Classical Music News of the Week, June 24, 2017

Mozaic in San Luis Obispo

July 19-30: Music, Wine, Beaches and Trails.

It's easier than ever to get to SLO. Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Central Coast of California, beautiful San Luis Obispo County is now also accessible with two new direct flights: fly to/from Denver and Seattle nonstop. The SLO Airport also connects with LAX, SFO and Phoenix.

You can also take a classic California roadtrip to get here. Join us. Enjoy the journey and relax with us once you reach your destination. The music is waiting.

Opening Weekend Package:
Join us in SLO for the opening weekend of the 2017 Festival, July 21-23, 2017.
Fringe Concert: Simply Three (String Trio Covers Pop Songs of Today)
Midday Mini-Concert: John Novacek, piano & Erik Arvinder, violin
Orchestra Concert: Baroque in the Vines at Serra Chapel
Fringe Concert: Fire and Grace (Celtic/Folk/Classical)
Notable Encounter Dinner: The Genius of Beethoven

2017 Midweek Package:
Orchestra Concert: Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Midday Mini-Concert: Grace Park, violin & Noam Elkies, piano
Chamber Concert: Beethoven Quartets
Benefit Dinner in the Plaza: Big Sky Cafe with Claiborne & Churchill Wines
Orchestra Concert: Classical Evolutio (Mozart Symphony No. 40 & Beethoven Symphony No. 1)
Notable Encounter: Brahms Clarinet Quintet
Chamber Concert: Winds of Change

2017 Closing Weekend Package:
Attend the closing weekend of the 2017 Festival, July 28-30.
Fringe Concert: The Jazz Age (Silent Movies + Live Music)
Notable Encounter: On Stage with Strauss
Picnic in the Courtyard: SLO Provisions & Vines on the Marycrest
Orchestra Concert: Metamorphosis & Reformation
Notable Encounter Brunch: The French Connection
Chamber Concert: Scott Yoo & Friends

For complete information, visit

--Marketing, Festival Mozaic

Cal Performances Presents Asian Youth Orchestra with Violinist Sarah Chang
Cal Performances at UC Berkeley welcomes the Asian Youth Orchestra with guest soloist, violinist Sarah Chang to Zellerbach Hall on Saturday, August 5 at 8pm. Asia's premier pre-professional orchestra, the ensemble features 107 young musicians from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, who convene during the summer for a demanding schedule of rehearsals and international touring. Co-founder and artistic director Richard Pontzious conducts the orchestra for Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, R. Strauss's Don Juan, and Sibelius's Violin Concerto.

Beethoven's finely wrought and exuberant Seventh Symphony premiered in 1813 during a fertile creative period for the composer. The inventive orchestrations in Don Juan, Strauss' technically demanding orchestral tone poem, launched the composer's career after its premiere in 1889. Sibelius's lyrical and virtuosic Violin Concerto (1904, revised 1905), his only concerto, has become of the most popular violin concertos composed in the 20th century.

Tickets for the Asian Youth Orchestra with Sarah Chang on Saturday, August 5 at 8pm in Zellerbach Hall range from $36–86 and are subject to change. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, at, and at the door. For more information about discounts, go to

--Louisa Spier, Cal Performances

Bang on a Can All-Stars & Chinese Superstar Singer Gong Linna
Bang on a Can continues its 30th anniversary landmark season with a performance by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Chinese superstar singer Gong Linna presented by Lincoln Center Festival on July 14 and 15, 2017 at 8pm at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 W. 59th St.). A spectacular journey into Chinese myths and ancient poetry, Cloud River Mountain combines the stories of the past with the sounds of the future. In a rare U.S. appearance, Gong Linna joins the Bang on a Can All-Stars in a brilliantly staged concert of new music composed by Gong Linna's musical partner, composer Lao Luo, and Bang on a Can co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe. Gong Linna and the All-Stars' recording of Cloud River Mountain on Cantaloupe Music will be available for purchase at the performances in advance of the album's worldwide release date of July 21, 2017.

Now in its 30th year, Bang on a Can is committed more than ever to an increasing and inclusive world-wide community dedicated to innovation through music; a world where ideas flow freely across boundaries; musical, geographical, spiritual. Co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe explain, "Thirty years ago we started dreaming of the world we wanted to live in. It would be a kind of utopia for music: all the boundaries between composers would come down, all the boundaries between genres would come down, all the boundaries between musicians and audience would come down. Then we started trying to build it. Building a utopia is a political act – it pushes people to change. It is also an act of resistance to the things that keep us apart."

Friday, July 14 & Saturday, 15, 2017 at 8pm
Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College | 524 W. 59th St., NYC
Tickets: $25-55 at

For more information, visit

--Christina Jensen PR

NEA Awards Grant to American Bach Soloists
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman, Jane Chu, has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants, including an Art Works award of $15,000 to American Bach Soloists to support the 2017 ABS Festival & Academy.

"The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America's artists and arts organizations," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as American Bach Soloists, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences."

The public events of the 2017 American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy will be held August 4 through August 13 in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and St Mark's Lutheran Church (S.F.). For more information visit or

--American Bach Soloists

This Week at the Miami Music Festival
Zarzuela Project
Saturday, June 24th
9:00 P.M.
Andy Gato Gallery, Barry University
Tickets- $10

MMF Opera Scenes
Sunday, June 25th
2:00 P.M.
Weber Hall, Barry University
Tickets- $15

Tales of Hoffman
June 29, 2017 | July 1, 2017
7:30 P.M.
Tickets- $15-35
Shepard and Ruth K. Broad Preforming Arts Center, Barry University
11300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33161

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

The Miami Wagner Institute
July 22, 2017
7:30 P.M.
Tickets- $40-60
The Adrienne Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Blvd,, Miami, FL 33132

For tickets and information, visit

--Leticia Rivera, Miami Music Festival

An Unforgettable Experience Serra Chapel in Shandon
Festival Mosaic: Baroque in the Vines
Saturday, July 22, 2017, 7:30 PM

Scott Yoo leads the Festival Orchestra in a program celebrating baroque masterpieces at the enchanting setting of Serra Chapel (formerly Chapel Hill), a private chapel built from historical artifacts from the Hearst Collection. The grounds open at 6 p.m. for picnicking and enjoying the beautiful views at this remote, one-of-a-kind location before you relax into an evening of resplendent music.

For tickets and information, visit

--Festival Mosaic

Emerson String Quartet's Music-Theater Hybrid at the Tanglewood Music Festival
On Wednesday, July 19 at 8 PM, the world-renowned Emerson String Quartet joins a cast of seven actors, including actors David Strathairn (Temple Grandin, The Bourne Ultimatum) and Jay  O. Sanders (The Day After Tomorrow, Green Lantern), for the new theatrical production Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy at the Seiji Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Co-commissioned by Tanglewood Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Princeton University Concerts, Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy received its world premiere at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival on June 17, 2017. Written and directed with great imagination and wit by James Glossman, this production is a timely and interesting discourse concerning the suppressive influence on culture in Stalin's Russia. A fantasy based on Shostakovich's 50-year obsession with creating an opera from Anton Chekhov's short story "The Black Monk," this play portraits the composer's life-long struggle for freedom and sanity against his own demons. Described by James Glossman as a "Valentine to the human spirit," it incorporates a vivid sarcastic edge to the oppressive Russian society that inspired many of Shostakovich's compositions.

For more information, visit

-- Xi Wang, Kirshbaum Associates Inc.

NEA Awards Orpheus Chamber Orchestra $40,000 Art Works Grant
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $40,000 to Orpheus Chamber Orchestra to launch a 2018 nationwide tour, further their education and community initiatives, and introduce the new Orpheus Music Academy training program. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

"We are thrilled and honored to be awarded this funding," said Orpheus Executive Director Alexander Scheirle. "We are grateful to the NEA for their longstanding recognition of the orchestra's artistry, and look very much forward to sharing the joy of music-making with communities across America."

For more information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Los Angeles Master Chorale To Be Inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame
The Los Angeles Master Chorale will be inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame on Thursday night during its Lux Aeterna 20th Anniversary celebration concert. This honor will be accepted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and President & CEO Jean Davidson on behalf of the Master Chorale from the stage of their iconic home, the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It joins previous esteemed inductees in the ensembles category such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Handel and Haydn Society.

The American Classical Music Hall of Fame (ACMHF) was founded in 1996 and is based in Cincinnati. It seeks to build and sustain enthusiasm for classical music in America by celebrating diverse facets of classical music excellence. Over 100 ensembles and individual musicians and composers have been inducted. The Los Angeles Master Chorale was selected by the Board of Directors earlier this month in recognition of its contributions to classical music.

For more inforation, visit

--Jennifer Scott, Los Angels Master Chorale

Stream As One for Free
In celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month, AOP is making available to the public the video of its 2014 World Premiere production of the opera As One, streaming from June 23-30, 2017 on the AOP website.

As One, with music and concept by Laura Kaminsky, an original libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, and film by Ms. Reed chronicles the experiences of a transgender person with empathy and wit as she emerges into harmony with the world around her.

--Matt Gray, American Opera Projects

Mozart's Idomeneo Comes to "Great Performances at the Met"
Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts an extraordinary ensemble in Idomeneo, Mozart's early masterpiece of love and vengeance following the Trojan War on "Great Performances at the Met" Sunday, July 16 at 12 p.m. on PBS.

Tenor Matthew Polenzani sings the title role of the King of Crete, with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of his noble son Idamante, soprano Elza van den Heever as Elettra, and soprano Nadine Sierra as Ilia.

For additional information, visit "Great Performances" online at

--Harry Forbes, WNET

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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