Classical Music News of the Week, March 3, 2018

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to Tour the U.S. in April 2018

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will tour the U.S. in April 2018, bringing their "Heresy II Heritage" Tour to Boston, Atlanta, Madison, and 9 other cities across the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard. The program pokes fun at the stiff upper lip of the ensemble's British roots, and will include music from their recent studio album, "By Request: Songs from the Setlist" – a selection of fan favorites that ranges from "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme to ACDC's "Highway to Hell."

The all-singing, all-strumming Ukes of GB have played everywhere from pubs and village halls to iconic venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. They've performed at Windsor Castle for the Queen's private birthday party (with Prince Harry himself playing one of their ukes), and have been featured on international TV from Asia, Europe, North America, to even the Artic. From Saint-Saëns to Lady Gaga, the group delivers a virtuosic collision of classical, post-punk, and toe tapping oldies with their completely original arrangements.

For complete tour information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

YPC to celebrate 30th Anniversary at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Monday, March 5
"Dear friends, thirty years ago, I founded the Young People's Chorus of New York City with a vision of bringing harmony to the children of New York City. Through the power of music I hoped to provide young people of any background and from every corner of the city with the means to fulfill their potential.  Today, three decades and thousands of children later, YPC has become a model that other organizations nationwide are looking to replicate.

As we look to the future, we dream about transforming the lives of even more children. To do so, YPC depends upon the generous support of all who believe in the YPC mission, which empowers young people to create a better tomorrow for themselves and the community.

Thank you for helping us celebrate this momentous milestone and the next 30 years to come.

Francisco J. Núñez, Artistic Director and Founder"

For complete information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

Bang on a Can All-Stars Play at Big Ears 2018 in Knoxville, TN: March 23-25
At Big Ears 2018, the Bang on a Can All-Stars along with Bang on a Can co-founders and artistic directors – composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe – will present three concerts: Field Recordings (March 23 at 12pm, Bijou Theatre), the group's current multi-media project now featuring more than 30 commissioned works using archival audio, found sound and video; Anthracite Fields (March 24 at 3:30pm, The Mill & Mine), Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer-Prize winning work capturing the lives of the Pennsylvania coal miners; and Bang on a Can – 30 Years (March 25 at 7pm, Tennessee Theatre), a concert featuring core compositions from the three founders, Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.

During the last quarter-century, no American ensemble has been more important to the health of new music than the prolific and vital New York-based collective Bang on a Can. A touring ensemble, a record label, a clearinghouse for commissions, a nonprofit with widespread charitable aims, a concert producer, a top-rate collection of performers: After thirty years, there's little Bang on a Can has not become.

For complete information, visit or

--Christina Jensen, Jensen Artists

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and CaringKind Bring Music to People with Dementia
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with CaringKind to bring extraordinary musical experiences to people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia and their caregivers in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The pilot program, called "With Music in Mind," marks the first time CaringKind's connect2culture® program – an initiative that helps cultural organizations develop programs for New York's Alzheimer's community – is bringing performing arts programming into the Bronx and Brooklyn. Formerly known as the Alzheimer's Association, New York City Chapter, CaringKind has been New York City's leading expert on Alzheimer's and dementia caregiving for more than 30 years.

"With Music in Mind," funded by a generous $30,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, comprises two important components:  training and performance.  Experts from CaringKind will provide in-depth "Understanding Dementia" training designed specifically for Orpheus staff and musicians. Staff and musicians will be sensitized to the special needs of this community and provided with the tools needed to orient people with dementia and their caregivers to the musical experience.

The initiative will culminate in May 2018 with two special 90-minute performance events – one at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale on May 8th, and another at the Brooklyn Museum (a connect2culture partner) on May 15th.  "With Music in Mind" audiences will consist entirely of people with Alzheimer's or dementia and their caregivers.  Each program will offer an intimate concert performed by Orpheus, followed by a conversation between the musicians and the audience, and concluding with a social tea.

For more information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

PBO SESSIONS March 7: Buy One Ticket Get One Free
"Corelli the Godfather: The Corleone of the Concerto"
Wednesday, March 7 | 8 pm
ODC Theater, San Francisco, CA

Join renowned Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music and harpsichordist Richard Egarr as well as members of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for PBO SESSIONS "Corelli the Godfather: The Corleone of the Concerto" for an evening of concerto intrigue! The 90-minute deep-dive will shed light on what became the most important instrumental compositional technique still in use today. Arcangelo Corelli was prolific, wealthy, and powerful, and his legacy--- the concerto---lives on.

This exciting program includes works by Corelli and Handel and a few musical surprises, accompanied by riotous repartee with Richard. Afterwards, join us for complimentary wine and a chance to meet the musicians.

Tickets regularly priced at $25. But here's an offer you can't refuse: Buy one ticket, get one free.
Order Online  Use Discount Code: CORELLI.

--Dianne Provenzano, PBO

Schwalbe and Partners Welcomes Soprano Kathryn Mueller
Bach: Missa Brevis in G Major; Hercules Cantata 236
"Her crystalline soaring soprano is perfect for this music...Mueller may have been born to sing the role of Vice [in Cantata 236], delivering a tantalizingly sensual performance." --Stark Insider

Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
"Kathryn Mueller brought to the performance a beautiful voice of shining clarity, particularly in her high range. It seemed as if she belonged there, effortless, completely controlled and beautiful; and she had an appealing stage presence of personal warmth and musicianship." --Winston-Salem Journal

Handel: Messiah
"The remarkable Kathryn Mueller goes from strength to strength. She displayed wonderful agility and freedom in the upper register...The soprano's interpolated high notes and cadenza near the end of the aria were totally idiomatic....Mueller's graceful shaping of the melody and soft rendering of the final verse deeply moving." --South Florida Classical Review

Watch Kathryn Mueller sing Rheinhold Glière's Concerto for Coloratura and Orchestra:

--Schwalbe and Partners

ASPECT Foundation Presents Fretwork Ensemble in Bach's The Art of Fugue
The ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts presents J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at The Italian Academy, NYC, part of the foundation's second New York City season of illuminating performances featuring many of the most prominent performers and musical scholars of today.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:30pm
The Italian Academy | 1161 Amsterdam Avenue | NYC
Tickets: $45 includes wine and refreshments

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

"Late Night with Leonard Bernstein": A Copland House Production Narrated by Jamie Bernstein
"Late Night with Leonard Bernstein," the brilliant tour-de-force is a shimmering and personal look at Bernstein after hours, hosted by his daughter, Jamie Bernstein.

The Copland House ensemble brings Bernstein's music to sparkling life with energy and a new perspective in perfect timing with his upcoming 100th birthday. The program is a recital of Bernstein's most intimate (and favorite) music, including works by Copland, Confrey, Coward, Schubert, and Chopin, along with personal stories, and even audio and film clips of the Maestro himself. With soprano Amy Burton, and pianists Michael Boriskin and John Musto, this glittering gem of a show has received rave reviews.

Upcoming performances:
Friday, March 23, 7:30pm Lane Series at University of Vermont. Burlington, VT
Thursday, April 19, 8:00pm Brandeis University Slosber Music Center Waltham, MA
Saturday, April 21, 8:00pm National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, May 3, 8:00pm, The Gilmore Festival, Kalamazoo, MI
Sunday May 6, 3:00pm Tri-C Classical Piano Series, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Sunday May 20, 4:00pm Phillips collection, Washington DC
Friday, July 27 8:00pm Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL
Wednesday, August 8, 8:00pm La Jolla Music Society, La Jolla, CA

For more information, visit

--Tammy Moore, Dworkin & Company

March F.A.Y.M Newsletter
Changing lives through music is what the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians is all about. For almost 9 years now, our Violins for Kids program has made it possible for children from the inner city to start learning how to play a violin at an early age. I recently had the privilege of listening to one of our students play a song as part of the application process to earn a Golden Violin. This young lady started playing a violin with us when she entered kindergarten; she is now in 8th grade. I speak with her and her mother often and it is very clear to me that music has made a very positive impact in her life. At the start of this year, she auditioned to join our newly created Mariachi Estrellas de FAYM program and made it. At our last recital, she not only played with the mariachi, but for one song she stood in front of the group with a microphone and sang a beautiful song accompanied by the mariachi.

The self-confidence and courage it must have taken to stand in front of a large audience made up mostly of parents and friends of FAYM is amazing! Most of the adults in the room, myself included, would not have the self-confidence to do this ourselves.

This is another example of how our students are given the knowledge and desire to succeed in whatever they want to accomplish. This child is not unique in our program. Over the years I have spoken to and interviewed many of our students. All of them have that 'spark' to do what it takes to reach their goals.

As a professional educator (now retired) I have been around our youth for many years helping to prepare them to be responsible adults. I feel that FAYM is making a big difference in their lives by building up their self-confidence and courage, and is showing them that their hard work pays off by giving them the skills and ability to make beautiful music.

FAYM cannot do this alone. We believe that "it takes a village to raise a child." Please help us and be part of that village that is changing the lives of our kids. Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work. "One man can't do everything, but every man can do something." No donation is too small! The Foundation to Assist Young Musicians is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c) (3) charitable nonprofit corporation. Your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Spring Recital
Saturday, March 10, 3 - 5:30pm
East LV Community Center
Las Vegas, NV

Year End Recital
Saturday, May 12, 3 - 5:30pm
East LV Community Center
Las Vegas, NV

---Arturo Ochoa, FAYM

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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