JOIN SONORA STRINGS as they perform on the FAREWELL concert of conductor,artist teacher SSM board member and dear friend Janet Jensen!
from a lovely UW School of Music article:
A farewell concert with conductor Janet Jensen, professor of string pedagogy and associate director of the School of Music, who retires this spring after 25 years on faculty at the school.
–Suite Modale Ernest Bloch
–Suite for Strings John Rutter
Mikko Utevsky, conductor
–Tango Nuevo Benedikt Brydern
–Concerto Grosso in A Minor, op. 3, no. 8 Antonio Vivaldi
With Sonora Strings, from Suzuki Strings of Madison
–Celtic Juggernaut Cristina Seaborn
–Simple Song from MASS, arr. Robert Longfield Leonard Bernstein
–Holberg Suite, op. 40 Edvard Grieg
Elliot Stalter, conductor
John Povolny & Lili Kim, soloists
–Four Tango Postcards Benedikt Brydern
Brandi Pease, conductor
–Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, BWV 1048, G major J.S.Bach
–Källnaschottis Cristina Seaborn
A few words from Janet Jensen:
As always, this program is dedicated to our teachers and mentors – even as we, all of us, become teachers and mentors ourselves. But today I specifically remember and thank my music teachers, whose careers have made my career possible. My principal band and orchestra directors in Madison schools were Ralph James, John Rafoth, and Hiram Pearcy . My cherished flute teachers were Betty Bielefeld and Robert Cole. The conductor who most influenced my undergraduate playing was H. Robert Reynolds, David Nelson made sure I finished my masters degrees, and from the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra in 1968 to this very moment, Marvin Rabin’s legacy shapes nearly everything I teach and every thought I have about music.
And so I’ve returned a bit to my past today: it started with the flute, and after many years of not playing, I promised myself that I would come back to it, or at least give it my best effort. So with less time to practice, less collagen in the embouchure, more arthritis in the hands, and a second pair of glasses, today I get to play some favorite music with some favorite people. Bloch’s Suite Modale, written late in his life, represents both a return to a simpler musical language and his admiration for one of the few professional women flutists in the 1950s, Elaine Schaffer. Bloch has a particularly important connection to UW-Madison, as my colleagues in the Pro Arte Quartet have recorded all of his string quartets.
Bernstein’s MASS was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy for the opening of the Kennedy Center for the Arts and explores themes of anguish, loss of faith, hope, and yearning for wisdom. “A Simple Song” opens with these lyrics:
Sing God a simple song, lauda laude
Make it up as you go along, lauda laude
Sing like you like to sing, God loves all simple things.
For God is the simplest of all, For God is the simplest of all.
Two of the richest sources of classical string orchestra music are British and Scandinavian composers, and Rutter and Grieg gave us two of the best suites for strings. Rutter set folksongs much as a painter might capture landscape and light. Listen for color and even brush-like bow strokes in Rutter’s work, and lush romantic melodies in the Holberg Suite. The latter is more accurately titled “From Holberg’s Time: Suite in olden style,” as it exemplifies 19th century music that uses styles and forms from the 18th century.
I don’t know Benedikt Brydern, but I like him a lot. A violinist originally from Germany, he was selected out of 1000 applicants for Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival to perform in the festival orchestra under the baton of Leonard Bernstein in 1988. He returned to the festival in 1990 to be part in the TV series “Orchestra!” hosted by Sir Georg Solti and Dudley Moore. After graduation in 1992 he received a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to continue his studies in the United States where he completed the Advanced Studies Program, “Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television,” at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles. Besides being a classically trained concert violinist, he co-founded the “Hot Club Quartette” which pays tribute to the great music of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli. As a past president of the Rotary Club of Hollywood and a board member of the Harmony Project, a non-profit organization providing free music lessons to more than 700 underprivileged children in the Los Angeles area, he connects with the community and shares his passion and love for music. I hope you like tango!
This is a 25th anniversary year both for me in the School of Music and for Suzuki Strings of Madison! Throughout that time I’ve admired and valued the work of Diana Popowycz and Maria-Rosa Germain, who founded and continue to teach SSM, with colleagues Janse Vincent, Kathryn Taylor, Heidi Kenney and Carol Lebovic. Since 1991 Suzuki Strings of Madison has provided children of all ages (3-18) quality, comprehensive musical instruction through the violin. Beyond the weekly private lesson, students receive weekly repertoire and technique classes alongside a full music reading and theory program. By fostering a positive environment and working relationship between teacher, child and parent, students learn the tools for success and-well being that last a lifetime. Initiated in 2001, Sonora Strings is a violin choir of students ages ten to sixteen which provides Suzuki Strings of Madison’s advanced students with adventurous performing opportunities and experiences performing in modern, romantic and popular musical styles. When we last got to perform with them, we played the 2nd and 3rd movements of this concerto grosso by Vivaldi; today, we play the 1st movement!
Suzuki Strings of Madison 25th Anniversary Concert
Sunday, May 15 at 2:30 pm
Middleton Performing Arts Center
I’ve loved the Brandenburg Concerti (there are six in all) for a long time, so much that they were the topic of my masters thesis. However, it was an arrangement of the first movement of this 3rd concerto, arranged for young string players by Merle Isaac, that may have taught me the most about their inherent joy and energy. My then 7th graders were really not technically ‘ready’ to play this piece, but they were so motivated that they played way above themselves. Today we play Bach’s original version of that piece, scored for 3 violin parts, 3 viola parts, 3 cello parts, and bass.
Finally, we end both parts of the program with folk music arranged by Cristina Seaborn, who lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Celtic and Swedish – going again to the British/Scandinavian ‘well’, so to speak!
My commitment to and involvement with AUS will not end with retirement. I want everyone involved to be successful, and to that end I’ll help as much as is needed.
With deep gratitude, Janet Jensen.
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