Chamber Music Festival June 13 – 29, 2014: 3 weekends, 3 cities, 6 programs
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (BDDS) presents its 23rd annual summer chamber music festival, 23 SKIDDOO, June 13 – 29, 2014. This festival features 12 concerts over three weekends, each weekend offers two different programs. Concerts will be performed in The Playhouse at Overture Center in Madison, the Stoughton Opera House, and the Hillside Theater at Taliesin in Spring Green.
Combining the best local musicians and top-notch artists from around the country, a varied repertoire and delightful surprises, BDDS presents chamber music as “serious fun” infused with high energy and lots of audience appeal, and makes this art form accessible to diverse audiences. Led by artistic directors and performers Stephanie Jutt, flute, and Jeffrey Sykes, piano, 15 guest artists will perform in the festival.
“23 Skiddoo” is early 20th century American slang that refers to leaving quickly or taking advantage of an opportunity to leave. Jutt and Sykes have taken some great colloquial expressions and found musical connections for them: sometimes obvious, sometimes oblique—but always leading to thrilling music. Highlights for this season include Latin American music, two pianos on stage in one weekend, a Midwest premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, and a silent film score (including the film by Charlie Chaplin).
We have two spectacular programs our first week, “Getta Move On” and “Exit Strategy.” “Exit Strategy” features music written at the end of composers’ careers. It includes Debussy’s profound violin sonata, the last work he wrote; Ravel’s popular Bolero in its original two piano incarnation, almost his last work; Arnold Bax’s beautiful sonata for flute and harp; and the scintillating Paganini Variations of Witold Lutoslawski for two pianos. “Getta Move On” features music inspired by dance, including Rachmaninoff’s thrilling Symphonic Dances for two pianos, Ravel’s nostalgic La valse for two pianos, and the Midwest premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ evocative work The Art of the Dance for soprano, flute, harp, viola, and percussion. Madison’s piano star Christopher Taylor will pair up with BDDS artistic director Jeffrey Sykes on the two-piano works. The programs will also showcase the talents of Canadian harp virtuoso Heidi Krutzen and Pro Musicis award winner Yura Lee on violin and viola. Icelandic soprano Dìsella Làrusdóttir, hailed by Opera News as “a voice of bewitching beauty and presence,” will join in the Kernis premiere and other works. Concerts will be performed at The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts on Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14, 7:30 PM; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 15, at 2:30 PM and 6:30 PM.
Our second week features “Take a Hike” and “Hasta La Vista, Baby”. “Take a Hike” includes music inspired by the countryside, from an Amy Beach Romance, to Brahms’ gorgeous clarinet trio and Mozart’s pastoral 23rd piano concerto (celebrating the Austrian countryside) to works by Latin composer Carlos Guastavino (Argentinian pampas). “Hasta La Vista, Baby” is an extravaganza of Latin chamber music: from the sultry, sensuous, heart-on-the-sleeve tangos of Astor Piazzolla to the mystic profundity of Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. We are thrilled to have clarinetist Alan Kay, principal of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, joining BDDS for the first time. He will be joined by audience favorites Carmit Zori and Suzanne Beia, violins; David Harding, viola; and Tony Ross and Beth Rapier, cellos. Finally, we have invited master pianist and arranger Pablo Zinger, one of Piazzolla’s champions and an international authority on Latin music, to give our programs authentic Latin flair. Concerts will be performed at the Stoughton Opera House on Friday, June 20, at 7:30 PM; The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts on Saturday, June 21, at 7:30 PM; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 22, at 2:30 PM and 6:30 PM.
Our final week includes “Cut and Run” and “Hightail It.” “Cut and Run” features music by composers who made well-timed exits or transitions in their lives. Martinu escaped Europe just before the outbreak of World War 2; when he arrived in the US, he wrote his jazzy Trio for flute, cello and piano. In Russia, Shostakovich responded to the war by writing his very moving piano trio. In this work, he got himself back into the good graces of the Soviet authorities—and yet still managed to sneak into his work an ironic critique of Soviet life. Milhaud’s great work for piano four hands, “Le boeuf sur le toit,” was originally intended as the score for Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie The Count, a movie that culminates in a hilariously well-timed exit. Our program will reunite the movie with its erstwhile score. “Hightail It” includes music with fast codas. “Coda” is the Italian word for “tail,” and it refers to the final section of a movement or a piece. This program includes William Hirtz’s fun, over-the-top Fantasy on the Wizard of Oz for piano four-hands, and the jazzy, rhythmic Sonata, for violin and cello, of Maurice Ravel. The thrilling, symphonic piano trio in F minor of Antonín Dvořák brings the season to a close. The San Francisco Piano trio—violinist Axel Strauss, cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and BDDS Artistic Director pianist Jeffrey Sykes—will be joined by Boston Symphony pianist Randall Hodgkinson and BDDS Artistic Director flutist Stephanie Jutt in these programs. Concerts will be performed at The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts on Friday, June 27, 7:30 PM; Stoughton Opera House on Saturday, June 28; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 29, at 2:30 PM and 6:30 PM.
For the fourth year, BDDS will also perform one free family concert, “Getta Move On Kids,” an interactive event that will be great for all ages. Together with the audience, BDDS will explore why dance-like melodies and rhythms can get people on their feet; they’ll listen to and repeat rhythms and move to the music. This will take place at 11:00 AM, on Saturday, June 14, in The Playhouse. This is a performance for families with children ages 6 and up and seating will be first come first served. CUNA Mutual Group, and Overture Center generously underwrite this performance.
Carolyn Kallenborn, local textile artist, will create a stage setting for each concert in The Playhouse. All concerts at The Playhouse, the Opera House and Hillside Theater will be followed by a meet-the-artist opportunity.
Locations: Stoughton Opera House (381 E. Main Street); Overture Center in Madison (201 State Street); Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin Hillside Theater (CHY 23 in Spring Green).
Single general admission tickets are $39. Student tickets are only $5! Various ticket packages are also available starting at a series of three for $111. First time subscriptions are ½ off. For tickets and information visit www.bachdancinganddynamite.org or call (608) 255-9866. Single tickets for Overture Center concerts can also be purchased at the Overture Center for the Arts box office, (608) 258-4141, or at overturecenter.com (additional fees apply). Hillside Theater tickets may be purchased from the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor’s Center on CHY C, (608) 588-7900. Tickets are available at the door at all locations.
Chamber music with a bang. More bang for your Bach. What Bach would be doing if he were more fun and less dead. However you describe what we do, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society always features great music played with joy, creativity, spontaneity, and a technique that is second to none. BDDS is aimed at people who are curious, open-minded, and up for anything. People who want to have serious fun.