Classical News of the Week: May 22, 2011

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Robert Spano with Video Tribute
The 2010–2011 season marked Spano's 10th as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Click here to watch a video created by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which reflects on a decade of music making:

2011 Chicago Duo Piano Festival Showcases Liszt, Mozart, and More
The Music Institute of Chicago, the oldest community music school in Illinois and one of the three oldest in the nation, offers its annual Chicago Duo Piano Festival July 8–17 at Music Institute's Evanston East Campus, 1490 Chicago Avenue. In addition to offering students private and group coaching and the opportunity to perform in final recitals, the Festival includes three public performances at Nichols Concert Hall featuring acclaimed performers and celebrated duo piano repertoire.

Public performances:
Gala Opening Concert: Celebrating Liszt: Friday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Special guest Italian husband and wife piano duo Elisabetta Dessi and Francesco Giammarco perform four-hand transcriptions of works by Liszt, including Legends of Saint Elisabeth and the Mephisto Waltzes No. 1 and 2.

"Mozartiana":  Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Duo Piano Festival Founders/Directors and Music Institute faculty piano duo in residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem perform Mozart's Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos, K. 488 and two piano transcriptions of Mozart's music by Busoni and others, including Liszt's "Don Juan" Fantasy.

Duo Piano Extravaganza:  Friday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.
In this popular event, members of the Music Institute faculty offer a varied selection of four-hand and two-piano works. Performers include Chicago Duo Piano Festival Founders/Directors and Music Institute faculty piano duo in residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, along with faculty and staff members Maya Brodotskaya, Alexander Djordjevic, Irene Faliks, Elaine Felder, Mark George, Matthew Hagle, Brenda Huang, Mio Isoda, Katherine Lee, Soo Young Lee, Sung Mo, Milana Pavchinskaya, and Fiona Queen.

Tickets for the Chicago Duo Piano Festival concerts July 8, 12, and 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston are each $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students, available at or 847.905.1500 ext. 108.

World-Renowned Choral Conductor Harold Rosenbaum Partners With PARMA Recordings
Portsmouth, NH:  PARMA Recordings is pleased to announce the addition of Harold Rosenbaum as Lead Choral Conductor. "We are very happy to have Harold lead our efforts to produce the finest quality choral works and recordings for our composers and artists," says Bob Lord, CEO of PARMA.  "Harold is a world-renowned conductor and choral music expert whose work is unparalleled in the field, and he will most certainly help us achieve our mission to bring the very best recording quality to our clients."

"I am delighted to be working with such an outstanding organization as PARMA Recordings," says Harold Rosenbaum, "and I look forward to selecting, editing, conducting, and recording important choral works by PARMA's composers and artists."

Record sessions are scheduled at locales in New England and New York for the 2011/2012 season.


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John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.

Contact Information

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa