Classical Music News of the Week, December 11, 2011
NEW YORK, NY - Nov. 21, 2011: Ben Finane, founding Editor in Chief of the quarterly print magazine Listen: Life with Classical Music, is leaving his post as Managing Editor of Playbill magazine's classic-arts division to serve full-time as Listen's Editor in Chief and Associate Publisher.
"In 2009, we launched Listen to fill a significant void in the North American market and offer a publication that could engage those with an interest in classical music and turn that interest into a passion," says publisher Eric Feidner. "After four years, Ben remains the embodiment of that passion and we are very happy to have him as a full-time driving force to engage an even wider audience."
Finane has been an intricate part of developing the voice of Listen. The magazine was honored by the Library Journal as one of the best new magazines of 2009. Hailed as "expertly edited" and "tastefully designed," Listen has recently expanded its page count from 80 to 96.
"Listen's continued success," says Finane, "reflects the fervor of America's classical music community. Just as Mark Twain took a bold American stance on Europe in his travelogue The Innocents Abroad, Listen stands as the American voice of a European tradition."
Finane is an amateur pianist and baritone and holds a degree in music and comparative literature from Haverford College. He is the author of Handel's Messiah and His English Oratorios (Continuum), writes program notes for Carnegie Hall, liner notes for various classical labels, and has written on the arts for the Newark Star-Ledger, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York, Stereophile, The New Criterion, Strings, The Strad, and other publications.
The Winter 2011 issue of Listen (Vol. 3, No. 4), available December 5 at newsstands, features a cover interview with the great storyteller Yo-Yo Ma; a series of rare and revealing composer portraits offering a lens back in time; epiphany and revelation at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals; and the answer to the question: "Does music make you smarter?"
--Amanda Sweet, Bucklesweet Media
Music Institute of Chicago Presents Cantare Chamber Players
Music Institute Faculty Collaborate January 22 at Nichols Concert Hall
Celebrating the multiple talents of the accomplished musicians on its faculty, the Music Institute of Chicago presents a performance by the Cantare Chamber Players Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.
Music Institute members Sang Mee Lee, violin; Clark Carruth, viola; Sophie Webber, cello; John Tuck, bass; and Elaine Felder, piano perform Schubert's Trout Quintet and Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 60.
About the Music Institute of Chicago:
The Music Institute of Chicago believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. As one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation, the Music Institute offers musical excellence built on the strength of our distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services. Founded in 1931 and one of the oldest community music schools in Illinois, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, our world-class music teachers and arts therapists provide the highest quality arts education to more than 5,000 students of all ability levels, from birth to 101 years of age at campuses in Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Winnetka, and Downers Grove. The Music Institute also offers lessons and programs at the Steinway of Chicago store in Northbrook and early childhood and community engagement programs throughout the Chicago area and the North Shore. Nichols Concert Hall, our education and performance center located in downtown Evanston, reaches approximately 14,000 people each year. Our community engagement and partnership programs reach an additional 6,500 Chicago Public School students annually. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and programs through four distinct areas: Community School, The Academy, Creative Arts Therapy (Institute for Therapy through the Arts), and Nichols Concert Hall.
The Cantare Chamber Players perform Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students, available at musicinst.org or 847.905.1500 ext. 108.
--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications
William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Reviewer
Among my early childhood memories are those of listening to my mother playing records (some even 78 rpm ones!) of both classical music and jazz tunes. I suppose that her love of music was transmitted genetically, and my interest was sustained by years of playing in rock bands – until I realized that this was no way to make a living. The interest in classical music was rekindled in grad school when the university FM station serving as background music for studying happened to play the Brahms First Symphony. As the work came to an end, it struck me forcibly that this was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and from that point on, I never looked back. This revelation was to the detriment of my studies, as I subsequently spent way too much time simply listening, but music has remained a significant part of my life. These days, although I still can tell a trumpet from a bassoon and a quarter note from a treble clef, I have to admit that I remain a nonexpert. But I do love music in general and classical music in particular, and I enjoy sharing both information and opinions about it.
The audiophile bug bit about the same time that I returned to that classical music. I’ve gone through plenty of equipment, brands from Audio Research to Yamaha, and the best of it has opened new audio insights. Along the way, I reviewed components, and occasionally recordings, for The $ensible Sound magazine. Recently I’ve rebuilt--I prefer to say reinvigorated--my audio system, with a Sangean FM HD tuner and (for the moment) an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a transport, both feeding a NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, which in turn connects to a Legacy Powerbloc2 amplifier driving my trusty Waveform Mach Solo speakers, supplemented by a Hsu Research ULS 15 Mk II subwoofer.