|OLIVIER MESSIAEN||Les offrandes oubliées|
|CLAUDE DEBUSSY||La Mer
|QIGANG CHEN||Iris dévoilée
Xiaoduo Chen, soprano
Meng Meng, qingyi and soprano 2
Wu Man, pipa
Hong Wang, erhu
Yang Yi, zheng
About the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Among the finest orchestras in the country, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is the largest cultural organization in Wisconsin and has been acclaimed since its inception in 1959. The symphony’s 88 full-time professional musicians perform more than 130 concerts each season. A cornerstone organization in Milwaukee’s art community, the MSO provides enrichment and education activities for audiences of every age, economic status, and background.
Among American orchestras, the MSO is recognized as a pioneer in new music. For 41 years, the symphony’s nationally syndicated radio broadcasts are heard on more than 240 stations throughout the United States each year. In 2005, the MSO became the first American orchestra to offer its live recordings for download directly through online music stores, including iTunes. MSO Classics, an e-label created specifically for digital distribution of its recordings, has a continually growing catalog of more than 30 live works. In 2006, the MSO launched its own online store to sell digital recordings, offering greater flexibility in pricing, scheduling, and formatting than other electronic media stores. The MSO has been selected to participate in the second Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 11, 2012. Spring for Music emphasizes creativity, variety and innovation in programming.
The MSO’s standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall, reaching more than 40,000 children and their families through ACE (Arts in Community Education). Founded in 1990, the nationally recognized program integrates arts education into state-required curricula, providing opportunities for students when budget cuts may eliminate music and arts programming. Classrooms receive three visits per year by ensembles of MSO musicians and artists from local arts organizations as well as lesson plans and supporting materials. In addition, ACE students attend MSO concerts tailored to each grade level. For more information, visit mso.org.
About Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Native Americans called it “The Good Land,” but the Milwaukee of today grew from the collective heritage of three separate towns: Juneautown, between Lake Michigan and the east bank of the Milwaukee River, Kilbourntown on the west bank, and Walker’s Point to the south. They were named for Milwaukee’s founding fathers, Solomon Juneau, Byron Kilbourn and George H. Walker.
Juneau and Kilbourn were often at odds, so much so that Kilbourntown maps did not include their lakefront neighbor, and city streets were intentionally out of alignment with those of Juneautown. Bridges connecting the towns had to be built at angles—a feature still seen downtown. Despite their differences, the towns eventually came together to form Milwaukee.
Successive waves of immigrants helped to define the city. Germans’ passion for the art of beer brewing made Milwaukee the world’s leading beer producer for a century. While it’s no longer the city’s major industry, its legacy is everywhere. Reminders of the old beer barons can be seen at the Pabst Mansion, Blatz Building, and Miller Brewery, where more than eight million barrels are still produced annually. Poles who immigrated here built many of the churches and steeples that shape the city’s skyline. As Milwaukee grew into a manufacturing center, other immigrant groups appeared, each giving rise to new neighborhoods—communities which are celebrated today in annual summer festivals. Countless buildings throughout Milwaukee are made of Cream City brick, pale yellow blocks made from clay in the city’s Menomonee River Valley. Their widespread use throughout the late 1800s inspired Milwaukee’s “Cream City” moniker.
Milwaukee’s industrial past has given rise to an economy as varied as its residents. The neighborhoods are as independent and diverse as ever, yet the city continues to come together and celebrate the culture upon which it is built.