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Mass Appeal

Fri., May 4, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., May 5, 2018, 8 p.m.
Sun., May 6, 2018, 2:30 p.m.

Mozart is high on everyone’s list, and Christopher O'Riley, star of NPR’s “From the Top,” will perform the prolific composer’s twenty-second piano concerto. Then “mass”—as in massive—is the monumental Glagolitic Mass of Czech composer Leos Janáček, a powerful setting of ancient Slavic texts.

Music Program

Mozart | Overture to Don Giovanni
Mozart | Piano Concerto No. 22
Janáček | Glagolitic Mass


John DeMain, Conductor
Christopher O'Riley, Piano
Rebecca Wilson, Soprano
Julie Miller, Mezzo-Soprano
Rodrick Dixon, Tenor
Benjamin Sieverding, Bass
Madison Symphony Chorus, Beverly Taylor, Director

About Christopher O’Riley

Acclaimed for his engaging and deeply committed performances, Pianist Christopher O’Riley is known to millions as the host of NPR’s From the Top. His repertoire spans a kaleidoscopic array of music from the pre-baroque to present-day. He performs around the world and has garnered widespread praise for his untiring efforts to reach new audiences.
Christopher O’Riley has performed as a soloist with virtually all of the major American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony.
A prolific recording artist, O’Riley has recorded the music of Beethoven, Stravinsky, Scriabin, Liszt, Ravel, Gershwin, Debussy, and John Adams for Sony Classical, Oxingale Records, RCA Red Seal, Decca, and Harmonia Mundi.

About Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson has been praised as a “staggeringly talented singer” by St. Louis Magazine. She has appeared with Union Avenue Opera, in the role of Gutrune in Götterdämmerung and has performed throughout the Chicago area in roles. Rebecca has also appeared as a soloist with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Choir and Orchestra, the Allerton Barn Festival, Baroque Artists of Champaign, Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra, the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, and Wheaton Symphony.

About Julie Miller

Hailed as possessing a voice of “spell-binding power and intensity” (The Register-Guard), Mezzo-Soprano Julie Miller has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras and in many major concert halls across the country. Ms. Miller is the recipient of the Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship and the Rose McGilvray Grundman Award (American Opera Society of Chicago), the Richard F. Gold Career Grant (Shoshana Foundation), and the Edith Newfield Scholarship Award (Musicians Club of Women).

About Rodrick Dixon

Rodrick Dixon is a classical crossover artist that possesses a tenor voice of extraordinary range and versatility. His body of work covers 25 years of television, recordings, live theater and concerts, including PBS Specials with tenors Victor Cook, and Thomas Young; Hallelujah Broadway starring his wife, Alfreda Burke; the Miss World Pageant broadcast from China and Washington, DC on the “E” channel in 126 countries. Dixon recently appeared in the annual Freedom Awards filmed at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Noel Noel Christmas concert at Mississippi Blvd church for Fox 13 broadcast on Christmas Day & Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party VH1. His eclectic discography with Sony BMG, EMI Records & Naxos has delighted fans all over the world.

About Benjamin Sieverding

Bass Benjamin Sieverding has been recognized by critics nationwide for his “surprising depth” (Boulder Daily Camera), as well as his “natural gift for comedy” and “full, rich sound” (Ann Arbor Observer). As an active soloist and recitalist, Sieverding performs both regionally and internationally. Sieverding is a three-time district winner and regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Other distinctions include placement in the finals of the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier, Schubert Club, and Coeur d’Alene Symphony young artist competitions, and winning the Birmingham Musicale and FAVA Grand Concours de Chant.
“O’Riley played so delicately that he seemingly left no fingerprints on the keys, yet his melodies sing out with sweet clarity.”
—Washington Post

Read the Program Notes

Read more about the music you'll hear live at the Symphony!

Prelude Discussion

Enjoy a 30-minute talk by music experts starting one hour before each concert in Overture Hall. Free to ticketholders.
May speaker: Beverly Taylor


Major funding
provided by

Steinhauer Charitable Trust

Diane Ballweg

Additional funding
provided by

Carla and Fernando Alvarado

Forte Research Systems & Nimblify

William Wilcox and Julie Porto

Wisconsin Arts Board funding comes with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.


“Music—a celebration, a unifier, an inspiration. WPS Health Solutions is committed to making a difference in our community and proudly supports organizations like the Madison Symphony Orchestra."