Classical Music News of the Week, July 1, 2017

Pacific Pipe Oakland to Host West Edge Festival 2017

West Edge Opera announces a new venue for its upcoming festival: Pacific Pipe Oakland at 1391 W. Grand Avenue in West Oakland. The West Edge Festival 2017 runs August 5 – 20 and includes Thomas's Hamlet, Larsen's Frankenstein, and Martin y Soler's The Chastity Tree.

An abandoned warehouse, Pacific Pipe Oakland was once in the center of Oakland's thriving industrial market. The Pacific Pipe Company established the West Oakland warehouse, built between 1920 and 1925 by Harry Leach, as the third and final outfit of the company's operations, which also included locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Pacific Pipe Oakland was touted as the largest reconditioning pipe plant in the West, eventually complementing its work on old material with the distribution of new steel and iron pipe. By 1930 the Oakland plant employed around 100 people and handled over one million feet of pipe each year. In the 1960s, to accommodate growing operations, a third wing was added to Pacific Pipe Oakland. This third wing is the home of the West Edge Festival 2017.

11 West Partners acquired Pacific Pipe Oakland and the surrounding complex in 2016. The complex also includes the neighboring American Steel Studios, one of Oakland's best-known cultural hubs, which served as the venue for the West Edge Festival 2015 production of Monteverdi's Ulysses. West Edge Opera will be the first to present a live performance in the Pacific Pipe Oakland warehouse.

This venue change comes after the City of Oakland denied permits for the 16th Street Station, West Oakland's abandoned train station and the proposed host of the West Edge Festival 2017, earlier this spring. The 16th Street Station served as the venue for the entire West Edge Festival 2016 and part of the 2015 season.

The previous Evening @ The Station event has been renamed to Evening @ Pacific Pipe, a fundraiser in the warehouse on July 30. Single and series tickets, which offer a 10% discount, are on sale now and may be purchased at or by calling 510-841-1903.

--Kate McKinney, West Edge Opera

San Francisco's Summer Bach Festival August 4–13 2017
Friday August 4, 8:00 p.m.
Theater Music by Handel & Telemann
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, SF

Saturday August 5, 8:00 p.m.
Orpheus in Britannia
St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Sunday August 6, 7:00 p.m.
Bach's Mass in B Minor
St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Thursday August 10, 8:00 p.m.
Purcell's King Arthur
SF Conservatory of Music

Friday August 11, 8:00 p.m.
Purcell's King Arthur
SF Conservatory of Music

Saturday August 12, 8:00 p.m.
Bach & Sons: Sinfonias, Concertos, and Transcriptions
SF Conservatory of Music

Sunday August 13, 2:00 p.m.
Bach's Mass in B Minor
SF Conservatory of Music

For the full schedule, tickets, and information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

Merola Opera Program Presents La Cenerentola August 3 and 5
The acclaimed Merola Opera Program, one of the most prestigious and selective opera training programs in the United States, continues its 2017 Summer Festival with a Merola favorite, Rossini's La Cenerentola, Thursday, August 3 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, August 5 at 2 pm at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, a 2017 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, sings the role of Angelina, and Prince Ramiro is sung by tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro. Mezzo-soprano Edith Grossman is Tisbe, bass baritone Andrew Hiers is Don Magnifico, and Clorinda is sung by soprano Natalie Image. The role of Dandini is portrayed by bass-baritone Christian Pursell, and Alidoro is sung by bass-baritone Szymon Wach. Mark Morash, Director of Musical Studies for San Francisco Opera, conducts, and Chuck Hudson is the director. Tickets for the performances range from $50 to $75, with a limited number of $15 student tickets available, and are on sale at San Francisco Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330, or

--Jean Catino Shirk, Shirk Media

Artis-Naples Names Radu Paponiu Assistant Conductor
Artis-Naples announced the appointment of Radu Paponiu as assistant conductor of the Naples Philharmonic and director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for the 2017-18 season. Paponiu will join the organization in September.

"We are pleased to bring an exciting young artist of Radu's caliber to Artis—Naples," said CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen. "We expect he will play important roles in the continued growth of the Naples Philharmonic and enhancing the abilities of our student musicians."

Added Sharon and Timothy Ubben Music Director Andrey Boreyko: "I am happy to work with a talented, emerging artist such as Radu Paponiu as we continue to create great artistic experiences for the Naples community."

Paponiu previously conducted the Naples Philharmonic during the LinkUp education concerts in May.

--Jonathan Foerster, Artis-Naples

Miami Music Festival
The Miami Music Festival opened Thursday, June 29 and continues Saturday July 1 with Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman.

Upcoming performances:
Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen
June 30 and July 2, 2017, 7:30 P.M. $15-35.
Shepard and Ruth K. Broad Preforming Arts Center, Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave.,
Miami Shores, FL 33161.

Independence Day Celebration
July 4,2017, 6:00 PM - Performance, 9:00 PM, Fireworks at Miami Shores Country Club. $15-$35
Shepard and Ruth K. Broad Preforming Arts Center, Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami Shores, FL 33161.

--Leticia Rivera, Miami Music Festival

Itzhak Perlman Adds John Williams Repertoire to Ravinia's Gala
Today, Ravinia announced the repertoire legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman will perform for audiences of its 51st annual Gala Benefit Concert. Adding to the previously announced program of Dvorák's Carnival Overture and Symphony No. 8 set for the July 29 Women's Board gala with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, headliner Perlman will perform a suite of John Williams wonder--works written or arranged by the great composer--that includes "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca, the "Love Theme" from Cinema Paradiso, the theme from Far and Away, the main title theme ("I Had a Farm in Africa") from Out of Africa, the "Marian & Robin Love Theme" from The Adventures of Robin Hood, the theme from Sabrina, the theme from Schindler's List, and the tango "Por Una Cabeza," featured in Scent of a Woman.

--Allie Brightwell, Ravinia Festival

LA Premiere of Hershey Felder's "Our Great Tchaikovsky" Debuts at The Wallis
ctor and pianist Hershey Felder returns to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) for the Los Angeles premiere of "Our Great Tchaikovsky," beginning Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday, August 6. Directed by Felder collaborator Trevor Hay, Hershey Felder's Our Great Tchaikovsky is a time-bending tale of music, politics and one of the world's most beloved composers.

Known for his beautiful ballets Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and the ferocious and melodic brilliance of his symphonic works, piano concerti, overtures, operas and chamber music, a healthy 53-year-old Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his enigmatic Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique" and, nine days later, he was dead. To this day, how and why he died is still a mystery.

Single tickets for "Our Great Tchaikovsky" are now available for $35 – $100 at, and single tickets for The Great American Songbook Sing-Along are now available for $25 – $55 at For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, 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.

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

Hauschka Announces North American Live Dates This Fall
"This Glenn Gould by way of Glenn Branca process elevates his piano's sound into something spacious, kinetic, and unpredictable" - The AV Club

Encompassing haunting melodies, mysterious sounds, pristine ambience, minimalism, frenetic buzz, vintage sci-fi echo, complex patterns and at times powerful propulsive rhythms, Hauschka's "What If" album from earlier this year crowns an extraordinary run for Volker Bertelmann. He has found his presence as a film composer increasing, working on scores for a number of documentaries and feature films including James Franco's adaptation of John Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle and, alongside Dustin O'Halloran, Garth Davis's Lion, for which they were both nominated for an Oscar.

Today, Bertelmann has announced North American tour dates for October, including dates in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and others. Additionally, he'll be playing live in various locations throughout the world in the summer too, starting with Germany in June and July.

For complete information, visit

--George Corona, Terrorbird Media

Jamie Barton Sings National Anthem for Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
Celebrated in The New York Times as "a leader of a new generation of opera stars," mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton will share her rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the star-studded 41st Annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks.

The largest fireworks celebration in the country, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular will light up the New York City skyline for three million live spectators and will be televised across the nation on NBC beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"It is an incredible honor and privilege to sing our national anthem for the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks," Barton said. "I'm proud to be part of an inclusive celebration that unifies people – and music! – from many walks of life."

For information about viewing the Fireworks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, visit

--Beth Stewart, Verismo Communications

A Message from PBO's Martin Cohn and Paul Sugarman
"As past board presidents (and current board members), it is thrilling to see how far Philharmonia has come. PBO has grown from a regional orchestra to an ensemble with an international reputation. And if you saw Rameau's Temple of Glory, we think you would agree that PBO is unstoppable.

It has been an enormous privilege to help lead this Orchestra over the years. But you are the reason that PBO is able to produce incredible music and tackle major artistic projects. We know how lucky we are to have Nic, Bruce, the Orchestra, and Chorale right here in the Bay Area. And PBO has arrived at a place where audiences in cities beyond also get to experience our unique brand of music-making.

Your contributions are a testament to how much you care.  We need your help now to end our year successfully."

To learn more and to donate to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

How Many New Operas Can AOP Fit into the Next Six Months?
American Opera Projects is fitting in 16 more opera events - many of them free - before 2017 ends.

For the complete list of operas, visit

--Matt Gray, American Opera Projects

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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 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

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa