Classical Music News of the Week, February 3, 2013

Montenegro-born Guitarist Milos Makes His Cal Performances Debut on Tuesday, February 19

“Lovers of the classical guitar have a new hero in the young Miloš” (Telegraph, London), Cal Performances presents his recital debut, Tuesday, February 19, at 8:00 p.m. in First Congregational Church. The program will feature works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Jorge Morel, Jorge Cardoso, Isaias Savio, Agustín Barrios and Carlo Domeniconi. Though the repertoire begins and ends in the European tradition, the heart of this concert is drawn from his 2012 album, Latino, filled with intensely passionate music for classical guitar by South American composers. “[The] Latin American program . . . is outstanding in its finesse, warm sensuality and sheer beauty” says The Daily Telegraph, London.

Miloš Karadaglic, professionally known by his first name, was born in Montenegro in 1983, and began studying the guitar at eight years-old. Six years later, he began performing in major concert halls. At 16, he won a scholarship to study with Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London and graduated with First Class Honours in 2004. He continued his studies with a two-year Masters degree in Performance.

His recent recital appearances include Wigmore Hall, Théatre des Champs-Elysées, Carnegie Hall and the Lucerne Festival, and concerto engagements with the London Philharmonic and English Chamber Orchestras. He has released three albums with the Deutsche Grammophon label and was named Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year in 2011. In 2012, he won the Mastercard Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic BRIT Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall and was honored the Associate of the Royal Academy of Music title for his contribution to the music profession. For more information, visit milosguitar.com.

Ticket information:
Tickets for Miloš, guitar, on Tuesday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m., in First Congregational Church are priced at $36.00, subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/ discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Tuesday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m.                                                                          
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
Koret Recital Series
Miloš, guitar

Program:
Bach: Lute Suite BWV 997
Villa-Lobos: Prelude 1; Étude 11; Valsa Choro; Étude 12
Morel: Danza Brasiliera
Cardoso: Milonga
Savio: Batucada
Barrios: Un Sueño en la Floresta
Domeniconi: Koyunbaba

Tickets:  $36.00, available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.

--Joe Yang, Cal Performances

Turtle Island Quartet and Cajun Fiddler Michael Doucet Debut "Louisiana Story"
With an in-depth look into where Cajun music meets chamber jazz, the Grammy Award-winning artists Turtle Island Quartet and the legendary Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet team up for a remarkable new program of Cajun music. “Louisiana Story” explores and reinvigorates the traditional folk music of the Bayou.

Turtle Island Quartet and Michael Doucet are a match made in heaven. Swinging and grooving is never an issue for these acts, so to capture the energy and delight of Cajun music is a fitting task. Afro Cuban rhythm, the modern jazz harmonic language, traditional and classical styles from France, and even South Indian tabla grooves all find their place at the table, a sumptuous meal with spice, sweetness and unbridled joy.

The centerpiece of the program is the Pulitzer Prize-winning score, written by Virgil Thompson, for the 1948 film “Louisiana Story.” Thompson fused Classical Western orchestration with the music of the Cajun culture, which shed light on this previously overlooked folk tradition. Doucet and Turtle Island Quartet, in turn, have extracted and further developed the pure Cajun elements while preserving the integrity of Thompson’s score.  

”Louisiana Story” explores other aspects of Cajun music, such as its Caribbean and African-American influences. Some of the works featured in the program are veritable hybrids: “Cubano Bayou” references the Cuban aspect of Cajun music, “L’amour poison” infuses a bit of Brubeck into the Cajun tradition, and “La Douceur” explores the African-Cajun dialectic. Michael Doucet composed “Cajun Gypsy,” which unites Stéphane Grappelli-inspired Gypsy jazz with Cajun style. This reinvigoration of Cajun music serves as a reminder to audiences everywhere that American folk music can always find new life if the right musicians take on the task.

Mr. Doucet’s connection with Turtle Island Quartet dates to 1988, when he invited the newly formed quartet to perform at the “Festival International De Louisiane.” This American Francophone festival is still held annually in Mr. Doucet’s hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, where recently they were reunited in a post-concert jam, directly leading to the evolution of this program.

David Balakrishnan, violinist of TIQ, speaks highly of their co-collaborator: “What a great joy it is to have the chance to work with Michael on this project, a panoramic multi-cultural view of the genre he so loves and has such a depth of knowledge about. When he sings and plays, it’s infectious, fills your whole being with pure elation. He brings his encyclopedic understanding of the Cajun cultural tradition to the table as well. Bringing together heart and soul and intellect, that is what makes truly memorable music.”

Michael Doucet is a legendary Cajun fiddler, singer, songwriter, and founder of the Cajun band BeauSoleil. His deep knowledge and understanding of Cajun music has earned him a National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA, two Grammy Awards, and recognition from fellowships around the world.

Turtle Island Quartet has a long history of collaboration and exploration of genres. Their recent tour with jazz singer Tierney Sutton was met with great success, and their latest albums “Have You Ever Been…?” and Grammy Award-winning “A Love Supreme” paid homage to legendary musicians John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix. Newest members, Mateusz Smocyzinski and Benjamin Von Gutzeit have seamlessly joined violinist David Balakrishnan and cellist Mark Summer to carry on the grand TIQ tradition.

“Louisiana Story” tour dates:
Feb. 22 : Ogden, UT
Feb. 23 : Rexburg, ID
Feb. 24 : Bozeman, MT
Feb. 26 : Billings, MT
Mar. 01 : Hampton, VA
Mar. 02 : Fairfax, VA

--Julia Casy, BuckleSweet Media

Introducing Trio Ariadne Weill Hall Artists-in-Residence at Sonoma State University
A first-of-its kind residency program launches this summer at Sonoma State University, uniting SSU students with three alumni of The Academy, a prestigious fellowship program designed to prepare talented young professional musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, and leadership. Instructing, performing for, and living amongst Sonoma State University students over the course of a full year, Trio Ariadne—comprised of Elizabeth Joy Roe, Carol McGonnell, and Sæeunn Thorsteinsdottir—will provide a link between
three campus units: the Department of Music, the Office of Residential Life, and the Green Music Center, while instructing, performing, and residing at Sonoma State University. This innovative collaboration—created through a new partnership with New York’s Carnegie Hall—fuses instruction, outreach, residency and performance, intimately exposing college students to some of the nation's finest post-graduate musicians. "We are very excited about the partnership between alumni of The Academy and Sonoma State University,” said Sandy Weill, board chairman of both Carnegie Hall and the Green Music Center. “The Academy continues to play an important role in the development of outstanding musicians and the program has proven to enrich communities. The greater North Bay community is the ideal place for The Academy to spread its wings and share important lessons learned from many years of experience."

The trio will join the Sonoma State University community in the summer of 2013, to begin their residency amongst students on-campus, where they will serve as mentors for music students and offer workshops on topics such as practical internships and career pathways. They will provide instruction and service for the Music Department and its students through chamber music and solo coaching, providing studio lessons to individual players, and serving as visiting artists in music department classes. As part of their residency, the three musicians will work collaboratively amongst campus units to provide programs and services to enhance the educational mission of the university and to contribute to the stature of performing arts in the community, through the creation of performances and mini-concert series for the SSU campus and surrounding schools. At the Green Music Center, they will support the Artistic and Managing director for planning and implementation of summer programs, in addition to performing themselves in Weill Hall. All three artists are alumni of The Academy, a two-year program for musicians who wish to redefine their role as artists, extending their music making from the concert stage into schools and the larger community. The two-year fellowship involves performances in Carnegie Hall and other venues, as well as community outreach to New York City public schools, residencies in New York City and beyond, and intensive professional development. This marks the first time that Academy alumni will create such an extended residency, working in a university setting.

Trio Ariadne will be formally welcomed to the SSU campus on January 26th at a private reception following the Yo-Yo Ma concert.

--Jessica Anderson, Green Music Center

Anne Akiko Meyers Receives Exclusive Use of World’s Most Revered Violin
Distinguished violinist Anne Akiko Meyers has been selected by a sponsor to perform on the legendary 1741 “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu, which has been dubbed “the Mona Lisa of violins” because it is one of the most studied and heralded instruments ever made. The instrument was recently purchased from Ian Stoutzker, a London banker, through the dealer J&A Beares, Ltd. for an undisclosed amount but, Beares confirmed, at a price that exceeded the previous world record sale of the ‘Lady Blunt’ violin. In near-pristine condition, it is believed the health of the instrument contributes to its unrivaled sound.

The “Vieuxtemps” del Gesu is named after the great Belgian violinist Henri Vieuxtemps who was considered to be the greatest violinist of his day, and a previous owner of the violin. On December 1st, Anne Akiko Meyers gave the instrument its Carnegie Hall debut when she performed Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

“The ‘Vieuxtemps’ del Gesu is one of the very finest examples by this celebrated and greatest of makers,” says Steven Smith, Director at J&A Beares, Ltd. “I am quite certain Ms Meyers will delight her audiences as she begins her journey with this exquisite masterpiece.”

“I have never heard another violin with such a beautiful spectrum of color,” said Ms. Meyers. “I am honored and humbled to receive lifetime use of the instrument and I look forward to taking the violin to audiences all over the world.”

About Anne Akiko Meyers:
Anne Akiko Meyers is one of today’s premier violinists. In 2012, eOne released ‘Air The Bach Album,’ her 24th disc, which charted at #1 for Billboard magazine and was one of the top selling and critically acclaimed albums of 2012. Meyers recently premiered Mason Bates violin concerto with Leonard Slatkin and it was co-commissioned with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Meyers has premiered works by composers, including Mason Bates, John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Wynton Marsalis, Olivier Messiaen, and has collaborated with diverse artists such as Chris Botti, Il Divo, Wynton Marsalis and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Meyers burst into national prominence at age 11, performing twice on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and appearing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The following year she made her New York Philharmonic debut with Zubin Mehta. While in her teens, Anne performed throughout the United States, Japan, Australia and Europe. By age 18, when her debut recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of the Barber and Bruch violin concertos was released, she was recognized as one of the stars of her generation. Please visit www.anneakikomeyers.com for more information.

--Rebecca Davis Public Relations

Leonidas Kavakos Makes His Cal Performances Debut with an All-Beethoven Recital, Sunday, February 17, at 3:00 P.M. in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA
 While virtuosity is the calling card for many artists today, it is only the  jumping-off point for violinist Leonidas Kavakos, whose deeply emotional music making has garnered him the nickname a “fiddler’s fiddler.” Kavakos comes to Cal Performances for the first time Sunday, February 17 at 3:00 p.m. with an all-Beethoven program. This concert is also a celebration of his recent release of Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas on the Decca label. Kavakos will perform Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12, No.1; Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24, “Spring”; and Sonata No. 9 in A major, “Kreutzer” with pianist Enrico Pace. On Kavakos and Pace’s performance of the “Kreutzer” Sonata in concert, The New York Times wrote “their interpretation showed eminent poise and authority as well as a flexibility that attested to keen listening and added a welcome hint of spontaneity.”

This season Leonidas Kavakos is the focus of London Symphony Orchestra’s UBS Soundscapes LSO Artist Portrait and the Berliner Philharmonic’s Artist in Residence. He first rose to prominence as a teenager after winning the 1985 International Sibelius Competition, taking second prize at the 1986 Indianapolis International Violin Competition and first prize at both the 1988 Naumburg and Paganini competitions. He has since become known for his superb musicianship and virtuosity and has made a name performing as a soloist with the leading orchestras including Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw and New York Philharmonic.

Kavakos is also an esteemed chamber musician and finds himself a favored artist at the Verbier, Montreux-Vevey, Bad Kissingen and Edinburgh festivals. In August 2012, he and Pace performed the complete Beethoven violin sonatas at the Salzburger Festival. The performance was recorded as part of a documentary about Kavakos by Bayerischer Rundfunk. His other chamber music partners have included Emanuel Ax, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Antoine Tamestit, Nikolai Lugansky and Yuja Wang. For more info, visit opus3artists.com/artists/leonidas-kavakos.

Enrico Pace was born in Italy and studied piano with Franco Scala at the Rosssini Conservatory and the Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro, Imola. He launched his career after winning the Ulrecht International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 1989 and has since toured extensively all over the world. As a soloist he has performed with the Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked with conductors Roberto Benzi, David Robertson, Andrey Boreyko and many more. In chamber music, Pace has performed with the Kellar Quartet, Quartetto Prometeo, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, clarinetist Sharon Kam and others.

Ticket information:
Tickets for Leonidas Kavakos on February 17 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $48.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

--Christina Kellogg, Cal Performances

Young People’s Chorus of New York City Presents Its 25th Anniversary Gala at Carnegie Hall, Monday, February 11 at 7 P.M. Renée Fleming Hosts
Guest artists are the New York Pops, Capathia Jenkins, Kate Davis, Antonio Ciacca Trio, and the Stephen Petronio Company.

The Young People's Chorus of New York City celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, with a festive benefit concert at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium Monday, February 11 at 7 p.m. Renowned soprano Renée Fleming hosts a star-studded array of well-wishers from the worlds of classical, pop, jazz, Broadway, and dance. They include Broadway/concert artist Capathia Jenkins, emerging young singer-songwriter Kate Davis, the Antonio Ciacca Jazz Trio, and the Stephen Petronio Dance Company, who will join the Young People's Chorus of New York City and the New York Pops in a spectacular showcase, musically launching them into their second quarter century.

In a program with an Americana theme, more than 1,000 choristers from 7 through 18 from YPC's core after-school program, its in-school Satellite Schools program, national affiliates, and new after-school community chorus in Washington Heights - all representing the colors, sounds, and diversity of our country - will perform in a spectacular evening of entertainment, showmanship, and stirring music and dance with choreography by Jacquelyn Bird. Ranging from Handel's Zadok the Priest to songs made famous by Kenny Loggins, Gene Kelly, and Martha and the Vandellas, complete with choreography by Jacquelyn Bird, the program will send the audience Dancin' in the Street.

This celebratory concert, followed by a gala reception in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel, encompasses an unforgettable evening that will support YPC, an organization that has transformed the lives of thousands of children over the past 25 years.

Honorary chairman of the evening is Steven A. Cahillane, president of Coca-Cola Americas, and YPC Board Chairman Adam D. Chinn of Centerview Partners, LLC, and Hugh Gordon of the Coca-Cola Company are co-chairs.

Tickets:
Concert tickets, from $60, are available now at Carnegie Hall box office, by phone through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online at www.carnegiehall.org. Information for the entire Dinner and Gala evening is available by calling YPC Event Office at 212-213-1166 or e-mailing ypcgala@ypc.org

--Young People’s Chorus of New York

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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

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to pucciojj@gmail.com.

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to pucciojj@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa