Classical Music News of the Week, May 12, 2013

Cal Performances Announces 2013-14 Season

Highlights of Cal Performances’ 2013/14 season, announced today by Director Matías Tarnopolsky, include the world premiere of a new, fully staged opera production of Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Acis and Galatea choreographed and directed by Mark Morris; 40th birthday celebrations for the Kronos Quartet, including A Meditation on the Great War, a world premiere commission from composer Aleksandra Vrebalov and filmmaker Bill Morrison; more than a dozen multiperformance residencies, including the return of the legendary Vienna Philharmonic for three concerts with three stellar conductors; Emanuel Ax’s personal journey into the music of Johannes Brahms with colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Anne Sophie von Otter; John Malkovich exploring the legend of Casanova; Jeremy Denk curating the fourth season of Ojai North!; seven of the finest early music ensembles and musicians, including Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI and Stephanie Blythe with Les Violons du Roy; the Bay Area’s Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra in a salute to Duke Ellington; and the otherworldly vocals of the Barefoot Divas bringing alive the indigenous music of Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. A commitment to new work and collaborations remains a hallmark of Tarnopolsky’s tenure, with two major world premieres anchoring a season that brings more than 20 new works to the Bay Area from prestigious commissioning partners, including Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Ojai Music Festival.

The Kronos Quartet, Cal Performances’ Artists-in-Residence and arguably the most well-known contemporary string quartet in the world, celebrates 40 years of innovation and adventure with two concerts in Berkeley. The first concert brings the ensemble full circle, featuring the work that inspired its founding: George Crumb’s astonishing Black Angels, a haunting work evocative of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. The concert also features music by Terry Riley and the extraordinary pipa virtuoso Wu Man (featured in two concerts this season) in a Bay Area premiere by Philip Glass. Later in the season, Cal Performances presents Kronos in the world premiere of A Meditation on the Great War—a multimedia commission from Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, filmmaker Bill Morrison, and Iraq War veteran-turned-visual artist Drew Cameron of the Combat Paper Project. Kronos continues its exploration into works that offer reflection and solace in the wake of profound events in modern history with this new work centered on war and its consequences. Morrison, known for his artistic signature collages of rare archival footage, will draw on seldom seen World War I film from the Library of Congress.

The 2013/14 season launches on September 29, 2013, with Fall Free for All—a free, daylong festival initiated by Tarnopolsky to introduce new audiences to Cal Performances’ impressive range of music, dance, and theater presentations. Since its inception in 2010, Fall Free for All has featured more than 500 artists and ensembles performing for audiences totaling more than 30,000 people. Highlights of the 2013 Fall Free for All include the New Century Chamber Orchestra, La Tania Baile Flamenco, Theatre of Yugen, Los Cenzontles, Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz, a family stage with percussionist Keith Terry, and much more.

Tickets and other information:
Making arts and culture accessible to the broadest possible audience is a cornerstone of Cal Performances’ mission. There are several ways to purchase tickets and take advantage of significant savings. Subscription packages, priced from $52.00 to $450.00, go on sale for the 2013/14 season at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 29. Series subscribers save up to 25% off single ticket prices and a 10% discount on additional single tickets purchased throughout the season. For Families series offers 50% off single ticket prices for children 16 and younger (see page 16). Orders may be placed online at calperformances.org, mailed, faxed to 510.643.2359, or phoned in to 510.642.9988. Single tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, August 20, and range from $18.00 to $200.00. UCB students receive a 50% discount on single tickets. For more information, call the Ticket Office at 510.642.9988, email tickets@calperformances.org, or visit our website at calperformances.org.

--Joe Yang, Cal Performances

WFMT Radio Network Launch ‘Exploring Music’ Web Site
Subscribers can search and stream more than 500 hours of syndicated classical music and commentary hosted by Bill McGlaughlin.

Broadcast archive configured for online music education at ExploringMusic.org.

The WFMT Radio Network launched a subscription Web site on May 6 where classical music enthusiasts can search and stream hundreds of archived hours of the network’s internationally syndicated “Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin,” a daily music-appreciation show that airs on 55 stations to a weekly audience of more than 400,000 listeners.

The new streaming website, ExploringMusic.org, will advance the show’s mission of classical music education, according to Steve Robinson, general manager of the WFMT Radio Network and WFMT 98.7 FM. “The Web site, like the show, is unique,” Robinson says. “There’s no place else to hear thoroughly researched commentary, thoughtfully curated music, and Bill McGlaughlin’s engaging manner of demystifying classical music.”

The show, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013, devotes a week or more of daily, one-hour weekday broadcasts to a single topic. Themes have ranged from “Artists in Exile,” “Czech Out Those Bohemians,” and “Nobody Ever Builds a Statue to a Critic” to general topics such as “Piano Concertos,” “Tone Poems,” and “Ninth Symphonies.” The show has devoted multi-week series to composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Fauré, Gershwin, and others.

On the day of the Web site’s launch, about 500 hours of “Exploring Music” were available for streaming. About 850 hours have been produced to date. More will be added to the Web site each week, according to the radio network.

The new site represents an inventive mix of old and new media with its musical selections, educational content, and Web technology, Robinson says. Like the show itself, ExploringMusic.org is for listeners and music students at all levels of musical sophistication.

“Bill is a natural conversationalist with a talent for painting pictures with words. Listeners get drawn into the musical worlds he evokes,” Robinson says. “They share his sense of wonder and discovery. And the music he plays is so enjoyable that even listeners who use classical radio for background music stay tuned during his show.” The original impetus for the Web site came from listeners who have long lamented not being able to hear shows they missed on the air — an issue voiced in many of the 7,000 emails the show has received since it went on the air in 2003, Robinson says. “It’s astonishing to look back and see the body of work we’ve explored in our ten years on the air,” McGlaughlin says. “It’s the answer to a dream for our fans and for everyone who works on the show.”

McGlaughlin describes ExploringMusic.org as an audio “treasure trove” of the sort he would have liked to have had as an inquisitive, music-loving youngster in his native Philadelphia, where he was a frequent visitor to the public library. In developing ExploringMusic.org, the radio network decided to do more than offer a chronological online archive of shows; it decided to offer a search capability to satisfy listeners’ curiosity and the needs of students and other researchers.

“Call it, Music appreciation, $2 a week,” Robinson says. Two dollars is the cost of subscribing to one week's worth of five hour-long shows. This entitles the visitor to return to the site and re-listen to those five installments as many times as they want, with no expiration date.

For those who buy a $50 annual subscription, there's no limit to the number of shows they can stream during the 12-month period. Monthly subscriptions are $7. For a limited time, those purchasing a $50 yearly subscription will become charter members, entitled to unlimited streaming for two years. Institutional subscriptions are available for schools and colleges, Robinson says.

Nonsubscribers will be able to search the archives and listen to the first seven minutes of any hour-long show at no charge. Subscription revenues will help fund the website and the production of new episodes, Robinson says. Initial funding for the site came from private donations.

--Nat Silverman

Violinist Chad Hoopes Wins Emerging Artist Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize
Violinist Chad Hoopes has been honored by the Cleveland Arts Prize by receiving the 2013 Emerging Artist Award. The Emerging Artist prize is awarded to artists who have received national recognition in addition to regional and local acclaim and have resided in Northeast Ohio. Chad is the only classical musicians recognize this year by the Cleveland Arts Prize.

The winners of the 53rd annual Cleveland Arts Prize will be honored on June 27th at 5:30 pm in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium (Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd.) Tickets ($75 to $225) can be purchased by visiting clevelandartsprize.org or call 440-523-9889.

Chad performs this Saturday, May 4 with the Battle Creek Symphony in Battle Creek, MI and on May 26 with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Now a senior in high school, Chad’s virtuosic talent has impressed audiences around the world. The Cleveland Arts Prize honors Chad’s both burgeoning and highly established career; he is an emerging artist to keep your eye on.

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

Music Institute Establishes Campus in Downtown Chicago
Lake Forest campus expands programming, the Music Institute of Chicago announcing the strategic expansion and restructuring of its campus system, which currently serves more than 3,000 students.

The 83-year-old institution has entered into a partnership with Fourth Presbyterian Church to open a campus within the Gratz Center, the church’s new addition on Chestnut Street, just west of North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Nationally known for its commitment to music excellence in worship and also as host to more than 70 concerts a year, Fourth Church is a natural partner in this downtown expansion. The new Music Institute campus, opening in September, will provide high-quality music lessons and classes for children and adults, amplifying the Music Institute’s already-strong presence in the city through its programs in the Chicago Public Schools.

Savitri Pai, a Music Institute Trustee, alumna, and Chicago resident, said, “Downtown residents have clamored for access to the Music Institute’s excellent programs for many years. Now people can benefit from the Music Institute’s programs without having to drive to the northern suburbs.”

In addition to the new Chicago campus, the Music Institute will expand its facilities at the Grove Cultural Campus, 40 East Old Mill Road in Lake Forest. With the closure of its Highland Park campus this summer, the Lake Forest campus will now serve as a dynamic center for lessons, classes, chamber music, and performance for students of all ages.

The Music Institute previously announced the relocation and consolidation of its headquarters, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, Musical Theater, and World Music programs to 1702 Sherman Avenue in the heart of downtown Evanston. Each campus hub—in Lake Forest, Winnetka, Evanston, and Chicago—will offer a full range of education programming, including private lessons, Suzuki education, early childhood education, chamber music, jazz studies, and adult education classes. Satellite facilities in Lincolnshire and Downers Grove will continue to offer lessons and select programming.

“The Music Institute of Chicago is dedicated to providing the highest quality music education in a supportive and nurturing musical environment,” said President and CEO Mark George. “Concentrating our resources at campus hubs allows us to enrich and expand our programming and foster a vibrant and engaging musical community. The new campus structure creates a nexus of teachers and students, from Chicago to Lake Forest.”

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

One World Symphony Presents “American Affairs: Great * Atomic * Desire,” May 19-20 
Featuring the One World Symphony, Sung Jin Hong, Artistic Director and Conductor, and One World Symphony Vocal Artists

John Adams: from Doctor Atomic (2007)
John Harbison: from The Great Gatsby (1999)
André Previn: from A Streetcar Named Desire (1998)
Samuel Barber: Promiscuity and W. H. Auden songs (1953)
Sung Jin Hong: Edge (2013, world premiere) - monodrama for vocalist and symphony inspired by Sylvia Plath's final poem

Two Performances:
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
8:00 p.m.
Holy Apostles Church
296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street
Manhattan, NY

$30 students/seniors with ID; $40 general admission

 Voluptuously flavored with New Orleans jazz and ripe with the threat of violence, André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire soars as a lyrical opera centered on Blanche's inevitable savage collision course with fate. Super-charged and unwavering musical intensity floods John Adams's Doctor Atomic as it dissects the personal and moral struggles of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his fellow scientists as they worked on creating the first atomic bomb. The infatuation that motivates Jay Gatsby become a paragon of wealth and sophistication also drives him to his eventual demise. John Harbison's elegant and alluring score to The Great Gatsby includes popular songs and jazz depicting the glamorous and enigmatic protagonist while evoking the novel's age of decadence. Sylvia Plath's final poem, Edge, is both a cri du coeur and a cold accusation, filled with passion, anger, and regret. Hong's world premiere monodrama translates Plath's black fire for a volatile vocalist and orchestral accomplices.


--Adrienne Metzinger, One World Symphony

Music Institute of Chicago Presents Acclaimed Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Pianist Matthew Hagle May 18 at Nichols Concert Hall
The Music Institute of Chicago, celebrating its 10th anniversary season at Nichols Concert Hall, presents acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine, hailed as “an exciting, boundary-defying performer” by The Washington Post, and pianist and Music Institute faculty member Matthew Hagle. The performance takes place Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.

The program includes
Beethoven’s Sonata No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 12, No. 3
A set of lullabies, including Brahms’ “Wiegenlied” (Cradle Song), No. 4 from Fünf Lieder, Op. 49, arranged by Albert Spaulding; Ysaÿe’s Rêve d’Enfant (Child’s Dream), Op. 14; Clarke’s Lullaby (1918); and Still’s Mother and Child, No. 2 from Suite (1943)
Liszt’s Grand Duo concertant sur la romance de M. Lafont Le Marin
Rebikov’s Berceuse
Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, arranged by Frolov
Strauss’s Wiegenlied (Cradle Song)
Strauss’s Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 1

Barton Pine and Hagle are alumni of the Music Institute of Chicago, beginning their studies with the school’s most famous pedagogues: Roland and Almita Vamos and Emilio del Rosario, respectively.

Rachel Barton Pine and Matthew Hagle perform Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students, available online or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. All programming is subject to change. For more information, click here: https://www.musicinst.org/

Also at this concert, the Music Institute will present its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards, which recognize individuals who embody the school's belief that excellent music education is a powerful contributor to long-term quality of life for performers, listeners, and lifelong learners. There is more info here: https://www.musicinst.org/alumni-awards

The Distinguished Alumni in Music award winner is Ralph Neiweem, co-founder and co-director of the Chicago Duo Piano Festival (celebrating 25 years this summer) and a member of the Music Institute's piano faculty. More about him here: https://www.musicinst.org/ralph-neiweem-0

The Distinguished Alumni in a Field other than Music award winner is Elizabeth Olsen Geraghty, executive director of the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. More about her here: https://www.musicinst.org/elisabeth-olsen-geraghty

Finally, as a special honor at this concert, Music Institute clarinet/saxophone instructor Stanley Davis will be honored as the longest-serving Music Institute faculty member, reaching 50 years. More information about Stanley here: https://www.musicinst.org/stanley-davis

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Composers and the Voice 2013-2014 Call for Applications
Application Deadline: May 17, 2013
Composers Notified of Acceptance: June 28, 2013
Workshop Sessions: September 2013 through April 2014
All sessions will be at AOP's home base in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY.

The Composers and the Voice Workshop Series is a competitive biannual fellowship offered to composers and composer/librettist teams. Created and led by Composers and the Voice Artistic Director Steven Osgood, six composers or composer/librettist teams will be selected for a year-long fellowship, working with the company's Resident Ensemble of Singers and Artistic Team. The primary focus of Composers and the Voice is to give composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and opera stage.

C&V fellows compose solo works and opera scenes in closed workshop sessions with the AOP Resident Ensemble of Singers participate in "Skill-Building Sessions" in acting, improv games, and libretto development; gain in-depth and firsthand knowledge of how singers build characters; act in scenes and sing text; and have their compositions featured in two public performances -  First Glimpse, a concert of songs in Spring 2014, and Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes in Fall 2014. 

One of the Six Scenes operas-in-progress will be selected to receive a staged reading at Manhattan School of Music in Spring 2015.

Since launching in 2002, C&V has fostered the development of 37 composers & librettists. Alumni works that went through AOP's opera development program and continued to a world premiere include Love/Hate (ODC/San Francisco Opera 2012, Jack Perla), Paul's Case (UrbanArias 2013, Gregory Spears), and the Off-Broadway and European tour of Darkling (2006-07, Stefan Weisman). Additional AOP-developed works from C&V alumni include Decoration (Mikael Karlsson), The Summer King (Daniel Sonenberg), The Golden Gate (Conrad Cummings), Dream President (Jennifer Griffith), Henry's Wife (Randall Eng), and Semmelweis (Raymond J. Lustig).

--AOP News

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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