MILWAUKEE; October 2, 2023 – Milwaukee PBS and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announce they are partnering on bringing the music of the Violent Femmes to PBS viewers for a future broadcast.
On October 3rd at 7:30 pm, the Bradley Symphony Center will feature the Violent Femmes celebrating the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut album with the band playing it cover to cover with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in a one-night event. Ryan Tani will conduct the concert. Songs from the 1983 album include “Blister in the Sun”, “Kiss Off”, “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone.” This became the Violent Femmes biggest selling album and eventually certified platinum.
The Violent Femmes are an American folk punk band who began playing acoustic punk on the streets of Milwaukee. The band was discovered after busking outside The Pretenders concert. The Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde asked them to open for that nights’ show. The Violent Femmes consists of founding members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie, joined by multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza and drummer John Sparrow.
“We’re thrilled to be able to collaborate with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Violent Femmes,” said Milwaukee PBS VP and General Manager Debbie Hamlett. “The Violent Femmes were the soundtrack for so many young people including myself. We’re looking forward to presenting this celebration of the 40th anniversary of some of the Violent Femmes’ greatest hits.”
The program will be distributed to PBS stations nationally. Two years ago, PBS broadcast nationwide the Milwaukee PBS production of the opening concert of the Milwaukee Symphony at the new Bradley Symphony Center.

About Milwaukee PBS
Milwaukee PBS is southeastern Wisconsin’s premier non-commercial media organization. It consists of two high-definition television stations, WMVS and WMVT, and four additional digital television services. The Milwaukee PBS stations are the area’s only over-the-air source for PBS and other national public television programs, and is one of the most-watched public television stations in the nation. Milwaukee PBS is a viewer-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College.
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About the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Ken-David Masur, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee. The MSO’s 72 full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. A pioneer among American orchestras, the MSO has performed world and American premieres of works by John Adams, Roberto Sierra, Philip Glass, Geoffrey Gordon, Marc Neikrug, and Matthias Pintscher, as well as garnered national recognition as the first American orchestra to offer live recordings on iTunes. Now in its 51st season, the orchestra’s nationally syndicated radio broadcast series, the longest consecutive-running series of any U.S. orchestra, is heard annually by more than two million listeners. The MSO’s standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 70,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, and Family Series.