Classical Music News of the Week, July 12, 2015

Itzhak Perlman's Complete Warner Recordings, Coming in September

Warner Classics honors Itzhak Perlman's 70th birthday with Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings, a 77-CD deluxe box set that reunites Perlman's EMI and Teldec recordings made over a period of more than thirty years.

Itzhak Perlman, born in 1945, is the supreme violinist of his time. Warner Classics salutes him in his 70th birthday year with Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings, 59 albums on 77 CDs, released in September 2015. Presenting his art in all its warmth, generosity and brilliance, this comprehensive edition unites the recordings Perlman made for both EMI and Teldec over a total period of more than 30 years.

Available as a magnificent deluxe box set, or as 59 separate releases, Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings embraces every aspect of Perlman's art. It contains concertos (the 'essential' concertos, of course, but also more rarely-heard works, including Perlman's own commissions from living composers); other pieces for violin and orchestra; chamber music; recital and crossover repertoire (including jazz, ragtime and klezmer), and even a disc that focuses on Perlman as narrator and (briefly) opera singer. The recordings document his collaborations with the world's greatest orchestras and an array of superlative fellow-soloists and conductors, including Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Plácido Domingo, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Lynn Harrell, Yo Yo Ma, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn and Pinchas Zukerman.

Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings has been assembled with the greatest care. The recordings from the analogue era have been carefully remastered in 24-bit/96kHz sound at Abbey Road Studios, ensuring MfiT quality for the digital version on iTunes and HD quality for HD platforms. The format and presentation of each album is true to the original LP release: the couplings of musical works have been retained and the design reflects the original jacket. New notes on the music and the performances have been written by an internationally respected expert on violinists and violin-playing, Jean-Michel Molkhou.

The box set also contains a beautifully produced hardback book, featuring a wealth of photographs, many of them from private collections and never before published. Running to more than 100 pages, it contains a new interview with Itzhak Perlman (written by Jean-Michel Molkhou), an essay on his life and career and personal tributes from distinguished and varied fellow musicians, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Renaud Capuçon, Ivry Gitlis, Gidon Kremer, Yo Yo Ma, Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov.

Complementing Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings is a 3-CD box called The Perlman Sound, released in September 2015. This features a selection of the most popular works and recordings from the complete edition and eloquently summarises just why Itzhak Perlman is regarded as the supreme violinist of his time.

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Conductor With "A Constellation of Qualities"
On Artistic Director, Patrick Dupré Quigley, Seraphic Fire, the Miami Herald wrote:
"A musician with a constellation of qualities rarely found in a single conductor: an enthusiastic and audience-friendly personal style, a scholar's instinct for rooting out obscure but worthy music, a scrupulous and historically informed approach to works that span a wide range of musical periods, an ability to bring out the best in his talented platoon...and a showman's canny sense of how to appeal to audiences."

Fall appearances:
Schubert: Mass in G
Jake Runestad: World premiere commission
Seraphic Fire
October 14, 16, 17, 18
Miami, Coral Gables, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach, FL

Handel: Coronation Anthems
Charpentier: Te Deum
Seraphic Fire
November 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12
Ft. Lauderdale & Miami, FL; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Philadelphia, PA

Handel: Messiah
Seraphic Fire
December 9, 11, 12, 13
Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

--Schwalbe and Partners

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Embarks on 2015 U.S. Tour in November
Bringing its historic message of peace through music, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, joined by Music Director for Life Zubin Mehta, returns to the United States in November 2015 for an eight-city tour. Each year, the IPO performs around the world as cultural ambassadors, contributing to the global reputation of the State of Israel and promoting cultural diplomacy. Concerts will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Cleveland and Palm Desert, CA. The American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) will present gala benefits in five of these cities, as they celebrate their 35th Anniversary supporting and broadening the Orchestra's activities and artistic vision.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall on Thursday, November 5 with Maestro Zubin Mehta leading a benefit performance of Mahler's epic Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection") with soprano Kristin Lewis, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung and The Collegiate Chorale. The program for the tour features Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major ("Eroica"), Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), Ravel's La valse, poème chorégraphique, and contemporary Georgian composer Josef Bardanashvili's A Journey to the End of the Millenium.

For more information, visit

--Katharine Boone, Kirshbaum Associates

Music Institute of Chicago Announces 2015-16 Nichols Concert Hall Season
Highlights Include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Anat Cohen, Rachel Barton Pine, and Matthew Lipman.

The Music Institute of Chicago announces the 2015–16 season of its Faculty and Guest Artist Series, showcasing women in jazz, illustrious alumni, and the 10th anniversary of its Academy for training gifted pre-college musicians. All concerts take place at the historic Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in the heart of downtown Evanston, Il.

All concerts take place at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets, except where noted, are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students, available online or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. All programming is subject to change.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Curious Flights Announces 2015-2016 Season
Curious Flights, a concert series dedicated to presenting new and rarely performed works for solo, chamber, orchestra and other large forces, announced today the lineup for its 2015-2016 season. Now in its second season, the San Francisco concert series expands to four concerts and will highlight lesser-known works from the United Kingdom and United States including the West Coast Premiere of Marc Blitzstein's The Airborne Symphony led by Marin Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale; a solo recital by internationally renowned British violinist Madeleine Mitchell as part of her U.S. tour; a weeklong residency by award winning British composer Simon Dobson featuring a World Premiere commission for clarinet and electronics; and a World Premiere commission by Bay Area composer Noah Luna in collaboration with the San Francisco Wind Ensemble. Curious Flights is the brainchild of British clarinetist Brenden Guy and was launched in 2013.

Tickets to all Curious Flights concerts are on sale now. Single tickets range in price from $20-$50 and can be purchased online or at the door.

For further information on Curious Flights, please visit or email

For complete information, visit

--Brenden Guy, Curious Flights

Dr. David Ake Appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Musicology at the U. of Miami
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami announces the selection of Dr. David Ake as professor of musicology and chair of the Department of Musicology beginning August 15, 2015.

He joins a distinguished musicology faculty that includes Dr. Deborah Schwartz-Kates, who previously served as department chair for eight years and is a two-time National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship recipient and an expert in contemporary Latin American music; Dr. Karen Henson, whose research focuses on 19th-century opera, singers and opera performance; and Aleysia K, Witmore, a visiting professor of ethnomusicology.

David Ake is an award-winning scholar and educator in the fields of jazz and popular music. His publications include the books Jazz Cultures; Jazz Matters: Sound, Place, and Time since Bebop; and the collection Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries (co-edited with Charles Hiroshi Garrett and Daniel Goldmark), all for the University of California Press, as well as chapters or articles in the Cambridge Companion to Jazz, American Music, Jazz Perspectives, and other publications. Also active as a jazz pianist and composer, his most recent recordings as a leader are Bridges, which appeared on multiple Best-of-2013 lists, and Lake Effect (2015), both for the Posi-Tone label.

For more information, visit

--Megan Ondrizek, University of Miami

Merola Opera Program Artists Perform Donizetti's Don Pasquale Aug. 6 and 8
The Merola Opera Program presents Donizetti's Don Pasquale, led by conductor Warren Jones and director Nic Muni, in two performances Thursday, August 6 at 7:30pm and Saturday, August 8 at 2pm at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco.

The cast of Don Pasquale features Merola 2015 artists bass-baritone James Ioelu as Don Pasquale, baritone Alex DeSocio as Dr. Malatesta, tenor Soonchan Kwon as Ernesto, soprano Amina Edris as Norina, and tenor Alasdair Kent as Notary.

Old and feeble though plentifully rich, Don Pasquale feels the vigor of youth return to him when he decides to marry. Little does Pasquale know that his seemingly perfect bride "Sofronia" is actually Norina, the beloved of his nephew Ernesto. The couple concocts a whimsical plan with the clever Dr. Malatesta to set Don Pasquale in his place, and so unfolds an opera full of comedy and errors.

For more information about the Merola Opera Program, please visit or call (415) 936-2324.

--Jean Shirk Media

West Edge Opera Offers Talks by As One Creators
West Edge Opera's 2015 Festival presents the West Coast premiere of As One at a Sunday, July 26, 2 p.m. matinee, with the three co-creators of the opera – composer Laura Kaminsky and co-librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed – present to discuss the work's creation at a pre-performance talk at 1:15. The performance takes place at The Oakland Metro, 522 2nd Street at Washington, near Oakland, California's Jack London Square.

They will also present a free program in the Community Room at the Berkeley Public Library at noon on Thursday, July 23, discussing the creation of the opera and playing recorded excerpts.

Kaminsky, Campbell and Reed arrive in the Bay Area on July 21st and will be available for interviews prior to the opening. For more information, visit

--Marian Kohlstedt, West Edge Opera

Long Beach Gospel Fest Announces Star-Studded Lineup
The Fifth Annual Long Beach Gospel Fest, founded by Pastor Wayne Chaney, Jr. and wife Myesha of the Antioch Church of Long Beach, just added Grammy-nominated star of WEtv's hit series Mary Mary, Tina Campbell to this year's star-studded lineup for the highly anticipated citywide worship event. Showcasing some of the best gospel artists in music today, Campbell joins previously announced multi-award winning performers Tasha Cobbs, Deitrick Haddon, Kierra Sheard, Jonathan Nelson, Myron Butler, Jessica Reedy, Brian Courtney Wilson and more. The free, open-to-the-public event takes place on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at Marina Green Park.

Inspiring fans on the shores of Long Beach since its inception in 2009, the successful annual event is one of the city's premier summer festivals. Anticipating more than 20,000 attendees, the Festival experience includes a monumental morning worship service led by Pastor Chaney, followed by the afternoon concert with gospel's top performers. A special tribute with clergy and performing talent honoring the victims of the Charleston Emanuel AME Church mass shooting is planned.

In addition to the worship service and concert, a vibrant marketplace with vendors for food, merchandise, and fun family-friendly activities is accessible to festival goers throughout the day.

The Gold Experience ($50) is also available to attendees who prefer to enhance their Festival experience through priority check-in, reserved seating, vendor concierge service and artist meet and greets. Tickets are available online at

The Fifth Annual Gospel Fest will take place on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at Marina Green Park, 386 E. Shoreline Dr., Long Beach, CA 90802. The worship service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the concert at 12:30 p.m.  Red carpet arrivals begin at 3:00 p.m.

--Tosha Whitten Griggs, FrontPage Firm

CIPC Young Artists Winners To Make NYC Debut
The first prize winners from the 2015 Cleveland International Piano Competition Young Artists Competition, 18-year-old Yuanfan Yang (Senior Division) and 15-year-old Jae Hong Park (Junior Division), will share a recital of solo piano music at The Frick Collection on Thursday, August 13 at 7:30 pm. Mr. Yang, from the UK, and Mr. Park, from South Korea, are each making their New York debut.

The concert is presented by the Cleveland International Piano Competition (CIPC), organizers of the CIPC Young Artists Competition, as part of the first prize package for both age groups. In addition to the recital debut, Mr. Yang received a cash award of $25,000 (presented by Zoya Reyzis) and Mr. Park received a cash award of $10,000 (presented by the Payne Fund). Generous support for the New York debut was provided by Michael Horvitz.

"One of the key goals of the CIPC Young Artists Competition is to support young pianists in the pursuit of their careers," said CIPC President and CEO Pierre van der Westhuizen. "Thanks to the generosity of our patrons we are able to provide significant financial support, as well as a New York concert debut, for two extremely dedicated, talented, and deserving individuals."

For more information, visit

--Katharine Boone, Kirshbaum Associates

McGegan at Caramoor
Sunday, July 19  4:30pm
Jennifer Koh, Nicholas McGegan and Orchestra of St. Luke's presnts  chamber, classical, symphonic music in the Venetian Theater.
$15, $25, $37, $49, $61, $73, Garden Listening available (formerly Al Fresco).

Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts, Inc.
149 Girdle Ridge Road
PO Box 816
Katonah, NY 10536

For more information, visit

--Schwalbe and Partners

Seattle Symphony's Ludovic Morlot Extends Contract Through 2019
The Seattle Symphony announced that Ludovic Morlot's contract as Music Director has been extended for two additional years, through August 2019. Morlot's original six-year agreement was from September 2011 through August 2017.

President and CEO Simon Woods commented, "Under Ludovic Morlot's leadership, this organization has experienced an extraordinary transformation. The music making on stage has been electrifying and inspirational, but what has further distinguished the Morlot era to date is a commitment to expanding the repertoire, challenging traditional programming boundaries and opening up Benaroya Hall to our community. We are proud to have a music director who so deeply and personally embraces the forward-looking values for which the Seattle region is known."

"This orchestra and Seattle itself have become an integral part of my life," Morlot said. "I feel privileged to work with such an inspired and dynamic group of musicians; together we've made tremendous strides. I look forward to deepening my relationship with them further, building on our successes, and to working in tandem with the Symphony's fine leadership and administrative team to welcome one and all to Benaroya Hall."

For more information, visit

--Katharine Boone, Kirshbaum Associates

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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 Jon 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 of The $ensible Sound magazine 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 simpleminded, 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 Arcam CDS50 CSD/SACD CD player, Goldpoint SA4 Passive Preamp, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE loudspeakers. 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 cell phone. 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.

William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Reviewer

Among my early childhood memories are those of listening to my mother playing records (some even 78 rpm ones!) of both classical music and jazz tunes. I suppose that her love of music was transmitted genetically, and my interest was sustained by years of playing in rock bands – until I realized that this was no way to make a living. The interest in classical music was rekindled in grad school when the university FM station serving as background music for studying happened to play the Brahms First Symphony. As the work came to an end, it struck me forcibly that this was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and from that point on, I never looked back. This revelation was to the detriment of my studies, as I subsequently spent way too much time simply listening, but music has remained a significant part of my life. These days, although I still can tell a trumpet from a bassoon and a quarter note from a treble clef, I have to admit that I remain a nonexpert. But I do love music in general and classical music in particular, and I enjoy sharing both information and opinions about it.

The audiophile bug bit about the same time that I returned to that classical music. I’ve gone through plenty of equipment, brands from Audio Research to Yamaha, and the best of it has opened new audio insights. Along the way, I reviewed components, and occasionally recordings, for The $ensible Sound magazine. Recently I’ve rebuilt--I prefer to say reinvigorated--my audio system, with a Sangean FM HD tuner and (for the moment) an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a transport, both feeding a NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, which in turn connects to a Legacy Powerbloc2 amplifier driving my trusty Waveform Mach Solo speakers, supplemented by a Hsu Research ULS 15 Mk II subwoofer.

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