music

Bonnie North

If your idea of accordion music begins and ends with the tunes featured on the Lawrence Welk show, Guy Klucevsek would like to broaden your horizons. He's a world-class accordionist who has founded bands and even entire record labels around the oft-forgotten reed instrument.

Amanda Marsalis / Jagjaguwar

It's not often we see indie musicians embrace country music in the way Angel Olsen does. The Asheville-based singer-songwriter made her name writing folk and country songs that center on the unique, wavering vibrato of her voice.

Along with collaborations with members of Wilco and Cap'n Jazz, she has recorded and toured with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang.

Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Chicago-based harpsichordist, conductor and early music specialist, Jory Vinikour, founded the Great Lakes Baroque series last year. This Friday, Vinikour will be joined by another Chicago-based early music specialist, violinist Rachel Barton Pine.

Photo by Stacy Newgent / lilandmad.com

It's not that unusual for recording artists to break into the business while they're still young. Years ago, it was the Jacksons, or Steve Winwood, recording at tender ages. More recently, musicians like Adele have broken through before they were allowed to drink alcohol (at least in the United States).

But even so, it seems remarkable that the sister duo called Lily & Madeleine have just released their third album. Keep It Together is out and Lily is only 19 and Madeleine is 21.

Doug Seymour

Sometimes all that is needed to create art is a starting point.

The Milwaukee duo of cellist Janet Schiff and drummer Victor DeLorenzo have been performing as Nineteen Thirteen for the last couple of years. But, it wasn't until Schiff was asked to play live cello to accompany a theater piece at Danceworks that the two had the creative inspiration to make an album. 

"It got us into the recording studio making new pieces of music for this [Danceworks] performance," says Schiff.

pallavimahidhara.com

Every two years, Milwaukee hosts one of the preeminent North American piano competitions for young musicians. PianoArts’ 2016 North American Piano Competition and Music Festival has been underway since Friday.

Pallavi Mahidhara won the PianoArts Anne Bach Grunau Prize in 2006 and played an opening night concert at the festival. Even after weeks of touring, Mahidhara is entertained.

Trapper Schoepp

Musician Christopher the Conquered, also known as Christopher Ford, is giving up on rock & roll. Well, kind of. 

Robert Altman

This Friday, Present Music will hold its Season Finale and Party at Turner Hall Ballroom. The group is finishing its 34th season playing new music in Milwaukee, and will feature guest conductor David Bloom, a founding co-artistic director of Contemporaneous in New York.

Photo by Dakota Harper

Milwaukee-raised songstress Lili K started performing young - through church and elementary school choirs. The Milwaukee High School of the Arts alum studied classical, opera and jazz vocals and received an education in arts, entertainment and media management at Columbia College Chicago.

Decca/Timothy White

Thursday night, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will be joined by one of the finest American singers performing today. Soprano Renee Fleming has graced stages around the world to rapturous praise – from the Metropolitan Opera to the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show. She sings opera repertoire, of course, but she also sings jazz and indie, including a 2010 album of covers of songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Band of Horses.

bananna, Fotolia

The Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra has members ranging in age from 8 to 80 years old. After only forming earlier this year, their inaugural concert is set for Tuesday, May 24.

Two WIO ensembles - the Sinfonietta, a group for beginning string players, and the Symphony strings, an ensemble comprised of more advanced players - will take stage at Pius XI High School after months of practice.

gala44, fotolia

Thanks to Milwaukee’s German and Eastern European heritages, choral singing has always been popular here. One of the choral groups on the scene for more than four decades is the Mastersingers of Milwaukee. They close out their season with a concert that features love in all of its many guises. Speak to Us of Love features music of Dowland, Monteverdi and Brahms, among others.

Brantley Gutierrez

Whether recording new music with his band the Punch Brothers, playing it live for audiences, or stepping into the shoes of Garrison Keillor as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion ​this fall, its an exciting time to be mandolinist Chris Thile.

Sacks & Co.

Bob Boilen loves music. In 2015 alone, he saw more than 500 live concerts. And his career has been a testament to that love. Boilen is the creator and host of NPR’s All Songs Considered, as well as the creator of Tiny Desk Concerts.

Jesse Willems / MSO

This weekend marks the 183rd birthday of the composer Johannes Brahms.  The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra celebrates that birthday with performances of both his third and fourth symphonies with one program.

Between rehearsals, Music Director of the MSO, Maestro Edo de Waart, explained his love of Brahms and why he is excited to conduct it this year.

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