Classical Music News of the Week, July 9, 2016

Pianist Xiayin Wang to give NYC recital on July 29th at the International Keyboard Institute & Festival

Pianist Xiayin Wang, hailed by The New York Times for her "estimable grasp of pianistic color" as well as her "go-for-broke bravado," will give a recital on July 29th with the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, at Hunter College's Kaye Playhouse in New York City. The performance will feature the World Premiere of Richard Danielpour's Bagatelles, the latest in a series of collaborations between the two, as well as Beethoven's Sonata in E Flat Major, Op. 31 No. 3 "Hunt," Schumann's Fantasiestücke, Op.12 and Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit.

A passionate proponent of contemporary composers, Xiayin's World Premiere of Bagatelles will continue a longstanding musical relationship with award winning composer Richard Danielpour, beginning with a 2009 recording of his Preludes, Books 1 2 "The Enchanted Garden," followed by a 2014 World Premiere performance of his five-part suite The Celestial Circus. The Bagatelles draw their inspiration from memories of Danielpour's childhood and early memories, an especially poignant theme for Xiayin as she recently had her first child.

Xiayin has also released numerous acclaimed, bestselling recordings on the Chandos label, and this fall will bring an album of Ginastera piano concertos in celebration of the composer's centennial year.

Tickets are $20, and can be purchased through The Kaye Playhouse Box Office in person, by phone at 212-772-4448, or online

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

ABS Festival Concert: Virtuosi of Venice & Rome
Friday, August 13, 2016: 8:00 pm at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Virtuosi of Venice & Rome: With the American Bach Soloists joined by the ABS Academy Festival Orchestra, Jeffrey Thomas, conductor.

The expert period-instrumentalists of American Bach Soloists take center stage for a thrilling exploration of Italian concertos for a variety of instrumental combinations that were composed for especially virtuoso players and orchestras. As an added attraction, the string players of the ABS Academy will join the ABS orchestra on stage to perform Concerti Grossi by Corelli and Geminiani with the enormous—and rarely heard—forces used by those composers in their day.

For more information, visit

--Jeff McMillan, American Bach Soloists

Record Your Music in Cuba
In April 2016, Cuban musicians will record music by PARMA artists during a week of recording sessions, performances, and cultural activities.

The musicians, venues, and studios are among some of Cuba's very best, and we are now  accepting score submissions for the following instrumentation:

Chamber Ensembles
SATB and SSAA Choir

Please submit your scores in PDF format and include information about duration, past performance history, and any other applicable notes to

Take the next step. Request a quote or learn more about our recording services:

Not yet ready to record but interested in more information?
Call us at 603.758.1718 or visit

--Rory Cooper, PARMA Recordings

2015 Honens Laureate Luca Buratto on WQXR's Young Artists Showcase
Who: Luca Buratto, Prize Laureate of the 2015 Honens International Piano Competition

What: WQXR's Young Artists Showcase hosted by Robert Sherman
When: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 9 p.m. (Eastern)
Where: Stream the program live at

About Luca Buratto:
Luca Buratto, 2015 Honens Prize Laureate, is a pianist of "fiery imagination and finesse" (Musical America).

In addition to his success at Canada's Honens Piano Competition, Buratto was awarded third prize at the International Robert Schumann Competition (Zwickau) and the special "Acerbi" prize, awarded to a distinguished Finalist at Milan's Shura Cherkassky Competition, both in 2012. Buratto first caught the public's attention at the Conservatory of Milan's Sala Verdi where, for a Holocaust Remembrance Day event in 2003, he performed music of Renzo Massarani, his great-grandfather. Massarani (1898–1975), a student of Ottorino Respighi, was a promising young composer whose career was interrupted by the imposition of racial laws in 1938.

Buratto earned his piano Diploma from Milan Conservatory and his master's from Bolzano Conservatory. He was a Theo Lieven Scholar at the Conservatory of Lugano, from which he received his Master of Advanced Studies. His teachers have included Davide Cabassi, William Grant Naboré and Edda Ponti.

A live recording of his performances from the 2015 Honens Piano Competition is available now on the Honens label, and his debut studio recording of works by Schumann will be released on the Hyperion label in 2017.

--Daniel Guss, Nancy Shear Arts Services

Spend your summer with AOP
It's summer and our sex comedy Three Way is heating up to be the talk of the upcoming season. Want to be part of the story? Join us in a three-way summer fling - American Opera Projects, a mysterious donor, and you - to support AOP's good work.

Choices, choices! A mojito, cold beer, gin and tonic? A swim in the ocean or a hike in the mountains? Barbecue or lobster rolls?

Summer offers tantalizing options. And so does AOP!  We are in Berlin about to open the European premiere of As One, then jump to Lincoln Center Festival for Paradise Interrupted, before a stop at Chautauqua to hear their first AOP-sponsored Composer-in-Residence.

In the coming season AOP is as busy as ever! Last season's success, Hagoromo, is being reworked for a tour. The Summer King premieres in Pittsburgh, The Blind goes to UrbanArias, As One lands in Seattle, Colorado, Long Beach, and Pittsburgh, Three Way debuts at Nashville Opera before we bring it to BAM, and AOP's signature program Composers & The Voice continues to train the stars of tomorrow. You can choose ALL of this if you have a fling with AOP!

Your pleasure is doubled now, as gifts are matched by a generous donor throughout the summer -- up to $15,000! Make your gift before Labor Day and help AOP sail into the new season.

Please join us in making contemporary American opera as vibrant and diverse as possible. It's our story! Your gift to AOP, at the start of our 2016-2017 season, will reap many rewards in the year to come.


--Charles Jarden, General Director, AOP

Submission Deadline for FWOpera's 2017 Frontiers Showcase Extended
Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) announced today that the submission deadline has been extended for its fifth annual Frontiers showcase. Applications will now be accepted through midnight, July 19, 2016. The company's innovative program will be held during the final week of the 2017 Fort Worth Opera Festival – April 15, 2017 – May 7, 2017 and coincides with the 2017 Opera America Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth. Launched during the company's 2012-2013 season, Frontiers remains one of the only programs world-wide that seeks out unproduced works by the finest up-and-coming composers and librettists from North, South, and Central America, and has been acclaimed for the opportunities it provides its winners. Composers and librettists whose works are selected as part of the Frontiers showcase gain valuable exposure for their works in a live performance environment while also taking part in unparalleled networking opportunities with industry professionals including artistic directors of other established opera companies, artist managers, classical music publishers, funding organizations, and conductors.

Composer and librettist teams whose works are selected for the 2017 Frontiers showcase will be in residence during the 2017 Festival where they will attend the showcase, participate in the final rehearsals of their work, and engage in post-performance discussions with panelists and audience members. Selected composers and librettists will also receive feedback on their piece through private meetings with the Frontiers jury panel and will have a recording of their work provided to assist them further in their compositional process.

Applications must be submitted by midnight, July 19, 2016.

Please contact Nathan DePoint, Curator, at for submission address and information. All application materials must be submitted electronically through the Frontiers web portal. Only 15-20 minutes of a composition will be considered. Submissions must include: Synopsis of the entire composition; Libretto and Piano/Vocal score of the excerpts (in order within the piece); English translation if the work is in another language. All materials submitted must have the composer and librettist names removed to ensure anonymity during the panel review. A non-refundable entry fee of $20 US is due upon submission. Payments will be made with the application submission online. Fort Worth Opera retains the right to select fewer than six works for the showcase. More details are available at

--Ryan Lathan, FWOpera

Big Year for the Arts in California
The California Arts Council has awarded the largest number of state arts grants in 14 years. There were 225 more awards made this year than in 2014-15, with an investment of more than $8.5 million supporting arts and cultural programs reaching students, veterans, artists, and underserved communities across California.

And on top of this, we have the great news about the significant state arts funding increase for 2016-17 in this 40th anniversary year for the California Arts Council, the state's arts agency. This is a truly momentous time for the arts in California.

View the complete announcement here:

--Caitlin Fitzwater, California Arts Council

PBO Goes to Tanglewood and Norfolk Music Festivals in August
Nic McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale are headed to the east coast this August for performances at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox Massachusetts and Yale Music School's Norfolk Music Festival in Norfolk Connecticut.

The Orchestra will revive Scarlatti's La Gloria di Primavera with the original cast of vocalists at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood on August 25. PBO last performed at the Tanglewood Festival in 2014 with a program featuring Handel's Teseo.

PBO then returns to Yale's Norfolk Chamber Festival with mezzo-soprano Diana Moore singing arias from Handel, Vivialdi, Rameau, and Scarlatti's La Gloria. Diana will also sing Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw's Red, Red Rose, based on a beautiful poem by Robert Burns. PBO commissioned the piece this year and the world premiere took place at Disney Hall in Los Angeles in May.

As a major champion of new music on old instruments, Nic is very excited to present Caroline's work at the wonderful Music Shed dating back to the 1890s. The Norfolk Chamber Festival was introduced to PBO by board member David Low and his wife Dominique Lahaussois, residents of San Francisco and Norfolk. The Orchestra's appearances at Norfolk are made possible in part by David and Dominique and they always throw a great post-concert bash at their "barn!"

Concert information and tickets:
August 25, 8 pm
Ozawa Hall
Tanglewood Music Festival
Lenox, Massachusetts
For more information, visit

August 27, 8 pm
The Music Shed
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Norfolk, Connecticut
For more information, visit

--Noelle R. Moss, PBO

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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 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 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