Classical

A Week of Chamber Music in Milwaukee

An extensive and varied menu of chamber music is on display in Milwaukee over the coming week.

By - Feb 6th, 2020 04:25 pm
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A week of chamber music in Milwaukee.

A week of chamber music in Milwaukee.

Over the next week, Sophie Dunér a creative vocalist-composer will feature in an eclectic ode to Valentine’s Day by Present Music, the Florentine Studio Artists will perform a rarely heard American opera by Leonard Bernstein and Early Music Now guests Les Délices will sing extracts from French Baroque opera. But the same week will also feature sacred chant, Brazilian flute music, experimental electronics, and 20th-century clarinet trios.

The Milwaukee chamber music scene seems rich with resources, but in a constant state of flux. Only a few organizations are able to sustain a full season schedule. Urban Milwaukee regularly publishes previews of seasonal concerts. But, as a change of pace, this article offers a snapshot of the full range of choices available within one week in Milwaukee.

February 8: Les Délices performs Myths and Allegories, a Baroque ensemble selecting French Baroque cantata and opera inspired by Homer‘s epic Greek poems. Previewed here. The performance is at 5 p.m. at UW-Milwaukee’s Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.

February 8 & 9: The Florentine Opera Studio Artists (young professionals in residence) perform a complete studio opera by Leonard Bernstein titled “Trouble in Tahiti”. It’s a cogent snapshot of suburban life in 1950’s America. A candid portrait of the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple, “Trouble in Tahiti” draws upon popular song styles to deliver an uncompromising critique of post-war American materialism. Bernstein blends close harmonies, jazz rhythms and satirical commentary to offer a very American opera. The opera plays Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 pm. in the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, Marcus Center, 929 N. Water St.

February 10: The Philomusica Quartet planned a third season concert for Monday at Wisconsin Lutheran College. This week the quartet announced that “Due to ‘force majeure’  Musical Dialogues has been canceled. Please contact the Wisconsin Lutheran College Box Office for further details… The Philomusica Quartet apologizes for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause to our audience members.”

February 13 & 14: Present Music takes a creative, contemporary approach to Valentine’s Day with The Avant-Garden of Love. The concert incorporates performances by singer – lyricist – composer Sophie Dunér, a silent film with a live contemporary score and an eclectic mix of contemporary music backed by a string sextet. Dunér may be difficult to classify – “a great jazz genius” – “stretching vocal and instrumental technique” – “many registers, colors, so much humor, and sometimes melancholy.” In other words, she will fit right into the open programming of Present Music. They promise: “At its most surreal, the concert resembles a three-ring circus of sound poetry, street performance, and a 1960 game show appearance by John Cage, complete with Rube Goldbergian contraptions and a clawfoot bathtub.” The concert takes place Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Jan Serr Studio, 2155 N. Prospect Ave. (Kenilworth Square East – 6th Floor) a new rooftop venue with a window wall view of the city.

As with many other Present Music evenings, an after-party is scheduled on February 14 (for an additional fee.) “Present Music continues its celebration of love after the concert with an interactive cabaret, the Tangled Hearts Soiree, an after-party drag show hosted by Miss Birdee and the triumphant return of local jazz legends We Six.” Details.

February 16: Chamber Music Milwaukee, an occasional series organized by the music faculty at Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, offers a trio led by pianist Elena Abend and alumni clarinetist Orlando Pimentel and violist Matthew Michelic. The trio will perform compositions by Niels Gade, Nino Rota, Rebecca Clarke, and others. The concert is at 3:00 p.m. in Music Recital Hall, Room 175, UW-Milwaukee, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. Details.

Music programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Cardinal Stritch, and others feature student concerts, particularly near the end of a campus term. Before then, faculty and professional guest artists may be featured. Often concerts are free.

This week at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

February 15: An experimental music series, Sensoria, offers monthly programs exploring music, sound art, time-based media, and hybrid works incorporating the latest technologies at 7:30 p.m. in the Jan Serr Studio, 2155 N. Prospect Ave. (Kenilworth Square East – 6th Floor) Details.

February 15: Faculty violinist Bernard Zinck and guest pianist Lucia Barrenechea offer classical duos by Brahms, Turina, and Poulenc at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. at UW-Milwaukee. Details.

Community Venues

February 7: Grace Lutheran Church, 1209 N. Broadway, at 5 p.m. hosts the Silver Rose Duo, offering Baroque, Brazil, and Beyond, the program blends emotive music of Latin and South American composers with lyrical Baroque pieces, featuring award-winning concert flutist Kim Fleuchaus and guitarist Julie Goldberg. Details.

February 16: Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire St., hosts Glen Quarrie, flute, and Donna Kummer, piano, performing works by Bach and Fauré, and Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1 in G Major. The concert is at 2 p.m. Details.

February 16: Aperi Animum, This sacred choral group with a precise, ethereal sound, performs in residence at All Saint’s Cathedral, 818 E. Juneau Ave. They describe the 5:30 p.m. Sunday concert, a candlelit Latin compline service; as “a service of quietude, meditation, and simplicity; all regardless of faith tradition are welcome to join. Sung entirely in Latin, the service is comprised of Gregorian chant and a concluding anthem.” Details.

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