Classical Music News of the Week, July 6, 2014

Sacred Music in a Sacred Space Announces Its 2014-15 Season

Sacred Music in a Sacred Space at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City is committed to presenting the finest sacred choral and organ repertoire spanning over 1,000 years of music history. Sacred Music in a Sacred Space has crafted its 26th season around the theme of "The Greater Good," featuring inspiring masterworks by Mozart, Bach, Tallis, Lassus and Haydn. Chanticleer returns as a part of the series' beloved Christmas festivities and, new this year, the Caritas Concerts will raise money for charitable causes.

Framed by two mass settings of cosmic proportions--Mozart's Mass in C minor and Bach's Mass in B minor--the 2014-15 season of Sacred Music in a Sacred Space examines transcendence through sacrifice. Artistic Director K. Scott Warren has devised an illuminating program of 16th- and 17th-century unaccompanied choral music for a contemplative Lenten concert and launched a new chamber series called the Caritas Concerts, from which all proceeds will be donated to charity.

Choral Subscription Concerts:
Mozart's Great Mass
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7pm
The Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola
Tickets: $25 - $80
Part of the 3-concert Choral Subscription

Passion: Sacrifice and Surrender
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7pm
The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Tickets: $25 - $80
Part of the 3-concert Choral Subscription

Bach's B Minor Mass
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 7pm
The Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola
Tickets: $25 - $80
Part of the 3-concert Choral Subscription

Advent Lesson and Carols
Sunday, November 30 at 3pm
The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
with organist Nancianne Parrella
Tickets: Free will offering.

A Chanticleer Christmas
Friday, December 5 at 7pm
Sunday, December 7 at 4pm
Tickets: $35-$85

Heavenly Light: Annual Christmas Concerts
Sunday, December 14 at 3pm
Wednesday, December 17 at 7pm
The Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola, Parish Community Choir, and Children's Choirs
Tickets: $35–$85

Polydora Ensemble
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 6:30pm
Tickets: $50 general

Sara Murphy & Michael Sheetz
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6:30pm
Tickets: $50 general

The N.P. Mander Organ Recitals
The N.P Mander organ – at 5,000 pipes, 30 tons, and 45 feet high – is the largest tracker-action pipe organ in the New York metropolitan area.  All N.P. Mander Organ Recitals feature large-screen projection, offering the audience a rare view of the organist at work.

K. Scott Warren
Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 3pm
Tickets: $20

David Enlow
Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 3pm
Tickets: $20

Adam J. Brakel
Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3pm
Tickets: $20

Organ Plus!
Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 3pm
Nancianne Parrella, organ, with Jorge Ávila, violin;
Victoria Drake, harp; Arthur Fiacco, cello
Tickets: $20

Bonus Events!
Tallis Scholars: Spem I Alium Project
April 15, 2015 at 8pm
Purchase tickets through Carnegie Hall.  212-247-7800

Rejoice in the Lord! A Music Ministry Celebration
Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 3 PM

Ticket information:
Choral Subscriptions: $55–$220
Single Tickets $25 - $80
Organ Concerts: $20
Caritas Concerts: $50
Chanticleer Tickets: $35–$85
Christmas Concert Tickets: $35–$85

All tickets on sale to the public July 1.
Order online:
Phone: 212.288.2520: 24/7 ordering and customer service

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

Jazz Great and Father of New Age-World Music, Paul Horn, Passes at 84
Internationally acclaimed musician and recording artist Paul Horn passed away Sunday morning, June 29 after a brief illness. He was 84.

Horn is survived by his wife Ann Mortifee, his sons Robin and Marlen, stepson Devon, 4 grandchildren--Brittany, Tyler, Jonah, Ana--and daughters-in-law Robin, Alison and Beth.

The family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from people around the world who admired Horn as a musician and respected him as a man of great integrity and deep philosophical principles.

A private memorial-celebration of life is being planned.

--Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Create Your Series to the MasterCard Performance Series at Weill Hall
Creat your own series and build a season that meets your musical taste at Weill Hall, Sonoma State University's Green Music Center.

Select from any of the 33* performances in the 2014-15 MasterCard Performance Series and save.
Choose 3 and save 10%
Choose 5 and save 15%
Choose 7 and save 20%
 *Special Evenings may only be included in packages of five or more
and are not eligible for discount.

The 2014-15 MasterCard Performance Series features:
Audra McDonald
Yo-Yo Ma
Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer
SFJazz Collective
Johnny Mathis
Michael Feinstein
Laurie Anderson
The Romeros
The Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio
Bobby McFerrin
Dave Koz
Murray Perahia
Lila Downs
And Many More!

For ticket information, visit

--Weill Hall, Sonoma State University

The Florida Orchestra Appoints Michael Francis as Music Director
The Florida Orchestra (TFO) has announced the appointment of Michael Francis as its new Music Director starting with the 2015/2016 season, serving as Music Director Designate for the upcoming 2014/2015 season. Appointed as part of an initial three-year contract, his duties include being the primary conductor and providing the artistic leadership for concert programming and related artistic decisions. Although his primary role is with the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, he will also be conducting one concert each season for the Raymond James Pops and the morning Coffee Concert series. This reflects Francis's personal desire to be fully-integrated artistically with the orchestra and the organization.

The orchestra's music director search process took over three years; however, the decision to appoint Michael Francis to the post ended the search process one year earlier than the original four-year projection. In TFO's near 50-year history, Francis will be the orchestra's fourth music director as part of an esteemed group that has included Irwin Hoffman, Jahja Ling and Stefan Sanderling.

Having just completed his second season as chief conductor and artistic advisor to Sweden's Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, 37 year-old Francis is hailed as a rising star in the conducting world in both the U.S. and abroad. "I am delighted and honored to be the new Music Director of The Florida Orchestra," Francis says. "During the very first rehearsal with the orchestra, I could sense an enthusiasm and passion to make music together that was truly exciting. With this talented group of musicians, I believe we have a tremendous future ahead of us."

To request The Florida Orchestra's season brochure on the 2014/2015 Tampa Bay Times Masterworks and other concert series, call The Florida Orchestra Ticket Center at 727.892.3337 or 1.800.662.7286, Monday through Friday, 9a.m. to 5p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Concert information online is available at

--Rebecca Davis Public Relations

National Philharmonic Fosters Musicians Through Summer Programs
This summer, the National Philharmonic will teach and coach some of the area's most promising young musicians at its String and Choral Institutes. The institutes, for middle/high school string players and high school/college vocalists, nurture young talent and teach musical skills and techniques while preparing the participants for a performance. In addition, the Philharmonic offers the Adult Summer Chorale Institute, whose participants work with Stan Engebretson, National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director. "Nurturing the next generation of audiences and performers is at the heart of our mission in the community," said National Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski.

The High School/College Summer Choral Institute (July 14-18, 2014, Monday-Friday from 2:30-8:30 pm, Montgomery College, Rockville Campus) offers young singers entering grade 9 through graduating grade 12 an intensive, weeklong immersion in voice building, musical interpretation and performance techniques. The institute, produced through a partnership between the National Philharmonic and Montgomery College, is led by Dr. Engebretson; Dr. Molly Donnelly, a Professor of Music at Montgomery College; Victoria Gau, Associate Conductor of the National Philharmonic; Ronald Frezzo, Vocal and International Baccalaureate Music Instructor at Richard Montgomery High School; and Theodore Guerrant, Accompanying Program Specialist at the University of Maryland School of Music. The choral groups will study and perform Purcell's Te Deum; Saffell's ...a meandering; Anders Edenroth's Chile con Carne; Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes; PDQ Bach's Liebeslieder Polkas; and Hogan's Music Down in My Soul. The week culminates in a free public concert at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm.

The Adult Summer Choral Institute (July 8-17 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9:30 pm, Music Building of Montgomery College's Rockville Campus) offers adult singers (college age and older) from around the area an opportunity to sing with members of the National Philharmonic Chorale under Dr. Engebretson in four intensive rehearsals over two weeks. The week culminates in a free public concert with the High School/College Choral Institute at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm.

The Summer String Institutes (High School String Institute August 4-8, 2014; Middle School String Institute August 11-15, 2014, Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD) immerse talented middle school and high school string musicians in an intensive week of mentoring, chamber music coaching, individual lessons and rehearsals led by National Philharmonic Music Director and conductor Piotr Gajewski; Philharmonic Associate Conductor and String Institutes Director Victoria Gau; musicians of the Philharmonic and other well-known music pedagogues. The High School String Institute will study and perform Mozart's Divertimento K 136; Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. The Middle School Institute will study and perform Rutter's Suite for Strings; Holst's Brooke Green Suite; and McLean's Tango and Serenata.

This year marks the 16th anniversary of the High School String Institute and the 15th year of the Middle School String Institute. The High School String Institute will culminate in a free public performance at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD, 20852 on Friday, August 9 at 7:30 pm and on Friday, August 15 at 7:30 pm for the middle school session. For more information on the Summer String and Choral Institutes, please visit

--Deborah Birnbaum, National Philharmonic

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Tours Major U.S. Summer Festivals
Music Director Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale embark on a tour this summer including performances of Handel's Acis and Galatea (arr. Mozart) with the Mark Morris Dance Group at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, and Handel's opera Teseo at the Mostly Mozart Festival and at the Tanglewood Festival. This tour also includes a special concert at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival featuring Teseo excerpts.

The tour includes Acis and Galatea at the Mostly Mozart Festival: Aug 7-9. Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale continue their longstanding collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group in three performances of Handel's Acis and Galatea, as arranged by Mozart and choreographed by Mark Morris. Tickets to Acis and Galatea are available through Lincoln Center:, or by phone at 212-721-6500.

Handel's Teseo at Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart: Aug. 14 & 17. Philharmonia and Nicholas McGegan bring Handel's rarely heard gem, Teseo, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival on August 14, and to Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival on August 17. Joining the ensemble are acclaimed soloists, including sopranos Dominique Labelle (Medea), Amanda Forsythe (Teseo), and Amy Freston (Agilea);and countertenors Robin Blaze (Arcane) and Drew Minter (Egeo). These concerts mark the first performances of Teseo on the East Coast since its American premiere in 1985 at the Boston Early Music Festival. Tickets to Handel's Teseo at the Mostly Mozart Festival are available through Lincoln Center:, or by phone at 212-721-6500.

Philharmonia at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival: Aug. 15. Philharmonia returns to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival with a special program including excerpts from Handel's Teseo, as well as works by Corelli and Rameau. Soloists include countertenor Robin Blaze and soprano Celine Ricci. Tickets to Philharmonia at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival are available through the Yale School of Music:, or by phone at 860-542-3000.

--Ben Casement-Stoll, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Merola Opera Program Summer Festival Presents Schwabacher Summer Concert
The Festival is presented at Everett Auditorium on July 17 and a Free Community Performance on July 19 at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA.

The Merola Opera Program's Summer Festival continues with the popular Schwabacher Summer Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, at the Everett Auditorium and offered to the community for free at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, as part of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Conducted by Eric Melear and directed by Roy Rallo, the Schwabacher Summer Concert features extended scenes from six operas: Thomas' Mignon; Handel's Semele; Verdi's Luisa Miller; Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola; Puccini's Madama Butterfly; and Bizet's Carmen. Tickets for the concert at the Everett Auditorium are affordably priced and range from $25 to $40.

Associate Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, Eric Melear (Merola alumnus 2002) has carved out an operatic career as a versatile performer and administrator. As a conductor, he has led performances at the Vienna State Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. He has worked professionally as a pianist and coach for more than a decade and regularly plays recitals and the annual Concert of Arias for Houston Grand Opera. He has overseen the music staff and Studio program at Wolf Trap Opera and now serves as Associate Music Director at Houston Grand Opera.

Internationally acclaimed stage director, Roy Rallo has staged numerous productions for Merola, including Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2011 and the Schwabacher Summer Concerts in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Rallo's past work includes a new production of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos for Opéra National de Bordeaux and a new music-theater piece, the Methusalem Projekt, for the Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle, Weimar.

For more information about Merola, please visit or phone (415) 551-6299

--Karen Ames Communications

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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