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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.