Classical Music News of the Week, October 16, 2011

Strathmore and Post-Classical Ensemble Present the Ives Project

Piano virtuoso Jeremy Denk, baritone William Sharp featured in multi-disciplinary exploration of iconic composer Charles Ives.

North Bethesda, MD - Who is Charles Ives? An irrefutably transformative force in American music and innovative composer, Ives had little public exposure during his career and remains relatively obscure to the concert-going public. As an encore to its ambitious Stravinsky Project in 2010, Strathmore, in partnership with Post-Classical Ensemble, will embark on The Ives Project, a cross-disciplinary three-day exploration of the work, life, influences and impact of the iconic New Englander Charles Ives. From Thursday, November 3 through Saturday, November 5, 2011, this immersive experience will convene actors, scholars and musicians, including two of the most eminent exponents of Ives' music--the pianist Jeremy Denk and baritone William Sharp—to tell the story of Ives through live performances, rare recordings, readings from his private diary and letters and expert lectures. For additional information, call (301) 581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.

The Ives Project will include the following events:
"Ives Masterclass with Jeremy Denk"
Thursday, November 3, 2011; 4 p.m.; Mansion at Strathmore
Admission: Free (tickets required)

"Ives Plays Ives"
Thursday, November 3, 2011; 5:30 p.m.; Mansion at Strathmore
Admission: Free (tickets required)

"Charles Ives: A Life in Music"
Jeremy Denk, piano; William Sharp, baritone; Carolyn Goelzer and Floyd King, actors;
Thursday, November 3, 2011; 8 p.m.; Music Center at Strathmore
Tickets $15 - $25 (Stars Price $13.50–$22.50)

"Beethoven and Ives"
Jeremy Denk, piano and William Sharp, baritone
Friday, November 4, 2011; 8 p.m.; Music Center at Strathmore
Tickets $15 - $45 (Stars Price $13.50-$40.50)

"Interpreting Ives"
Saturday, November 5, 2011; 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Music Center at Strathmore, Room 402
Tickets $15 (Stars Price $13.50)

"Ives and Other Innovators"
Saturday, November 5, 2011; 7:30 p.m.; Mansion at Strathmore
Tickets $30 (Stars Price $27)

The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, MD 20852

The Mansion at Strathmore
10701 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, MD 20852

--Michael Fila, Strathmore

Zubin Mehta Accepts Furtwängler Prize and ECHO Award
As the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra prepares to open its 2011-2012 season on October 13, the classical music world recognized the contributions of IPO's "Conductor for Life" Zubin Mehta with two significant honors. In September Maestro Mehta received the Furtwängler Prize "for his commitment to music and social problems" and he accepted the Lifetime Acheivement Award at Germany's ECHO Klassik Awards on October 2nd.

Mehta commented "(The Furtwängler Prize) is a huge honor. I don't think it's necessary to give me a special award, however. I am a musician, I make music with my favorite orchestra, and that's enough for me. Each concert is an award and a gift to me."

This season celebrates the 75th anniversary of the IPO's founding, sees the renovation of Mann Auditorium, the Orchestra's permanent home, and features an exciting 75th Anniversary Festival in December.

--Kirshbaum, Demler & Associates

Guitar Virtuoso Miloš Wins Two Prestigious UK Gramophone Awards Including Young Artist of the Year
Select U.S. concerts in October in support of Mediterráneo, out now on Deutsche Grammophon.

October 7, 2011 - New York, NY -- The 28-year-old guitar virtuoso Miloš Karadaglic is returning to the U.S. for select concert dates on the heels of winning two of the UK's prestigious Gramophone Awards, including "Young Artist of the Year" and "Specialist Classical Chart." Considered one the world's most influential classical music prizes, the winners were announced at London's Dorchester Hotel in association with Steinway & Sons. To read about Miloš and the "Young Artist of the Year" Award, click here:  http://www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2011/young-artist-of-the-year

The guitarist released his Deutsche Grammophon debut, Mediterráneo, in June, followed by chart success and critical praise in the U.S. and UK.

--Olga Makrias, Deutsche Grammophon & Decca Classics

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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

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.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For more than 20 years I was the editor ofThe $ensible Soundmagazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me -- point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, I should probably point out that I do a LOT of music listening and employ a variety of means to do so in a variety of environments, as I would imagine many music lovers also do. Starting at the more grandiose end of the scale, the system in which I do my most serious listening comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. I also do a lot of listening while driving in my 2016 Acura RDX with its nice-sounding ELS Studio sound system through which I play CDs (the ones I especially like I rip to the Acura's hard drive so that I can listen to them whenever I want) or stream music through the system using my LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. For more casual listening at home when I am not in my listening room, I often stream music through the phone into a Vizio soundbar system that has remarkably nice sound for such a diminutive physical presence. And finally, at the least grandiose end of the scale, I have an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker for those occasions where I am somewhere by myself without a sound system but in desperate need of a musical fix. I just can't imagine life without music and I am humbly grateful for the technology that enables us to enjoy it in so many wonderful ways.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

Visitors that view my technical papers on this site may wonder why they appear here, rather than on a site that features audio equipment reviews. My reason is that I tried the latter, and prefer to publish for people who actually want to listen to music; not to equipment. My focus is in describing what's technically beneficial to assure that the sound of the system will accurately replicate the source input signal (i. e. exhibit high accuracy) without inordinate cost and complexity. Conversely, most of the audiophiles of today strive to achieve sound that's euphonic, i.e. be personally satisfying. In essence, audiophiles seek sound that's consistent with their desire; the music is simply a test signal.

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. --John J. Puccio

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa