to Olbrich Gardens and Oakwood Village University Woods for hosting these special performances, and to Cyrena and Lee Pondrom for their generous sponsorship. To learn more about the Rhapsodie Quartet and the HeartStrings® community engagement program, visit madisonsymphony.org/heartstrings.


View Photos from the Evening