Classical Music News of the Week, August 13, 2016

The Wallis 2016/17 Season Single Tickets Now on Sale

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts announced today that single tickets are now on sale for all performances in the 2016/17 season. The upcoming season kicks off with the triumphant return of Los Angeles-based company For The Record's Scorsese: American Crime Requiem on September 21, and includes over 300 performances of more than 50 different programs of theater, dance and music featuring both local and world-renowned talent.

Several concerts are almost sold out and special seating is still reserved for new subscribers. Top selling events include: Complicite/Simon McBurney's The Encounter, which comes to The Wallis on April 6 – 16, 2017 following a limited Broadway engagement; UK's most popular and successful choreographer/director Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures on May 18 – 21, 2017; the Zukerman Trio  led by Pinchas Zukerman, one of the greatest violinist in the world, on October 30, 2016; the exciting jazz group The Brubeck Brothers Quartet on January 20, 2017; Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin's extraordinary two piano concert on April 26, 2017; and leading contemporary jazz vocalist Diane Schuur  on April 28, 2017.

The Sorting Room—launching December 3, 2016 through January 14, 2017—will transform the Lovelace Studio into an intimate, custom-built club that delivers cabaret, comedy, contemporary music, and more, and connects upcoming artists and veteran entertainers with our audiences. The full schedule to be announced in early September 2016.

To purchase single tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

Brian Ganz Plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with National Philharmonic
The National Philharmonic kicks off its 12th anniversary Sept. 17-18 at The Music Center at Strathmore, Maryland, with renditions of some of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular works, led by Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski. Performances include the Coriolan Overture in C Minor, Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, and Symphony No. 7 in A Major, one of Beethoven's most beloved symphonies.

Among the program's highlights will be a performance by award-winning pianist Brian Ganz of the Piano Concerto No. 4, which he calls "arguably the greatest piano concerto ever composed." The start of the 2016-2017 season is especially nostalgic for both musicians, as the music comes full circle with some of the pair's most memorable childhood performances.

Opening night is Saturday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m., followed by a performance on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. at Strathmore. Ticket prices start at $28 and are free for children ages 7-17. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call 301.581.5100.

Carnegie Hall Oct. 1 Concert with World Premiere by George Oakley and U.S. Debut of Cellist Lizi Ramishvili
Concerto Novo is proud to present "An Evening of Classical and New Music" at Carnegie Hall on October 1, 8 PM. The concert will feature the World Premiere of George Oakley's Stabat Mater, and the U.S. debut of up-and-coming Georgian cellist Lizi Ramishvili.

Beethoven's Sonata for Cello and Piano in D major, op. 102
Schumann's Fantasiestücke, op. 73
Oakley's Sonata for Cello and Piano
Oakley's Stabat Mater

Inga Kashakashvili, Piano
Lizi Ramishvili, Cello
Sivan Magen, Harp
Nikolai Kachanov Singers

Tickets are now available at carnegiehall.org for $35 and $45 (students $25).

--Jim Carlson, Concerto Novo

Moscow Nights: New from HarperCollins
With animosity between the USA and the USSR at a fever pitch, an unlikely emissary of hope burst onto the world stage and initiated a fleeting thaw. In Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story--How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War (Harper; $28.99; hardcover; on sale September 20, 2016), acclaimed author Nigel Cliff crafts an extraordinary account of the piano wunderkind whose playing resonated on both sides of the ideological divide and mitigated hostilities between two superpowers locked in the ultimate high-stakes standoff.

Van Cliburn, a then-obscure pianist from Julliard in his early twenties, journeyed to Moscow in 1958 to participate in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The fix was in, though--a native musician had already been selected to win. Yet when the towering Texan with the bashful manner and prodigious talent began to perform, he captivated listeners not only in the audience but throughout the nation as well.

The American became an overnight sensation, beguiling the Soviets with his skill, charisma, and humility. But it was his genuine affection for their music that truly captured their hearts. Many believed that this fresh-faced visitor sounded more Russian their fellow citizens. As Cliburn-mania spread, the final decision about the competition's outcome came straight from the top: When the judges affirmed that Cliburn was indeed the best, Premier Nikita Khrushchev decreed that the foreign prodigy should be the victor.

After conquering the USSR, Cliburn arrived home in triumph.While serving as a symbol for peace in a climate filled with fear, he emerged as an iconic figure in popular culture, even receiving the rare honor of a tickertape parade. In this immersive, rigorously researched narrative, Cliff draws from previously untapped sources to chronicle a tumultuous period shadowed by the threat of nuclear war and inhabited by a fascinating cast of characters. Illuminating history through a unique lens, Moscow Nights is anchored by an insightful look at the gifted but complicated individual who, however briefly, provided common ground for adversaries on the brink of mutual destruction.

Nigel Cliff is a historian, biographer, critic, and translator. A former film and theater critic for the London Times and contributor to The Economist, he writes for a range of publications, including the New York Times Book Review. A graduate of Oxford University, he lives in London.

At once a riveting depiction of the Cold War era rendered with vivid immediacy and an indelible portrait of a game-changing artist, Moscow Nights is an altogether transcendent achievement.

--Jonnell Burke, HarperCollins

California Symphony's 30th Season
The California Symphony and Music Director Donato Cabrera open the Orchestra's 30th season on Sunday, September 18 at 4 pm at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, with an early work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, written when he was a Young American Composer-in-Residence there, a performance of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, and flutist Annie Wu, an East Bay native and SF Symphony Youth Orchestra alumna, as soloist in Mozart's Flute Concerto in G.

The Orchestra's 2016-17 season highlights the music of its celebrated Young American Composers-in-Residence, with works by the program's alumni on each of its concerts, including, in addition to Kevin Puts (in residence from 1996-99), music by Christopher Theofanidis (1994-96), Pierre Jalbert (1999-2002), Kevin Beavers (2002-05), and current resident composer Dan Visconti (2014-17). Throughout its 30-year history, the Orchestra has made American repertoire its special focus, nurturing and commissioning work from emerging American composers as well as performing the most revered core classical repertoire.

Tickets for the September 18 concert are on sale and priced at $42-$72, and $20 for students, subject to change. For more information, call 925-943-7469 or visit www.californiasymphony.org.

--Jean Shirk Media

Musica Viva Launches 39th Season on September 25
Musica Viva, a chamber chorus of highly skilled professionals and volunteer musicians, dedicated to sharing the transcendent power of choral and instrumental music under the artistic direction of Dr. Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, embarks upon its 39th season. This season will build on the programmatic concepts explored in the 2015-16 season, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez's first season as Artistic Director. Through both its traditional four-concert series at All Souls Church, NYC, and through three unique benefit concerts at NY229 and at All Souls Church, Musica Viva will continue to perform beloved as well as rarely heard vocal works, both choral and solo, from various periods of musical history and from diverse cultures worldwide.

Programmatic highlights of the season include the Bach "Michelmas" cantatas, Joachim Linckelmann's rarely heard chamber arrangement of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, and a concert featuring the chorus moving throughout the All Souls sanctuary in an exploration of sound and space. The Aeolus String Quartet is Musica Viva's quartet in residence for its second season and Associate Music Director of Musica Viva, organist Renée Anne Louprette, is also featured throughout the season.

Subscription tickets, priced at $100, and single tickets, priced at $30, for the four-concert series at All Souls Church are available by visiting http://musicaviva.org/tickets/. Single tickets are also available at the door on the evening of the concert. MUSICAnocturna concert tickets, priced at $100, will be available online. The Take Five concert on January 29 is free and open to the public with a free-will donation to benefit Musica Viva's current season.

--Katlyn Morahan Arts and Media

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--Jeff Greene, Classics OnLine

Green Music Center: MasterCard Pre-Sale: Single Tickets for 16-17 Season
2016-17 Season
Single tickets exclusive presale - available now cardholders & 16-17 season subscribers
General public on sale begins Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m.

Two shows just announded:
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Rohan de Silva, piano
Thu, Oct 20 at 7:30pm

Na Leo Holiday Show
Fri, Dec 16 at 7:30pm

 Fifth Season Opening Night Gala, featuring Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, with Wynton Marsalis
 Sat, Oct 1 at 7pm

 Additional information, including table pricing and  benefits, available at gmc.sonoma.edu/gala

--Green Music Center

PBO: Rumblings about Rameau, Gonzalo Gets Married, and More
Rumblings About Rameau:
You may have heard some rumblings. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale is mounting its first-ever, fully-staged opera next April. But it's not just any opera, it's the modern-day premiere of the long-forgotten original version of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Le Temple de la Gloire.

The work was first performed in Versailles in November 1745. François-Marie Arouet (aka Voltaire) wrote the libretto and, being the firebrand that he was, presented a philosophical reform of opera with moral and political overtones. But after its original debut, King Louis XIV and the public gave it a big thumbs-down. So Rameau was obliged to remove any political offenses and add a love story to create the version that has been heard up until now.

Meanwhile, a single, original, un-edited manuscript survived in various archives until it eventually ended up at U.C. Berkeley's Hargrove Music Library. When PBO music director Nicholas McGegan learned of its existence, he became thrilled at the possibilities. After Philharmonia recorded several movements from the score in the mid-1990's, he hoped that he would one day be able to mount the entire opera. Now twenty years later, he finally has that chance.

Individual tickets now available: https://calperformances.org/performances/2016-17/world-premieres/philharmonia-baroque-orchestra-rameau-le-temple-de-la-gloire.php

A Match Made in Musical Heaven:
Longtime PBO oboist Gonzalo Ruiz locked in an accompanist for life when he married his perfect match, Handel & Haydn violinist Tatiana Daubek, in June. The two took their vows with friends and family in Fort Tyron Park in New York on June 12 and are honeymooning now.

In addition to being our "first-call" oboist, Gonzalo is on staff at The Juilliard School and the Longy School of Music in Massachusetts and also serves as Associate Artistic Director for Musica Angelica in L.A. Tatiana plays with The Handel & Haydn Society in Boston and other east coast groups in addition to being a professional photographer.

The two share a love of cooking, baroque music and dance. Gonzalo shared a tidbit about their creative relationship while on his honeymoon.

"We both like to cook, but I wind up doing most of that. We also dance tango rather well, but here on our honeymoon I'm mostly forcing her to play her violin while I practice my baroque guitar accompaniment, which is this year's personal growth project."

With baroque music, home-cooked meals, tango and "personal growth projects" on the horizon, married life at the Ruiz home sounds great. We congratulate this talented couple and wish them the very best in life, love and music.

For more information on PBO, visit https://philharmonia.org/

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

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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