Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra takes stage tonight

Stuart Chafetz led The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra before becoming the resident conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Chafetz has conducted symphonies across the country and will lead the performance tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Young Auditorium.

Stuart Chafetz lives his dream every day.

By spreading his strong passion of music to audiences through conducting the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, it couldn’t get any better for Chafetz.

The orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Young Auditorium.

The Russian themed program will include pieces by Shostakovich, Glinka, Prokofiev, Gliere, and Tchaikovsky.

“Students who want to hear great music will enjoy this concert,” Chafetz said.

Before conducting the Milwaukee Orchestra, Chafetz spent 20 years as a professional timpanist for the Honolulu Symphony and as an assistant conductor for the Louisville Orchestra.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1959 and has presented more than 150 classics, classical connections, pops and family concerts annually over the years.

The orchestra consists of a wide arrange of musical instruments including violins, violas, cellos, basses, harp, flutes, piccolo, oboes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones and percussion.

Chafetz said he is delighted when he gets in front of the orchestra to conduct.

“It’s wonderful the wall of sound you get standing on that podium,” Chafetz said. “You hear this wonderful mixture of sounds, and it’s all directed at you towards the audience. It’s truly unbelievable. Words can’t explain it really. It is an amazing phenomenon to hear these 80 to 100 people play with such a passion and fire.”

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra often travels and performs in new areas.

“Traveling to new places like Whitewater, Menomonee Falls and West Bend is fun because people who ordinarily don’t travel to Milwaukee or Chicago to see a classical music concert get the music brought to them,” Chafetz said.

The orchestra also travels and brings music to Children’s Hospital every December in the hometown holiday tour.

The hospital televises the concert throughout the building so every patient is able to enjoy the concert.

“To see the reaction of those kids who are actually able to be present for the concert is priceless,” Chafetz said. “It is one of the most memorable highlights of my career working with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.”

There will be a pre-show discussion at 6:30 p.m. in the Fern Young Terrance prior to the concert.

The event is open to anyone and will give the opportunity for people to ask questions and  hear Chafetz talk about the music selections in the program.

“This informal discussion brings a new sense of enjoyment to the show,” Chafetz said.

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