Classical Music News of the Week, June 14, 2015

New Century Chamber Orchestra Announces 2015-2016 Season

New Century Chamber Orchestra and Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg announced recently the 2015-2016 season, including four subscription weeks in venues across the Bay Area. The ensemble's 24th season, Nadja's eighth as music director, includes a World Premiere commission by Pulitzer prize-winning Featured Composer Jennifer Higdon, British violinist Daniel Hope as Guest Concertmaster leading a program of works in tribute to his mentor Yehudi Menuhin, debut solo appearances by internationally acclaimed artists soprano Susanna Phillips and klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer and a repeat collaboration with the San Francisco Girls Chorus. The season repertoire encompasses a broad range of masterworks from the string ensemble repertoire including a program of works by Russian masters Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich, an entire program of dance works by Strauss, Stravinsky and Khachaturian, contemporary works by Pärt, Takemitsu, Glass, and Bechara El-Koury in addition to Christmas and Hanukah holiday favorites.

"This is our most ambitious season yet," said Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. "New Century has never shied away from pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box, and this season enhances our commitment to bringing the hottest talents, collaborations and performances to the San Francisco Bay Area. We continue to thrive on the passion that our audiences share with us as we look ahead to the exciting new challenges on our horizons."

The new season extends from September 2015 to May 2016.

Subscriptions to the New Century Chamber Orchestra are on sale now. 3-Concert Subscriptions range from $78 to $165; 4-Concert Subscriptions range from $104 - $220. Call (415) 357-1111 ext. 305 or visit to purchase a subscription.

Single tickets range in price from $29 to $61 and will go on sale August 1, 2015 through City Box Office: and (415) 392-4400. Discounted $15 single tickets are available for students with a valid ID.

Open Rehearsal tickets are $15 general admission and can be purchased through City Box Office beginning August 1, 2015: and (415) 392-4400.

For further information on New Century, please visit

--Brenden Guy, New Century Chamber Orchestra

Tuba and Euphonium Artist Aaron Tindall Joins University of Miami Frost School of Music Faculty
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami announces Dr. Aaron Tindall as its new professor of tuba and euphonium beginning August 15, 2015. He was selected from an outstanding pool of candidates after a yearlong international search.

Tindall previously served on the faculties of Ithaca College School of Music and Eastern Michigan University, and was also a visiting professor at Penn State University and a visiting tutor for tuba and euphonium at the Conservatoire National de Region in Perpignan, France.

Tindall collaborates regularly with prestigious orchestras worldwide and appears as a solo artist throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His two solo albums were released to critical acclaim: Songs of Ascent and This is My House. He can be heard on other recordings including Simply Velvet and the Eufonix quartet albums End Game, Brink, and Nuclear Breakfast.

His solo playing is described as "remarkable for both its solid power and its delicacy," his orchestral playing praised as "a rock-solid foundation." With his soothing tone and excellent control of flexibility and articulation, he is a prizewinner of many international solo and chamber music competitions and was a two-time finalist in the prestigious Concert Artist Guild Competition.

Tindal studied under Velvet Brown, Mel Culbertson, Warren Deck, Mike Dunn, Steven Mead, and Daniel Perantoni. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Tuba Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Master's of Music degree in Euphonium Performance with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (England), and a Bachelor of Music Performance degree on both the Euphonium and Tuba from Pennsylvania State University.

He is a Denis Wick-London artist and design specialist, and a Buffet Group tuba/euphonium artist and clinician.

Tindall replaces tuba master artist Sam Pilafian, who remains on the faculty as a lecturer and coordinator of several academic-business partnerships on behalf of the Frost School of Music.

For more information, visit

--Megan Ondrizek, University of Miami

American Bach Soloists' Festival: Bach's Mass in B Minor, August 9 & 11
Bach's Mass in B Minor is the pinnacle of the Baroque repertory and ABS's annual performances draw Bach pilgrims to San Francisco from around the world. Jeffrey Thomas and the ABS Festival Orchestra, with vocal and instrumental soloists from the ABS Academy, perform this masterwork on each Festival Sunday.

Subscriptions and single tickets on sale.
Don't miss out on any event during Versailles & The Parisian Baroque.

For festival tickets, visit

For more information, visit

--Jeff McMillan, American Bach Soloists

Fourth of July Fireworks, Food and Fun at the Green Music Center
4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, Sat, July 4 at 7:30pm.

Family, fun, food, and patriotic music, featuring Megan Hilty and the Santa Rosa Symphony.
Tickets Start at $20.

Children's Play Zone opens at 4:30pm, featuring bounce houses, face painting, rock climbing wall, magician, balloon artists, carnival games, arts & crafts, and more!

Gates to Weill Lawn open at 4:30pm.
Come early and pack a picnic, or enjoy our wide array of food, local wines, and craft beer.

Concert starts at 7:30pm
Broadway and television star Megan Hilty joins the Santa Rosa Symphony for a program of All-American favorites, and hits from some of her most iconic roles: Glinda in Wicked, Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Ivy Lynn in TV musical-drama Smash!

Fireworks post-concert
Don't miss the eye-popping fireworks finale lighting up the Sonoma County skies!

Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

For more information, visit

--Green Music Center

YPC Announces Program for June 23, Transmusica Concert with YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus and Chicago Children's Chorus at Symphony Space
A program representing cultures from around the world will be performed at Symphony Space Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m., in "Resounding Hope Through Music," a concert featuring three extraordinary youth choirs: the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus from Israel in its New York debut and from the U.S., the Chicago Children's Chorus and the Young People's Chorus of New York City, which is presenting this concert as part of its "Transmusica" concert series. The series was created in 2012 to build bridges to other world cultures through the magic of music.

The program opens with the Young People's Chorus of New York City conducted by Artistic Director/Founder Francisco J. Núñez singing two a cappella pieces - Mendelssohn's Jagdlied from Germany and Tres Cantos Nativos dos Indios Kraó from Brazil - as well as a medley from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

The Chicago Children's Chorus conducted by CCC President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee will sing "We Are" by CCC alumnus and composer-in-residence W. Mitchell Owens III; Eric Whitacre's "Fly to Paradise"; "Azienzenina" by Bongani Magatyana; "Arirang," a Korean folk song; "Brave" by Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff; and "Let's Dance" by Lonnie Hunter.

For more information, visit

--Angela Duryea, Young People's Chorus of New York City

Previewing the 2016 Philharmonia Baroque Season
An All-Mozart Concert with Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano.

Hear an all-Mozart program in February 2016, led by Music Director Nicholas McGegan with the widely hailed young fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout performing Mozart's Concerto for Fortepiano No. 23.

Also on the program are two popular Mozart symphonies, the delightful No. 27 and the epic No. 39 from the composer's late years in Vienna.

Called "one of the foremost, and arguably the most brilliant, of today's fortepiano players" by the London Times, Bezuidenhout returns for his second-ever performance with Philharmonia Baroque (the first having taken place last summer) and his regular concert season debut.

Come face to face with the genius of Mozart and hear these masterworks as he himself heard them.

The best seats are already selling out!
Subscribe today to reserve your seats.
Call (415) 295-1900 to learn more about subscribing.

For more information, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

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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