Classical Music News of the Week, January 25, 2015

Orion String Quartet Returns to Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Following its U.S. premiere of Brett Dean's String Quartet No. 2 "And Once I Played Ophelia" at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival this past summer, the Orion String Quartet (Daniel Phillips, violin; Todd Phillips, violin; Steven Tenenbom, viola; and Timothy Eddy, cello) performs two concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

February 6 features violinist Ida Kavafian and flutist Tara Helen O'Connor with a program of works by Mozart, Boccherini, Beethoven and Haydn. The Quartet's sold out, all-Haydn concert on February 26, which is part of Lincoln Center's winter festival "Intimate Expressions," will be streamed live on the CMS website. Noted for their European interpretations of Haydn's works, according to The New York Times the quartet "played [String Quartet in C] with energetic brio and graceful poise."

Over the past 27 seasons the Orion String Quartet has been consistently praised for the fresh perspective and individuality it brings to performances. One of the most sought-after ensembles in the United States, the members of the Orion String Quartet—violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips (brothers who share the first violin chair equally), violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Timothy Eddy—have worked closely with such legendary figures as Pablo Casals, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Peter Serkin, members of TASHI and the Beaux Arts Trio, as well as the Budapest, Végh, Galimir and Guarneri String Quartets.

The Quartet remains on the cutting edge of programming with wide-ranging commissions from composers Chick Corea, Brett Dean, David Del Tredici, Alexander Goehr, Thierry Lancino, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Marc Neikrug, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Lieberson and Wynton Marsalis, and has enjoyed a celebrated creative partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Programs:
Friday, February 6, 2015, 7:30 PM
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC
with Ida Kavafian, violin and Tara Helen O'Connor, flute

Haydn: Quartet in G minor 
Beethoven: Serenade in D major, Op. 25
Boccherini: Quintet in G major, G. 431, Op. 55, No. 1
Mozart: Quintet in D, K. 593

Thursday, February 26, 2015, 7:30 PM
Rose Studio, Lincoln Center, NYC

Haydn: Quartet in F minor, Op. 20, No. 5
Haydn: Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 33, No. 2, "The Joke"
Haydn: Quartet in C major, Op. 50, No. 2
Haydn: Quartet in F major, Op. 77, No. 2

For more information, visit http://www.chambermusicsociety.org/seasontickets/event/1520

--Katharine Boone and Ely Moskowitz, Kirshbaum Demler & Associates

John Nelson to Conduct St. John Passion March 20 for Chicago Bach Project
John Nelson will conduct Bach's St. John Passion March 20 for Soli Deo Gloria's Chicago Bach Project. Soloists will include Nicholas Phan, Lisette Oropesa, Stephen Morscheck, Lawrence Zazzo,
John Tessier, and Matthew Brook. A choral work by James MacMillan will precede the performance of Bach's masterwork.

Classical sacred music foundation Soli Deo Gloria, Inc.'s 2015 Chicago Bach Project will feature J. S. Bach's dramatic St. John Passion, BWV 245, with Grammy Award-winner John Nelson conducting an international cast of soloists and the Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra.

The one-night-only performance will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2015, at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

St. John Passion soloists will include tenor Nicholas Phan as the Evangelist; bass-baritone Stephen Morscheck in the role of Jesus; soprano Lisette Oropesa; countertenor Lawrence Zazzo; Canadian tenor John Tessier, who will be making his Chicago Bach Project debut; and bass-baritone Matthew Brook.

"Listeners will experience a highly dramatic St. John Passion, one that's even more gripping than the one we presented in Chicago in 2012," Nelson said in an interview with SoliDeo Gloria.

Prior to the St. John Passion performance, the choir under chorus master Donald Nally will sing Scottish composer James MacMillan's unaccompanied Alpha and Omega, which was commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria and premiered in 2011.

This will be the first time that a Chicago Bach Project presentation includes an SDG-commissioned work in addition to the featured Bach masterpiece.

Tickets and information:
Single ticket prices for the St. John Passion are $25 to $55. Tickets are available online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org, by phone at (312) 334-7777, or in person at the Harris Theater Box Office, 205 E. Randolph Drive. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Students may purchase up to two discounted tickets with valid student I.D. at the Harris Theater Box Office. Group discounts for students are available through Soli Deo Gloria, 630-984-4300. Web site: www.ChicagoBachProject.org.

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

92Y February Newsletter
Sunday, February 1, 3:00 PM
Shai Wosner, piano; The Parker Quartet; Timothy Cobb, double bass
The Schubert Effect 2
92Y Kaufmann Concert Hall

Sunday, February 1, 7:30 PM
Ian Bostridge, speaker; Jeremy Denk, interviewer
Winterreise: Anatomy of an Obsession
92Y Buttenwieser Hall

Monday, February 2, 7:30 PM
Miriam Fried, violin; Kobi Malkin, violin; Hsin-Yun Huang, viola
From Folklore to Modernity
92Y Concerts at SubCulture

Sunday, February 8, 11:00 AM
Leon Fleisher with Julian Fleisher
Living Through Music - On Seeing Through Schubert
92Y Weill Art Gallery

Monday, February 9, 7:30 PM
Musicians from the New York Philharmonic
CONTACT! New Music from Israel
SubCulture, 45 Bleecker Street

Friday, February 13, 8:00 PM
Sir Andras Schiff Selects: Kuok-Wai Lio, piano
92Y Concerts at SubCulture

Saturday, February 21, 8:00 PM
Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano
Exclusive New York Solo Recital
92Y Kaufmann Concert Hall

Thursday, February 26, 8:00 PM
Deborah Voigt, soprano and speaker
Voigt Lessons (NYC Premiere)
92Y Kaufmann Concert Hall

Saturday, February 28, 8:00 PM
Jason Vieaux, guitar
Yolanda Kondonassis, harp
92Y Kaufmann Concert Hall

Tickets available at www.92Y.org/concerts or 212-415-5500

--Katharine Boone, Kirschbaum Demler & Associates

Piano Duo Anderson & Roe Revels in "The Art of Bach" and More at SubCulture, February 10
"The most dynamic duo of this generation" (San Francisco Classical Review) offers a unique optic into the infinite genius of Bach on their newest album from the Steinway & Sons label aptly titled "The Art of Bach." The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo will perform from this new album, along with works from their 2014 Steinway & Sons album "An Amadeus Affair" at SubCulture (45 Bleecker Street, NYC) on February 10 at 8pm (doors open at 7pm).

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show. To purchase tickets call 212-533-5470 for the box office or click here: http://subculturenewyork.com/event/anderson-roe-duo/

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

American Bach Soloists News
Meet the cast of Handel's Acis and Galatea:
ABS's 26th subscription season opens this month with a mixed bill of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and Handel's Acis and Galatea performed January 23-26 in three San Francisco Bay Area venues and in Davis, CA. Taking on the title role of Galatea in Handel's gorgeous pastoral is soprano Nola Richardson.

After catching up with our Galatea, we also had the opportunity to speak with tenor Kyle Stegall, who will perform the role of the shepherd Acis, the other half of Handel's "Happy We" couple. Kyle recently made his debut (last month) in ABS's performances of Handel's Messiah.

As we continue getting to know the Acis and Galatea cast a little better, we now introduce tenor Zachary Wilder. Mr. Wilder makes his ABS debut as Damon in Handel's pastoral, January 23-26.

Baritone Mischa Bouvier is no stranger to fans of ABS. A participant in the 2010 inaugural class of the American Bach Soloists Academy, the charismatic soloist has performed with ABS on many memorable occasions since. He returned January 23-26 to sing the role of the murderous giant Polyphemus in Handel's Acis and Galatea.

For more information about American Bach Soloists, click here: http://americanbach.org/

--Jeff McMillan, ABS

Jennifer Koh, Violin, Concludes "Bach & Beyond" Series
Jennifer Koh finishes her multi-year exploration of the great Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin on Saturday, January 31, 8:00 PM at 92Y, New York City. Her series has created a relationship with brand new contemporary music that responds to Bach's legacy.

In this final installment Bach's rich contrapuntal sonatas are paired with Berio's dramatic Sequenza VIII and the world premiere of For Violin Alone by the American composer John Harbison (The Great Gatsby). As Ms. Koh explains, "This final concert explores the idea of development by highlighting of the fugal form in both Bach's works and in our contemporaries."

"Bach & Beyond, Part III":
Bach: Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Bereo: Sequenza VIII
Harbison: For Violin Alone (World premiere, 92Y co-commission)
Bach: Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005

For more information, visit http://www.92y.org/Event/Jennifer-Koh.aspx

--Ely Moskowitz, Kirshbaum Demler & Associates

"The Schubert Effect" with Shai Wosner and the Parker Quartet
The two-part series at 92Y, NYC, consists of five extraordinarily gifted artists, Shai Wosner and the Parker Quartet, who take us on a journey exploring Schubert's unique compositional world and his influence on contemporary composers.

Schubert's effect reaches across the centuries to touch the great composers of our time. Fragments of the Sonata in A resonate within Missy Mazzoli's Isabelle Eberhardt, and Kurtag's Aus der Ferne V echoes the second movement of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden." Shai Wosner and the Parker Quartet have worked in the past with Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag personally and have purposefully paired him with Schubert to portray astonishing relationships within both men's artistic spirit.

Shai Wosner and the Parker Quartet: "The Schubert Effect 1"
Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 7:30 pm
Shai Wosner and the Parker Quartet: "The Schubert Effect 2"
Sun, Feb 1, 2015, 3 pm

For more information, visit http://www.92y.org/Event/Shai-Wosner-Parker-Quartet-1.aspx and http://www.92y.org/Event/Shai-Wosner-Parker-Quartet-2.aspx

--Ely Moskowitz, Kirshbaum Demler & Associates

Mahler Chamber Orchestra Newsletter
Claudio Abbado (1933 – 2014)
Memorial concert in Ferrara on 26th January
The Mahler Chamber Orchestra commemorates at this time its founding mentor and longtime musical friend Claudio Abbado, the first anniversary of whose death is marked on 20th January. On 26th January, the MCO performs a memorial concert conducted by Daniele Gatti at the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara "Claudio Abbado."

Beethoven Cycle with Daniele Gatti
From January 2015 to May 2016, Daniele Gatti and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra work though a complete cycle of Beethoven's nine symphonies across four concert tours. The first of these takes place in January 2015 with Symphonies Nos.1, 2 and 5; the concerts bring the orchestra to Ferrara (26th January), Turin (27th January), Pavia (28th January) and Cremona (29th January).

February Preview
MCO Academy with Heinz Holliger and Anna Larsson
Once a year, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is joined by students from the MCO Academy to create one big symphony orchestra. This year's concerts, led by composer-conductor Heinz Holliger, take place in Dortmund (6th February), Essen (7th February) and Cologne (8th February). The program includes Claude Debussy's "La Mer", "Tonscherben," and "Ardeur Noire" by Heinz Holliger, as well as Gustav Mahler's "Rückert-Lieder" with soloist Anna Larsson.

For more information, visit http://www.mahler-chamber.de/en/about-the-mco.html

--Sonja Koller, Mahler Chamber Orchestra

The Azrieli Music Project: Two $50,000 Prizes for New Orchestral Jewish Music
The Azrieli Foundation is delighted to launch The Azrieli Music Project, with two $50,000 prizes for new orchestral Jewish music. Winners' Gala Concert on October 19, 2016, at Maison symphonique in Montreal, with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano.

The Azrieli Music Project (AMP), established to celebrate, foster and create opportunities for the performance of high quality new orchestral music on a Jewish theme or subject, is delighted to launch two important new prizes: The Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music, an international prize for a recently composed or performed work by a living composer; and The Azrieli Commissioning Competition, for a Canadian composer of any age. Each prize — open to composers of all faiths, backgrounds and affiliations — is for a new work of Jewish orchestral music of minimum 15 minutes duration, and carries a value of 50,000 Canadian dollars. The AMP is delighted to confirm its partnership with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Maestro Kent Nagano, who will perform the winning works at The Azrieli Music Project Gala Concert at Maison symphonique in Montreal on October 19, 2016.

Further details, score guidelines, deadlines, and the online and application form, may be found at: www.azrielifoundation.org/music

--Shira Gilbert PR

Upcoming Events at the Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
San Francisco Symphony: Peter Serkin Plays Mozart
San Francisco Symphony
Thurs,  Feb 12 at 8:00pm | Weill Hall

The Nile Project
MasterCard Performance Series
Fri, Feb 13 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall

Orchestre de la Suise Romande
MasterCard Performance Series
Valentine's Day
Sat, Feb 14 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall

Intersection
Sundays at Schroeder
Sun, Feb 15 at 3pm | Schroeder Hall

Jordi Savall
MasterCard Performance Series
Sat, Feb 21 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall

Igudesman and Joo
MasterCard Performance Series

Murray Perahia
MasterCard Performance Series
Sat, Mar 7 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall

Music, food and wine – the perfect pairing! Consider dining in Prelude, the Green Music Center's on-site restaurant featuring a prix fixe menu, refreshed monthly. Reservations available online or call 1.866.955.6040 x2.

Use your MasterCard at Green Music Center concessions venues and save 10% off your purchase courtesy of MasterCard! Learn more.

Plan Your Visit: When should I arrive? Where do I park? What should I wear? Find answers to all of your questions online by visiting http://gmc.sonoma.edu/

--Green Music Center

Violin Master Class with Noah Bendix-Balgley
Music Institute of Chicago's continues its "Secrets of the Virtuoso" master class series.

Performance: Violin Master Class with Noah Bendix-Balgley
Day/Date/Time: Monday, February 2, 6:30–9 p.m.
Location: Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois
Admission: $10 general admission at the door
(proceeds benefit the Music Institute of Chicago Student Scholarship Fund)
Information: musicinst.org or 847.905.1500 ext. 108

The general public is welcome to observe Noah Bendix-Balgley work with Music Institute students in this master class.

Recently appointed 1st Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, Bendix-Balgley has thrilled audiences around the world. A Laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, he won third prize and a special prize for creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris. Bendix-Balgley was the first prize winner at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded first prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition "Andrea Postacchini" in Fermo, Italy. He has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy), Orchestre Royal Chambre de Wallonie (Belgium), the Binghamton Philharmonic, and the Erie Philharmonic. Since 2011, Bendix-Balgley has been Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the "Best Classical Concert of 2012" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

BSO Celebrates Ten Years at Second Home at Strathmore
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) celebrates its 10th anniversary as a founding partner and resident orchestra at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Md. with a concert and pre-concert gala event on Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10 years to the day after the venue's opening concert that featured legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, then-Music Director Yuri Temirkanov and the BSO. The Music Center at Strathmore serves as the BSO's second home, where it hosts 46 concerts annually for more than 60,000 patrons, making the BSO the only orchestra in the nation that performs year-round in two major metropolitan markets. The inaugural gala at Strathmore will benefit the BSO's growing education and community outreach efforts in Montgomery County Public Schools.

For the concert, Music Director Marin Alsop will lead world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the BSO in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Also on the program are Respighi's Church Windows and Pines of Rome. (The concert program will be repeated on Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.) The evening at Strathmore will culminate with a special presentation of the inaugural BSO at Strathmore Arts Leadership Award. This award will be presented annually to leaders who are extraordinary supporters of the arts in Montgomery County.

Concert tickets begin at $37 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 1.877.BSO.1444 or BSOmusic.org. For more information on how to purchase gala tickets or packages, please visit BSOmusic.org/Strathmore10 or contact Jack Fishman, vice president of external relations, BSO at Strathmore, at 301.581.5210 or jfishman@bsomusic.org.

--Teresa Eaton, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

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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