People know me as: Stephanie Jutt, professional flutist, principal flute in Madison Symphony, professor at UW-Madison School of Music, and artistic director of Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (BDDS).
Coming up next: 2012 Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society! This is our 21st annual summer chamber music festival: Three weekends, June 15 to July 1, with concerts at the Overture Center Playhouse, Hillside Theater at Taliesin in Spring Green, and Stoughton Opera House. Our website is www.bachdancinganddynamite.org. For questions, call 608-255-9866.
Don’t miss it because: BDDS is simply the most delicious, fun and inspiring way to hear music in the summer in Madison. Each concert is in a small, intimate space, with musicians who come from all over the country and have major international performance careers. And although the level of playing is extremely high, the stuffiness of a classical concert is completely gone.
Our music is for everyone, and you don’t have to be a musicologist to “get it” at our concerts. We have creative themes (this year it’s “Mixology,” and all the concerts have cocktail titles and tie-ins), we talk to the audience, mystery guests often appear and there are crazy door prizes. I know most of us didn’t grow up with classical music, but with an open mind, I think we’ll blow your mind!
Your training: I was born and grew up in northern California, studied at San Francisco State University, and then New England Conservatory in Boston, where I earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. The rest of my professional background comes from playing concerts all over the world, from Hong Kong to Siberia to Uzbekistan, Buenos Aires and every place in between. I love the life of a musician because I’ve met the most wonderful people in the world. You’re never a stranger when you’re a musician.
Most inspiring moment on stage: Most recently, at BDDS, we’ve performed Astor Piazzolla’s music with live tango dancers in front of a beautiful stage set designed by Carolyn Kallenborn. The combination of incredible lighting, the dancers, the set design and Piazzolla’s music was one I’ll never forget. It brought the house down.
I also vividly remember a concert in a medium security prison, where the inmates listened intently as (BDDS co-founder) Jeffrey (Sykes), and I played some very challenging and sophisticated music. Afterwards, the men made the most insightful and heartfelt comments I’d ever heard. Perhaps because their minds weren’t crowded by a daily barrage of stimulation on the Internet and all around them, their minds were clear, unbiased and receptive. I don’t think we’ve ever had a better or more appreciative audience.
Worst moment on stage: During the piccolo solo in “Stars and Stripes Forever” in an outdoor performance, a moth flew right into my mouth when I took a breath. I could feel it flapping around inside my mouth, but I didn’t dare stop because it was a broadcast concert. So I just bit down on it really hard – yuck, it was chalky!
Who or what inspires you: This month, I’ve listened to many performances of the late, great German baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Diskau. His voice inspired four generations of music lovers and brought me into the world of Schubert and Mahler. On the other end of the spectrum, I’m a huge fan of Prince, who continually inspires me.