Classical Music News of the Week, May 14, 2016

New Century Announces 25th Anniversary Season

New Century Chamber Orchestra announces its 2016–2017 25th anniversary season, including three subscription weeks in venues across the San Francisco Bay Area and an inaugural three-concert San Francisco festival, the first of its kind in the organization's history.

A celebration of the achievements of both the ensemble and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, who enters her final season as music director, the season features a debut appearance by internationally acclaimed Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan; award-winning Australian/Taiwanese violinist Ray Chen as guest concertmaster, leading a program of works by Mozart, Britten and Elgar; a repeat collaboration with Grammy Award–winning Chanticleer following their sold-out performances in 2014; and the return of pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, performing as soloist in the seldom-heard jazz band version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Highlighting the orchestra's history of adventurous and varied programming, New Century will perform masterworks from the classical repertoire by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Elgar and Britten, contemporary works by Webern and Glass, and a program of works that combines French classics by Fauré and Satie with songs by George Gershwin and Edith Piaf.

The 25th-anniversary celebrations kick off September 15–18, 2016 and continues through the end of May 2016. Subscriptions to the New Century Chamber Orchestra are on sale now. Three-concert subscriptions range from $78 to $165; festival passes range from $52 to $155. Call (415) 357-1111, ext. 305, or visit www.ncco.org to purchase.

Single tickets range in price from $29 to $61 and will go on sale August 1, 2016 through City Box Office: www.cityboxoffice.com 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, 2016: www.cityboxoffice.com and (415) 392-4400.

For further information on New Century, please visit www.ncco.org.

--Brenden Guy, NCCO

Summer 2016 Season: Weill Hall + Lawn at the Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
4th of July Fireworks Spectacular with Steve Tyrell and the Santa Rosa Symphony
Michael Berkowitz, conductor
Mon, Jul 4 at 7:30pm

Boz Scaggs & The Robert Cray Band
Thu, Jul 14 at 7:30pm

Hollywood Vampires
featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry
Fri, Jul 22 at 7:30pm

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Mandatory World Tour
Fri, Jul 30 at 7:30pm

The David Grisman Blue Grass Experience
Second Annual GMC Bluegrass Festival, with The Mando Kings featuring The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Sam Bush, & Jeff Austin Band
Sun, Jul 10 at 3pm

Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias
#FluffyBreaksEven
Sat, Jul 16 at 7:30pm

The Taj Mahal Trio: "Blues at the Green"
The Taj Mahal Trio, Hot Tuna Acoustic, and Marcia Ball
Sat, Jul 23 at 7:30pm

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles¡Viva Mariachi!
A Free Concert for the Community presented by the Green Music Center and the Santa Rosa Symphony featuring Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles and the Santa Rosa Symphony conducted by Michael Berkowitz
Sun, Jul 31 at 7pm

Los Tigres del NorteLos Tigres del Norte
with guest opening act Paul Rodriguez
Fri, Aug 5 at 7:30pm

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma
Fri, Aug 19 at 7:30pm

Star Wars Movie Marathon: May the Force Be With You
Fri, Aug 26 at 3pm  Info
Sat, Aug 27 at 11am Info

Lindsey Stirling - Summer Tour 2016
Thu, Aug 11 at 7:30pm

Trevor Noah
Host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central
Sat, Aug 20 at 7:30pm

Hunter Hayes
Sun, Aug 28 at 7pm

M.E. Live - Melissa Etheridge
Sat, Sep 3 at 7:30pm

An Evening with Pat Metheny
w/ Antonio Sanchez, Linda Oh, and Gwilym Simcock
Tue, Sep 13 at 7:30pm

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - 50 Years of Dirt
Fri, Sep 16 at 7:30pm

Chris Young
Sat, Sep 24 at 7:30pm

The Folger Shakespeare Library & Napashakes Present: Folger Consort and Derek Jacobi
Sun, Sep 25 at 7pm

Gavin DeGraw
Sun, Sep 11 at 7pm

The Avett Brothers
Thu, Sep 15 at 7:30pm

Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally - Summer of 69: No Apostrophe
Sun, Sep 18 at 7:30pm

Shanghai Acrobats of the Peoples Republic of China: Shanghai Nights!
Sun, Sep 25 at 2pm

For complete information, visit http://gmc.sonoma.edu/

--Green Music Center

NEC Announces 2016 Honorary Degree Recipients and Commencement Speaker
New England Conservatory will bestow honorary Doctor of Music (hon. D.M.) degrees on five distinguished musicians at its 145th annual Commencement Exercises, Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 3 p.m. in NEC's Jordan Hall. The recipients are Parliament/Funkadelic co-founder Bernie Worrell, conductor Leonard Slatkin, composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, soprano Martina Arroyo, and composer Malcolm Peyton.

In addition, approximately 275 graduating students in the class of 2016 will be awarded degrees and diplomas including the Bachelor of Music, Graduate Diploma, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Artist Diploma. Leonard Slatkin will give the commencement address; additional speakers will include NEC leaders and a student speaker. The public is welcomed to this event, based on available seats.

For more information, visit http://necmusic.edu/event/14327

--Lisa Helfer Elghazi, Media Relations

American Pianists Association Receives $10K Grant from National Endowment for the Arts
The American Pianists Association (APA) announced today that it is the recipient of a $10,000 Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to further outreach concerts and workshops by finalists of the American Pianists Awards. National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved $80,889,500 to fund 1,142 local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

"The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Supporting projects like the one from American Pianists Association offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day."

The NEA grant will be used to support APA's Concerto Curriculum, a partnership with five Indianapolis-area schools. Concerto Curriculum brings the beauty of world-class music to new audiences and non-traditional venues, provides pedagogical growth for developing artists, and inspires new generations of young musicians. As part of each American Pianists Awards competition, every finalist completes a residency with an Indianapolis-area high school orchestra or jazz band. Residencies typically span the course of three days and culminate in a joint public performance with the school musicians. The first residency for this year's competition will begin in September 2016.

For more information on the American Pianists Association visit www.americanpianists.org/

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

Join us for "Under the Ligurian Sun," May 16 & 17
Don't miss SOLI's final program of the 2015-16 Season, "Under the Ligurian Sun, Part I,"
a program fit for the international stage.

Drawing on a variety of works from the great tradition of American contemporary chamber music, we will present a rich program of selections under consideration for our first international tour in Northern Italy and Southern France in the summer of 2017.

Monday, May 16, 2016 @ 7:30PM
Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater, The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Antonio, TX 78205

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 7:30PM
Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, on the campus of Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78205

Pre-Concert Talks with members of SOLI starting @ 7:00 PM

For more information, visit https://www.tobincenter.org/box-office/2016-05/under-ligurian-sun

--SOLI Chamber Ensemble

PBO News: Get Six Concerts for the Price of Five
Now is your chance to sign-up for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's 2016/17 "Season of Heroes." With great offers and good seats still available, you can secure your spot for a year of adventurous music from the San Francisco Bay Area's most exciting, historically-informed Orchestra and Chorale.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale bring a fresh perspective to music from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. And for the first time in it's 36 year history, Nic McGegan and the Orchestra will present their first fully-staged opera during the 2016/17 season.

Don't miss miss a single note of PBO's authentic performances in intimate settings with musicians who love what they do. Subscribe today.

For complete information, visit https://philharmonia.org/subscribe/

--Dianne Provenzano, Philharmia Baroque Orchestra

The Wallis Announces 2016/17 Season
Over 300 performances of more than 50 different programs of theater, dance and music featuring local and world-renowned talent are on tap for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts' 2016/17 season. The Wallis' new Artistic Director Paul Crewes, joined by Managing Director Rachel Fine and Board Chairman David C. Bohnett, announced details of the company's robust fourth season at a press conference today held at The Wallis.

Highlights include:
Theater: Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along," a new collaboration with Deaf West Theatre, LA's "For the Record," Peter Brook's "Battlefield, Complicite/Simon McBurney's "The Encounter," Kneehigh's "946," RSC/Filter Theatre's "Twelfth Night," Hershey Felder's newest work, and Alexi Kaye Campbell's "The Pride."

Dance: Matthew Bourne, Daniel Ezralow, Paul Taylor, Jose Limón, Jacob Jonas, and a Carmen de Lavallade 85th birthday celebration.

Jazz: Diane Schuur, Eddie Palmieri, and The Brubeck Brothers

Chamber Music: Zukerman Trio, Kirshbaum & Wosner, JACK Quartet,  Brooklyn Rider, Joyce Yang, Leif Ove Andsnes, and Marc-André Hamelin.

Concerts: Kyle Riabko's Bacharach Reimagined, Dan Zanes & Friends,  and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra Trio.

Introducing "The Sorting Room," an intimate, custom-built club delivering the hottest names in cabaret, comedy, contemporary music and more.

Tony award-nominated director Michael Arden, named First Artist-in-Residence @ The Wallis.

WelcomeFest Opens the Season with Weekend of Free Events, Sept 10-11.

For more information, visit TheWallis.org

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

Susan L Graham and Helen Meyer Named Co-Chairs of Cal Performances at UC Berkeley
Cal Performances at UC Berkeley today announced the appointment of Susan L. Graham and Helen Meyer as co-chairs of its board of trustees. Their two-year term begins July 1. Together, Graham and Meyer represent highly recognized achievement in the fields of technology, sound, and cultural philanthropy—a collective range of knowledge and expertise suited to the future direction of Cal Performances, cultivated by its executive and artistic director, Matías Tarnopolsky. Susan Graham is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita at UC Berkeley, and serves as a member of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Helen Meyer is the co-founder and executive vice president of the innovative audio engineering company Meyer Sound, and is a dedicated San Francisco Bay Area arts philanthropist.

The appointments follow the four-year/two-term tenure of Gail Rubinfeld as board chair, a period of institutional evolution for Cal Performances that included the launch of its Berkeley RADICAL programming initiative, focused on cultivating cultural literacy for the next generation of performing arts audiences. Susan Graham has served as vice chair of Cal Performances' board of trustees since 2008 and been a member of the board of trustees since 2005. Helen Meyer has been a trustee since 2015 and a generous contributor to Cal Performances for many years. Rubinfeld became a Cal Performances trustee in 2006, and will continue her service following her tenure as chair.

For more information, visit http://calperformances.org/learn/press-room/press-releases/pdfs/2015-16/Board-of-Trustees-Chair-Transition-PR-May-13-2016-FINAL.pdf?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pr.1617.board.co-chairs.announce&utm_content=version_A

--Louisa Spier, Cal Performances

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John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

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.

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.

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to pucciojj@gmail.com.

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

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa