For the 8th consecutive year, the Mead Witter School of Music will present its annual Schubertiade, a special concert celebrating the music of Franz Schubert. Traditionally these concerts have been held around the composer’s birthday. This year’s concert will in fact occur on his birthday: Sunday, January 31 at 3 pm at youtube.com/meadwitterschoolofmusic.com.
As in past years, Martha Fischer, professor of piano and head of the collaborative piano program at UW-Madison, and her husband Bill Lutes, an independent piano teacher, and UW Emeritus Artist-in-Residence, will host the program.
These concerts have been presented in the sprit of the first Schubertiades that took place during the composer’s lifetime (1797-1828) in the homes of his friends and fellow artists, poets, and fans. These were social as well as musical occasions with Schubert himself presiding at the piano, giving his audience a chance to hear his latest songs, piano duets and chamber music, as well as pieces that had already become favorites.
This year’s Schubertiade will be rather different, in response to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be an online look back—or Rückblick—at past concerts, with songs chosen from performances that have been preserved in our audio and video archive. The featured performers will include faculty, students and alumni from the Mead Witter School of Music, along with special guests. In addition pianists Fischer and Lutes will give a “new” performance recorded for this occasion of the great Fantasie in F-minor for piano duet.
The songs have been chosen to reflect themes that were not only relevant to Schubert and his circle, but also to all of us in the midst of this challenging time: hope for a brighter future, the need for connection with others, remembrance of happier times, and the consolation to be found in nature.
Schubert left us a vast and precious legacy of beauty—an enormous output of music that he composed in his short lifetime. In a sense, each time his music is performed and heard, it is a journey from the past to our own time, the sounds speaking to us today as vividly and consolingly as they did when they were created 200 years ago.
Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes, pianists
Jamie-Rose Guarrine, soprano
Emily Birsan, soprano
Michael Roemer, baritone
Jennifer D’Agostino, soprano
Daniel O’Dea, tenor
Wesley Dunnagan, tenor
Sarah Brailey (alumna and current DMA student)
Marie McManama, soprano
Cheryl Bensman-Rowe, mezzo soprano
Mimmi Fulmer, soprano
Paul Rowe, baritone
Julia Rottmayer, soprano
David Alcorn, Videographer, editor, etc.
Katrin Talbot, Images for audio only tracks