Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concerts



Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Winterfest Concerts Postponed


In response to the recent announcements from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concerts will not take place as scheduled.

The UW-Madison is cancelling all large campus events until April 10, due to the uncertainties presented by COVID-19 (the corona virus), and that includes events scheduled at the Hamel Music Center and Mills Hall. The safety and health of our community is our most important priority.

We are planning to reschedule the concerts and will be exploring possibilities over the coming weeks. Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support as we navigate these circumstances.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the WYSO office at wyso@wysomusic.org.






The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will present the second concert series of its 19-20 season on March 13 and 14, 2020.

In the Friday night Youth Orchestra Concert, the top WYSO orchestra will take the stage with the four Madison Opera Studio Artists in the beautiful new Hamel Music Center on the UW- Madison campus. In this stunning collaboration, concert-goers will hear a concert of opera scenes and arias, conducted by WYSO Music Director Kyle Knox.

According to Mr. Knox, the audience will be in for a treat:

“Opera repertoire is every bit as thrilling and spectacular as anything in the orchestral repertory.  Indeed, for many of  the composers we play on the concert stage– Mozart, Wagner, Richard Strauss — much of their greatest output was in opera.

The works we’ve chosen represent a wonderful sampling of some of the best opera composers in history.  Whether the lighthearted comedy of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, or the spiritual depth of Wagner’s Lohengrin, there is something for everyone on this program. This is magnificent music and the musicians have responded enthusiastically to the repertoire.” 

The concert will take place in the new 660-seat Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall of the Hamel Music Center, which opened to the public in October 2019. This jewel-box of a performing venue is spectacularly appointed with copper trim, and wrapped in a theme of flowing curves. The sound quality is magnificent and the WYSO Youth Orchestra musicians and Madison Opera Studio Artists feel grateful to perform in this beautiful space.

The WYSO Winterfest Concert series is funded by Diane Ballweg, with additional funding from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Dane Arts, Madison Arts Commission, American Girl’s Fund for Children, Eric D. Batterman Memorial Fund, and the Coe and Paul Williams Fund for New Musicians. The performance in this concert space was made possible by an additional gift from Martha and Charles Casey. The appearance of the Studio Artists in this program has been graciously underwritten by the Charles and Mary Anderson Charitable Fund, Charles and Martha Casey, and David Flanders and Susan Ecroyd.

The concert will begin at 7:00 pm at the Hamel Music Center, 740 University Avenue, with a reception to follow. Concert admission is $10 for adults, and $5 for youth, with tickets available in advance through the Campus ticket office and at the venue 30 minutes prior to the concert.



Overture to Nabucco – Giuseppe Verdi

Act III Quartet from Rigoletto – Giuseppe Verdi

“Ah perdona al primo affetto” – from La Clemenza di Tito – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Ah! qual colpo inaspettato” – from Il barbiere di Siviglia – Gioachino Rossini

Overture to Guillaume Tell – Gioachino Rossini

Prelude to Act I from Lohengrin – Richard Wagner

“Una parola, o Adina” from L’elisir d’amore – Gaetano Donizetti

“O Mimi  tu più non torni” from La Boheme – Giacomo Puccini

Entr’acte, Gypsy Song, and Toreador Song from Act II of Carmen – Georges Bizet



WYSO students travel from communities throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois for 33 weekends throughout the concert season to rehearse on the UW-Madison campus. Each orchestra performs three concerts per season, with additional performance opportunities available to students, including ensembles and chamber groups. Additional Winterfest Concerts in the series will take place on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Mills Concert Hall on the UW-Madison Campus.

Saturday, March 14, 2020, Mills Concert Hall Concerts
11:30 am Opus One & Sinfonietta
1:30 pm Harp Ensemble & Concert Orchestra
4:00 pm Percussion Ensemble & Philharmonia Orchestra



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