Classical Music News of the Week, September 2, 2017

Announcing The Chelsea Symphony 2017/18 Season

The Chelsea Symphony, featured in the hit Amazon show Mozart in the Jungle, announces its 2017/18 season, entitled Sea Change. Offering seven concerts series from September 2017 through June 2018, each performance features orchestral works with a focus on nature and environmental stewardship.

The Chelsea Symphony is a dynamic, self-governing ensemble with a major cultural presence in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. We present music of the highest caliber while upending the traditional hierarchy of the classical orchestra: our musicians rotate as featured soloists, conductors, and composers. Through this collaborative model, we provide professional development opportunities for our members while performing inspiring concerts of music both old and new.

Every concert by The Chelsea Symphony features soloists, composers, and conductors taken from the ensemble. This is a collective of New York City professional freelancers coming together to create meaningful, self-governed concerts—a unique model in the classical world.

Highlights of the 2017/18 Season include:
Claude Debussy's La Mer
Five World Premieres by emerging New York City composers
John Luther Adams's Become Ocean at the American Museum of Natural History on Earth Day (April 22, 2018)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 ("Pastoral")
Jean Sibelius's Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 82

Reserved seating tickets for each concert can be purchased individually for $25, or are available at a discount by buying a season subscription. Pay-what-you-wish general admission tickets available at the door.

For more information, visit http://chelseasymphony.org/

--Elizabeth Holub, Marketing and PR

ICE Announces Fall Concerts in NY Area
The pioneering International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) announces its fall 2017 season in the New York area, all following the theme of celebrating composer relationships, both past and future. Established leaders in New York's avant-garde music scene, ICE's fall brings them to Brooklyn's innovative National Sawdust and Roulette Intermedium; Manhattan's Miller Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Abrons Arts Center, and New York Public Library; the lauded Peak Performances series at Montclair University in New Jersey; and at Phoenicia, New York's Mount Tremper Arts.

"As we celebrate the fifth season of OpenICE, ICE's initiative to bring free concerts to new audiences around the world, the ensemble is also exploring new collaborations with composers first encountered in the ICElab and OpenICE commissioning programs," says Artistic Director Ross Karre. "With regional and world premieres from over a dozen composers, more opportunities to participate in behind-the-scenes workshops, and partnerships with radical presenters around the world, ICE is excited to bring new sounds and creative expressions to our ever-expanding community."

For a complete list of events, venues, and prices, visit https://iceorg.org/events

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Chicago's Fifth House Ensemble Signs with New Management
Praised by the New York Times for its "conviction, authority, and finesse," Chicago chamber music group Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) has signed to Los Angeles-based Cadenza Artists. 5HE joins an eclectic roster reflective of its musical versatility, including deftly talented pianists Vanessa Perez and Steven Lin, world music sensation Troker, progressive guitarist Kaki King, Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann, and DJ Kid Koala's acclaimed hybrid performance project, "Nufonia Must Fall."

Cadenza Artists was founded by CEO & General Manager Julia Torgovitskaya Rapoport and President Jennifer Rosenfeld. 5HE will be managed by Cadenza's National Director of Booking and Tour Development, Ben Cohen. More information about the ensemble is available at www.fifth-house.com.

--Mike Filla, BuckleSweet Media

PBO SESSIONS Explores Female Composers
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale and Classical KDFC are pleased to announce the next installment in the PBO SESSIONS series: "New Music for Old Instruments - Female Composers and the Women Who Bring their Music to Life." The evening will be led by KQED's Rachael Myrow and hosted by KDFC's Dianne Nicolini.

This marks the fourth year of the popular PBO SESSIONS alternative concert series. As one of the first major Bay Area ensembles to offer an alternative to standard classical concerts, SESSIONS has built a following among classical music aficionados as well as those seeking to learn about music in its historical context. Every program is unique-as conductors and artists take audiences on a guided and deconstructed tour of music, social and political history, and art. The 90-minute program includes multimedia presentations and intimate dialogue from the stage in addition to performances of incredible orchestral and vocal music. PBO SESSIONS is for anyone on the musical spectrum looking for an informative and lively experience with an opportunity to engage with extraordinary artists up close and personal.

Tuesday, October 10 @ 8 p.m.
Nourse Theatre
275 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

General Admission - $25
Tickets available through City Box Office
www.cityboxoffice.com
(415) 392-4400

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

--Dianne Provenzano, PBO

Daniel Hope Joins New Century in First Appearances as Artistic Partner
New Century Chamber Orchestra welcomes British violinist Daniel Hope in his first season as the ensemble's new Artistic Partner, September 21-24. Following his highly acclaimed debut as Guest Concertmaster in February 2016, Hope returns to the Bay Area to lead the orchestra for three seasons providing artistic continuity and leadership throughout the organization's search process for a permanent Music Director.

The 2017-2018 season opens with a varied program of works for string orchestra featuring Hope as soloist for the World Premiere of Alan Fletcher's Violin Concerto, a co-commission with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with whom Hope also serves as Music Director. The program also includes Wojciech Kilar's Orawa, Tchaikovsky's Serenade, and Mendelssohn's Octet.

Subscriptions to the New Century Chamber Orchestra are on sale now. Three and four-concert subscriptions range from $78 to $220 and can be purchased by calling New Century directly at (415) 357-1111, ext. 303, or online at www.ncco.org.

Single tickets range in price from $29 to $61 and are available through City Box Office: www.cityboxoffice.com and (415) 392-4400. Discounted $10 single tickets are available for students with a valid ID.

Open Rehearsal tickets are $15 general admission and can be purchased through City Box Office: www.cityboxoffice.com and (415) 392-4400.

For further information on New Century, please visit www.ncco.org.

--Brenden Guy, New Century Chamber Orchestra

Fort Worth Opera Announces the 2018 Hattie Mae Leslie Apprentice Artists
As Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) embarks upon its 72nd season, the company is proud to announce that it is collaborating with the TCU Opera Studio for its esteemed Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Program. This year's talented artists are soprano Bronwyn White, mezzo-soprano Bridget Cappel, tenor Joshua Friend, and bass-baritone Sam Parkinson. In addition to pianist and vocal coach Stephen Carey, the Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Program welcomes Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, as the company's new Coordinator of Educational Outreach, and David Gately, Director of TCU Opera, to lead the company's discovery and training program.

The Fort Worth Opera Studio was established in 2002 to provide a strong foundation for young singers to pursue their career as professional opera singers. Beginning in the fall of 2015, a generous multi-year grant was established by the Hattie Mae Lesley Foundation, in honor of foundation President Joseph A. Lesley's grandmother. Thanks to this gift, the Opera Studio was renamed the Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Program, and each year, four highly talented young opera singers are selected through a nationwide audition process to work for this prestigious program. These singers have completed Masters level training and have participated in additional training programs for young artists. Contracted for one or two seasons, they come to Fort Worth Opera to work for a professional opera company.

While in Fort Worth, artists receive voice lessons; training in acting, languages, and diction; and participate in masterclasses with established artists. The Lesley Apprentices also travel across the great state of Texas performing in elementary, middle, and high schools. As FWOpera's resident artists, they appear at various patron, social, and community events, as well as take on roles within our mainstage Festival productions.

For more information, visit http://www.fwopera.org/

--Ryan Lathan, FWOpera

The Wallis Launches New Season of Music
World-renowned pianist, writer and lecturer Jonathan Biss is known for tackling demanding repertoire such as Beethoven's fiery Tempest and Schumann's unparalleled Fantasie in C Major, arguably the composer's greatest work for solo piano. On Sunday, October 8, Biss will make his debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) in Beverly Hills performing both of these significant works, as well as Mozart's Sonata in A minor and Leon Kirchner's Interlude II, which was written specifically for Biss by the composer. Mr. Biss is a Steinway Artist, and this concert is made possible by generous support from Susan and Peter Strauss.

This marks the first of fifteen Music @ the Wallis concerts to be performed this season. Biss will be followed by the return of Harlem Quartet on October 15 and Kyle Riabko on November 10 and 11. Music @ the Wallis will continue later this season with pianist Jeremy Denk; the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet with pianist Stephen Hough; the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with violinist Daniel Hope; the adventurous LA-based ensemble wild Up; Grammy Award-winner Arturo Sandoval's curated jazz weekend; Matthew Aucoin's Crossing in Concert, a co-production with LA Opera Off Grand; violinist Sarah Chang with pianist Julio Elizalde; Ory Shihor, who will perform Schubert's last three piano sonatas; Broadway's Seth Rudetsky, who will perform with special guests in February and March; the return of Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz; and Nathan and Julie Gunn celebrating the American Songbook and Leonard Bernstein at 100.

The Wallis also offers three different options to subscribe to the 2017/18 season: the Premium Subscription Series; the Design-Your-Own option; and the new 3-show Flex Pass for $99, created for busy young professionals—39 and younger—giving the most flexibility to join The Wallis family of subscribers. Learn more at TheWallis.org/Subscribe.

For more information, visit TheWallis.org.

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

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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