Press Releases

Sign Up for e-Notes

Recently Posted

Civic Music welcomes elite organist Prieto Ramirez for Weidner Center concert

September 30th, 2018

GREEN BAY — The pairing of one of the world’s most dynamic concert organists and the magnificent, 3,702-pipe Wood Family Organ promises a memorable evening of music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

The concert featuring Spanish-born Raúl Prieto Ramírez is presented by the Brown County Civic Music Association as the season opener of its five-concert classical subscription series for 2018-19.

General admission tickets, available at the door, are $25 for adults, $10 for students 18 and under, and $15 for members of the American Guild of Organists.

Formerly of Barcelona, Ramirez has been based since January in San Diego, Calif., where he is organist in residence for Balboa Park’s renowned Spreckels Organ, the largest outdoor musical instrument in the Western Hemisphere. Hired after an international search that included audition concerts by the finalists, Ramirez was lauded for his technical excellence, expressive musicality, and charismatic performance skills. He is known for being one of the few top-tier concert organists who perform from memory.

The program for his Green Bay concert will open with the intense and richly layered Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541, by Johann Sebastian Bach.  He will follow with the Allegro movement from Charles-Marie Vidor’s Symphony VI in g minor Op. 42 No. 2, which premiered in 1879 at the Paris World Exhibition. The third selection, Rhapsodie Op. 7 No. 1 by Camille Saint-Saëns, was inspired by the composer’s deep affection for French culture and folk music.  The final piece before intermission will be a Franz Liszt orchestral work transcribed by Ramirez and conveying passion, sensuality and dramatics:  Mephisto Waltz No. 1 ‘Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke’ (The Dance in the Village Inn).

The second half of the program will be devoted to the Liszt masterpiece,  Fantasia and Fugue on the chorale “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” (Latin for “Come to us, to the waves of salvation”). The operatic work begins with dark drama, shifts to quiet contemplation and energetic lyricism, and concludes with a triumphant coda.

Prominent among many career milestones for Ramirez was appointment in 2006, at the young age of 27, as the first organist in residence for the Auditorio Nacional de Música (the national concert hall) in Madrid. He went on to found Spain’s most successful organ festival, the International Organ Festival of Barcelona, where he continues as artistic director. His global schedule regularly takes him to major festivals and concert halls throughout Europe and North America, and he wins critical praise for performances described as “awe-inspiring” and “electrifying.” His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy and at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.

Organist Jeff Verkuilen, a Green Bay business person and Civic Music board member who helped arrange the visit of Ramirez to Wisconsin, says the concert will be a celebration not only of the artist’s singular talent but of the quality of the Weidner Center and its Casavant organ.

“It’s a phenomenal instrument,” Verkuilen says. “It’s a rarity – a blessing – to have a pipe organ of that magnitude and quality in a community the size of Green Bay. We’re proud to give people a chance to hear it played, and to hear it played by such a talented performer.”

Following the organ concert at the Weidner on Oct. 12, the Brown County Civic Music series will return to its traditional venue at Holter Auditorium, Green Bay West H.S., for its next three concerts:  vocal ensemble Cantus, Saturday, Nov. 10; the Siberian Virtuosi string ensemble, Friday, March 22; and Vienna-based crossover quartet Janoska, Thursday, April 4. The season finale, on Saturday, May 11, returns to the Weidner with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, special guest Catherine Lan and that evening’s musical centerpiece, the Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2. Information on purchasing a season pass, $80 for adults and $25 for students, may be found at www.bccivicmusic.org or by calling 920 338-1801.

####

Chamber group, brass and men’s a capella groups, trio and MSO highlight Brown County Civic Music Association season

April 17th, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (April 22, 2016) — A chamber ensemble based in Florida, a Boston brass group and men’s a capella sextet with Green Bay ties, a classical trio, and a Wisconsin treasure — the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra — will perform during Brown County Civic Music Association’s 2016-17 concert season.

The season will open Sept. 17 with the Chrysalis Chamber Players, emerging stars of the vibrant South Florida concert scene. The musicians combine impeccable technique and energetic musicality. They are led by co-founder Mary Bowden, who entered college at age 14 and earned a master’s at the Yale School of Music. She is an elite trumpeter and featured soloist with classical symphonies around the world.

We will follow up on Oct. 29 with the brash and brassy Boston Brass Quintet. Their dazzling musicianship and entertaining stage presence delights audiences with a repertoire that ranges from formal classical arrangements to swinging jazz standards. “They played with brash abandon at times, then with feathery gentleness,” wrote one reviewer. Boston Brass has performed with orchestras worldwide, on a series of successful albums, and on NPR and the CBS Early Show.

Just in time for Christmas, Chapter Six will perform sacred Christian and holiday favorites on Dec. 10. The Indiana-based group got its start by winning the collegiate a cappella competition for Milliken University in Decatur, Ill. These standout vocalists turned professional and kept on winning awards, acclaim and concert bookings far and wide. The members include Bayport High School graduate Nathan Pufall.

Our performers will return to the stage on March 4, 2017, with the Manhattan Piano Trio. Don’t let the name fool you, they are truly an international group featuring San Francisco native Wayne Lee on the violin; Reykjavik, Iceland, native Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir on cello, and Moldova native Milana Strezeva on piano. They have earned rave reviews from top critics, reflected in their busy recording schedule and regular dates at prestigious venues including Alice Tully Hall and the Ravinia Festival.

The season will close on May 6, 2017, for the tenth straight year with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The MSO is considered one of the nation’s leading orchestras. Under the direction of Maestro Edo de Waart, the 68 full-time professionals of the MSO have earned glowing reviews for their performances of works by Ravel, Handel, Beethoven Mozart, Schubert, Bernstein and Prokofiev.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ralph Holter Auditorium at Green Bay West High School. A season ticket for the five concerts is $80 for adults and $25 for students. Tickets are available online and individual concert tickets are sold at the door.

As an incentive to new members, those who buy a 2016-17 membership by this season’s final concert, May 21 with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, may attend that concert as a special bonus — six concerts for the price of five.

For more information, contact the Brown County Civic Music Association at (920) 338-1801 or by e-mail at BCcivicmusic@gmail.com. The website is BCcivicmusic.org and facebook.com/bccivicmusic.

###

2015-16 Season Announcement

April 14th, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chamber Ensemble, Accordions, Brass and MSO highlight Brown County Civic Music Association season

GREEN BAY, Wis. (April 13, 2015) — A celebrated chamber group, accordions like most people have never heard them, an eclectic quartet, a brass ensemble and the ever-popular Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will entertain audiences in the Brown County Civic Music Association 2015-16 concert season.

The season will open in magnificent fashion on October 18 with the classic elegance of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. The group was created in 1967 to perform the larger chamber works — from quintets to octets — with players who customarily work together. Drawn from the orchestra’s principal players, it tours as a string octet, string sextet, and in other configurations, performing in Europe, Australia, and North and South America. The ensemble has released more than 30 CDs.

The season will strike a different note on November 21 with Accordion Virtuosi of Russia. The 37-member group, which includes 30 accordions, harp, guitar, piano, percussionists, and a violinist-conductor, performs both traditional Russian folk songs and familiar classical favorites. Since its founding in St. Petersburg in 1940s’ war-torn Russia by Pavel Smirnov, the group has performed throughout Europe, Africa and Japan. Pavel Smirnov’s sons Yuri and Vladimi, and grandson Yaroslav now lead the group.

On March 19, 2016, Civic Music will welcome the return of Quartetto Gelato. These master musicians from Toronto are warmly remembered for some of the most electric, entertaining evenings in our series’ history. Their program ranges from serious classical music and operatic arias to tangos, gypsy fiddling and vocals in the tradition of the great Italian tenors.

On April 23, 2016, Isthmus Brass Ensemble — the stars of a December 2014 Christmas concert — will return by demand of our members. Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble, under the direction of John Stevens, is a who’s who of University of Wisconsin professors, prominent music alumni and members of professional orchestras and ensembles.

The season will close on May 21, 2016, for the ninth straight year with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The MSO is considered one of the nation’s leading orchestras. Under the direction of Maestro Edo de Waart, the 80 full-time professionals of the MSO have earned glowing reviews for their performances of works by Ravel, Handel, Beethoven Mozart, Schubert, Bernstein and Prokofiev.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ralph Holter Auditorium at Green Bay West High School. A season ticket for the five concerts is $80 for adults and $25 for students. Tickets are available online and individual concert tickets are sold at the door.

As an incentive to new members, those who buy 2015-16 membership by this season’s final concert, May 9 with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, may attend that concert as a special bonus — six concerts for the price of five.

For more information, contact the Brown County Civic Music Association at (920) 338-1801 or by e-mail at BCcivicmusic@gmail.com. The website is bccivicmusic.org and facebook.com/bccivicmusic.

###