Open rehearsal and reception with Kenneth Woods

202302may3:30 pm7:30 pmOpen rehearsal and reception with Kenneth Woods


(Tuesday) 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Hamel Music Center - Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall

740 University Avenue

Event Details

Free | No ticket required
Open to the public

Open rehearsal and reading with Kenneth Woods and UW–Madison Symphony Orchestra
3:30 pm | Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall

Kenneth Woods Distinguished Alumni Award Celebration
6 pm | Hamel Music Center lobby


Conductor Kenneth Woods was selected as recipient of the 2020 Mead Witter School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award. Woods was nominated for the award by James Smith, with additional letters of support from John DeMain, Parry Karp, and Cyrena Pondrom.

The School of Music established a Distinguished Alumni Award to recognize alumni who are making outstanding contributions to the music profession in service and in artistic impact. The award in particular recognizes exceptional skills and credentials as a music professional as well as significant influence on the profession.

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “a symphonic conductor of stature,” Woods was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra in 2013. He was also recently appointed Artistic Director of both the Colorado MahlerFest–the only US organization other than the New York Philharmonic to receive the International Gustav Mahler Society’s Gold Medal–and the Elgar Festival in Worcester.

As a guest, Woods has conducted ensembles including the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra, and has made numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has appeared on the stages of some of the world’s leading music festivals, such as Aspen, Scotia and Lucerne.

Under Kenneth Woods’ leadership, the English Symphony Orchestra has gained widespread recognition as one of the most innovative and influential orchestras in the UK. They received Classical Music Magazine’s “Premiere of the Year” plaudit for both Donald Fraser’s orchestration of the Elgar Piano Quintet in 2015 and John Joubert’s opera Jane Eyre in 2016. Jane Eyre also marked the ESO’s first foray into opera, and the premiere and subsequent Somm Recordings CD were both received with international critical acclaim including a string of five-star reviews, Disc of the Month and MusicWeb Opera Recording of the Year nods, and was named the Birmingham Post’s “classical music highlight of 2016.”

2019-20 saw Woods making his debut with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. At the ESO he was joined by Nicola Benedetti for the Elgar Violin Concerto, and Isata Kanneh-Mason and Alexander Sitkovetsky for piano and violin concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven as part of the orchestra’s year-long celebration of that composers 250th birthday.

Following the March 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, Ken the the English Symphony Orchestra to one of the earliest and most acclaimed returns to work of any orchestra. Through their “Music from Wyastone” series of virtual concerts, the ESO presented dozens of world-premieres of new works and new arrangements, all recorded in hi-res audio and video. Highlights have included a chamber version of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, composer portrait concerts showcasing the music of Steven Gerber and Adrian Williams and a series of new storytelling works for children narrated by Hugh Bonneville, Gemma Whelan, Henry Goodman and Davood Ghadami.


Hamel Music Center - Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall740 University Avenue