Classical Music News of the Week, May 3, 2015

Fort Worth Opera Announces 2016 Festival Lineup

Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) announced the full lineup of works that will take the stage during the 2016 FWOpera Festival, running April 23, 2016 – May 8, 2016. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the company as well as the 10th anniversary of the Festival, the 2016 season will showcase the compelling blend of forwarding-thinking contemporary works and classic, traditional operas that has become FWOpera's signature.

Main stage productions include the world premiere of the company's much anticipated commissioned opera JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, together with Rossini's bubbly, comedic romp The Barber of Seville in its first FWOpera production since the 2002-2003 season. The company's Opera Unbound selection includes two brand-new, compelling one-act works Buried Alive | Embedded by the creative teams of Jeff Myers and Quincy Long and Patrick Soluri and Deborah Brevoort. Rounding out the Festival, will be the fourth annual installment of FWOpera's critically-acclaimed new works showcase, Frontiers.

In revealing the 2016 season General Director Darren K. Woods stated, "Looking back, even just the10 years since we launched the Festival, it's amazing to see how much North Texas, Fort Worth Opera, and opera in general has changed. When we started planning the 2016 Festival years ago, I had hoped that premiering JFK as the culmination of our Operas of the Americas initiative would send a message that new, American opera deserves a permanent home in the opera world. Standing here now, we have witnessed success beyond what we imagined possible with this initiative, with the added benefit of having many other opera companies across the U.S. join us in embracing American opera. It has re-affirmed that Fort Worth Opera is now, and will continue to be, a catalyst for rejuvenating opera in our community and beyond."

Fort Worth Opera will inaugurate the anniversary Festival season and celebrate the culmination of the first phase of its Opera of the Americas initiative with the world premiere of JFK – a FWOpera and American Lyric Theater co-commission – by the acclaimed creative duo of David T. Little and Royce Vavrek (Dog Days). JFK offers an intimate portrait of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy on the eve of the President's fateful trip to Dallas. Set in downtown Fort Worth's historic Hotel Texas, the opera recounts moments from the couples' personal and political lives and features an impressive cast of FWOpera favorites including baritone Matthew Worth as President John F. Kennedy (Three Decembers), Talise Trevigne in the role of hotel maid Clara Harris (Hamlet), Sean Panikkar as secret serviceman Henry Rathbone (La Bohème, The Pearl Fishers), and Daniel Okulitch (Little Women, Dead Man Walking) as Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Mezzo soprano Daniela Mack will make her FWOpera debut in the poignant role of Jacqueline Kennedy, with additional debuts from Cree Carrico as Rosemary Kennedy and Katharine Goeldner as Jackie Onassis.

Tickets for the 2016 Festival can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the Fort Worth Opera Customer Service Office inside the Fort Worth Community Arts Center at 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth, Texas, 76107. Season subscriptions range from $26 to $379 while single tickets range from $17 to $195 (prices subject to change). Subscriptions are available now and single tickets go on sale August 1, 2015. For more information, please visit or call 817.731.0726 or toll-free at 1.877.396.7372.

--Christina Allen, Fort Worth Opera

PARMA Music Festival
Friday, August 14 through Sunday, August 16, 2015 Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Contemporary music. Local and international acts. 7 concerts. 6 venues. 3 days. Breaking barriers. Bridging genres.

The third annual nonprofit PARMA Music Festival is coming this summer! The multiple venue/multi-genre, three-day Festival will feature acts varying from classical and jazz to electronic and rock to indie and folk. With a wide and diverse range of events from live music and visual arts to a children's event, this year's Festival will bring together a wonderfully eclectic crowd to perform, collaborate, and listen.

Festival concerts and events will be presented in diverse settings — from daytime events at local churches and Prescott Park, to evening events at 3S Artspace, and The Dance Hall and Buoy Gallery in Kittery, ME. The Festival closes with a concert at The Music Hall's Historic Theater.
The PARMA Music Festival has featured performances by Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, singer/songwriter Will Dailey, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, electronic clarinetist Matthias Mueller, Sarah Borrello, and many more. For more information about the PARMA Music Festival, including pictures and press from prior years, visit

Tickets: Entrance to all events except the final concert at The Music Hall is free. Tickets for the Sunday, August 16 afternoon concert will be available for purchase soon at The Music Hall Box Office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, NH, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online at

--Janet Giovanniello, PARMA Music Festival

Cal Performances Announces 2015–2016 Season
Cal Performances' Board Chair Gail Rubinfeld and Executive and Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky today announced the 2015–2016 season, the inaugural season of Berkeley RADICAL. Unveiled in February 2015, Berkeley RADICAL is a new framework in which Cal Performances artists will instigate substantive interactivity between Cal Performances commissioning, creation, presentation, documentation, and dissemination; UC Berkeley learning and scholarship; and the Bay Area public. With Berkeley RADICAL, Cal Performances begins a new and comprehensive institutional evolution in the 2015–2016 season.

Inaugural Berkeley Radical Season
(Research And Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts, Learning)

Three strands of Artistic exploration
The Natural World, ReVisions, ZellerBACH
Berkeley RADICAL Digital Content to be Available on iTunes

Premiere Berkeley Radical Artists in Residence
September 22–26, 2015:
Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Sympphony Orchestra of Venezuela

The Natural World: On the Centenary of the Founding of U.S. National Park Service

David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Étoiles with Deborah O'Grady's Environmental Visual Essay Co-Commissioned by Cal Performances; Eco Ensemble with Kaija Saariaho to perform her Notes on Light; Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Rice; Cal Performances' Artists in Residence Kronos Quartet to give visually enhanced performance of Terry Riley's "Sun Rings."

ReVisions: Evolving Contemporary Performance Across Genres

Ensemble Intercontemporain with Matthias Pintscher
Rare visit from Paris to feature Pierre Boulez's "Sur Incises" and music by UC Berkeley composers Franck Bedrossian and Edmund Campion, with video by Kurt Hentschläger; Rude Mechanicals's Theatrical "Stop Hitting Yourself"; Trajal Harrell's culture-hopping dance-theater work "The Ghost of Montpellier Meets the Samurai."

Zellerbach: The Master's Music in Multiple Performance Idioms
Twyla Tharp's 50th Anniversary Tour; Brentano Quartet; Gil Shaham: Bach Six Solos with films by David Michalek; Bach Collegium Japan with Masaaki Suzuki: Star Turns and iconic works; Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra in Ratmansky's Cinderella; An Evening with Renee Fleming; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; Mark Morris's masterpiece of Handel's "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato," with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, Nicholas McGegan, Conductor.

In Recital: Leila Josefowicz; Garrick Ohlsson, Yefim Bronfman, Murray Perahia; Matthias Goerne; David Finckel, and Wu Han; Philippe Jaroussky.

Two Quartets
Takacs Quartet and the Danish String Quartet

And the Montreal Symphony Orchestra with Kent Nagano; Savion Glover and the Jack Dejohnette Quartet; Youssou N'Dour; Ira Glass; and the Buena Vista Social Club's Adios Tour.

For complete information, visit

--Rusty Barnes, Cal Performances

California Symphony and Music Director Donato Cabrera Announce 2015-16 Season
The California Symphony, entering its third season with Music Director Donato Cabrera, is expanding its regional profile in Northern California, performing concerts in three new venues beginning in June. The orchestra, based in Walnut Creek, CA, will perform three concerts in summer 2015 and eight concerts during its 2015-16 season, including at its home at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek as well as at Oakland's Kaiser Center Rooftop Garden, the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center's Lincoln Theater in Yountville, and at the Concord Pavilion in Concord. The orchestra is focused on American repertoire, nurturing new American composers as part of its Young American Composer in Residence program, and bringing music to people in new and unconventional settings as well as performing the most revered core classical repertoire. In May 2016, the orchestra and guitarist Jason Vieaux perform the world premiere of the new concerto commission by Dan Visconti, current Young American Composer in Residence, in concert in Walnut Creek and Yountville. Other season highlights include an American Roots program with pianist Charlie Albright performing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, a showcase of two California Symphony principal musicians in a little-heard Richard Strauss double concerto, a rooftop outdoor performance with Postmodern Jukebox, performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and Brahms's Symphony No. 2, the orchestra's first performance accompanying the live classic film The Wizard of Oz, and holiday music with Pacific Boychoir.

The 2015-16 season opens Sunday, September 20 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, with Cabrera leading the orchestra in "Passport to the World," a variety of short pieces from an array of international composers, including Debussy, Sibelius, Falla, Dvorák, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Glière. In celebration of Sibelius, the orchestra performs the Karelia Suite and Finlandia on the program, on the anniversary of the great Finnish composer's death. Following the September 20 opening concert, the orchestra and Cabrera welcome the audience to mingle with the artists at a special Opening Night gala benefit reception with food and drink (gala reception tickets sold separately).

Subscription ticket package prices range from $168 to $288 for the California Symphony's 2015-16 season and are on sale now to renewing subscribers and the general public. Tickets can be purchased through the California Symphony's website at and at 925-280-2490. Tickets for the June 20 California Symphony-Postmodern Jukebox concert are on sale now and are available at and at 925-280-2490. Tickets for the July 3 Independence Day concert and August 21 Wizard of Oz film and concert at Concord Pavilion are on sale at (web sales only). The December 21 and May 6 concerts at Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, Yountville, are on sale at All regular season 2015-16 California Symphony concerts will go on sale to buyers of individual concert tickets on August 21.

For complete information, visit

--Jean Shirk Media

Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Jeffrey Kahane
MasterCard Performance Series
Fri, May 8 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall
In this jubilant return to the stage of Weill Hall, pianist and conductor (and Santa Rosa native) Jeffrey Kahane performs Beethoven's Sonata Op. 109 and Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca
MasterCard Performance Series
Sat, May 9 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall
Hailed by critics for its transcendent and deeply emotional performances, Noche Flamenca is recognized as the most authentic flamenco touring company in the field today.

Sergio and Odair Assad
MasterCard Performance Series
Sun, May 17 at 7:30pm | Weill Hall
These Brazilian-born brothers have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of innovation, ingenuity, and expression.

For more information, visit

--Green Music Center

The Bach Sinfonia Presents "Bach in the Middle: The Cöthen Concertos"
Saturday, May 9, 2015 AT 8PM
Free Pre-Concert Discussion at 7:20PM

Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910

Violin Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041
Partita in D Minor for Violin Unaccompanied, BWV 1004
Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050

$35 adult
$30 seniors (60 and up)
$15 (ages 15 – University)
Free (ages 14 and under)
Order Online at or call (301) 362-6525

--Christie McKinney, Bach Sinfonia

Join NEC's Celebratory Groundbreaking on May 5, 2015
Please join New England Conservatory as we celebrate the start of construction on our new Student Life and Performance Center (SLPC). New England Conservatory will host a joyful groundbreaking ceremony on May 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM. Open to the public, the event takes place on the construction site located at 241 St. Botolph Street, near the corner of Gainsborough, Boston, Massachusets. The ceremony will include remarks by Conservatory and government leaders interspersed with music performed by NEC students.

The first new construction at NEC since 1959, the $85 million SLPC is scheduled to open in 2017, to coincide with the Conservatory's 150th anniversary. It will house a new residence hall with 250 beds, a two-level library for audio and print resources, a new dining commons, a black box opera studio, large orchestra rehearsal space with acoustics mimicking Jordan Hall, and a small ensemble room with recording studio suited to jazz and contemporary improvisation.

The only conservatory in the United States designated a National Historic Landmark, NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year. Many of these take place in Jordan Hall (which shares National Historic Landmark status with the school), world-renowned for its superb acoustics and beautifully restored interior.

For more information, please visit this link:

--Lisa Helfer Elghazi Media Relations

Special Auditions Open for Young Men to Sing in Young People's Chorus of NYC
Do you know a young man between the ages of 11 and 16 who enjoys singing? The award-winning Young People's Chorus of New York City is inviting any young man with a changed or changing voice to audition for YPC.

As a YPC chorus member, each young man learns to read music, to sing in three- and four-part harmony, receives ear training and music theory lessons, and gains performance skills, all while making great friends. He will perform on New York City's most famous professional stages and have the opportunity to sing for enthusiastic audiences across the country and around the world.

Are you between the ages of 11 and 16? Do you love to sing? Do you have a changed or changing voice? Then, don't miss this opportunity to audition for YPC! No formal musical training is necessary. Tuition scholarships are available.

To schedule an audition, call 212-289-7779, Ext. 10; e-mail; or visit

--Young People's Chorus of NYC

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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