Classical Music News of the Week, October 26, 2014

Remembering the Holocaust with a Powerful New Oratorio - Nov. 9, Lincoln Center

Distinguished Concerts International proudly presents I Believe…Remembering the Holocaust, commemorating the 76th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, featuring the American premiere of the oratorio I Believe by Zane Zallis.

Distinguished Concerts International New York presents a special program dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust on Sunday, November 9 at 8:00pm at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Taking place over Veteran's Day weekend, November 9 also marks the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht – "The Night of Broken Glass" – the infamous night in 1938 when Jewish institutions and business throughout Nazi Germany and Austria were destroyed, and shards of broken glass littered the streets. The concert features the American premiere of I Believe by Zane Zallis, a large-scale oratorio for choir, children's choir, orchestra, and narrator, and acclaimed Broadway singers Sara Jean Ford, Alex Gemignani and Drew Gehling with conductor Jonathan Griffith. Zalis uses a powerful contemporary musical language to capture the essence of a story of hate, despair, and hope, with words drawn directly from stories of Holocaust survivors. The evening will also feature the New York premiere of In the Shadow of the Holocaust by Donald McCullough, who also conducts. A portion of all ticket sales will go directly to the Holocaust Resource Center of Temple Judea, Manhasset, New York.

Tickets: or 212.721.6500 or at the Alice Tully Hall box office (65th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam).

For more information, visit

--Shira Gilbert PR

British Tenor Ian Bostridge Stars in New Multimedia Staging of Benjamin Britten's Curlew River
The production makes its west coast premiere at Cal Performances November 14 and 15 in Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA.

British tenor Ian Bostridge returns to Cal Performances for the first time since 2011, in the West Coast premiere of a new multimedia staging of Benjamin Britten's haunting opera, Curlew River – A Parable for Church Performance, Friday, November 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA. Bostridge, a noted interpreter of Britten's work, sings with "plangent poignancy and haunted intensity" (The Telegraph, UK) as the grief-stricken Madwoman in an immersive production, directed and designed by visual artist Netia Jones. Watch her in an exclusive video interview with Cal Performances. Part noh theater and part medieval mystery play, Britten's austere, ritualistic opera from 1964 is an encounter between Japanese aesthetics and Christian traditions, with music that incorporates plainchant, chamber organ, and rhythms inspired by traditional gagaku drumming, A rarely-performed work, Curlew River is based on the play Sumidagawa by Jürö Motomasa, which tells the story of a Madwoman (Bostridge) tortured by the loss of her child, joined by a trio of male characters (the Abbot, Ferryman, and the Traveller) with a chorus of eight pilgrims and a score for seven musicians, which are performed live by UK chamber ensemble Britten Sinfonia and the Britten Sinfonia Voices. Curlew River is co-produced by Cal Performances in collaboration with the Barbican Centre, London; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York; and Carolina Performing Arts.

Residency activities are planned on campus and in the community, including an artist talk with director and video designer Netia Jones moderated by Cal Performances' Associate Director Rob Bailis, on Friday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. This talk is free and open to the public.

Tickets for Friday, November 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00 to $90.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, or at and at the door.

--Rusty Barnes, Cal Performances

Jennifer Koh Performs with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall, November 2
Jennifer Koh, recognized for her intense, commanding performances, performs a new arrangement of Anna Clyne's Rest These Hands and Bach's Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041, with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in a concert presented by Stanford Live at Bing Concert Hall on Sunday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. The conductorless ensemble, which emphasizes artistic collaboration, democratic process, and rotating leadership, also performs Grieg's Holberg Suite, Op. 40, and Mozart's Symphony No. 34 in C Major, K. 338.

Orpheus performs this same program featuring Ms. Koh, who makes her Orpheus debut this season, on tour at California Polytechnic State University on November 1, Purchase College on November 30, and Carnegie Hall on December 6. The concerts presented by Cal Poly Arts and Stanford Live mark Orpheus' first return to perform in California since 2007.

The newly orchestrated Rest These Hands, originally composed for recorded layers of solo violin, is one of three new works that Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has commissioned this season as part of American Notes, its new commissioning initiative of works from composers who represent varied perspectives on American music. In addition to the London-born, Chicago-based composer Anna Clyne, Orpheus has commissioned works to be premiered this season from Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres and Turkish composer-pianist Fazil Say. "Our American Notes initiative this season uses these three composers' perspectives on America and American music as it reflects back to them," says Orpheus Executive Director Krishna Thiagarajan. "It relates to Orpheus' position as US ambassador while on tour abroad, and as a representative of international perspectives while performing within the States."

Mr. Thiagarajan says of working with Ms. Koh, "She clearly thinks about music the same way we do: being collaborative, pushing the envelope, and marrying the old composers with young emerging composers."

Tickets, starting at $50, are available online at, by phone at (650) 724-BING, or in person at the Bing Concert Hall Ticket Office at 327 Laursen St, Stanford, CA 94305.

--Schuman Associates News

Duesseldorf Symphonic Orchestra Turns 150 Years Old – Grand Anniversary Concert on October 29, 2014
Germany's second oldest city orchestra looks back on a 150-year history that includes legendary music directors Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Robert Schumann, who helped shape its artistic identity. Duesseldorf's Tonhalle (Sound Hall) is the orchestra's home and is presenting a year of musical highlights, with an entire week of events around the orchestra's birthday on October 29, 2014.

The Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra held its first public concert on October 27, 1865 – making it one of Germany's oldest city orchestras.  A spectacular anniversary concert is how the orchestra will celebrate its 150 year history. The concert, titled "Wir feiern!" (We celebrate!), will reunite the orchestra with three of its former managing music directors: John Fiore, Bernhard Klee and Salvador Mas Conde.  They, along with composers Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Robert Schumann, are responsible for the orchestra's international renown.  The anniversary concert includes pieces by Strauss, Ravel, and Grieg.

The entire week will be filled with high-caliber performances, including:  Chamber Music with Isabelle van Keulen on October 23; the "Sternzeichen" (Zodiac Signs) on October 24, 26, and 27; and a charity concert benefitting non-profit "action medeor" on October 30, hosted by German TV personality Anke Engelke, will conclude the anniversary week.

All performances will take place at Düsseldorf's Tonhalle – the orchestra's home and one of Germany's most interesting and beautiful performance venues.  Located right on the Rhine River by the popular Rhine River Promenade, Tonhalle's dome-shaped roof can be seen from far away.  The building used to be one of the world's biggest planetariums, and today houses the stars of the music universe with about 400 performances each year, especially classical, jazz and soul, and even comedy and cabaret.  Its round shape is an unusual set up for audience and orchestra, and the building's transformation from planetarium to concert hall is considered a masterpiece in both architecture and acoustics.

For more information, please visit

--Rainer Perry, Dusseldorf Tourism

Soprano Kristïne Opolais Again Stars as Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera
This November, the Latvian dramatic soprano reprises the role that helped her make history with back-to-back Metropolitan Opera role debuts.

In April of this year, soprano Kristïne Opolais made headlines when, following a sensational Met Opera role debut as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly on a Friday evening, she agreed to step in at the last minute as Mimì in the next afternoon's production of La Bohème. 48 hours and two on-stage deaths later, opera lovers and critics the world over had become enchanted with Ms. Opolais and her "voluptuous, expressive voice" (The New York Times). Now, she returns to the Met Opera for Franco Zeffirelli's beloved production of La Bohème, this time as a member of the main cast. She is scheduled to sing at the 11/14, 11/20, 11/24, 11/28, 12/1 and 12/5 performances in 2014, with additional appearances planned for early 2015.

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

Chautauqua Institution Names Rossen Milanov as Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Music Director
Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce the selection of Rossen Milanov as the ninth music director of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. As music director, Milanov will serve as the principal conductor and artistic director of the CSO and as an advocate for the orchestra and the classical arts within and beyond the Chautauqua community. The 49-year-old Bulgarian-born conductor will begin his responsibilities immediately in preparation for his inaugural summer of residency in 2015. His public debut will take place at the CSO's season-opening performance on Thursday, July 2, 2015, and he will conduct 10 concerts in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons.

"I am very excited and honored to be collaborating with the musicians of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, to catalyze the artistic growth, introduce new ideas, diversify the programming and connect with all of the Chautauqua community in a meaningful and inspiring way!" Milanov said.

In September, Milanov was selected as the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's next music director, beginning with the 2015–16 season. He is currently music director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, music director of the professional training orchestra Symphony in C in Camden, New Jersey, and principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain. Milanov previously served as associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. At Chautauqua, he joins a team of exceptional artistic directors who are each dedicated to tradition and innovation in the areas of orchestra, opera, theater, dance and visual arts.

"I am very pleased to welcome Rossen Milanov to the Chautauqua community, an environment in which his remarkable skills and artistic sensibilities will flourish," said Thomas M. Becker, president of Chautauqua Institution. "In collaboration with the CSO, Maestro Milanov will engage Chautauqua audiences of all ages in an enriching relationship with great music and the artistry of gifted musicians."

Milanov's appointment is the culmination of a search and selection process led by Marty W. Merkley, Chautauqua Institution vice president and director of programming, and Deborah Sunya Moore, associate director of programming.

--Jordan Steves, CIWeb

Classical Ballet, Opera, Live Theater, Cultural Events, and More to Be Showcased in Cinemas Nationwide by Fathom Events
Fine Arts Performances Shine in Fathom Events' Fall/Winter Season Filled with Classical Ballet, Opera and Live Theater.

Live Performances by London's Royal Ballet Theatre, Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet, New York's Metropolitan Opera, and Landmark Shows from London's West End to Be Showcased in Cinemas Nationwide.

Whether people live in major cultural capitals or in smaller markets, where the leading touring arts companies rarely if ever stop, there's a large and passionate audience for the best of classical music, dance and event theater. So leave it to Fathom Events, the recognized leader in bringing the best and most diverse lineup of alternative programming to cinemas across the U.S., to give culture vultures everywhere a healthy dose of ballet, opera and live theater during the cold fall and winter months, from now right through the first few months of 2015; audiences will welcome in the spring with a robust lineup of classic ballets.

For aficionados of opera, there is a full slate of live performances from The Metropolitan Opera that run through April; for fans of classical dance two of the world's most renowned companies – Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet and London's Royal Ballet – will present a series of programs, nearly all of them recorded live earlier that day (in Moscow and London, respectively), running into May of 2015; for live theater goers, "NT Live: Of Mice and Men" and an encore showing "NT Live: Frankenstein" give fans a chance to experience major stars on stage, while "Billy Elliott The Musical Live" offers the unique opportunity to experience the hit stage musical in a special presentation featuring more than 25 of the young actors who've played the title character on stage.  Rounding out Fathom Events' cultural offerings for the next few months is a spectacular exhibitions that captured the imagination of the world: an encore showing of the hugely popular "Pompeii From the British Museum," but that one is coming up shortly!

Tickets for these and all Fathom Events programming is available here:

--Jonathan Taylor, Scoop Marketing for Fatham Events

Young Virtuoso Pianist Joyce Yang Performs Nov. 16
Young virtuoso pianist Joyce Yang opens the 2014-15 Virginia G. Piper Concert Series, Sunday, November 16, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will present a recital by internationally acclaimed pianist Joyce Yang as part of the Virginia G. Piper Concert Series on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. She will perform a selection of works by Isaac Albeniz, Claude Debussy, Alberto Ginastera and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Tickets start at $29 and are available through or 480-499-TKTS (8587).

Known for her virtuosity, lyricism and magnetic stage presence, Joyce Yang has established herself as one of the leading artists of her generation, showcasing her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world's top orchestras and chamber musicians.

Yang came to worldwide attention in 2005 as the youngest contestant at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, winning the silver medal and sweeping additional awards for "Best Performance of Chamber Music" and "Best Performance of a New Work."

"I have known Joyce Yang for many years and had the privilege of presenting her San Diego debut when she was just 12 years old, and later, watching the extraordinary performance she gave at the Cliburn Competition, where she won the silver medal at the age of 19," remarked Neale Perl, president and CEO of the Scottsdale Cultural Council. "Joyce is one of the shining stars of the new generation of great pianists and musicians."

Yang has performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the BBC Philharmonic, among many others. In recital, she has taken the stage at New York's Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Chicago's Symphony Hall; and Zurich's Tonhalle.

How to reach us:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. Second St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Patron Services Box Office: 480-499-TKTS (8587)
TDD: 480-874-4694

--Bill Thompson, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Cor Cantiamo to Perform World Premiere of New Sacred Work Nov. 7 in Naperville, Illinois
Chamber choir Cor Cantiamo, conducted by Eric A. Johnson, will perform the world premiere of Swiss-French composer Richard Dubugnon's "Psalm 10" in a choral concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 7,  at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 36 N. Ellsworth St., Naperville, Ill.

Completed earlier this year, Dubugnon's "Psalm 10" for unaccompanied, mixed-voice choir and soprano soloist was commissioned by nonprofit, classical sacred music foundation Soli Deo Gloria, Inc., of Glen Ellyn, for its Psalms Project, a collection of contemporary choral works based on the Book of Psalms. "Psalm 10" opens with "Why, Lord, do You stand far off? Why do You hide yourself in times of trouble?" Dubugnon graduated from the Paris Conservatory and London's Royal Academy of Music. His music has been performed by the Orchestre de Paris and the Berlin and New York Philharmonic orchestras.

The November 7 program, titled "Inspirited," will launch the church's 2014–15 Concerts at Saints Peter & Paul series. The concert "will explore composers' efforts to understand the divine and create beauty in the world," according to the church's website.

Two other Soli Deo Gloria-commissioned Psalm settings will be heard on the mostly contemporary music program: Gavin Bryars' "Psalm 141" ("I cry unto thee: make haste unto me!") and Daniel Kellogg's "Preserve Me, O God" (Psalm 16).

The concert will open with Timothy C. Takach's "A Worshipper and a Man," Abbie Betinis's "Carmina Mei Cordis" (Songs of My Heart), and Matthew Mariano's "Doxologia." Next, Cor Cantiamo will sing the Bryars and Kellogg Psalms, paired with English Renaissance composer Thomas Weelkes' "When David Heard." Following the premiere of Dubugnon's "Psalm 10" with soloist JoEllyn Caulfield, the choir will offer six songs based on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, William Blake, William Shakespeare, and Finland's Jaako Mäntyjärvi and with music composed by Paul Hindemith, John Tavener, and Mäntyjärvi. Concertgoers will also hear three songs on the theme of flight in the natural world: Johannes Brahms' "Der Falke" (The Falcon), Op.93a, No. 5; Charles Stanford's "The Blue Bird"; and Mia Makaroff's "The Butterfly."  Stacy V. Gibbs' arrangement of "I Don' Feel No Ways Tired," a traditional spiritual, concludes the program.

Concert tickets are $15 general admission, $8 for students, and $45 for premiere seating in the front rows and a post-concert reception with the artists.

For tickets and information, call Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church at (630) 718-2206. Web site is Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

The Rotary Club of Las Vegas Summerlin and FAYM Invites You to the Summerlin's "Toast to Talent" Event
The event will benefit the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians – FAYM
Police Memorial Park & Other Projects
Supported by Rotary Club of Las Vegas Summerlin

November 7, 2014; 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Can't come? No problem; you can still donate:

Event tickets include:
Entry to the "Toast to Talent" event
One entry in the wine drawing
Delicious tapas
Cash Bbar
Live & silent auctions

Lakeside Events Center in Desert Shores
2620 Regatta Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89128
United States

For more information, visit

--Harold Weller, FAYM

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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