Classical Music News of the Week, April 14, 2018

Berkeley Festival & Exhibition Announces 2018 Lineup

Berkeley Festival and Exhibition announced its 2018 biennial festival, June 3 through 10, presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society.

This year's Festival reimagines the concept of traditional Early Music by broadening the boundaries to include historically informed masterworks from as far back as the early Middle Ages through the Romantic era. Highlights include a Festival debut by legendary Early Music ensemble Sequentia in two performances that focus on important Latin texts from the Middle Ages; two programs dedicated to J.S. Bach's cantatas and motets featuring Belgian ensemble Vox Luminis in their third Festival appearance; a concert version recreation of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas co-presented by Voices of Music and the San Francisco Girls Chorus; a 19th-century salon-style presentation of solo and chamber works by Schumann and Schubert by musicians of the Valley of the Moon Festival and tenor Nick Phan; and the Festival's inaugural International Early Piano Competition devoted to Classical and Romantic music on historically appropriate instruments.

The eight-day festival also includes over 50 self-produced concerts by participants from around the world as part of its Fringe Festival; a three-day exhibition, June 7 through 9, that brings together instrument makers, publishers, retailers and organizations; Young Artist Series featuring Seattle Historical Arts for Kids presentation of Handel's Serse, Davis Senior High School Baroque Ensemble, Juilliard415 and San Francisco Conservatory of Music students, faculty and alumni; concurrent special events from the Westfield Historical Keyboard Center and the second International Early Music Film Festival; and special lectures, masterclasses and colloquia.

San Francisco Early Music Society Presents
Berkeley Festival & Exhibition
June 3-10, 2018

Main stage events take place at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, with additional events at First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley.

For complete event and venue information,  call 510-528-1725 or visit

--Brenden Guy PR

Spotlight on "Beethoven Unleashed" Star Avery Amereau
There is a clear reason The New York Times calls Avery Amereau "A Rarity in Music." It's her voice. She is a rare contralto and not many of them exist. Joyce DiDonato says Avery's voice is "like velvet, caramel chocolate." And now, San Francisco Bay Area audiences will get a chance to hear her unique timbre when Avery Amereau makes her PBO mainstage debut in April's season finale, "Beethoven Unleashed."

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is excited to welcome Avery Amereau to our cast of esteemed guest singers in our season finale April 25-29. We hope you'll join us.

Beethoven: Mass in C major, Op. 86
Cherubini: Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn
Beethoven: Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy"

Wednesday, April 25, 7:30 pm
Bing Concert Hall, Stanford, CA

Friday, April 27, 8 pm
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Saturday, April 28, 8 pm
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Sunday, April 29, 4 pm
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Tickets and information:

--Marketing, Philharmonia Baroque

At the Pleasure of Mazzarin
Salon/Sanctuary presents At the Pleasure of Mazarin: Roman Treasures from the Bibiothèque Nationale de Paris, the season finale concert and the final concert in a mini-series of early music concerts that explores the echoes of politics in over half a millennium of French music.

April 28
The Church of Saint Jean Baptiste
184 East 76th Street
New York, NY 10021

For tickets, call 1 888 718 4253 or visit

For sound clips, program notes, texts and translations, and more information, visit

--Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Corinne Morris and BBC Philharmonic to Debut Nimrod Borenstein's New Cello Concerto
Cellist Corinne Morris will give the world premiere of Nimrod Borenstein's Cello Concerto No. 2, alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra on 5th June, 2018. Frederic Chaslin will conduct, at BBC Philharmonic Studio, Salford.

The concerto, written for Morris, is intended to be "a large-scale, muscular concerto in the grand tradition of Dvorak, Shostokovich and Elgar", according to its composer. This followed an idea by the cellist, who felt that these kinds of 'big' concertos for cello were increasingly rare. Borenstein, who has a long-standing artistic relationship with Morris, was happy to oblige. "Corinne has a certain scale and richness to her playing, which gives the composer that facility, and it's a joy to have that kind of canvass." he says.

--James Inverne Music Consultancy

92Y May/June 2018 Concerts
Friday, May 4, 2018 at 9:00 PM
92Y – Buttenwieser Hall, NYC
Schubert's Final Sonatas: Part 2
Shai Wosner, piano

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:30 PM
92Y – Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC
Benjamin Verdery, guitar
St. Lawrence String Quartet

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 9:00 PM
92Y – Buttenwieser Hall, NYC
Schubert's Final Sonatas: Part 3
Shai Wosner, piano

Friday, June 8, 2018 at 9:00 PM
92Y – Buttenwieser Hall, NYC
New York Polyphony, vocal quartet

Tickets are available at or 212-415-5500.
For more information, visit

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

World Premiere of Ellen Reid's "dreams of the new world"
An expansive new choral work exploring lesser-known stories about the pursuit of the American Dream in Memphis, Houston, and Los Angeles, told through an interview-based libretto, will be premiered by the Los Angeles Master Chorale on Sunday, May 13 at 7 PM in Walt Disney Concert Hall. dreams of the new world is composed by Ellen Reid with a libretto by Sarah LaBrie.

Tickets are available now, starting from $29:
Phone: 213-972-7282

Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office Monday – Saturday, 10 AM–6 PM.

For further information, visit

--Jennifer Scott, Los Angeles Master Chorale

Schimmel Center and Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra Present "The Struggle to Forgive"
Schimmel Center, NYC, with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra presents the world premiere of The Struggle to Forgive: Confronting Gun Violence in America on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Led by Music Director and Conductor Gary S. Fagin, the new cantata—which has a libretto by Fagin and features soprano Mikaela Bennett, mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel, and baritone Jorell Williams—gives voice to those whose lives have been impacted by gun violence in the United States, including victims and their families.

The program also includes Charles Ives's The Unanswered Question; and a new orchestral version of Prayer for Mary, written by Fagin in remembrance of the life of a KCO member whose life was lost due to gun violence in 2014.

For complete information, visit

--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media

Concerts at Saint Thomas Presents Music for the Feast of the Ascension
Concerts at Saint Thomas will give the season's final performance with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys on May 9, singing music written for the Feast of the Ascension. The program features Bach's Cantata 37, his first written for the Ascension, and his 'Lutheran' Mass in G minor, as well as Vivaldi's lesser-known setting of the Introduzione e Gloria, RV 588.

The choir will be joined by soloists Eric S. Brenner, Lawrence Jones, Mark Bleeke, and Daniel Moore, and accompanied by period instrumentalists from the Orchestra of St. Luke's.

May 9, 2018 | Wednesday at 7:30 pm

Music for the Eve of the Ascension
Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue at West 53rd Street, NYC

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Five Boroughs Music Festival Presents TENET in "The Sounds of Time"
The early music virtuosi of TENET return to Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) this season with "The Sounds of Time," an exploration of 12th and 13th century songs by the French trouvères. The program is presented in Queens, NY on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at King Manor Museum, NY, and on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Riverdale in the Bronx. Led by guest music director and baroque violin virtuoso Robert Mealy, the program showcases the great lyric tradition of the troubadours, who adapted the musical forms invented by their Provençal counterparts and infused them with a lighter vein that produced a memorably tuneful body of music.

"The Sounds of Time" features soprano Jolle Greenleaf, mezzo-soprano Luthien Brackett, tenor Jason McStoots, Shira Kammen and Robert Mealy on vielle and harp, and Charles Weaver on plucked instruments.

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
King Manor Museum | 150-03 Jamaica Avenue | Queens, NY
Tickets: Tickets, priced at $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors, and museum members, can be purchased by visiting

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Christ Church Riverdale | 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway | Bronx, NY
Tickets: Tickets, priced at $25 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors, and Christ Church Riverdale members, can be purchased by visiting

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Share the Joy with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra
We are very proud to present our latest image video to you today!

Filmed in January 2018 during a tour with our Artistic Advisor Daniele Gatti, this video illustrates the many facets of our special partnership:

Share the joy live with us on our upcoming tour with Daniele Gatti in Italy, Germany, and Spain:

You can hear us in Bari (19 April), Heidelberg (21 April), Bilbao (23 April), Zaragoza (24 April) and Barcelona (26 April) with a programme featuring works by Schumann and Beethoven.

For more information, visit

--Mahler Chamber Orchestra

ASPECT Presents Sherezade Panthaki and the Four Nations Ensemble
The ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts presents its final concert of the season, "Fête Galante: The Anatomy of Melancholy" on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 7:30pm at the Italian Academy at Columbia University, 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. Féte Galante features the acclaimed New York-based Four Nations Ensemble and soprano Sherezade Panthaki, with an illustrated talk by art historian Tav Holmes.

The concert provides insight into the elegant new style of art following the final years of the reign of Louis XIV. While Versailles was draped in the heavy mood of recent years, Antoine Watteau was breaking with tradition, creating the new fresh, elegant, and sensual genre of the fête galante. The evening features Four Nations Ensemble and Panthaki in works by Leclair, Clérambault, Devienne, and Telemann to emphasize Holmes' glimpse into the unique, idealized world of artists Watteau, Boucher, and Fragonard.

"Fête Galante: The Anatomy of Melancholy"
Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 7:30pm
The Italian Academy | 1161 Amsterdam Avenue | NYC
Tickets: $45 includes wine and refreshments

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

ABS Performs All Four Bach Orchestral Suites
Music Director Jeffrey Thomas will lead the American Bach Soloists in performances of all four of Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suites (BWV 1066-1069) May 11-14 in Belvedere, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Davis, CA. The works presented in these concerts are full of exuberant sonority and captivating melody and display the virtuosity of ABS's famous roster of "the best American specialists in early Music" (The Washington Post). These extremely popular pieces are intensely infused with the spirit of dance, expressing joy and felicity.

Tickets: $25–$89; $10 student tickets for ages 25 and under with valid student ID, at the door or reserve at 415-621-7900.


For complete information, visit

--Jonathon Hampton, American Bach Soloists

42nd Street Moon Announces Cast and Creative Team for ME AND MY GIRL
San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon (Daren A.C. Carollo and Daniel Thomas, Co-Executive Directors), currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary in continuous operation, has announced the full cast and creative team for the final production of the 2017-2018 season: ME AND MY GIRL, a hilarious and delightful 1930s West End smash hit (winner of three Tony Awards for the critically-acclaimed 1986 Broadway revival). ME AND MY GIRL features book and lyrics by L. Arthur Rose & Douglas Furber, revised by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent, and music by Noel Gay. ME AND MY GIRL runs from May 2 – 20, 2018 and will perform at San Francisco's Gateway Theatre (formerly the Eureka Theatre). The press opening will take place on Saturday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets range from $25 - $75 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (415) 255-8207 or online at

42nd Street Moon's production of ME AND MY GIRL will be directed and choreographed by Mindy Cooper, with Music Direction by Dave Dobrusky.

May 2 - 20, 2018 (press opening on Saturday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m.).
Wednesday-Thursday 7:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 6:00 p.m.; Sunday 3:00 p.m.
Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94111.
Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (including a 15-minute intermission).
Tickets: $25 - $75 and may be purchased online at or by calling (415) 255-8207

--Jonathan White PR

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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 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 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