Go for Baroque! A BBC Radio favorite, Red Priest is a British quartet famed for its energetic musicality and theatrical stage style, complete with dramatic lighting, props, costumes… and attitude. They take their name from Antonio Vivaldi, the flame-haired Italian priest, and their music pays homage. On violin, harpsichord, recorder and cello, they serve up bold arrangements still faithful to the original music of Vivaldi, Bach and Baroque Era composers. An album offering a fresh take on “The Four Seasons” was a big seller.
Something special from Wisconsin! Directed by brass icon John Stevens, Isthmus Brass is Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble. The players are a who’s who of University of Wisconsin professors, prominent music alumni and members of professional orchestras and ensembles. Established in 2009, the ensemble began with a series of Christmas concerts and soon took off, invited to perform in concert series and music festivals throughout the Midwest. Last year’s CD release, An Isthmus Brass Christmas, was warmly received. The repertoire spans Renaissance to Big Band Jazz.
An evening with Mozart! Based in Boston, this 18-player chamber orchestra features leading alumni of the New England Conservatory of Music. According to the New York Times, the self-conducted ensemble “brims with personality or, better said, personalities, many and varied.” With world-class technique and irresistible energy, the Millennial Generation performers of A Far Cry convey the beauty of classical masterworks and a millennium of music from medieval to modern. The ensemble will add four woodwind players for its Civic Music concert and a performance of Mozart’s landmark Symphony No. 29 in A major.
A magnificent finale! For the eighth consecutive spring, we close our season with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, one of the nation’s leading orchestras and a Wisconsin cultural treasure. The MSO is earning bravos this year for the exceptional quality of its Ravel, Handel, Beethoven and pops concerts. When the disappearance and subsequent recovery of the concertmaster’s missing 300-year-old Stradivarius violin made worldwide headlines last winter, the instrument’s return was literally music to the ears of MSO fans. Maestro Edo de Waart and his 80 full-time professional musicians make world-class music.
Spectacular talent! We open the season in grand fashion with Dublin’s most beloved tenor — a superstar of “Irish Tenors” fame and a fixture on PBS and worldwide music charts. From traditional Irish melodies to soaring, operatic classics, Kearns dazzles. In 2013 he performed for the U.S. President and Irish Prime Minister and opened the National Memorial Day Parade with a stirring rendition of “America, the Beautiful.” His previous Civic Music engagement (2007) drew one of the largest audiences in recent history.