Classical Music News of the Week, June 21, 2015

Tickets Now on Sale for SSC's Duxbury Music Festival

Tickets for all concerts and events of the 10th season of South Shore Conservatory's (SSC) Duxbury Music Festival (DMF) in Duxbury, MA are now on sale. The performance schedule includes faculty and guest artist concerts, and free festival recitals throughout the Duxbury community. Festival Director Stephen Deitz has recruited impressive faculty and students from around the world to delight audiences with their talents in competition and performance during the two and a half week festival from July 19 to July 31.

The Festival's Opening Concert, at a seaside home on Sunday, July 19, 6:30 pm, features DMF faculty and students and SSC faculty. Festival faculty members perform in three chamber concerts, including two in private homes on July 21 and July 29. On Friday, July 17 the DMF faculty present a Bernstein/Sondheim Revue, at the Ellison Center, with seating at café tables, snacks and a wine cash bar. There will be two seatings for the concert; one at 6 pm and another at 8:30 pm.

2015 DMF Tent Events offer something for everyone on the Duxbury Town Green from July 24 – July 26. Disco Fever on the Green, on Friday, July 24 at 7 pm is fun for the whole family! Rhythm & Blues on the Green on Saturday, July 25, 6:30 pm, returns with a dinner dance fundraiser benefiting scholarships at South Shore Conservatory. Sunday, July 26, 10:30 am, DMF's FamilyFest features Parents' Choice winner Little Groove presenting a program of interactive family music. Following the performance, guests young and old are invited to experience SSC's movement, music and arts activities. In the afternoon of July 26, from 5-7 pm Sunday in the Park returns with a free program of performances by DMF students. From Broadway to Bebop faculty concert is Monday, July 27 at 7:30 pm at the Ellison Center for the Arts (ECA) at 64 St. George Street. The final DMF performance, Winners Concert, at the ECA on Friday, July 31, features the winners of this year's DMF Solo and Chamber Competitions, followed by a farewell champagne reception.

Duxbury Music Festival, a program of South Shore Conservatory, unique to all of New England, is nestled in the South Shore seaside town of Duxbury, MA. DMF draws international undergraduate and post-graduate students who wish to participate in an intensive program for the study and performance of solo and chamber repertoires. The Festival invites the public to faculty concerts, guest performances, student recitals and special events celebrating the talents of its faculty and student musicians.

Individual tickets and a variety of series subscriptions are available for purchase. For complete program, ticket, and event information, visit, call 781-934-2731, ext. 23, or follow Duxbury Music Festival on Facebook.

--Michelle McGrath PR

Woodstock Mozart Festival Presents 29th Season July 25-August 9
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Holst, Piazzolla and Kern on Programs at Two Venues: Woodstock Opera House and Sanfilippo Foundation's Place de la Musique.

The Woodstock Mozart Festival presents its 29th season July 25–August 9, with opening and closing weekends at the Woodstock Opera House and a middle weekend at the Sanfilippo Foundation's Place de la Musique concert hall in Barrington Hills. Single tickets are on sale now.

The 2015 Woodstock Mozart Festival's performances at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren Street, Woodstock, take place Saturdays, July 25 and August 8 at 8 p.m. and Sundays, July 26 and August 9 at 3 p.m. Pre-concert introductions take place one hour before each performance. Single tickets are $33–58, $28 for students, and are currently on sale, along with group rate tickets, through the Woodstock Opera House Box Office at 815-338-5300 or at

Performances at the Sanfilippo Foundation's Place de la Musique in Barrington Hills take place Saturday, August 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 2 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $65 per concert, each including the pre-concert tour beginning one and one half hours before each performance. General admission single tickets, which will not be available at the door, are on sale now, along with group rate tickets, at

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Moving Classics: A New Internet Platform for the Classical Music Community
A group of classical musicians from Munich founded the Moving Classics TV Channel in October 2014, with the idea of promoting new ideas in classical music. Our goal is to bring audiences and musicians together as well as to explore new trends in classical music.For instance, we see big opportunities to promote classical music by presenting special video clips, even as a new art form that can open doors to new audiences.In these classic music videos, music goes back to the origins from which it sprang: fantasy and imagination. Real music that inspires and has mysterious origins is presented imaginatively. In this way fantasy and imagination come back to the listeners. The videos are the attempt of the video artist and musician to achieve individual interpretations:

Our channel shows some of the world's most impressive music halls and even some very unusual locations where classical music could be performed – some of which you wouldn't think of:

We also offer an international platform for classical musicians and composers, some of them real "hidden champions." Here, they can present their profiles and talk about their ideas, their personal approaches, and their musical interpretations.The profiles will be shared in social media.

In the TV-Blog section, we discuss innovative classical music themes with editors and bloggers from all over the world, discussing interesting approaches and initiatives. Among our video blog topics so far salon culture, image of classical music, future of big concert halls, how to make a location from a traditional classical concert, and flow and intuition in music:

We are also launching a series of interviews about new ideas in classical music, fantasy, the Internet, and YouTube using visualizations in how to reach a young audience. Our first guest is Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, who kindly agreed to have a cup of coffee and talk to us about the image of classical music:

Our next project will be a young musicians' channel.

Munich is famous for its high density of professional musicians. Our group is a part of that community. And the Internet offers us a unique possibility to invite new members and create a community of classical music lovers interested in new, current ways of performing classical music.

For more information, visit

--Anna Sutyagina, Moving Classics

Chicago Duo Piano Festival Announces 27th Season
The Music Institute of Chicago presents its 27th annual Chicago Duo Piano Festival July 10–19. In addition to offering students coaching, lectures, master classes, and recitals, the Festival includes five public events at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, in Evanston, featuring guest duo Chie Tsuyuki and Michael Rosenboom, Festival Founders/Directors Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, and Music Institute piano faculty, all performing duo piano repertoire.

Public performances
Gala Opening Concert—Friday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Duo Piano Festival Founders/Directors and Music Institute piano duo in residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem perform a program including Debussy's own transcription of his work La Mer for piano, four hands.

Free Faculty Recital—Sunday, July 12 at 2 p.m.
Music Institute piano faculty members perform music from Disney's animated classic Fantasia, including duo piano arrangements of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Beethoven's Pastorale Symphony, Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice, Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals, Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.

Faculty Extravaganza Concert—Tuesday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.
In this popular event, members of the Music Institute and Chicago Duo Piano Festival performance faculty perform a mixed program of duo piano favorites, including Mozart, Schubert, Bizet, Messiaen, and more.

Performers in the July 12 and 14 faculty concerts include Elaine Felder and Milana Pavchinskaya, Irene Faliks and Maya Brodotskaya, Mio Isoda and Matthew Hagle, Grace Juang, Katherine Lee and Gregory Shifrin, Alexander Djordjevic and Brenda Huang, Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, Sung Hoon Mo and Inah Chiu, and others.

Guest Recital: Chie Tsuyuki and Michael Rosenboom—Friday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.
This award-winning Japanese-German piano duo perform standard repertoire for four hands and two pianos, with a special focus on creating their own arrangements, transcribing works from different eras and genres. For the Chicago Duo Piano Festival, they perform their own arrangement of Franz Liszt's Totentanz for piano, four hands.

Free Master Class—Saturday, July 18 at 10 a.m.
Guest duo Chie Tsuyuki and Michael Rosenboom lead a master class.

All concerts take place at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Except where noted, tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students and are available at or 800.838.3006.

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

American Bach Soloists News
ABS Festival Performance Added: Marais's Sémélé on August 13

Due to the early and exceptionally high demand for tickets to the Friday, August 14 performance of Marin Marais's opera Sémélé, a second performance of the work has been added to the ABS Festival & Academy schedule on Thursday, August 13. Among the most highly anticipated events of the 2015 festival, these performances of Sémélé will be the first complete performances of the opera outside of Europe. Do you have your tickets to Sémélé?

Not only does the ABS Academy attract some of the best and brightest musicians to San Francisco every summer, but we all get to watch and listen to them both during the Festival and in the years to come as their activities take them all around the world and, occasionally, back to the Bay Area. With recent awards and honors being given to some of the Academy's incoming participants and our distinguished alumni, ABS is extremely proud to play an important part in the musical journeys of these talented artists.

The operas of Marin Marais are rarely performed today in contemporary opera houses, though not for lack of musical and dramatic value. His final opera, Sémélé, had not been heard in nearly 300 years when the French ensemble Le Concert Spiritual presented the work at the Festival International d'Opéra Baroque in Beaune, France in 2006—the 350th anniversary year of the composer's birth. The following year, Sémélé was staged in Montpellier. Despite this rediscovery, Marais's final work for the lyric stage has only been performed in Europe—until now! Jeffrey Thomas and the ABS Festival Orchestra, American Bach Choir, and Academy singers will present the U.S. Premiere of Sémélé during the ABS Festival & Academy on Thursday & Friday, August 13 & 14.

For more information, visit

--Jeff McMillan, American Bach Soloists

Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, Announces New Summer Concerts
Jay Leno
Friday, July 31 at 7:30pm
Weill Hall

Natalie Cole
Saturday, August 1 at 7:30pm
Weill Hall + Lawn

Sunday, August 2  at 3:00pm
Weill Hall

Chris Isaak
Tuesday, August 18 at 7:30pm
Weill Hall + Lawn

For more information, visit

--Green Music Center

The University of Miami Frost School of Music and the University of Miami Health System Announce Festival Miami
Florida's premier live music festival will run from October 16 to November 7, 2015. The Festival will offer vibrant performances by the biggest names on the music scene from around the globe who will showcase their talents alongside the outstanding students and faculty artists from the Frost School of Music. More than 20 performances, organized into four themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas, and Creative American Music, will be held in the intimate setting of the 600-seat UM Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, on the Coral Gables campus.

All tickets and season packages will be available to the general public beginning August 1, 2015, and single tickets start at $15. They may be purchased online at or by calling 305-284-4940.

--Megan Ondrizek, University of Miami

Lawrence Brownlee Triumphs in Yardbird at Opera Philadelphia
Last Friday, Lawrence Brownlee premiered the role of Charlie Parker in Yardbird, a new opera composed by Daniel Schnyder with a libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly, co-commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Gotham Chamber Opera. The opera was greeted with a standing ovation and rave reviews for Brownlee's singing.

Brownlee also gave a concert this past Monday of his acclaimed Spiritual Sketches album, with pianist Damien Sneed and fellow Yardbird singers Angela Brown and Will Liverman. The Philadelphia Iniquirer reported: "the man of the hour was Brownlee…telling the spiritual story through his art-song vibrato and easy diction."

After Yardbird, Brownlee will sing Carmina Burana at the Hollywood Bowl July 21 & 23 before heading to Glimmerglass for a concert with Eric Owens on August 2, followed by La Cenerentola at the Lyric Opera of Chicago October 4-30.

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

CNN en Español Presents Its New Series Docufilms
CNN en Español, the leading Spanish-language news channel, will start an interesting and reveling documentary series next Sunday, June 21 at 7 PM (EST) with argentine singer, songwriter, composer, actor, and the most prominent figure in the history of tango; "Carlos Gardel."

Docufilms will include distinguished and inspiring stories that will capture the audience's interest through a variety of profiles, biographies, art and uplifting historical documentaries. The first one, "Carlos Gardel" will reveal the life of the legendary Carlos Gardel.

The second, entitled "A Journey with Fidel," this is an original documentary which include the story narrated and released by a young journalist from New York, Jon Alpert, who had the exclusivity to accompany Fidel Castro on his plane to the United Nations Conference in 1979 having an unique and privileged access to Fidel never seen before.

Other documentaries that will be part of the series include; "The 33", about the rescue of the Chilean miners occurred in October 2010; "Neruda Passionate" with the biography of a man who fought against all odds to become a poet and overcame obstacles until been recognized with The Nobel Prize in Literature 1971; and "Oscar de la Renta," whose name is synonymous of elegance, glamour and sophistication. This will show how his name is translated into a successful brand, associated with fragrances, leather and household items.

The new series of CNN in Spanish, Docufilms will premiere on Sunday June 21 at 7:00 pm (Atlanta) with "Carlos Gardel."

--Gilda Torres, Public Relations Coordinator

Interview with Baritone Thomas Hampson
Acclaimed baritone Thomas Hampson gave an interview recently with the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in which among other topics he discusses his working relationship with Leonard Bernstein. This coincides with Hampson's first performance with the IPO this season in Tel Aviv, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.

To read the complete text of the interview, visit

--Katharine Boone, Kirshbaum Associates

Jazz Journalists Association Honors Chicago Writer-Broadcaster Neil Tesser
Neil Tesser, a Chicago-based jazz journalist, broadcaster, author, educator, former chair of the board of trustees of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and current board member of the Jazz Journalists Association, was honored with the JJA's 2015 Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism Award on Tuesday, June 16 at a cocktail reception at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. Tesser's Award topped 2015 JJA Jazz Awards for excellence in media, winners of which were announced at the party.

Tesser may be best known as program host and producer of Miles Ahead and Listen Here!, independently syndicated daily radio programs; as a contributor to publications including the Chicago Reader, USA Today and the, and as author of The Playboy Guide to Jazz. He joins a distinguished roll call of Lifetime in Jazz Journalism honorees: Stanley Dance, Nat Hentoff, Dan Morgenstern, Ira Gitler, Gary Giddins, Gene Lees, Bob Blumenthal, Howard Mandel, Francis Davis, Doug Ramsey, Mike Zwerin, Don Heckman, Bill Milkowski, Amiri Baraka, Willard Jenkins and W. Royal Stokes.

Other recipients of 2015 JJA Jazz Awards in media categories included Wall Street Journal contributor Marc Myers for his blog Jazz Wax; Herbie Hancock and Lisa Dickey for their book Herbie Hancock: Possibilities; Ashley Kahn for his liner notes to John Coltrane's Offering: Live at Temple University (Resonance); Nate Chinen, columnist for JazzTimes and contributor to the New York Times for excellence in writing; Brandon Bain for the video "#WeCan'tBreathe: A Peaceful Protest"; Andrea Palmucci for his photograph of pianist Kenny Barron with bassist Dave Holland and Christian McBride, program host of "Jazz Night In America," a collaboration of WBGO, Jazz at Lincoln Center and National Public Radio.

The Jazz Awards recognized excellence in journalistic platforms, as well -- won Website of the Year, and JazzTimes for Jazz Publication (as several speakers noted, the distinction is wearing thin). Winners of all 2015 Jazz Awards, including those for musicians in instrumental categories, are posted at

--Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Young People's Chorus of NYC Musical Event: Tuesday, June 23, at Symphony Space
Unique Transmusica Concert "Resounding Hope Through Music"
Tuesday, June 23, 7:00 p.m. at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025.

Don't miss the only opportunity to experience this extraordinary musical gathering of three youth choirs from east and west Jerusalem, Chicago, and New York in YPC's newest Transmusica concert, a concert series that YPC created to build bridges to other world cultures. Now on June 23 the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus on its U.S. debut tour will join with the Chicago Children's Choir and YPC to meet each other, learn about each other's lives, and have the joy of sharing their music with each other and all who come to see them sing.

All proceeds go to scholarships for YPC children.

For tickets and more information, call 212 865-5400 or visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York

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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