Classical Music News of the Week, January 19, 2014

92Y February Concerts

Olga Kern in Recital: “Masters of the Keyboard”
Saturday, February 1, 8:00 PM
92Y- Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC

Olga Kern, the striking young Russian Gold Medal winner of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition – whose performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 made her the first woman to achieve this distinction in over thirty years – returns to 92nd Street Y in her only New York engagement of the season.

Rachmaninoff: Selections from Preludes, Op. 32
Alkan: Selections from Twelve Études in the Major Keys, Op. 35
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Tickets $25 (age 35 & under), $35, $52, $57
Artist Website: Olga Kern

Brentano String Quartet and Soprano Christine Brandes
Saturday, February 8, 8:00 PM
92Y - Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim and in 2012 provided the key music for the film A Late Quartet, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken. This season, the ensemble presents a three-concert series at 92Y, pairing works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn with New York quintet premieres by Eric Moe, Vijay Iyer and Felipe Lara. The ensemble opens its series on February 8 with soprano Christine Brandes’s 92Y debut and the New York premiere of Eric Moe’s Of Color Braided All Desire. Noted for her radiant, crystalline voice and superb musicianship, Brandes brings her committed artistry to repertoire ranging from the 17th century to newly composed works. She enjoys an active career in North America and abroad, performing at many of the world’s most distinguished festivals and concert series in programs spanning recitals, chamber music, oratorio and opera.

Haydn: Arianna a Naxos (“Teseo mio ben”), Cantata for Soprano
Moe: Of Color Braided All Desire for Soprano and String Quartet (New York premiere)
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in D major, Op. 44, No. 1

Tickets $25 (age 35 & under), $35, $52, $62
Artist Website: Brentano String Quartet, Christine Brandes

Jenny Lin, Piano
Tuesday, February 25, 7:30 PM
SubCulture - 45 Bleecker Street (downstairs), NYC

Acclaimed by The New York Times for her "remarkable technical command" and "gift for melodic flow", pianist Jenny Lin is admired for her adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. Her ability to combine classical and contemporary literature has brought her to the attention of international critics and audiences. Ms. Lin’s extensive discography includes more than 20 critically acclaimed recordings on Hänssler Classic, Steinway & Sons, eOne Records, BIS Records, and Sunrise Records with a new CD of piano solo works by Stravinsky scheduled for release. She has performed with the American Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, La Orquesta Sinfónica de Gijón in Spain; SWR Rundfunkorchester in Germany; Orchestra Sinfonica Nationale della RAI in Italy, and National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Her 92Y recital at SubCulture features music from her recent disc, Get Happy, on the Steinway & Sons Label.

Bach/Busoni: Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004
Liszt: Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert (after Verdi)
Kreisler/Rachmaninoff: Liebesleid
Stravinsky/Agosti: L’Oiseau de feu
Rodgers/Previn: “Blue Moon”
Rodgers/Hough: “Hello, Young Lovers,” “My Favorite Things”
Loewe/Mazew: Eliza in Ascot
Gershwin/Wild: “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm”
Berlin/Hyman: “Blue Skies”
Arlen/Prutsman: “Get Happy”

Tickets $30, $35
Artist Website: Jenny Lin

Tickets are available at or 212-415-5500.

--Ashlyn Damm, Kirshbaum Demler & Associates

Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony Present a World-Premiere Violin Concerto by Samuel Carl Adams, Featuring Anthony Marwood as Soloist, February 6
Music Director Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony continue their 2013-2014 season on Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, California with a world premiere Violin Concerto by Berkeley-native Samuel Carl Adams. British violinist Anthony Marwood, described by BBC Music Magazine as a “consummate artist…blessed with boundless energy, intellectual curiosity and creative wizadry,” performs as soloist for this work. The program also features Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite for strings and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, op. 56, also known as the Scottish.

Praised as “wondrously alluring” by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley-native Samuel Carl Adams has received numerous prestigious commissions including Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony and Emanuel Ax. A composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, Adams draws from his knowledge and experiences in a variety of fields such as noise, electronic music, jazz and field recording. His acclaimed orchestral work Drift and Providence, co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, was premiered in April 2012 by the New World Symphony and given its Bay Area premiere by the San Francisco Symphony in September 2012, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. Adams has served as composer in residence at the Spoleto Festival USA, where his String Quartet in Five Movements was premiered by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and will participate as guest composer with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in the summer of 2014 as part of its coast-to-coast national tour. Samuel Carl Adams, son of composer John Adams, is a graduate of Berkeley’s Crowden School.

Known for his formidable technique and exceptional artistry, Anthony Marwood is a frequent collaborator with contemporary composers, having performed a number of violin concertos that were written expressly for him. In September 2005, he premiered Thomas Ades’ Violin Concerto as part of the Berlin Festspiele wth the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with a subsequent recording of the work released on the EMI label in 2010. Marwood leads a versatile career as a soloist, recording artist and director, performing with such orchestras as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Field, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Les Violins du Roy. He has also served as artistic director of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and has directed projects at the Australian National Academy of Music for the past four years.

Single tickets for the concert are $15-$74. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (510) 841-2800 x1 or visit

--Brenden Guy and Karen Ames, Karen Ames Communications

Legendary Violinist Itzhak Perlman Hosts a Unique Retreat for Musicians & Music Lovers
Dreamcatcher Events presents an exceptional opportunity to connect with one of the greatest artists and musical ambassadors of our time. For four incredible days this August, legendary violin master, conductor, and teacher Itzhak Perlman will welcome fans, classical music lovers, and musicians of all levels for a unique immersive retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York. “Bows & Batons: 4 Days of Music and Music Appreciation with Itzhak Perlman & Friends” is an exceptional opportunity to share great music and conversation with Mr. Perlman, along with his wife Toby Perlman and Merry Peckham of the Perlman Music Program, and some of the program’s gifted alumni.

Bows & Batons is presented by Dreamcatcher Events, the leading independent producer of musical and other event-related immersive retreats for adults. Dreamcatcher retreats provide intimate, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for fans to spend several days with a legendary artist. Bows & Batons takes place from August 18-22, 2014 at the beautiful Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The retreat will offer a series of exclusive concerts, discussions, conversations, and workshops led by Mr. Perlman and Perlman Music Program instructors and musicians. Highlights include a series of Informances — performances featuring classical masterpieces along with commentary from the performers, in an informal concert setting — and the exclusive chance to attend Mr. Perlman’s rehearsal at Saratoga Performing Arts Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra on August 20th, as well as the performance that evening.

The reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Having performed with every major orchestra and at venerable concert halls around the globe, Itzhak Perlman is beloved for his charm and humanity as well as for his talent, along with the irrepressible joy of music-making he communicates to audiences and individuals throughout the world.

“This will be the first time I have done an event of this kind,” says Mr. Perlman, “and I am very much looking forward to it. I hope to share with the participants a little bit of an inner knowledge of what goes into my violin playing, conducting, and concerts — a glimpse into a ‘day in the life’ of a musician and teacher. We can be spontaneous and cover a whole range of topics — let us see where our conversations lead us.”

For more details as well as schedule and registration information, please see:

--Shira Gilbert PR

Midwest Young Artists 18th Walgreens National Concerto Competition
Midwest Young Artists hosted the 18th annual Walgreens National Concerto Competition, held at the MYA Center at Fort Sheridan and Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia on December 28 & 29, 2013. Prizes for this solo competition included an opportunity to perform with the MYA Symphony Orchestra and on the prestigious From the Top radio program. Walgreens Corporation’s annual sponsorship enabled MYA to provide students with distinguished judges, a digital recording of their performance, written performance evaluations, and an inviting and nurturing environment in which to participate.

Results are below. Congratulations to all performers.

MYA Senior Division Results:
Overall Division Winner and String Category Winner (will perform in February at Symphony Center):
Chris Gao, cello: Prokofiev - Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 125, Mvt 2
Honorable Mentions (String Category):
David Berghoff, viola: Hindemith - Der Schwanendreher, Mvt 1
Anastasia Dalianis, cello: Kabalevsky - Cello Concerto in G Minor, Mvt 3
Daniel Kaler, cello: Dvorak - Cello Concerto in B Minor
Grace Pechianu, violin: Glazunov - Violin Concerto in A Minor, Mvt 1
Rachel Stenzel, violin: Dvorak - Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53, Mvt 3
Honorable Mention (Piano Category):
Allen Wang: Tchaikovsky - Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Mvt 1
Early Music Category Winner:
Marissa Takaki, bassoon: Mozart - Concerto for Bassoon, Mvt 1
Other Instruments Category Winner:
Torin Bakke, clarinet: Mozart - Concerto for Clarinet, Mvt 1
Honorable Mentions (Other Instruments Category):
Scott Greene, clarinet: Debussy - Premiere Rhapsody
Nina Laube, bassoon: Weber - Concerto for Bassoon in F Major, Mvt 1

MYA Junior Division Results:
Overall Division Winner and String Category Winner:
Masha Lakisova, violin: Saint-Saens - Introduction and Rondo Capricciosso
Honorable Mentions (String Category):
Haddon Kay, cello: Elgar - Concerto in E minor Op 85, Mvts 1 & 2
Masha Lakisova/Rebecca Moy, violins: Reicha - Concerto Concertante for 2 Violins
Rebecca Moy, violin: Sarasate - Carmen Fantasy
Piano Category Winner:
Kimberly Han: Saint-Saens - Piano Concerto No. 2, Mvt 1
Honorable Mention (Piano Category):
Alice Zhang: Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, Mvt 1
Early Music Category Winners:
Natalie Clarke and Colin Priller, violas: J.S. Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051, Mvt 1
Honorable Mention (Other Instruments Category):
Ariel Kaler, clarinet: Weber - Clarinet Concerto No. 1, Mvt 1

Open Senior Division Results:
Overall Open Division Winner and String Category Winner (will perform in February at Symphony Center):
Hansuh Rhee, violin: Sibelius - Concerto in D Minor, Mvt 1
Honorable Mentions (String Category):
Paolo Dara, violin: Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto, Mvt 1
Serena Harnack, violin: Sarasate - Carmen Fantasy
Alexandra Kim, cello: Saint-Saens - Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33
Nathan Mo, cello: Shostakovich - Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major, Mvt 1
Steven Song, violin: Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Mvt 1
Lucie Ticho, cello: Shostakovich - Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major, Mvts 3 & 4
Piano Category Winner:
Cindy Yang: Saint-Saens - Concerto No. 5, Mvt 3
Honorable Mentions (Piano Category):
Justin Ma: Grieg - Concerto in A Minor, Mvt 1
Jonah White: Tchaikovsky - Concerto No. 1, Op. 23, Mvt 1
Isabella Wu: Rachmaninoff - Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Mvt 1
Honorable Mention (Other Instruments Category):
Elizabeth Chang, flute: Nielsen - Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Mvt 1
Honorable Mention (Voice Category):
Loucine Topouzian, soprano: Puccini/Rodgers - O Mio Babbino Caro, If I Loved You

Open Junior Division Results:
Overall Junior Division Winner and String Category Co-Winner:
Julian Rhee, violin: Dvorak - Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53
String Category Co-Winner:
Maya Anjali Buchanan, violin: Paganini - Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 6, Mvt 1
Honorable Mentions (String Category):
Kitsho Hosotani, violin: Wieniawski- Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 22, Mvt 1
Christian D. Kim, violin: Kreisler - Praeludium and Allegro
Charlotte Loukola, violin: Wieniawski - Polonaise Brilliante in A Major
Calvin Yoon, violin: Shostakovitch - Concerto No. 1, Mvt 4
Piano Category Winner:
Colin Choi: Grieg - Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, Mvt 1
Honorable Mentions (Piano Category):
Derek Chung: Liszt - Piano Concerto No. 1, S. 124
Lia Kim: Saint-Saens - Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22
Early Music Category Winner:
Tyeese Braslavsky, piano: Mozart - Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K446, Mvt 1
Honorable Mention (Early Music Category):
Lilian Xu, piano: Mozart - Concerto in A Major, K488, Mvt 1
Honorable Mentions (Other Instruments Category):
Noah Jung, clarinet: Mozart - Concerto, Mvt 1
Lindsey Wong, flute: Mozart - Concerto No. 2 in D, K314, Mvt 1
Honorable Mention (Voice Category):
Laura Bretan, soprano: Adolphe/Puccini - O Holy Night, O Mio Babbino Caro

--Midwest Young Artists

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra Present Donizetti’s Rita Featuring San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows February 12-16
Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra begin the New Year with first-ever collaboration with San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellows in a performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s rarely-performed one-act comic opera Rita.

New Century begins its evening-long operatic adventure with orchestral works from famous operas arranged for the ensemble by former New Century Featured Composer Clarice Assad, including Johann Strauss’ Overture to Die Fledermaus, Massenet’s Meditation from Thais with Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as soloist and Mascagni’s Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana. Also featured on the program is the Prestissimo from Verdi’s String Quartet in E minor, the only surviving chamber work in the composer’s catalogue.

After intermission, soprano Maria Valdes, baritone Efraín Solís and tenor Thomas Glenn join the orchestra for Donizetti’s hilarious tale of domestic strife. Ms. Valdes and Mr. Solís are current San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellows and Mr. Glenn is a graduate of the program. Originally titled Deux hommes et une femme (Two Men and a Woman), Donizetti’s Rita was completed in 1841 but never performed during the composer’s lifetime, receiving its premiere posthumously in 1860 at the Opera-Comique in Paris. Work on this opera began as a project by the composer to keep himself busy while he was in Paris waiting for the libretto to be finished for a commission by La Scala. The opera is a domestic comedy set in 18th century Italy and tells the tale of Rita, an inn-keeper and tyrannical wife, and her timid husband Beppe whose lives become difficult with the unexpected arrival of Rita’s first husband Gasparo, thought to have drowned. The libretto is written by Gustave Vaez who had previously co-written Donzietti’s Lucia de Lammermoor.

Two years in the planning, the collaboration brings the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Center together for the very first time. “Opera has been in my blood since I was a kid,” said Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. “I remember so well listening to those Saturday radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera with my grandfather. Being able to stage an opera with New Century is a dream come true for me.”

“We at the Opera Center are thrilled to be working with the fabulous New Century Chamber Orchestra, especially to have the chance to collaborate with the amazing violinist/musician, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg,” said Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald. “The Maestra loves opera and Rita is a wonderful comedic romp that will hopefully tickle her, and everyone’s, fancy! It’s the story of a wild and wacky love triangle of sorts and Donizetti’s music sparkles.”

Both collaborators see Rita as a means to attract new audiences and to challenge performers artistically. Casting was done by Ms. Greenawald, stage direction will be provided by Eugene Brancoveanu and the music was rescored and edited for the New Century Chamber Orchestra by Peter Grunberg.

Donizetti’s Rita will be given on four evenings in different locations around the Bay Area. Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA Friday, February 14 at 8 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m., SF Jewish Community Center, San Francisco and Sunday, February 16 at 5 p.m., Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael. New Century also offers an Open Rehearsal, Tuesday, February 11 at 10 a.m. at the Kanbar Performing Arts Center in San Francisco for a price of $8.
Single tickets range in price from $29 to $59 and can be purchased through City Box Office: and (415) 392-4400. Discounted $15 single tickets are available for patrons under 35.

Open Rehearsal tickets are $8 general admission and can be purchased through City Box Office: and (415) 392-4400.

For further information on New Century, please visit

--Karen Ames Communications

One World Symphony Presents Addiction 
Sung Jin Hong, Artistic Director and Conductor
One World Symphony Vocal Artists

Richard Wagner: from The Flying Dutchman
Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: from Eugene Onegin
Hector Berlioz: La mort d'Ophélie
Sung Jin Hong: Breaking Bad - Ozymandias (2014 World Premiere, inspired by the award-winning drama and Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet)

Two Performances:
Sunday, January 26, 2014 - Sold Out!
Monday, January 27, 2014 
8:00 p.m.
Holy Apostles Church
296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street, Manhattan

$30 Students/Seniors with ID
$40 General

Spiral into an endless cascade of musical bliss as you surrender to the siren song of Addiction. Experience the fervent pulsations of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman as Senta vows her love to a ghost and lifts the curse on him with her eventual suicide. Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin tells the tale of ardent infatuation, and Berlioz's obsession with the object of his desire is manifested in La mort d'Ophélie. Inspired by the award-winning drama and Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet, Sung Jin Hong's Breaking Bad - Ozymandias explores the question that the drama obsessively and hauntingly asked: "are we all breaking bad?"

--One World Symphony

American Bach Soloists Present Bach’s Magnificat January 24-27
Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor
“Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!”
“Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir”

Clara Rottsolk soprano - Danielle Reutter-Harrah mezzo-soprano
Eric Jurenas countertenor - Guy Cutting tenor (debut)
William Sharp baritone - Sandra Miller flute
Performed on period instruments with the American Bach Choir, Jeffrey Thomas conductor

Belvedere, CA: St. Stephen’s Church Friday January 24 2014 8:00 pm
Berkeley, CA: First Congregational Church Saturday January 25 2014 8:00 pm
San Francisco, CA: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Sunday January 26 2014 4:00 pm
Davis, CA: Davis Community Church Monday January 27 2014 7:00 pm

For more information:

--American Bach Soloists

Baritone Gerald Finley and Pianist Julius Drake Perform Schubert’s Epic Song Cycle Winterreise on Sunday, February 2, at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA
Canadian baritone Gerald Finley and his longtime musical collaborator, pianist Julius Drake, come to Cal Performances on Sunday, February 2, at 3:00 p.m. to perform Franz Schubert’s intensely emotional 24-song cycle, Winterreise, in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA. Though Finley is perhaps best known to Bay Area audiences for the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer in the 2005 world premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic with San Francisco Opera, “he has proved that he is also a master of the more intimate art of song” (The New York Times) while Drake “is no shrinking violet of an accompanist: without being aggressive or domineering, his style is robust and forthright” (The Telegraph).

In Winterreise, Schubert sets music to poetry by Wilhelm Müller (1794–1827). Müller’s two dozen texts present episodes and vignettes describing the wintertime wanderings of a rejected lover. Schubert’s music for Winterreise—widely considered the apotheosis of his work composing art songs—exhibits startling beauty in spite of the brooding subject matter. The piano and voice are partners in the storytelling, complementing, exposing, and answering one another as the performers take the audience on a psychological journey through the dark metaphorical depths of a tortured soul.

Baritone Gerald Finley has performed on the most prestigious opera stages, concert halls, and recital venues worldwide, with top-flight orchestras and renowned conductors. Finley has won widespread acclaim for his expressive, nuanced singing and broad musical range, and earned multiple awards, including the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for Doctor Atomic with the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to a busy performance and recording career, Finley is Visiting Professor and Fellow of the Royal College of Music in London.

British pianist Julius Drake has performed and recorded with many of the world’s finest vocal artists over his 30-year career. He is also Professor at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, presents master classes worldwide, has devised and performed song series and recitals for audiences in the UK and the Netherlands, and has directed music festivals in Australia and Wales. Drake’s discography includes more than a dozen recordings of chamber music, song, and solo piano works. Finley and Drake’s tour of Winterreise will begin on January 15 in London and will visit eight other cities in Europe and North America.

Ticket information:
Tickets for Gerald Finley, baritone, and Julius Drake, piano on Sunday, February 2, at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $32.00 and are subject to change. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, at, and at the door. For more information about discounts, go to

--Rusty Barnes, Cal Performances

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to

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

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa