Press Releases

FOR RELEASE February 1, 2019
Samantha Crownover, Executive Director

Chamber Music Festival, June 14 – 30, 2019
3 weekends, 3 cities, 6 programs

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (BDDS) presents its 28th annual summer chamber music festival, NAME DROPPING, June 14 – 30, 2019. This festival features 12 concerts over three weekends, each weekend offers two different programs. The venues are intimate: the state-of-the-art Playhouse at Overture Center, the jewel box historic Stoughton Opera House, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hillside Theater at Taliesin in Spring Green.

In a rousing three-weekend festival, you’ll hear great classical masterpieces and the best of contemporary works. A roster of musicians with national and international reputations guarantees fantastic performances. Concerts are spiked with stories about the music, mystery guests, and even door prizes. It’s chamber music with a bang! Artistic directors and performers Stephanie Jutt, flute, and Jeffrey Sykes, piano, are joined by 17 musicians and one visual artist.

We’re showcasing our intimate relationships with fabulous composers like Gabriel, Johannes, and Lili (that would be Fauré, Brahms, and Boulanger, if you need to ask) and incredible musicians like Axel, Carmit, Tony, and Beth (Strauss, Zori, Ross, and Rapier). Each of our NAME DROPPING programs is named for one of our extraordinary artists and features music chosen with that artist in mind.


The elegance, charm, and finesse of French cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau is displayed in a program called Fonteneau of Youth. It includes music written by great composers in their youth, including the ravishing Élégie for cello and piano of Gabriel Fauré, the rhythmically exciting Trio for flute, cello, and piano of Ned Rorem, and the astonishing D’un soir triste and D’un matin de printemps, both for piano trio, of 21-year old Lili Boulanger. The great Joseph Haydn—always the most youthful of composers, even into his late years—is represented by the masterful Piano Trio no. 28 in E major, in honor of our 28th season.

Fonteneau of Youth will be performed at The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts, Friday, June 14, at 7:30 PM. A free champagne and dessert reception will be held following the performance to celebrate the 28th season opener; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 16, at 2:30 PM.

Audience favorite Axel Strauss—not just a virtuoso violinist, but a virtuoso musician and artist of the highest distinction—will brave gravity-defying musical heights in Quadruple Axel. CPE Bach’s Trio Sonata in D minor for violin, flute, cello, and piano starts the program on an elegant note. Brahms’ fiery Piano Trio in C minor raises the temperature significantly. And all sorts of hijinks are on display in Ravel’s extraordinary and ravishing Violin Sonata.

We’re especially thrilled that both Strauss and Fonteneau will be joined by another extraordinary artist, Russian virtuoso accordion player Stas Venglevski, on each of their programs. Venglevski performs on the bayan, a Russian-style accordion noted for its deep bass sound and range and purity of tone. He’ll be featured in works that range from heart-on-the-sleeve tangos by Piazzolla, Lecuona, and Stravinsky, down-and-dirty original works by Russian master Tatyana Sergeyeva, and arrangements of favorite pieces by JS Bach and others.

Quadruple Axel will be performed at The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts, Saturday, June 15, at 7:30 PM, and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 16, at 6:30 PM.


In our second week, we celebrate our two founders, Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes, plus two of favorite guest artists, violinist Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio and Madison pianist Thomas Kasdorf. Kasdorf and Sykes are both featured in a program called Rock the Sykes-o-delic Kas-bah. Kasdorf is featured in Brahms’ great Horn Trio (together with guest horn player Karl Kramer Johansen and Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio) and the delightful Café Concertino by Australian composer Carl Vine. Sykes will perform Mozart’s glorious 9th Piano Concerto in E-flat Major, K. 271, the “Jeunehomme” concerto, with the entire ensemble. Dynamite Factory artist (our program for emerging talent) Alison Rowe, cellist, will be featured in JS Bach’s Sonata in D Major.

Rock the Sykes-o-delic Kas-bah will be performed at the Stoughton Opera House on Friday, June 21, at 7:30 PM. Braisin’ Hussies Food Cart will be parked outside the Opera House prior tot he performance; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 23, at 2:30 PM.

Stephanie Jutt and Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio worm their musical way into the most unexpected places in Steph Infection. The gorgeous Nocturne for flute, violin, horn, and piano of Franz Doppler opens the program, and it continues with Stephanie Jutt’s own arrangement of Dvorák’s deservedly popular “American” Quartet for flute and strings. Shostakovich’s Five Pieces for flute, clarinet, and piano add some spice to the program, and the evening is brought to a fantastic conclusion with Dohnanyi’s epic Sextet for clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello, and piano. A work that ranges from from stormy and turbulent to heart-meltingly tender to laugh-out-loud funny, it features an all-star cast including audience favorite clarinetist Alan Kay, virtuoso horn player Karl Kramer Johansen, the extraordinary violist Carol Cook (principal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago), and Madison’s own Parry Karp, cellist.

Steph Infection will be performed at The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts, Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 PM; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 23, at 6:30 PM.


Our third week of concerts celebrates three great musicians, all of whom are audience favorites, cellist couple Anthony (“Tony”) Ross and Beth Rapier and firebrand violinist Carmit Zori. And the Tony Award for Rapier Wit goes to… is a program centered around cello duets. Ross and Rapier start the program with Handel’s gorgeous Sonata in G minor for two cellos and piano. They both display crazy virtuosity in Boccherini’s Quintet in B-flat Major for flute, violin, viola, and two cellos. The first half ends with Menotti’s Suite for two cellos and piano, a work that they have performed to acclaim around the world. The second half of the program is given over to one of Brahms’ greatest works, the Sextet in G Major, op. 36, for two violins, two violas, and two cellos. Ross and Rapier are joined by violinists Carmit Zori and Leanne League, and violists Toby Appel and Katrin Talbot in this spectacular piece.

And the Tony Award for Rapier Wit goes to… will be performed at the Stoughton Opera House on Friday, June 28, at 7:30 PM; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 30, at 2:30 PM.

Firebrand violinist Carmit Zori will sizzle her way through a program entitled The Legend of Zori. The program opens with a gorgeous bon-bon by American composer Arthur Foote, the Ballade in F minor for violin and piano. Viaje, by Chinese composer Zhou Tian, is a fun and exciting new piece featuring flute and string quartet. Carmit is joined by Anthony Ross and Dynamite Factory pianist Amalia Rinehart—who happens to be Zori’s daughter—in a performance of Shostakovich’s emotional Piano Trio in E minor, a work written shortly after the discovery of the Nazi death camps at Treblinka and Majdanek. In the second half, Rinehart will join Sykes in a performance of Mozart’s great Sonata in G Major for piano four hands. Zori will bring the program home with César Franck’s torridly passionate Piano Quintet in F minor, a work written while Franck was in the throes of an affair with one of his young students.

The Legend of Zori will be performed at The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts, Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 PM; and Spring Green at the Hillside Theater, Sunday, June 30, at 6:30 PM.

Enjoy a pre-ordered picnic at the Hillside Theater made with love from Pasture and Plenty, using ingredients from local farmers and producers. They are available for pick up at the Hillside Theater after the 2:30 PM concert or before the 6:30 PM concert, for $18. Spread a blanket on the beautiful Hillside Theater grounds or eat in the Taliesin Architecture School Dining Room, which will be open exclusively to BDDS concert-goers. Choose from Green Goddess Chicken Salad, Market Veggie Quiche with Greens, or Hearty Greens and Grains with Seasonal Veggie Bowl (gf/vegan). Seasonal sweet treat and beverage included. See the BDDS order form or call BDDS at 608.255.9866.

A special event featuring Stas Venglevski on his bayan (Russian-style accordion) with flutist Stephanie Jutt will be held on Wednesday, June 12, from 7:00 – 9:00pm at the Arts & Literature Lab, 2021 Winnebago Street. Admission is free for donors at the Pyrotechnic level and $10 at the door for others. Refreshments will be available and attendance is limited to 50 guests. (CSArt Madison, a visual art show, also will be on view at the Arts & Literature Lab.)

Locations: Stoughton Opera House (381 E. Main Street); Overture Center in Madison (201 State Street); Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin Hillside Theater (CHY 23 in Spring Green).


Various ticket packages, starting at a series of three different concerts for $109.50, are available through Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society until May 15. For information visit or call (608) 255-9866.

Single admission tickets start at $43. Student tickets are always $10! All single tickets must now be purchased from Overture Center for the Arts, or (608) 258-4141 (additional fees apply), or at the box office. Tickets are available at the door at all locations.

Chamber music with a bang. More bang for your Bach. What Bach would be doing if he were more fun and less dead. However you describe what we do, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society always features great music played with joy, creativity, spontaneity, and a technique that is second to none. BDDS is aimed at people who are curious, open-minded, and up for anything. People who want to have serious fun.