Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, Georgia.

Madison Chamber Music Festival returns, kicking off March with a quartet of concerts

Mark Gresham | 1 MAR 2023

The Madison Chamber Music Festival presents its 21st season in a four-day series of concerts this weekend, March 2-5, with concerts featuring artists Spanish Brass, Julie Coucheron and friends with radio personality Lois Reitzes for a Family Concert, soprano Maria Valdes and tenor John Riesen, and the Georgian Chamber Players, at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, Georgia.

The Festival took a hiatus for Covid in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 the celebration of its 20th anniversary in Madison was overshadowed by the loss of its founder and artistic director, Christopher Rex, who passed away on March 22, 2022.

The Festival has yet to name a new artistic director to replace Mr. Rex. Last summer, Melissa Klein, MMCC’s executive director at the time, and the Festival committee coordinated with pianist Julie Coucheron to plan a shorter, more compact Festival, with the hopes that the 2023 season would serve as a springboard into its next era of growth. To coordinate the 2023 Festival, they turned to Rebecca Bonas Doolittle, who served as Festival director from 2012-2019.

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The Madison Chamber Music Festival is hosted and run by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, which welcomed Cynthia Huger as its new executive director in January 2023. Huger has a long track record of working with the National Endowment for the Arts and other large foundations.

“We are greatly honored to celebrate the 21st Annual Madison Chamber Music Festival that attracts music lovers of all ages,” says Huger. “We are also grateful for four consecutive nights of musical programs that the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center is proud to host.”

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Here is the schedule of the Festival’s four concerts for 2023. All will take place in the MMCC auditorium.

21st Annual Madison Chamber Music Festival

  • Thursday, March 2 @ 4:30 pm: “Musical Adventures of Babar, Ferdinand, and Skywalker” – A free Family Concert featuring concert pianists Julie Coucheron and William Ransom, violinist Helen Hwaya Kim, and narrator Lois Reitzes from WABE.
  • Friday, March 3 @ 7:30 pm: Spanish Brass – A night of fiery, energetic music with the international award-winning Spanish Brass Quintet.
  • Saturday, March 4 @ 7:30 pm: “A Night at the Opera” – A night of operatic songs and arias featuring soprano Maria Valdes and tenor John Riesen.
  • Sunday, March 5 @ 4:00 pm: Georgian Chamber Players – Atlanta’s premier chamber music group performs a program of music by Johannes Brahms, Ludvig van Beethoven, and Antonin Dvořák.

Readers can find more information and a link to purchase tickets on the Festival’s website at  


About the author:
Mark Gresham is publisher and principal writer of EarRelevant. he began writing as a music journalist over 30 years ago, but has been a composer of music much longer than that. He was the winner of an ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for music journalism in 2003.