Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra Presents Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater”

Sept. 15, 2010

The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra’s 2010-2011 season opens Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 935 W. Wisconsin Ave., in downtown Milwaukee. Music director Richard Hynson will conduct Giovanni Pergolesi’s final work, “Stabat Mater,” for solo soprano and mezzo-soprano voices. Amy Conn, soprano, and Nicole Warner, mezzo-soprano, co-winners of the 2010 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition, will sing the text based on a sequence for the Feast of Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Conn also will perform contemporary composer John Tavener’s “Cantus Mysticus,” scored for B flat clarinet, soprano and strings. Igor Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella Suite,” a ballet piece based on the music of Pergolesi, rounds out the first concert.


The MCO is performing the “Stabat Mater” at the request of Elise Malecki and Douglas Thompson, who have endowed the concert. This performance is also underwritten by the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation.


As the ‘Stabat Mater’ is approximately 45 minutes long,” said Hynson, “the trick became to find other pieces that would complement this extraordinary Baroque masterpiece. The MCO will be celebrating the mystery of the Feminine Sacred as expressed in two radically different works: Pergolesi’s poignant setting of the ‘Stabat Mater’ and the richly textured, contemporary ‘Cantus Mysticus’ by John Tavener. Then, Pergolesi himself and 18th century ‘commedia dell’arte’ become the inspiration for the ‘Pulcinella Suite,’ as they moved Igor Stravinsky not only to compose his ballet ‘Pulcinella,’ but also to embrace a whole new way of composing music.”


Complimentary valet parking is available at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Wisconsin Ave. All patrons are invited to a free wine tasting one hour prior to the concert, presented by Vino 100 of Wauwatosa. Wine also can be purchased, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the MCO. A free cheese sampling will also be presented by Sartori Foods, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of award-winning specialty cheese.


Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $10 for students with school ID. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 414-881-9900, or at the door.


Richard Hynson, music director

Richard Hynson has served as music director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra since 2006. This year also marks Hynson’s 23rd season as music director of the Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Hynson’s past engagements include performances the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Racine, Sheboygan, and Waukesha Symphony Orchestras. He has conducted the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in a Concert on the Square in Madison, Wis.. He also has conducted the popular outdoor music festival, Gathering on the Green, in Mequon, Wis., for the last two summers. Hynson is in much demand locally and nationally as a clinician and has led multiple choir clinics in Boston, Mass.; Lexington, Ky.; Washington, D.C.; and the greater Milwaukee area. In addition to his work as a conductor and educator, Hynson is a composer. His written contributions include a substantial body of published choral, vocal, and ensemble works, many of which he has recorded with Bel Canto. Music critic Barbara Castonguay (, January 31, 2010) wrote, “…Under the direction of Richard Hynson, the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra was spot on. The complicated rhythms never seemed scattered or frantic. Phrasing was impeccable…”


Amy Conn, soprano

Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for her “glowing, pure line,” soprano Amy Conn is in demand as an intelligent and communicative artist. Recent performances include Monteverdi’s “Vespers of 1610,” Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and “Exsultate, jubilate,” Charpentier’s “Te Deum,” Schumann’s “Das Paradies und die Peri,” Purcell’s “King Arthur,” Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel's “Israel in Egypt,” Vivaldi's “Dixit Dominus,” Couperin's “Leçon du Ténèbres,” Orff's “Carmina Burana,” and Haydn’s “Creation,” “Lord Nelson” Mass and “Theresienmesse.” . Conn has appeared as a soloist with Music of the Baroque, Baroque Band, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Elgin Choral Union and Symphony, Chorus Angelorum, North Shore Choral Society, Lutheran Choir of Chicago and Bach Chamber Choir. She is a former long time member of Chicago a cappella. In 2006 she participated in the Handel Singing Competition in London and was a semi-finalist in the American Bach Soloists Young Artist’s Competition in Berkeley, Calif.. In 2010 she was a finalist in the New York Oratorio Society’s 34th Annual Competition and appeared in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. In the same year she was a co-winner of Milwaukee’s Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artist’s Competition.


Nicole Warner, mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Nicole Warner always has been equally at home in a multitude of genres, from musical theater, to works-in-progress, to opera. Recently, she sang the Fairy #2 solo in Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Hans Graf. In 2008 she joined Nautilus Music-Theater for the Composer-Librettist Studio and sang her first Handel’s “Messiah.” From 2003 to 2008 Warner resided in Germany, where she made her German Oratorio debut in 2004, singing the alto solo in Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio,” and sang with orchestras such as the Kammer Sinfonie Bremen and the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen. In 2006 pianist Amy Wegge and Warner joined forces and developed the song program “Songs and Praise of Thanksgiving” specifically for a Hauskonzert for the American Consulate in Leipzig, and they repeated the same performance in the Großer Lindensaal in Markkleeberg, Leipzig in 2007. Warner received a Bachelor of Music degree from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minn. in 2001, and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, New York, N.Y. in 2003.


The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the only professional chamber orchestra in the greater Milwaukee area, has been performing the highest quality chamber music for more than 30 years. The MCO provides a unique experience for audience members as well as important performance opportunities to professional musicians in the area, many of whom play with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and are in demand around the world.


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