Classical Music News of the Week, November 21, 2015

AME Performs "Moon Music," with Special Guest Claremont Trio, 12/3

American Modern Ensemble
Humankind has always held a certain fascination with the moon. For centuries astronomers have gazed upon it from afar. Astronauts have walked on its delicate surface. Writers and poets have sought inspiration from its barren, foreboding mountains and valleys. And, many composers have drawn upon the moon for musical enlightenment.  

Known for its presentation of cutting-edge American music and innovative thematic programming, American Modern Ensemble (AME) presents "Moon Music," an evening of contemporary music celebrating all things lunar. "The Moon Music" program includes:

Claude Baker: Tableaux Funèbres
Judith Shatin: Spring Tides
Daniel Strong Godfrey: Luna Rugosa
George Tsontakis: Eclipse
Robert Paterson: Moon Trio
AME announces a new partnership with Brooklyn's brand-new National Sawdust, with their first appearance at this venue on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 7pm. All of the pieces will be performed by American Modern Ensemble, with the exception of Moon Trio, which will be performed by special guests the Claremont Trio (Emily Bruskin, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; Andrea Lamb, piano).

Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 7:00pm at National Sawdust (80 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY)

Tickets may be purchased by calling 646.779.8455 or by visiting

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

West Edge Opera Announces 2016 Opera Medium Rare Series
West Edge Opera is pleased to announce Opera Medium Rare 2016. Titled "The Doppelgänger Season," it features two well-known opera titles by less well-known composers, performed in concert format.

Opening the series on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 3 pm at the Lisser Theater at Mills College, Oakland, CA, is Paisello's The Barber of Seville, with a repeat performance on Tuesday, February 9, 8 pm at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA. Leoncavallo's La bohème is Sunday, March 20, 3 pm at Mills College and Tuesday, March 22, 8pm at Freight and Salvage. English supertitles also include stage directions to set the scenes.

Lisser Theater, a 250-seat proscenium theater, is on the Mills College campus and Freight and Salvage is at 2020 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley's arts district. Tickets are $22 for general seating with a $20 senior discount price. Premium seats are $40.00. Tickets for all performances are available online at Lisser Theater tickets can be purchased by phone on the West Edge Ticketline, 510-841-1903, and Freight and Salvage tickets by phone are purchased by calling 510-644-2020 extension120. For more information, go to West Edge Opera's Web site at

--Marian Kohlstedt, West Edge Opera

The King's Singers Announce First-Ever U.S. Summer School in 2017
Double Grammy award-winning vocal ensemble The King's Singers will once again host their extremely popular biennial Summer School in 2017. In addition to the traditional setting of Royal Holloway at the University of London, the group will offer its first ever U.S.-based Summer School at Indiana's DePauw University. The thriving music department at DePauw is deeply committed to reshaping modern music education, which is reflected in the facilities it offers. One of the first Schools of Music in the United States, in June 2015 the campus was host to the first-ever Global Musician Workshop, led by the phenomenal cellist Yo Yo Ma and members of his renowned Silk Road Ensemble.

"We are thrilled to partner with one of the world's best and most-loved musical groups for this unforgettable, life-changing experience," said DePauw University School of Music Dean Mark McCoy. "If you love singing, this is the place to be!"

The King's Singers 2017 Summer Schools:
Dates: 13 – 19 June 2017
Venue: DePauw University, Indiana

Dates: 17 – 22 July 2017
Venue: Royal Holloway, University of London

For more information, visit

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

National Philharmonic Present's Handel's Messiah at Strathmore
Hear the genius of Handel as the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale perform his most beloved oratorio, the Messiah, on Saturday, December 19 at 8pm and Sunday, December 20 at 3pm at the Music Center at Strathmore. Led by Artistic Director Stan Engebretson, the concert will feature the National Philharmonic's nearly 200 voice all-volunteer Chorale, as well as soloists Danielle Talamantes (soprano); Margaret Mezzacappa (mezzo-soprano); Matthew Smith (tenor); and Christòpheren Nomura (baritone).

Handel's Messiah, among the most popular works in Western choral literature, was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742. The composer's most famous work is divided into three parts that address specific events in the life of Christ. Part one is primarily concerned with the Advent and Christmas stories; part two chronicles Christ's passion, resurrection, ascension and commitment to spreading the Christian message; and part three is based primarily upon the events chronicled in the Revelation of St. John. The National Philharmonic and Chorale, in addition to a stellar cast of soloists, will perform the complete work, which includes such favorites as "The Trumpet Shall Sound," "And the Glory of the Lord," and, of course, the famous "Hallelujah Chorus."

A free pre-concert lecture will be offered at 6:45 pm on December 19 and at 1:45 pm on December 20 in the concert hall at the Music Center at Strathmore. To purchase tickets to National Philharmonic's Messiah concerts on December 19 and 20, please visit or call the box office at (301) 581-5100. Tickets start from $28. Kids 7-17 are FREE through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program (sponsored by The Gazette).  ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone.

--Deborah Birnbaum, National Philharmonic

Hopkinson Smith Performs Elizabethan Repertoire for Lute
Compositions by John Dowland (1563-1626), Anthony Holborne (died in 1602), John Johnson (died in 1594), and William Byrd (1542-1623).

Date: Thursday, December 10th 2015
Time: 8:00pm
Location: The Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 East 61st Street between First and York Avenues, NYC
Tickets: $25 seniors, students / $35 general / $50 / $100 front row series supporter (tax deductible)
To purchase tickets: Call 1 888 718 4253 or visit

--Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

92Y December Concerts
Monday, December 7, 2015 at 8:30pm
"Bridge to Beethoven," Part II
Jennifer Koh, violin
Shai Wosner, piano
Buttenwieser Hall, NYC

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 7:30pm
Pacifica Quartet (92Y debut)
"Last Words"
Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC

Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 8pm
Pepe Romero, guitar
Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC

For tickets and information, call 212-415-5500 or visit

--Katharine Boone, Kirshbaum Associates

Maya Beiser Named as One of United States Artists (USA) Fellows for 2015
Maya Beiser was announced as one of United States Artists (USA) Fellows for 2015. As a Distinguished Fellow in Music, she receives an award of $50,000, given by USA to support practice and professional development, opening up exciting creative possibilities through the transformative power of unrestricted financial support.

The 37 recipients of this year's awards were selected from over 400 nominated artists living in the United States and US Territories and were chosen by panels of expert peers in each artistic discipline. "USA Fellowships are awarded to innovative artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers, who are nominated for their commitment to excellence and the enduring potential of their work," said United States Artists CEO Carolina García Jayaram. "We are honored to present this year's Fellows, a group of artists who were selected through a rigorous, highly competitive process. What continues to set the USA Fellowship apart is the unrestricted nature of our award. USA's mission is to put artists first as they are the core of our organization. This is shown by the inherent trust we place in them to know how to use the money to further their practice and pursue unrealized opportunities."

Cellist Maya Beiser defies categories. Passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument's boundaries. The Boston Globe declares, "With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello."

For more information, visit

--Christina Jensen PR

Peter Oundjian Appointed Principal Conductor of Yale Philharmonia
The Yale School of Music is pleased to announce that conductor Peter Oundjian has been named the principal conductor of the Yale Philharmonia, continuing his nearly 35-year affiliation with the School. Mr. Oundjian will conduct three concerts every year with the Yale Philharmonia and will help shape the artistic identity of the orchestra, including close involvement with the selection of guest conductors and repertoire.

Maestro Oundjian will be a major addition to the orchestral conducting program at the School. This program, which will admit one conductor this year, includes performances with the Yale Philharmonia and New Music New Haven in Sprague and Woolsey Halls, as well as opportunities to work with Maestro Oundjian and the guest conductors of the Yale Philharmonia, which in recent years have included Valery Gergiev, Yu Long, Hu Yongyan, Jahja Ling, and James Conlon, among many others. Maestro Oundjian will join colleagues in the admissions process and collaborate in providing a comprehensive curriculum for the conducting program.

A dynamic presence in the conducting world, Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian is renowned for his probing musicality, collaborative spirit, and engaging personality. Oundjian's appointment as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2004 reinvigorated the orchestra with numerous recordings, tours, and acclaimed innovative programming as well as extensive audience growth, thereby significantly strengthening the ensemble's presence in the world.

In 2012 Oundjian was appointed Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Under his baton, the orchestra has enjoyed several successful tours including one to China, and has continued its relationship with Chandos Records. Previously, he served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2010 and Artistic Director at the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York between 1997 and 2007.

--Yale School of Music

American Bach Soloist News
A new ABS concert season is nearly upon us. Are you ready? With a focus on the music of Bach and Handel, ABS will present multiple opportunities in 2015-16 to explore the musical richness and beauty achieved by these masters. Few get to experience each of J.S. Bach's three oratorios in live performance, but ABS will present this trio of exuberant works during the same season ("Christmas Oratorio" on December 12; "Easter Oratorio" and "Ascension Oratorio" in April 2016)! Another great oratorio, by Bach's contemporary George Frideric Handel, will be performed in Grace Cathedral on three evenings in December (Messiah, December 16-18). There will also be cantatas and works for violin by Bach in January, a wonderful Handel program featuring his great choral ode, Alexander's Feast, in February, an organ recital by Jonathan Dimmock to celebrate Bach's Birthday in March, and Easter and Feast of the Ascension works by Buxtehude and Kuhnau to complement the Bach oratorios for those occasions in April.

With so much great music to come, we compiled a list of new, recent, and recommended resources for you to enjoy before the season gets rolling. If you have Bach or Handel books that you would like to recommend, please let us know on Facebook or on Twitter.

For more information, visit

--Jeff McMillan, American Bach Soloists

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to classicalcandor@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa