Classical Music News of the Week, August 19, 2017

"Sonic Youth" Opens Nichols Hall Season Sept. 23

The Music Institute of Chicago opens the 2017–18 season of its Faculty and Guest Artist Series with "Sonic Youth," a program of works associated with the theme of "youth," Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL.

The program to date includes Ives's Sonata No. 4 for violin and piano "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting"; Janitsch's Sonata da camera in D Major "Echo," Op. 5; Ravel's Mother Goose Suite for 4 Hands; Debussy's Piano Trio in G Major and excerpts from Children's Corner Suite; Schumann's Abegg Variations, Op. 1 and Scenes from Childhood: Traumerei; excerpts from Surace's Pinocchio Suite; movements from Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" performed by duo pianists Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem; and excerpts from Ifukube's Rhythmic Games for Children.

Faculty members performing include pianist Inah Chiu, pianist Elaine Felder, violinist/violist Julie Fischer, flutist Shanna Gutierrez, pianist Matthew Hagle, pianist Grace Juang, violinist Charlene Kluegel, pianist Sung Hoon Mo, recorder player Patrick O'Malley, cellist Mindy Park, pianist Katherine Petersen, pianist George Radosavljevic, viola da gamba player Phillip Serna, lutist Joel Spears, pianist Ann Surace, pianist Ron Surace, harpist Katherine Ventura and pianist Reiko Yamada. Jim Setapen conducts the faculty ensemble.

"Sonic Youth" takes place Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, IL. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students, available at or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. All programming is subject to change.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

The Crypt Sessions Presents David Greilsammer's Labyrinth
The Crypt Sessions Season 2 continues on September 27, 2017 with Israeli pianist and conductor David Greilsammer giving the only North American performance of his acclaimed Labyrinth program. The performance centers around Leoš Janácek's haunting cycle "On An Overgrown Path," interspersed with works by C.P.E Bach, Mozart, and Jean-Féry Rebel, as well as the North American premiere of Lost in the Labyrinth, by Israeli composer Ofer Pelz.

Greilsammer was slated to perform on the series on April 5, but had to withdraw due to illness.

Says Greilsammer of the program: "Each one of us has been, at some point in life, lost, disoriented, or in search for a safe and luminous path. This feeling of disorientation, leading at times to inner chaos, can also serve as the force that will push us to begin the pursuit of new routes, new ideas, and new emotions. Walking through the daunting sounds of Janácek's music, and exploring the mysterious alleys of various enigmatic pieces from early baroque to our present days, I have decided to embark on a musical journey to the heart of a beautiful, abstract, and dazzling labyrinth."

Due to rapid sell-outs and waiting lists, each new concert will be announced immediately after the one preceding it, first to the mailing list, then via The Crypt Sessions Web site ( and Facebook page.

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Carmina Burana to Open LA Master Chorale's New Season
Performances of Carl Orff's perennially popular choral showpiece Carmina Burana and Leonard Bernstein's hope-filled plea for brotherhood, Chichester Psalms, will open the Los Angeles Master Chorale's 54th concert season on Saturday, September 23 at 2 PM and Sunday, September 24 at 7 PM in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Tickets start at $29 and are available online from, by calling the Box Office at 213.972.7283, or in person from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, Monday – Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM.

The concerts will feature the full roster of 100 singers and a full orchestra and will be conducted by Kiki and David Gindler Artistic Director Grant Gershon, launching his 17th season with the Master Chorale.  Guest soloists in Carmina Burana are So Young Park (soprano), Nicholas Phan (tenor), and Stephen Powell (baritone) who will be joined by members of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus. The concerts will open with Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Pslams, presented as part of the worldwide "Bernstein at 100" celebrations.

One of the world's most popular choral masterworks, Carmina Burana was last performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Gershon in 2013. Most recently, the Master Chorale performed the work with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. The work's use of full chorus heralds the Master Chorale's move this season to becoming a fully professional ensemble.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets to all concerts are available now, starting from $29
Phone: 213.972.7282
Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.

--Jennifer Scott, LA Master Chorale

FAYM Announces Classes for 2017-18
Foundation to assist Young Musicians's "Violins For Kids" (V4K) program is offering violin and cello lessons to students starting in the 3rd grade. With so many community youth orchestras and thriving school programs, our aim is to give students a head start on their musical futures. The students are placed in a group class that meets twice a week and will be given an opportunity to perform in the FAYM orchestra that meets on Tuesdays for those that pass the audition.

Class Locations:
East Las Vegas Community Center – 250 N. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV, 89183
Monday – Thursday 4:00PM-5:00 PM, 5:00PM-6:00 PM
Orchestra meets Tuesday 4:00 PM-5:30 PM

Pearson Community Center – 1625 West Carey, North Las Vegas, NV 89032            
Monday/Wednesday 4:00PM-5:00PM, 5:00PM-6:00PM

FAYM's eligibility requirements for new students:
Be entering third grade this fall.
Attend a Title 1 School and/or qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program at the school.
Have a parent or relative who can accompany them to each class.
Pay monthly fee payment of $20 for the 9-month school year or apply for scholarship assistance. (September thru May). Or pay by the semester or year for reduced fee.
Attend our Orientation for class schedule information and paper registration: Orientation: Pierson Community Center: Tuesday, August 22nd @ 6PM; East LV Community Center: Thursday, August 24th @ 6PM.

If you have any questions please direct them to our program coordinator, Tim Thomas at

For further information, visit

--Hal Weller, FAYM

Concerts at Saint Thomas Announces its 2017-2018 Season
The second full season with Organist and Director of Music Daniel Hyde will include a concert of music by Pärt, Rutter and Vaughan Williams, the holiday traditions of Handel's Messiah and Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, the two-piano version of Brahms's A German Requiem, a guest performance by The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and the debut duet organ recital by Daniel Hyde and Associate Organist Benjamin Sheen.

The season will also see the continued installation of the new Miller-Scott organ, slated for completion in 2018-19.

All concerts take place at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue at West 53rd Street, NYC.

Tickets may be purchased at, by calling the Concerts Office at (212) 664-9360, by email at or in person at the Concerts Office at One West 53rd Street at Fifth Avenue (enter through the Parish House).

For complete information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Music Institute of Chicago Chorale Announces Season, Hosts Auditions
The Music Institute of Chicago Chorale, conducted by Daniel Wallenberg, announces its 31st season of three concerts, along with its 2017–18 season auditions.

The season opens Saturday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. with a Holiday Concert with the Northbrook Symphony at Our Lady of the Brook Church, 3700 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL. A program of choral and orchestral music features special guests the Chicago Children's Choir's Rogers Park and Humboldt Park Neighborhood Choirs. Tickets and information are available at 847-272-0755.

The Chorale performs Mozart's Mass in C Minor with orchestra on Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL. And the season concludes with "Chicago," a celebratory program of works by Chicago composers, Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m., also at Nichols Concert Hall. Tickets to each of these concerts are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for students, available by calling 847-905-1500 or visiting

2017–18 Season Auditions
Auditions for the Chorale take place Tuesday, August 22 and 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. For an appointment, call Evanston Campus Director Patrick O'Malley, 847-905-1500, ext. 100.

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Visit Miami Music Fesival at ArtsLaunch2017 – A Day of FREE Activities!
Thank you for making our 2017 Summer Music Festival such a success. Our festival has now concluded and we are already planning the 2018 festival. To get an exclusive sneak peak of the 2018 festival and hear some of our fabulous alumni in performance, come visit us at the Arsht Center.

Miami DDA Community Arts Village@ArtsLaunch2017
September 9th |10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ziff Ballet Opera House Stage

2:30 PM | Performance
Betsy Diaz- Soprano (MMF Alumni, 2015, 16)
Ziff Ballet Opera House Green Room

Miami Music Festival will be amongst 100 of our fellow Miami arts & cultural organizations showcasing our upcoming season. Come learn about our 2018 Summer Music Festival and enter our drawing to win a pair of free tickets.

For complete information, visit

--Leticia Rivera, Miami Music Festival

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Join Fort Worth Opera for the First Libretto Reading of The Last Dream of Frida and Diego
Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) will present the first full libretto reading of Nilo Cruz and Gabriela Lena Frank's The Last Dream of Frida and Diego on August 24, 2017, at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Francisco de la Torre, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, will be joining FWOpera for the official announcement. Following the press conference, renowned Mexican actors Anna Silvetti, Javier Díaz Dueñas, Evangelina Sosa, and Adrián Alarcón will read the roles of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Catrina, the keeper of souls, and Leandro. This new co-commissioned work with San Diego Opera, the college of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, and DePauw University in Indiana, will receive further libretto, compositional, and orchestral workshops, as the opera evolves in the years preceding the 2020 world premiere in Fort Worth, Texas.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said, "For over 70 years, Fort Worth Opera has elevated the arts in our community, presenting innovative stories that reflect the incredible diversity of all North Texans. An investment in the future of our cultural institutions, is an investment in the future of Fort Worth. We are proud to host the 2020 world premiere of The Last Dream of Frida and Diego, and I am honored to join Fort Worth Opera as we make exciting new connections in Mexico City that will impact the city of 'Cowboys and Culture' for years to come."

For complete information, visit

--Ryan Lathan, Fort Worth Opera

Renée Fleming Performs a Signature Role in Der Rosenkavalier
On the season finale of "Great Performances at the Met," Sunday, September 3 at 12 p.m. on PBS.
Elina Garanca, Erin Morley, Günther Groissböck, Markus Brück and Matthew Polenzani round out the lustrous cast conducted by Sebastian Weigle.

The Met's first new production since 1969 of Strauss's rich, romantic masterpiece stars Renée Fleming in one of her signature roles as the Marschallin, opposite Elina Garanca as Octavian, the impulsive young title character, on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, September 3 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera at 12:30 p.m.

Visit Great Performances online at for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.

--Harry Forbes, WNET

SF's Community Music Center Opens Up Its Doors for Free CMC Sundays
San Francisco's Community Music Center (CMC), the Mission District-based nonprofit that provides high quality lessons, programs and concerts at no or low cost, kicks off its quarterly "CMC Sundays" series on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. CMC Sundays is a free event that offers people of all ages the opportunity to explore a variety of musical instruments and classes, or jam with fellow musicians playing jazz, Latin or chamber music. The September event will include CMC faculty led workshops featuring acclaimed composer Jon Jang on jazz piano; noted performer, pianist, and arranger Maestro Curtis work shopping blues music; local jazz composer Charlie Gurke and GRAMMY Award-Winning Javier Cabanillas co-leading a Latin jazz jam; and much more. Two additional CMC Sundays are scheduled to take place on January 7, 2017 and March 18, 2018. The March 18 date will include an all-day performathon to raise money for CMC scholarships.

Founded in 1921, San Francisco's Community Music Center (CMC) is one of the oldest and largest community arts organizations on the West Coast. CMC makes high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of financial means. Last year, CMC awarded nearly $2 million in tuition assistance, serving more than 2,400 students of all ages, ethnicities and income levels with music lessons, classes and other programs. Thousands enjoyed performances at CMC and out in the community.

Community Music Center, 544 Capp St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Sun, Sept. 10, 2017: 3-5pm

For more information, visit

--Anne C. Mitchell, Community Music Center

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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