Peninsula Music Festival Announces 57th Season of Concerts

The 2009 August Symphonic Season of the Peninsula Music Festival (PMF) runs August 4 through 22 with concerts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8 pm. The concerts are held at the Door Community Auditorium (DCA) in Fish Creek (connected to Gibraltar School). The auditorium is a state-of-the-art concert hall, built as a home for PMF, featuring outstanding acoustics, reserved seating and air-conditioning. Music Director and Conductor Victor Yampolsky is the conductor unless specified otherwise.

Opening Night, August 4, is always an exciting night and the return of PMF favorite, pianist Lilya Zilberstein, will just add to the festivities of Opening Night. Besides the rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” those in attendance will here “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” by Strauss, Schubert’s “Symphony No. 2” and the “Piano Concerto No. 1” of Brahms. This concert is made possible thanks to our concert sponsors Bibs, Marge and Sarah.

Zilberstein will return to the festival stage on Thursday, August 6 to perform Beethoven’s third piano concerto. The 2009 season will complete a three-year cycle of all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos. Concertos four and five will be heard on the following Thursdays during the festival. Each Thursday during the festival will also include great ballet music. August 6 will feature Copland’s “Billy the Kid Ballet.” This concert is sponsored in memory of Marcia Larsen by Prilla and Tony Beadell.

Week one of the 57th season of the PMF concludes on Saturday, August 8 with a French program. Associate Conductor Stephen Alltop will be the featured soloist on the Poulenc “Organ Concerto” as well as the Saint-Saens “Symphony No. 3” (Organ Symphony). The festival is having an organ delivered from Chicago for this very special concert. This is the first time that the festival will undertake major works for the organ. The music of Widor, Barraud and Dukas will also be heard. OC and Pat Boldt are the concert sponsors.

Week two opens with a concert entitled “From the Old Times” with guest conductor Andrew Sewell. Andrew Sewell has been the Music Director of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Wichita Symphony since 2000 and has led major orchestras including Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Columbus and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras. This concert marks his debut on the podium of the Peninsula Music Festival. The concert features soloists from the festival orchestra and the music of J.S. Bach, J.C. Bach, Cimarosa and Mozart. This concert is sponsored by the Ralph and Genevieve B. Horween Foundation in memory of Marion Horween Chase.

Pianist Stewart Goodyear returns to the Peninsula Music Festival for two concerts. The first on Thursday, August 13 as the Beethoven and Ballet cycle continues on Thursday evenings. The concert will open with Stravinsky’s “Song of the Volga Boatman.” Goodyear will be the featured soloist on Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 4” and the concert will conclude with Stravinsky’s “Fairy Kiss Ballet.” This concert is sponsored by the Egan Foundation and the Egan Family in memory of Peg Egan.

Week two concludes with the return of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago after a two year absence, on Saturday, August 15. Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” and the Beethoven “Choral Fantasy” are the featured choral works. Stewart Goodyear is the soloist for the Beethoven “Choral Fantasy” and 20 local singers will join the Apollo Chorus for this piece. Associate Conductor Stephen Alltop, who is also the Music Director of the Apollo Chorus, will conduct this concert. This concert is sponsored by Richard Kozak in memory of Marian R. Polito.

As always, the final week of the festival arrives too soon, but this is a week of concerts that cannot be missed! Concertmaster Valentin Zhuk celebrates his Jubilee with a concert of Russian music on Tuesday, August 18. The concert opens with Tchaikovsky’s “Three Excerpts from The Snow Maiden” followed by “Symphony No. 2” by Borodin. Zhuk’s talent is highlighted as the featured soloist performing the Khachatourian “Violin Concerto.” Maestro Yampolsky will enjoy a chance to conduct his mentor and teacher. This concert is sponsored by Billie Kress.

Pianist William Wolfram will conclude the Thursday series of Beethoven piano concertos and ballets when he plays Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5” on Thursday, August 20. Wolfram is a popular soloist with the festival who has been absent from the DCA stage for too long. Janine Hawley will be the vocal soloist for Falla’s “Seven Popular Spanish Songs” and “Three-Cornered Hat Ballet.” This concert is sponsored by June and Jerome Maeder.

The 57th season of the Peninsula Music Festival concludes on Saturday, August 22 with a salute to Leonard Bernstein. Performing Bernstein’s “Serenade” will be Grammy winning violinist James Ehnes. “Facsimile,” “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” and “Candide Overture” will all be heard. This will be the biggest concert of the season with the most musicians on stage that the festival audience has ever seen. Thanks to concert sponsors Fran and Paul Burton for making this concert possible.

Tickets can be ordered online through the new highly secure e-commerce section of the festival’s Web site, via phone at 920.854.4060 or by stopping in the festival office at 3045 Cedar Street in Ephraim. Tickets range from $30 to $63. Discounts are available for children and students.

Visit the festival’s new Web site at for more information on the upcoming season and the history of PMF.