Classical Music News of the Week, March 4, 2017

Los Angeles Master Chorale to Expand Beyond the Concert Hall in 2017/18 Season

New works, multimedia presentations, performances of choral masterworks, and an expansive state-wide community singing project that will have global reach comprise the Los Angeles Master Chorale's 54th season announced today by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and President and CEO Jean Davidson.

The 2017/18 season will see the choir present 9 programs in 12 concerts in Walt Disney Concert Hall from September 2017 through June 2018. The Los Angeles Master Chorale is a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles and the choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall. 2017/18 will be the Master Chorale's 54th season and Gershon's 17th season as the Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director. Previously a blend of professional and supplemental singers, a significant personnel change in the 2017/18 season will be that the Master Chorale will have 100 fully professional singers, making it among the largest professional chorale ensembles in the world.

For more information about subscriptions and tickets, visit or phone the Box Office at 213-972-7282 (Mon – Sat, 10 am – 6 pm.)

--Jennifer Scott, Director of Public Relations

Utah Symphony Announces 2017-18 Season
Music Director Thierry Fischer and President & CEO Paul Meecham today announced the Utah Symphony's 2017-18 season, which includes a Saint-Saëns symphony cycle recorded live for the Hyperion label, marking the first recording of the composer's complete symphonies by an American orchestra.

Additional season highlights include violinist Hilary Hahn in Dvorák's Violin Concerto, violinist Augustin Hadelich performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto, pianist Stephen Hough in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1, and pianist and Gilmore Young Artist Conrad Tao as soloist in Bernstein's Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety" and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, among other guest artists; a Leonard Bernstein festival in honor of his 100th birthday; the U.S. premiere of a Utah Symphony co-commission from Prix de Rome-winning French composer Tristan Murail, Reflections / Reflets III, conducted by Mr. Fischer; and a Utah Symphony | Utah Opera gala concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming in celebration of Utah Opera's 40th anniversary season.

For more information, visit

--Shuman Associates PR

Rachel Barton Pine Receives Dushkin Award at Music Institute Gala
The Music Institute of Chicago hosts its annual gala Monday, May 15 at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 East Delaware Place. The oldest community music school in Illinois and one of the three largest community music schools in the nation, the Music Institute is planning a celebratory evening highlighted by the presentation of the Dushkin Award to acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by an elegant dinner and awards presentation. Musical performances throughout the evening include talented students from the Music Institute's Community School, award-winning students from its renowned Academy for gifted pre-college musicians, and young students from its ArtsLink outreach programs, including the Suzuki violin program on the Northwest Side of Chicago, a collaborative effort with the YMCA.

The prestigious Dushkin Award, established more than 30 years ago and named for the Music Institute's visionary founders Dorothy and David Dushkin, recognizes international luminaries in the world of music for their contributions to the art form, as well as to the education of youth. Past recipients include Joshua Bell, Deborah Rutter, André Previn, Lang Lang, Stephen Sondheim, Riccardo Muti, Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Fleisher, Renée Fleming, Placido Domingo, William Warfield, Isaac Stern, Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Samuel Ramey, and Bruno Bartoletti, among others.

This year's recipient, Rachel Barton Pine, is an internationally admired concert violinist, recording artist, educator, and philanthropist. She has appeared as a soloist with many of the country's most prestigious symphony orchestras under the baton of renowned conductors from around the globe.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Maestro Anton Coppola at 100 Conducts with Opera Tampa, March 25
March 21, 2017 marks the 100th birthday of Maestro Anton Coppola, the conductor and composer whose career has spanned from singing in the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus for the American premiere of Puccini's Turandot at age 9 to – 91 years later – conducting his own an alternate ending for Puccini's unfinished masterpiece, one of two new works to be premiered on March 25th at Coppola Conducts: 100 Years Young. This concert will be presented by Opera Tampa, the company for which Coppola was the founding Artistic Director.

At Coppola Conducts the Maestro will conduct a full orchestra, chorus and soloists in a program that includes the world premiere of Fa Fa Do, written to honor his nephew, acclaimed film director Francis Ford Coppola, using the initials in his name F-F-C in the solfege-inspired title.

Among the soloists scheduled to perform are Jessica Best (mezzo-soprano), Adam Diegel (tenor), Lisa Houben (soprano), Stefanos Koroneous (baritone), Diana McVey (soprano), Cleyton Pulzi (tenor) and Mark Walters (baritone).

Opera Tampa presents "Coppola Conducts: 100 Years Young"
Saturday, March 25 at 7 p.m.
Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center, Tampa, FL
Regularly priced tickets are $48.50-$78.50

Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at

--Rebecca Davis Public Relations

Chelsea Symphony Presents Dvorák's "New World" Symphony Plus Three World Premieres
The Chelsea Symphony recently featured once again in the latest season of Amazon's acclaimed TV series Mozart in the Jungle, is proud to announce the upcoming concerts of its eleventh season, taking place on Friday, March 10 at 8:30 PM and Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 PM at St. Paul's German Lutheran Church, 315 West 22 nd Street, New York NY.

Both concerts will feature Antonín Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," the first major work that the composer wrote during his time in America. The Chelsea Symphony's 2016-17 season, "Flight Paths," showcases music by composers who have visited or immigrated to the United States, and the orchestra is delighted to present Dvorák's Symphony in conjunction with the New York Philharmonic's New World Initiative.

Concert information:


--Emily Wong, Chelsea Symphony

AOP: LGBTQ Operas Coming Out in Hard Times
In light of recent news from Washington, American Opera Projects (AOP) announces that of its 31 new operas in development, four are on LGBTQ topics. For AOP, this is not new. In 1998, AOP premiered the first opera ever to focus on a lesbian relationship, Patience & Sarah, by composer Paula M. Kimper, and librettist Wende Persons, three years after Houston Grand Opera's premiere of Harvey Milk composed by Stewart Wallace to a libretto by Michael Korie.

Upcoming LGBTQ operas include:

AS ONE: 15 songs for two voices sharing the part of a sole transgender protagonist. As One is the most performed new opera in America.
Laura Kaminsky, composer; Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, librettists
March 2-4, 2017 - Opera Colorado, Denver, CO
May 13-21, 2017 - Long Beach Opera, Long Beach, CA
June 2-4, 2017 - New Orleans Opera, New Orleans, LA

THREE WAY: A sex comedy opera about craving and connection.
Robert Paterson, composer; David Cote, librettist.
June 15-18, 2017 - AOP and Nashville Opera, BAM, Brooklyn

BEFORE NIGHT FALLS: Life of Cuban writer, Reinaldo Arenas, following his emigration to the US and battle with AIDS.
Jorge Martin, composer; J. Martin & Dolores M. Koch, librettists.
March 18-25, 2017 - Florida Grand Opera, Miami, Florida

LEGENDARY: New York City's underground drag culture in the 1980s, based on a true story.
Joseph N. Rubinstein, composer; Jason Kim, librettist.
Opera-in-development workshop - free & open to the  public:
March 19, 2017 - AOP, South Oxford Space, Brooklyn

For complete information, visit

--Matt Gray, American Opera Projects

Pianist Eric Lu Joins National Philharmonic for Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23
Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu joins the National Philharmonic, led by Maestro Piotr Gajewski, to perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major on Saturday, April 1, at 8pm at the Music Center at Strathmore. The concert, showcasing the genius of Mozart, also features the humorous and satirical A Musical Joke and the popular Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Ticket prices are $23-$78 and are free for young people age 7-17. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 301-581-5100 or visit

--Deborah Birnbaum, National Philharmonic

FAYM Newsletter
Foundation to Assist Young Musicians: "Building Better Futures Through Music"

Meet Liliana!
Due to a foot injury, Liliana was in a cast and a wheelchair for several weeks, but that didn't stop her! Says Liliana, "being in a wheel chair and playing the violin is new for me but I was actually happy because even though I was hurt I was still able to play the violin. I came to class every time except the day I had the surgery.  I wanted to come.  I was happy Mom was there to push me along."

Meet Aileen & Diana!
These two sisters are both 2nd year violin students at the East Las Vegas Community Center. They also share  a dream to become veterinarians.

You can support students like Diana, Aileen, and Liliana at our website:
FAYM keeps our costs low by relying on highly qualified volunteers to handle our administrative tasks. You can be sure that your donation will go directly to scholarship assistance, program support, and student lessons.

For more information, visit

--Foundation to Assist Young Musicians

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Collaborates with Cellist Alisa Weilerstein
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra presents its final concert of the 2016-17 season at Carnegie Hall in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m. The orchestra is joined by cellist and MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient Alisa Weilerstein for Schumann's Cello Concerto--the product of a brilliant composer on the brink of insanity. Additionally, the program includes Mendelssohn's Nocturno for Winds; Webern's Five Movements for strings; and Schubert's Symphony No. 6, his tribute to Rossini, Haydn, and Mozart.

The program premieres on Friday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Reformed Church of Bronxville in Bronxville, New York.

Program Information:
Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

For more information, visit

--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media

ABS Presents Bach's Tour-de-Force Motets for Double Chorus
Among the most compelling and mysterious of Bach's sacred works are his motets for double chorus. Composed for special occasions, these mesmerizing and ethereal works rely on the human voice, in its multifaceted splendor, to provide the color palette, melodic movement, harmonic textures, and, of course, the message of the text. Thomas and the American Bach Choir left the audience breathless when they last performed Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied and Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir at the 2012 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. This presentation of Bach's motets, including some frequently overlooked works only recently attributed to Bach, promises to be a banquet of sublime vocalism.

American Bach Soloists
American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

Friday March 31 2017 8:00 pm
St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere, CA

Saturday April 1 2017 8:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA

Sunday April 2 2017 4:00 pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco, CA

Monday April 3 2017 7:00 pm
Davis Community Church, Davis, CA

For more information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

Music Institute Appoints Reznik to Piano Faculty
The Music Institute of Chicago announces the appointment of pianist Yana Reznik to the faculty of its award-winning Academy program, an elite training center for gifted pre-college pianists and string players.

Born in Moscow, Reznik has performed in some of the world's most iconic venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Michael Walsh of Time magazine wrote, "Think of her as a young Martha Argerich and you will have some idea of the experience that lies in store for you."

More than a typical performer, Reznik has been revolutionizing perceptions of classical music with innovative programming and passionate storytelling. She has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, performing with Nicola Benedetti; and on the American Country Music Awards on PBS, performing with Carrie Underwood.

Reznik holds a bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a master of music degree from the University of Southern California. She has also studied at the Rachmaninoff School of Music in Moscow.

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

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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