St. Petersburg String Quartet with clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan

photo of St. Petersburg String Quartet
St. Petersburg String Quartet
Photo of clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan
Clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan

We open with shining stars of the chamber music galaxy. Called “masters of subtlety and refinement” by the Los Angeles Times, this Grammy-nominated quartet is renowned also for its robust interpretations of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky and the rousing folk tunes of their Russian homeland. It’s said no classical collection is complete without their recordings. Audiences from Toronto to Tokyo, from Lithuania to London and in music halls across the United States would agree. A clarinet soloist will also perform.


Amacord group photo
Amacord, five-man a capella group from Germany

They last played our series in 2002, and are still singing Bach and the Beatles, Schubert and Billy Joel. The five former members of St. Thomas’s Boys Choir in Leipzig who make up AMARCORD have delighted concertgoers with their immaculate, a capella elegance. Their concerts have been described as “vocal magic,” “astonishing” and “world class.” Said one reviewer, famously, “They sing like angels and look like the Backstreet Boys. Well, maybe a little more clean cut.”

Philharmonia of the Nations with pianist Jon Nakamatsu

Photo of Philharmonia of the Nations and conductor Justus Frantz
Philharmonia of the Nations and conductor Justus Frantz
photo of pianist Jon Nakamatsu
Pianist Jon Nakamatsu

Leonard Bernstein’s idea “Let’s make music as friends” was realized in 1995 when colleague Justus Frantz assembled a multicultural orchestra featuring star talent from 40 nations. Serbs and Slovenians, Syrians and Israelis, Chinese, French, Russians, Italians and others share a common language (music) in their recordings, tours and special appearances at the invitation of notables including the UN Secretary General and the Pope. Special guest Jon Nakamatsu, the most recent American winner of the Van Cliburn Competition, has been hailed by the New York Times for his “stunning” elegance, clarity and power.

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Philharmonia of the Nations


Photo of Intersection
Piano, violin and cello Trio

Piano, violin and cello… and three engaging musicians whose soulful expression, instrumental virtuosity and playful performance style make for an unforgettable evening. Their repertoire ranges from tango to bossa nova, from a West Side Story melody to a gossamer Mendelssohn scherzo. Writes the New York Times, “Diamond-hard brilliance, uncommonly poetic depths…breathtaking in precision, dexterity and unanimity of attack.” Cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper has played our series previously with the popular Quartetto Gelato.

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Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on their home stage

This concert was narrated by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Lori Skelton.

A Civic Music tradition, back once again by popular demand, the MSO presents an up-close and in-person evening with one of the nation’s premier professional orchestras. Navigating both delicate passages and bold fortissimo movements with equal facility, the acclaimed, in-demand ensemble of 85 world-class musicians continues to reach new heights.

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the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on their home stage

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

Program | Season Listing | Biographies

Photo: Kremlin Chamber Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra Kremlin
Photo of Conductor Misha Rachlevsky
Conductor Misha Rachlevsky

We open with one of Russia’s most heralded chamber ensembles. Music director Misha Rachlevsky emigrated from Moscow as a rising young violinist in the 1970s. With the fall of communism he returned in 1991 to found a chamber orchestra comprising some of Russia’s finest young string players. Whether through widely sold CDs or mesmerizing concerts, the orchestra wins praise for bringing passion, flawless ensemble and majestic artistry to every performance.

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Concert Program and Program Notes

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin’s recordings are available at this concert.

The Tamburitzans

Tamburitzans men dancing with men on their shoulders
Tamburitzans men dancing

Tamburtizans men and women dancing

The Duquesne University Tamburitzans have graced the Civic Music stage several times over the years, most recently in 2004. In every show, audiences enjoy an unforgettable experience. Spectacular dance, brilliant costuming and youthful exuberance light up the stage as this high-energy troupe interprets the irresistible folk music of Eastern Europe. They take their name from the tamburitza – the family of traditional stringed instruments that gives this music its distinctive sound.

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Photo of the Tamburitzens

Seraphic Fire

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Seraphic Fire group
Seraphic Fire group

Their March 2009 appearance here was sensational — Press-Gazette reviewer Warren Gerds called the music “sumptuous” and hailed their precision — but a snowstorm kept many concertgoers home. This time, we hope this nationally emerging, Miami-based chamber choir brings better weather north. Seraphic Fire earns raves for  “putting a fresh, hip face on classical music,” for spirited renditions of Latin and gospel favorites, and for impeccable interpretation of Renaissance and Baroque classics.

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Imani Winds

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Imani Winds group photo
Imani Winds

This polished, Grammy-nominated quintet features four woodwinds — flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon — and that most subtle of brass instruments, a French horn.  Their music spans classics by Ravel and Hindemith to transcriptions of Mozart, Beethoven, and Poulenc to newly commissioned works. The name Imani means “faith” in Swahili, and subtly reflects the African-American and Latin American roots of this New York-based ensemble.

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Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Program | Program Notes | Season Listing

the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on their home stage

Bonus concert for the 2011-12 Season! New members for the  2011-2012 season receive this Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert as a bonus—a six-concert package for a five-concert price. Call the Civic Music office for details.

A Civic Music tradition, back once again by popular demand, the MSO closes our season with an up-close, surround-sound evening with one of the nation’s premier professional orchestras. From delicate passages by virtuoso soloists to crashing crescendos and the exhilarating power of 88 world-class musicians playing as one, the orchestra transports listeners to new heights. Newly arrived music director Edo de Waart, internationally renowned, has brought added sparkle to Wisconsin’s musical crown jewel.

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