Classical Music News of the Week, March 10, 2013

National Philharmonic to Perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos at Strathmore

The National Philharmonic, led by Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski, will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 on Saturday, April 6 at 8 pm at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD. The concert will also feature the Philharmonic’s nearly 200-voice Chorale performing Bach’s Cantata No. 140, Wachet Auf (“Sleepers Awake”).

Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos are considered masterpieces and among the biggest hits of classical music. Each is written for a different combination of instruments. Concerto No. 1 requires the largest number of performers, with a string ensemble and a group of soloists. Concerto No. 5 features three solo instruments: harpsichord, violin and flute. The final piece of the concert, Cantata No. 140 for chorus and orchestra, is the famous Wachet Auf (“Sleepers Awake”), a wedding cantata depicting the uniting of Christ with the human soul.

About the Soloists:
Soprano Rosa Lamoreaux, acclaimed for her "scrupulous musicianship...gorgeous sound and stylistic acuity" (The Washington Post), is engaged in an international career of broad scope, including solo  recitals, chamber music, opera, and orchestral performances at major concert venues:  Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Hall and the Washington National Cathedral, among others.

Matthew Smith is an accomplished tenor soloist, having performed with many prestigious ensembles including the Washington Bach Consort, the Washington Concert Opera, the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.

American bass Kevin Deas is especially celebrated for his riveting portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess with the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco, and Montreal Symphonies and at the Ravinia and Saratoga Festivals.  His recordings include Die Meistersinger with the Chicago Symphony under the late Sir Georg Solti and Varèse’s Ecuatorial with the ASKO Ensemble under Ricardo Chailly, both on Decca/London. Other releases include Bach’s B minor Mass and Handel’s Acis & Galatea on Vox Classics and Dave Brubeck’s To Hope! with the Cathedral Choral Society on the Telarc label.

Violinist Justine Lamb-Budge is bringing “youthful vibrancy” to orchestral performances on stages across North America and Europe. “The great skill, passion and nuance of her playing and her strong commitment to the critically important role of concert master is an inspiration to all of us,” says Piotr Gajewski, Music Director and Conductor of the National Philharmonic, where Justine is concertmaster.

About the Conductor:
Piotr Gajewski is widely credited with building The National Philharmonic to its present status as one of the most respected ensembles of its kind in the region. The Washington Post recognizes him as an "immensely talented and insightful conductor,” whose "standards, taste and sensitivity are impeccable." In addition to his appearances with the National Philharmonic, Maestro Gajewski is much in demand as a guest conductor. In recent years, he has appeared with most of the major orchestras in his native Poland, as well as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in England, the Karlovy Vary Symphony in the Czech Republic, the Okanagan Symphony in Canada, and numerous orchestras in the United States.

About the National Philharmonic:
Led by dynamic Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski, the National Philharmonic is known for performances that are “powerful,” impeccable” and “thrilling” (The Washington Post). The National Philharmonic boasts a long-standing tradition of reasonably priced tickets and free admission to all young people age 7-17, assuring its place as an accessible and enriching component in Montgomery County and the greater Washington, DC area.

As the Music Center at Strathmore’s ensemble-in-residence, the National Philharmonic showcases world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Gajewski and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.

The National Philharmonic also offers exceptional and unique education programs, such as the Summer Strings and Choral Institutes. Students accepted into the Summer String Institutes study privately with National Philharmonic musicians, participate in coached chamber music and play in an orchestra conducted by Maestro Gajewski and Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau. For more information, visit

A free lecture will be offered at 6:45 pm on Saturday, April 6 in the Concert Hall at the Music Center at Strathmore. To purchase tickets to the Bach concert on April 6 at Strathmore, please visit or call the Strathmore ticket office at (301) 581-5100. Tickets are $28-$81; kids 7-17 are FREE through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program (sponsored by The Gazette). ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone. Parking is complimentary.

--Deborah Birnbaum, National Philharmonic

The Exuberant Australian Chamber Orchestra Returns to Cal Performances for Two Stirring Concerts March 22 and 23 in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA
Concerts feature a United States premiere and Cal Performances debut of Alice Sara Ott.

The ambitious and acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), led by its dynamic artistic director and lead violinist Richard Tognetti, returns to Cal Performances for two distinct concerts on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, both at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall. The ACO’s first Berkeley concert will feature German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott, who will join the ensemble for Shostakovich’s first Piano Concerto. On Saturday, Tognetti will play the electric violin for the United States premiere of Brett Dean’s Electric Preludes, concerto for electric violin, commissioned by ACO in 2012. The New York Times recently stated, “Intensity and virtuosity are hallmarks of this orchestra.”

The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Friday, March 22 evening concert will be an all-Russian affair opening with Visions Fugitives by Sergey Prokofiev. Originally composed as a solo piano work in 20 short movements, the first 16 movements of Visions Fugitives were arranged for orchestra by Rudolf Barshai. Two works by Dmitri Shostakovich follow: the Piano Concerto No. 1, written for piano, trumpet, and string orchestra featuring Alice Sara Ott making her debut in Berkeley; and Prelude and Scherzo (also called Two Pieces for String Octet). Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s string sextet, Souvenir de Florence completes the program. On Saturday, March 23 the program spans from Franz Joseph Haydn’s vigorous Symphony No. 4, written c. 1760, through Brett Dean’s electronica-influenced Electric Preludes, written in 2012 for Richard Tognetti and the ACO and performed on a six-string electric violin. A second Haydn symphony (No. 49) and Antonín Dvoák’s charming Serenade for Strings round out the program.

Founded in 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has earned an international reputation for performing classical masterworks and genre-defying modern compositions—often of their own commission—at the highest standards. Led since 1989 by Artistic Director and Lead Violin Richard Tognetti, the group has performed throughout Australia (where its concert series has some 10,000 subscribers) and worldwide on 50 international tours visiting 250 cities in the US, Asia, and Europe. The ACO is a flexible ensemble that expands or contracts to meet the needs of the music it performs; one constant is the traditional chamber-orchestra custom in which all players but the cellists perform standing. The group collaborates with artists from diverse genres, records widely, and has appeared on television and in film. Its education program mentors young players throughout Australia and operates ACO2, an elite training orchestra.

ACO Artistic Director and Lead Violin Richard Tognetti was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, and studied at the Sydney Conservatory in his home country and the Bern Conservatory in Switzerland. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout Australia, Europe, and the US, and recorded solo works of Bach, Dvo?ák, and Mozart. An Officer of the Order of Australia since 2010, Tognetti is also Artistic Director of the Maribor Festival in Slovenia.

Pianist Alice Sara Ott has performed at major concert halls worldwide since she was hailed as “Most Promising Artist” at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2002 at age 13. As a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, the German-born pianist (her mother is Japanese) has appeared at many international festivals and played with top orchestras including the Kiev Philharmonic, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony.

Ticket information:
Tickets for Australian Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $52.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

--Joe Yang, Cal Performances

The Orion String Quartet & Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company at The Joyce Theater March 26th - April 7th
Celebrating their 25th Anniversary season, the Orion String Quartet joins the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company for a highly anticipated two-week engagement at The Joyce Theater, New York City, from March 26th-April 7th. This season marks the 30th Anniversary for the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company. The Orion String Quartet will play works of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Ravel and Schubert as dancers from the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company perform the innovative and powerful choreography of Bill T. Jones. These collaborative performances will be arranged in two varying programs and will include the New York premiere of Jones' Ravel: Landscape or Portrait? set to Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, and the New York premiere of Story, set to Franz Schubert’s Death and the Maiden.

Since its inception, the Quartet has been consistently praised for the fresh perspective and individuality it brings to performances, offering diverse programs that juxtapose classic works of the standard quartet literature with masterworks by living composers. They remain on the cutting edge of programming with their wide-ranging commissions from composers Chick Corea, Brett Dean, David Del Tredici, Alexander Goehr, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Thierry Lancino, Lowell Libermann, Peter Lieberson, Wynton Marsalis, and Marc Neikrug. They have enjoyed a creative partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company since 1998. 

On Monday, March 18 at 7pm, WQXR, New York City's all-classical station, will host an evening with Bill T. Jones along with the Orion String Quartet and dancers from the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station's intimate, acoustically superb event venue. The event will include music and dance performances from Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music, by the Orion String Quartet, Talli Jackson and Jennifer Nugent.  WQXR’s Terrance McKnight will interview the Orion String Quartet, Bill T. Jones, and the dancers.   Tickets are available at; a live video webcast will be presented at and

--Ashlyn Damm, Kirshbaum, Demler Associates

Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony Close the 2012-2013 Season with a World Premiere by Steven Stucky Featuring Tenor Noah Stewart as Soloist March 28
Also, Final New Works by This Season’s Under Construction Composers Featured March 24
Music Director Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony present the final subscription concert of the 2012-2013 Season on Thursday, March 28 at 8 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, California. The concert is highlighted by the world premiere of The Stars and the Roses by Steven Stucky featuring internationally-acclaimed tenor Noah Stewart. Bruckner’s Symphony No.4 in E-Flat Major completes the program.

As the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with Berkeley Symphony, Mr. Stucky has led this season’s Under Construction Composers Program, designed as an opportunity for emerging composers from the Bay Area to work with a professional orchestra. The 2012-2013 Under Construction program concludes on Sunday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the Crowden Music Center with the performance of three new orchestral works by composers Andrew V. Ly, Michael Nicholas and Davide Verotta.

Highly regarded as one of America’s most frequently performed living composers, Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Stucky has received numerous commissions and performances from top orchestras throughout the world including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra. Stucky has enjoyed the longest relationship on record between a composer and an American orchestra, with over 20 years as Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he also served as Consulting Composer for New Music and founder of the orchestra’s Composer Fellowship Program for high school-aged composers. As a conductor, Stucky has led various world and regional premieres with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and Ensemble X, a contemporary group that he founded in 1997. An active teacher and educator for young composers, Stucky has served on the Warsaw jury of the Witold Lutoslawksi Competition for Composers and was recognized as an expert on the Polish composer with the Lutoslawksi Society’s medal. Stucky will serve as consultant to the Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2013 Lutoslawski centennial celebrations in London.

One of the few programs of its kind nationwide, Berkeley Symphony’s Under Construction Composers Program reflects the orchestra’s decades-long commitment to cultivate the next generation of composers and audiences of new music by presenting the works of emerging Bay Area composers in open rehearsal–style concerts. This season’s participants - Andrew V. Ly, Michael Nicholas and Davide Verotta - were selected for a year-long mentorship program led by Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Steven Stucky and partnered by Paul Dresher. The concert on March 24 is the culmination of this season’s program and will feature three symphonic works which the participants have worked on with collaborative artistic and career guidance from Music Director Joana Carneiro and composers Steven Stucky and Paul Dresher, as well as from orchestra musicians and guest composers. Joana Carneiro will lead the Berkeley Symphony in performances of Lair by Andrew V. Ly, The Wraith by Michael Nicholas and Ultramarinus (Ceruleus) by Davide Verotta.

Berkeley Symphony
Concert IV: The Idealists
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 8 p.m.
Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley

Joana Carneiro, conductor
Noah Stewart, tenor
Steven Stucky: The Stars and the Roses (World Premiere Commission)
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major, Romantic

Under Construction Concert II
Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Crowden Music Center, Berkeley
Joana Carneiro, conductor

Andrew V. Ly: Lair
Michael Nicholas: The Wraith
Davide Verotta: Ultramarinus (Ceruleus)

For more information, click here:

--Karen Ames Communications

Nicholas McGegan Leads the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in Teseo, a Rarely Heard Handel Opera, April 10-11 & 13-14, 2013
Featuring the incomparable talents of sopranos Amanda Forsythe and Dominique Labelle in the roles of Theseus and Medea, Music Director Nicholas McGegan leads Philharmonia Baroque in a revival of George Frideric Handel’s opera seria, Teseo. These concerts take place as part of Philharmonia Baroque’s regular subscription series in Atherton, Berkeley, and San Francisco, California.

Infamous for having murdered her own children in a jealous rage, Medea returns to Athens, where she is promised marriage by King Egeo (countertenor Drew Minter). Thickening the plot is the arrival of Theseus, a powerful young fighter who challenges Egeo’s rule and becomes infatuated with the princess Agilea (soprano Amy Freston). King Egeo is on the verge of murdering Theseus and marrying Agilea himself – until he makes a discovery that may prove disastrous for Medea.

First performed in London in 1713, Teseo was buried for many years until being rediscovered in 1985, the tercentenary of Handel’s birth. Since then, this rare gem has become a favorite among lovers of Baroque opera in the United States and Europe. This concert opera features an Italian libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym and will be performed with English translation provided.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Atherton – Center for Performing Arts (555 Middlefield)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm
San Francisco - Herbst Theater (401 Van Ness Avenue)

Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm and
Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Berkeley - First Congregational Church (2345 Channing Way)

Tickets start at $25, available through City Box Office: (415) 392-4400 or online at

The April edition of Philharmonia Baroque’s regular broadcast on KDFC (90.3 FM San Francisco / 89.9 FM Wine Country / 104.9 FM San Jose) will feature excerpts from Handel’s Orlando – Sunday, April 13 at 8 PM.

For more information on Philharmonia Baroque, visit or call 415-252-1288 x. 315.

--Ben Casement Stoll, Philharmonia Baroque

Harpsichordist Davitt Moroney Performs Bach’s The Art of Fugue Sunday, April 7, at 3:00 P.M. in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, California
Renowned keyboard player and UC Berkeley professor of music Davitt Moroney will perform J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080) on Sunday, April 7 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA. The Art of Fugue is a collection of 14 fugues and two canons, all except one of which are based on the same simple D minor subject. It is Bach’s final work and is unfinished. Moroney knows The Art of Fugue well; he has performed it for the past three decades and has published his own edition of the work. His first recording of it was awarded a Gramophone Award in 1985, and was praised by the New York Times for its "vivid clarity" and "a sense of a voyage of the spirit."

Davitt Moroney has recorded nearly sixty CDs of music of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, winning several Gramophone Awards, France's Grand Prix du Disque de l'Académie Charles Cros and other international prizes for his performances. He has been praised by critics throughout Europe and North America for his thoughtful musicality and expressive approach to the keyboard.

Born in England in 1950, Davitt Moroney studied at the University of London, King’s College, and earned concert performance and teaching diplomas from London’s Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music. After completing his doctorate in musicology at UC Berkeley in 1980, Moroney moved to Paris. For over 20 years he worked primarily as a freelance recitalist in various countries. He returned to Berkeley in 2001 and is now a Professor of Music, University Organist, and Director of the University Baroque Ensemble.

Tickets for Davitt Moroney, on Sunday, April 7 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are priced at $42.00.  Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

--Joe Yang, Cal Performances

Pasadena Symphony Names David Lockington as New Mucis Director and Nicholas McGegan as Principal Guest Conductor
The Pasadena Symphony Association is proud to announce the appointment of David Lockington as its new Music Director and Nicholas McGegan as its Principal Guest Conductor, an innovative partnership of powerhouse artistic leadership. Lockington is the fifth Music Director of Pasadena’s 85-year-old treasured Symphony Orchestra. McGegan’s newly created position formalizes a synergistic relationship between the conductor and the orchestra, and represents a deep commitment of engagement to complement the orchestra’s future artistic direction and impact on its community. Lockington’s and McGegan’s initial three-year contracts commence this year with the 2013-14 Singpoli Classics Series. In 2014-15, both will regularly conduct the orchestra.

“After conducting and getting to know the orchestra, I am excited to begin an extended relationship exploring great music-making,” says Lockington. “I am also looking forward to connecting to the fabric of Pasadena and stimulating even more interest in supporting this community’s live music.”

Diane Rankin, President of the Pasadena Symphony Association reflects, “Looking at musicianship, technique, knowledge, leadership, and inspiration, David Lockington and Nic McGegan kept rising to the top, epitomizing the definition of performance standard and genuine community engagement. We feel very fortunate to have these two remarkable artists as part of our organization and community.”

“I am thrilled to be a part of the artistic leadership team of the Pasadena Symphony, along with David and Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein,” says McGegan. “The Pasadena Symphony is the perfect creative playground for all of us! I look forward to expanding my orchestral repertoire in upcoming seasons here."

“The musicians of our orchestra passionately declared their preference for David and Nic,” states Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO of the Association. “David is perfect, as our visions completely align. With Nicholas as an artistic partner to David and Michael Feinstein, this new team is sure to take us to places we have only dreamed about.”

Drew Dembowski, Principal Bass states, “As a member of the Pasadena Symphony since 1975, I could not be feeling more positive about our prospects for the future and more proud of the collaborative efforts of all those involved in this process.” 

An accomplished cellist before turning to conducting, David Lockington spent 14 seasons as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, where he created a legacy that the New York Times called “a model in the Classical music world.” Nominated for a Grammy in 2007, Lockington has also held the music directorships of the Long Island Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. Since September 2007, he has served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he was named principal conductor of Spain's Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias. Guest conducting engagements include appearances throughout North America and internationally. 

Nicholas McGegan is a pioneer in exporting historical practices of period instruments to the conventional symphonic forces. His discography includes more than 100 recordings, including the Gramophone-winning, Grammy-nominated world premiere of Handel's Susanna. He is also credited with the first performance in modern times of Handel's Gloria. As long-standing music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale, McGegan established the leading period performance ensemble in the United States. Active in opera as well, he was Principal Conductor of Sweden's Drottingholm 1993-96 annual festival and Artistic Director of the Göttingen International Handel Festival. He has also guest-conducted across the United States.

Highlights of the upcoming 2013-14 Singpoli Classics Series includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, Bernstein’s Serenade, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, plus world renowned soloists Anne Akiko Meyers (violin) and Shai Wosner (piano). Season Subscriptions are on sale now and may be purchased by phone at 626-793-7172 or online at

--Ivan Schustak, Schwalbe & Partners

Decoration: Act II, Scene I Presented March 17 at Greenfield Hall, NYC, NY
American Opera Projects returns to the Manhattan School of Music for their annual series New American Opera Previews, From Page to Stage with scenes from Decoration, a new opera by composer Mikael Karlsson with a libretto by the composer and David Flodén. As the world braces for the end of space/time, two sisters - one pregnant, one dying - confront rabbits, diapers and whether life is worth the effort. The opera was developed in AOP's Composers & the Voice program in 2011-2012.

New American Opera Previews, From Page to Stage promotes contemporary opera to New York audiences though the presentation of staged excerpts of new opera in development. Post performance audience talk-backs with the creative team and singers provide important audience and professional feedback for the creators during the development phase.

Decoration: Directed by Caren France, features performances by Rebecca Ringle, Margreth Fredheim, Jason Cox and Raehann Bryce-Davis.

Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 2:30 PM
Manhattan School of Music - Greenfield Hall
120 Claremont Ave. (at 122nd St.), New York City, New York 10027

$20 ($15 advance); $10 students & seniors
212-706-9550 to order tickets

--AOP News

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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