Press Releases

FOR RELEASE April 28, 2021
Samantha Crownover, Executive Director

May 29 – July 3, 2021
On-Demand Concert Series, Yours Truly, Bandwagon, Project: Music Heals Us.

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (BDDS) presents its 30th annual summer chamber music festival. The many challenges of 2020 never overwhelmed our determination to find ways to bring our passion for chamber music to you. We have chosen to respond boldly to the realities we face with a 2021 season entitled Brave New World, consisting of innovative and unexpected programs. We’re offering four kinds of musical experiences.

1. On-Demand Virtual Concerts are a series of four video recorded concerts performed by BDDS artists in Madison and available online for $15 each. They’ll feature an engaging mix of music including Black, Latin American, and women composers. We’ll pay homage to the 2020 anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the 2021 anniversary of Astor Piazzolla’s birth, and the celebration of emancipation, Juneteenth. With the kind of repertoire that has made BDDS a hallmark of summertime in Madison and our internationally known artists, this series will be the closest to our regular style of concert. The concerts will be released on Saturdays, June 12, 19, 26, and July 3, and will be available to view until September 1. Concert details below.

Artists include international virtuoso Stas Venglevski, on bayan, a Russian-style accordion; Timothy Jones, bass-baritone (University of Houston); Stephanie Jutt, flute (Madison Symphony Orchestra principal flute and UW-Madison professor emerita); and the San Francisco Piano Trio, Jeffrey Sykes, piano (UC-Berkeley); Axel Strauss, violin (McGill University, Montreal, Canada); Jean-Michel Fonteneau, cello (San Francisco Conservatory); as well as visual artist Lisa Frank, a MacDowell Fellow; and three additional local artists, Dakota Mace, John Hitchcock, and Adriana Barrios, for a special postcard project that will occur during the concerts.

You can purchase your series ticket here for $60 (includes four art postcards).

On-Demand Virtual Concert Details
SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 7:30 PM, VIRTUAL CONCERT (available until Sept. 1)
The Sun Also Rises is a program of American music named for one of Hemingway’s great novels. It features “I will not be sad in this world,” by Armenian-American composer Eve Beglarian for alto flute and electronics; the New Orleans-inflected piano trio “Roots II,” by Black composer David Baker; and the “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires,” by the Argentine-American tango master Astor Piazzolla.

SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 7:30 PM, VIRTUAL CONCERT (available until Sept. 1)
Great Expectations, named for Charles Dickens’ novel of promises both fulfilled and unfulfilled, includes music by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, dubbed the “Black Mozart,” an 18th century composer of African descent; settings of the poetry of Langston Hughes by Black American composer Margaret Bonds; and Beethoven’s mighty Piano Trio No. 2 (“The Archduke”).

SATURDAY, JUNE 26, 7:30 PM, VIRTUAL CONCERT (available until Sept. 1)
The Master and Margarita, named for one of the greatest novels of Soviet-era Russia, features the “Songs and Dance of Death” of Mussorgsky, Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach’s “Monolog” for solo flute, Shostokovich’s wonderful piano trio from the height of the Stalin years, and Russian music for flute and accordion.

SATURDAY, JULY 3, 7:30 PM, VIRTUAL CONCERT (available until Sept. 1)
Stranger in a Strange Land, named for Robert Heinlein’s 1961 science-fiction novel, features “Borderline,” a song cycle written by Black composer Robert Owens to poems of Langston Hughes; British-American composer Rebecca Clarke’s beautiful Piano Trio; and classics by Argentine-American tango master Astor Piazzolla.

2. Yours Truly is your chance to have a one-on-one real-time virtual interaction and musical experience with selected BDDS artists from this season. You will connect and commune in real time with your choice of a BDDS artist for a 30-minute performance and conversation through the magic of Zoom technology. Stephanie, Jeffrey, Axel Strauss, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and Stas Venglevski will participate. Sign up for a Yours Truly session for a pay-what-you-wish donation through our website or at

3. Bandwagon features free, short outdoor pop-up concerts in neighborhoods all over Madison. We’ll play energetic and engaging music by Black American composers Jessie Montgomery and Robert Owens, and Joseph Bologne, a.k.a. Chevalier de St. Georges; Latin American composer Alberto Ginastera; and Zez Confrey, George Gershwin, and more. Stephanie & Jeffrey will be joined by bass/baritone Timothy Jones; Leanne League, violin; new BDDS violinist, Paran Amirinazari; and BDDS Dynamite Factory artists Jeremy Kienbaum, viola, and Trace Johnson, cello. These stimulating and family-friendly concerts—including special guests!–will be socially distanced and fun for all. Go to


  • Saturday, May 29
    • 12 PM Penn Park (with special guests Tamera & Leotha Stanley, from Mt. Zion Gospel Choir)
    • 3 PM & 4 PM The Green at Hilldale (in front of Apple Store/bartaco) (with special guest Sonora Strings from Suzuki Strings)
  • Sunday, May 30
    • 11 AM Northside Farmer Market (in front of the Lakeview Library) (with special guest Sonora Strings)
    • 2 PM Penn Park (with special guests Tamera & Leotha Stanley)
  • Monday, May 31
    • 12 PM Orton Park gazebo
  • Friday, June 18
    • 12 PM & 1 PM Village on Park (with special guests Tamera & Leotha Stanley)
  • Saturday, June 19
    • 4 PM & 5 PM Capitol Square—The Forum
  • Sunday, June 20
    • 11 AM Northside Farmer’s Market (in front of the Lakeview Library)

4. Virtual Concerts for Patients, Project: Music Heals Us
Since December 2020, BDDS musicians have performed dozens of on-on-one virtual concerts for patients and memory care residents at UW Heath University Hospital, SSM St. Mary’s Hospital, Oakwood Village University, and Agrace Hospice. This community engagement has been made possible by Project: Music Heals Us and a Vital Sounds Initiative Partnership Grant.

Go to

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.


Trumpet MATTHEW ONSTAD A Wisconsin native, Dr. Onstad serves as assistant professor of trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he teaches applied trumpet, coaches chamber music, and performs with the Whitewater Brass Quintet. While earning his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from UW-Madison, Dr. Onstad performed with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, a faculty ensemble-in-residence. He holds the rank of staff sergeant in the 132nd Wisconsin Army National Guard Band and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Isthmus Brass. He held the position of principal trumpet with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2021. Dr. Onstad has previously taught trumpet at St. Ambrose University, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Oshkosh. He has served as a master clinician with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, the 132nd Army Band, and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Onstad received his Bachelor of Music degree from UW-Oshkosh.

Violinist Paran Amirinazari, an avid chamber musician, is a founding member and artistic drector of the Willy Street Chamber Players. She is a former member of the Hunt String Quartet and has recently earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cello TRACE JOHNSON, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, has appeared as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician in a wide variety of settings in the U.S. and around the world. He is a cellist in the Sarasota Orchestra in Sarasota, Florida, and recently performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Madison Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in chamber recitals with faculty from SUNY Purchase, the University of Toronto, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Florida International University, Shenandoah University, and Queens College in New York City.

Conductor KENNETH WOODS was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra in 2013, and was recently appointed artistic director of both the Elgar Festival in Worcester, England, and the Colorado MahlerFest. As a guest, Mr. Woods has conducted ensembles including the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the English Chamber Orchestra; has been featured on broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, National Public Radio, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; and has appeared at music festivals such as Aspen, Scotia and Lucerne. Under Mr. Woods’ leadership, the English Symphony Orchestra responded to the2020 Covid-19 lockdown, “Music from Wyastone," a series of virtual concerts including dozens of world-premieres of new works and new arrangements, such as a chamber version of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Mr. Woods’s blog, “A View from the Podium,” is one of the 25 most popular classical blogs in the world. He has spoken on Mahler on NPR’s All Things Considered and is a regular speaker on BBC radio programs.

Bass NICK MORAN, a veteran of the Madison, Wisconsin, music scene, performs on both electric bass and the double bass in varied genres including jazz, Afro-Latin, hip hop, reggae, and funk. Mr. Moran has toured internationally and performed with a diverse collection of acts, including Ben Sidran, Lee ‘Scratch‘ Perry, Clyde Subblefield, and David ‘Fathead‘ Newman (Ray Charles’s sax player). He has also worked with such Madison music institutions as Harmonious Wail, the Gomers, Tony Casteneda, Anna Laube, Joy and the Boy, and the Tim Whalen Nonet. As a freelance bassist, Mr. Moran has recorded tracks and albums for a wide-ranging roster of artists including Gerri DiMaggio, University of Wisconsin-Madison music professor Les Thimmig, Clyde Stubbelfield, Hanah John Taylor, and reggae giants Natty Nation. His playing can also be heard in various Afro-Cuban, hip hop, R&B and funk loop libraries from Sony Music and Apple. In addition to his music career, Mr. Moran works as a production and development consultant for the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium. In 2014, he was named "Jazz Personality of The Year" at the Isthmus Jazz Festival by mayoral proclamation. In 2016, he joined the UW-Madison School of Music as jazz bass instructor.

Cellist KENNETH OLSEN joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal cello in 2005. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and a winner of the school's prestigious concerto competition. His other awards include first prize in the Nakamichi Cello Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and second prize at the 2002 Holland-America Music Society Competition. His teachers have included Richard Aaron at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Joel Krosnick at New York's Juilliard School of Music and Luis Garcia-Renart at Bard College. He also has been a participant at the Steans Institute for Young Artists (the Ravinia Festival's professional studies program for young musicians) and at Boston University's Tanglewood Institute. A native of New York, Kenneth Olsen is a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, a conductorless string orchestra comprised of young musicians from orchestras and ensembles all over the country.

Baritone TIMOTHY JONES has performed in opera houses and with symphony orchestras in the U.S., Ecuador, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. He has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. In opera houses he has performed leading roles in "The Marriage of Figaro," "Carmen," Die Zauberflöte," "Cosi Fan Tutte," "Don Giovanni," "Don Pasquale," "La Boheme," "Falstaff," "Macbeth," and "La Traviata." He has been a frequent guest with the Victoria Bach Festival, New Texas Festival, Round Top Music Festival, Ars Lyrica Houston, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. As a committed performer of contemporary music, Mr. Jones has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions by leading composers of our time. He currently lives in Houston, where he serves on the faculty of the University of Houston.

Violin SUZANNE BEIA is co-concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and second violinist in the Pro Arte Quartet. A native of Reno, Nevada, she began her musical studies on the viola at the age of ten. Three years later, she shifted her attention to the violin and made her solo debut at the age of fourteen with the North Lake Tahoe Symphony. Since that time, she has performed as a soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S. and Germany. Before coming to Madison, Ms. Beia held the position of principal second violin in the Wichita Symphony and has held concertmaster positions with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Bay Area Women's Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and Chamber Symphony of San Francisco. She also held the assistant concertmaster position in the New World Symphony. Her chamber music experience has been extensive: she has performed at festivals such as Chamber Music West, Telluride Chamber Music Festival, Token Creek, Festival de Prades, and Chamber Music at the Barn. Ms. Beia has served on the faculties of the Rocky Ridge Music Center and Florida International University.