When people hear the words "orchestra" or "ensemble," the first thought that comes to mind is probably classical music; the works of Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven. Not everyone realizes that there are, in fact, modern-day composers, and that some very notable composers have come out of Present Music in Milwaukee's Third Ward.
Founded in 1982 by Kevin Stalheim, internationally acclaimed Present Music commissions, performs, records, and tours the music of living composers, and has been responsible for over 55 new works from composers around the world by working closely with the world's most exciting and significant composers, while supporting the creation of new ones through the Creation Project.
This year is PM's 35th Season, and they're opening with MADE FOR MILWAUKEE; a celebration of the music premiered by Present Music with works that made local and national history by Michael Torke, Kamran Ince, Jerome Kitzke, and Sean Friar. Guests will then be a part of another world premier: Ryan Carter's On a Better Filtering Algorithm.
There will be activities for the whole family prior to the concert, beginning at 6:30 p.m., including PM's 35 year history through pictures, music, and maps; musical experiments with the staff of Betty Brinn's Be A Maker Space, finding your inner DJ with composer Ryan Carter's interactive app, iMonkeypants, and outdoor dining with local food trucks. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
Stick around after the concert to party with Milwaukee's own glam-rock superstars, TIGERNITE, and enter to win a certificate for a Blacksmith 101 Workshop from the Milwaukee Blacksmith.
Made For Milwaukee takes place at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, located at 2419 E. Kenwood Boulevard in Milwaukee. Learn more by visiting the Present Music website (http://presentmusic.org) or by visiting their facebook page. Subscribe to the 2016-17 season or purchase single tickets.
January has been a rough month, thus far. The weather, of course, has been less than stellar, but the worst part has been losing so many important people. First, David Bowie on January 10th; then, Alan Rickman, famous for playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, as well as other characters, just four days later. The very next day, we lost Dan Haggerty, who played Grizzly Adams in the well-loved TV series by the same name. On the 18th, Eagles guitarist and co-founder, Glenn Frey, passed away.
We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.
While none of these actors and musicians have a direct tie to Ozaukee County (or even to Wisconsin, for that matter), it's impossible to ignore the effect their loss has had. Bowie, in particular, is the cause of the creation of at least two local events.
On Friday, January 22nd at 6 p.m., the WJ Niederkorn Library in Port Washington will celebrate the life of David Bowie by screening Labyrinth, the 1986 fantasy film by Jim Henson that featured Bowie as the Goblin King, Jareth, as well as The Man Who Fell to Earth, the 1976 Fantasy/Drama starring Bowie as an alien looking to use the Earth's water to save his home planet.
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has just announced a special concert, The Music of David Bowie, on December 10th, 2016, at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 22nd, in what is sure to be a popular concert.
The concert listing says, "The genius of David Bowie’s innovative range of musical styles influenced multiple generations of groundbreaking music. Now, hear his iconic music performed as never before by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, featuring Guest Conductor Brent Havens and a full rock band!"
Though I wasn't a huge fan of David Bowie's music, it was part of the background music of my life and, being an 80's kid, the movie Labyrinth was an important part of my childhood. For some, it is difficult to understand how a person could be upset by the loss of an artist they never personally knew. A Twitter user, @ElusiveJ, summed it up perfectly: "We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves." I couldn't have possibly said it any better.