Beethoven on strike

October 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Last night’s free performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 reminds us of the enduring ability music has to bring people together. The musicians, who were on the picket line just minutes before, took their places at 9:00 pm to give an inspiring performance of this masterwork. Emotions ran high as did the quality of the performance which was met with raucous applause from an audience of nearly 300. Although the piece had been announced as a four movement work, that didn’t stop the concert goers from showing their approval after every movement, with a generous standing ovation at the finish. The evening ended with a poignant note from the principal oboist, Naomi Bensdorf Frisch: “We are so proud to be a part of the Madison arts community and we hope we are back where we belong very soon.”

This performance was put together with only two days notice because of the immediate efforts of a few WCO musicians who volunteered to find a venue, borrow the sheet music, and gather the needed equipment (timpani, chairs, music stands). Madison’s Bethel Lutheran Church was warm and inviting, not only in offering the ensemble a place to perform but also providing volunteers to help set up. The musicians extend their deepest gratitude for all of the support.



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  1. BRAVO to my fellow Musicians of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. I wish I could have been with you this week to both perform the Beethoven and to stand together in support of our contract requirements. From far away: Thank you for your strength, hard work, commitment and artistry. The Musicians of the WCO are absolutely top-notch– way to go, guys!!! Thank you, and bravo to you. -Kate Nettleman, Principal Bass (leave of absence 08-09), WCO

  2. […] Center, on the evening of their season’s first concert. Additionally, the musicians held a free concert on 10/3/08 featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2. […]

  3. I fully support the players in their strike. As a former orchestra member and Players Committee member (and WCO Board member) I am aware of the issues: they are pretty much the same as they were during the previous negotiations. It also looks like the current Board is still pursuing the same hardball and detrimental policies and tactics.

    Anton TenWolde

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