Academy Orchestra Welcomes Violinist Ilana Setapen May 26
Concluding the Music Institute of Chicago's Faculty and Guest Artist Series' 2017–18 season, the Academy Orchestra performs with noted violinist Ilana Setapen Saturday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois.
The program includes the Overture to Mozart's opera The Impresario; Copland's "Down a Country Lane"; and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 "Scottish." Setapen joins the Orchestra for the program's second half, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35. Conducting the program is Academy Director James Setapen, Ilana's father.
The Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, led by Director James Setapen, is a nationally recognized training center for highly gifted pre-college pianists and string players that provides a comprehensive music education for students who aspire to be professional musicians. Faculty, staff, and students come together for an intensive 30-week program that includes private lessons with Academy artist faculty, a rigorous chamber music component, a stimulating chamber orchestra experience, and accelerated music theory classes. Pianists additionally study keyboard history and literature, improvisation, and keyboard skills in an intimate group setting. A hallmark of the Academy is the weekly master class series when students perform for and observe acclaimed musicians and educators who share their knowledge. The Academy faculty, who teach at some of the country's most prestigious conservatories and music schools, have a passion for developing young talent and an established track record of student achievement.
The Music Institute of Chicago's Academy Orchestra concert featuring violinist Ilana Setapen takes place Saturday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students, available at 847.905.1500 ext. 108 or musicinst.org/nichols-concert-hall. All programming is subject to change. For more information, visit musicinst.org.
--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago
University Musical Society Announces 2018-19 Season - 140th Anniversary
The University Musical Society (UMS), under the leadership of President Matthew VanBesien, announced its 140th season in 2018-19 with an initial slate of 40 performances and events. One of the country's most acclaimed performing arts presenters, UMS honors its past by showcasing respected ensembles and performers with whom it has enjoyed rich relationships, and fully embraces the future as initiator, incubator, and accelerator for innovative new works and projects. This potent combination infuses the anniversary season with dynamic and diverse voices and perspectives featuring artists at the top of their game — celebrating the canon, taking risks, moving genres in new directions, disrupting stereotypes, and surprising audiences.
"At UMS, we always commit to bringing a dazzling array of artists whose work amazes, entertains, comforts, and even provokes. We believe strongly in the importance of nurturing young talent and fostering experimentation, while also collaborating with those cherished artists and ensembles who have been a hallmark of our series.
"We open our 140th season in September with three events that truly embody our strong sense of tradition, innovation, and collaboration: teaming up with the University of Michigan's College of Engineering to present a 50th anniversary live presentation of Stanley Kubrick's audacious 2001: A Space Odyssey to Michigan's campus, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Musica Sacra chorus providing the live musical soundtrack; the legendary Philadelphia Orchestra, which served as the resident orchestra for Ann Arbor's May Festival for 49 years, returning to Hill Auditorium with new music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and actor Alec Baldwin, who comes to Ann Arbor to work with students and faculty in the U-M Department of Theatre & Drama on dramatic readings of Arthur Miller's great work, Death of a Salesman. That's just the first few weeks of our 140th season!" said UMS President Matthew VanBesien. "Our 2018-19 offerings also include an extraordinary world première project and many other moments during which UMS invites artists to use our spaces to freely experiment, develop, and refine new works, and to provide audiences with insights to the creative process and the first look at exciting performances."
Subscription packages go on sale to renewing subscribers on Monday, April 23 and to the general public on Monday, May 1. Current subscribers will receive renewal packets in April. Subscribers may add on additional performances at any point during the subscription period.
Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public online, in person, and by phone on Monday, August 13; UMS donors of $250+ may purchase beginning Monday, August 6. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets beginning Monday, July 9. To be added to the mailing list, please contact the UMS Ticket Office at 734.764.2538 or visit ums.org. UMS also has an e-mail list that provides up-to-date information about all UMS events; sign-up information is available on the website.
For complete information, visit ums.org
--Mike Fila, Bucklesweet Media
Max Richter's Live SLEEP Concert in New York City May 4 & 5
After a successful North American debut of the live performance of his 8-hour masterpiece SLEEP, Max Richter brings the "intoxicating" (NPR) performance to New York City for the first time, for two nights of performances on May 4 & 5 at Spring Studios (50 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013). Doors will open at 9:00pm, the concert will begin at 10:30pm. Tickets are being announced on the artist's socials.
Watch NPR Music's video from SLEEP at SXSW: https://www.npr.org/event/music/589337022/south-x-lullaby-max-richter
--Julia Casey, Universal Music
Fifth Graders to Perform Songs They Wrote About Heroes, April 25 & 26
At a recent Los Angles Master Chorale event, a technician asked the group's Director of the Marketing if the Master Chorale was the same organization that went into schools and taught kids how to write and sing songs. When it was affirmed that it was, he exclaimed: "I was one of those kids!" His fond memory of the "Voices Within" program 12 years after he participated illustrates the lasting impact the program has had on thousands of students since it was launched in 2001. This year's spring series of "Voices Within" concerts will take place at Hooper Avenue Elementary in South Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 25 and at Sheridan Street Elementary in Boyle Heights on Thursday, April 26, creating new memories for this season's 110 participants.
The concerts are the culmination of the 12-week "Voices Within" program that brings three teaching artists—a composer, a lyricist, and a performer—into the schools to introduce the students to music ideas such as pitch, rhythm, and melody, and teaches them how to apply these concepts to songwriting. The students perform their songs for fellow students, teachers, and friends and family. Each school will give two performances. It is the first time that Hooper Avenue Elementary has taken part in the "Voices Within" program.
"Voices Within" concerts performed by fifth grade students featuring members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Open to the public & free to attend. (Street parking only.)
Wednesday, April 25, 9:30 AM & 10:45 AM
Hooper Avenue Elementary School, 1225 E 52nd St, Los Angeles
Thursday, April 26, 9:00 AM & 10:15 AM
Sheridan Street Elementary School, 1833, 416 Cornwell St, Los Angeles
For more information, visit http://lamasterchorale.org/
--Jennifer Scott, Los Angeles Master Chorale
New Century Presents Philip Glass Premiere
New Century Chamber Orchestra concludes its 2017-2018 season, May 16 through 20, with the West Coast Premiere of Philip Glass's Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring Simone Dinnerstein. Appearing as piano soloist, Dinnerstein will perform this work alongside Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor. Indianapolis Symphony concertmaster Zachary DePue serves as Guest Concertmaster in a program that also features Henry Purcell's Chacony in G minor (arr. Britten), Bryce Dessner's Aheym and Francesco Geminiani's Concerto Grosso No. 12 in D minor.
This program will be presented as part of New Century's subscription series on four evenings in different locations around the the San Francisco Bay Area: Thursday, May 17 at 8 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA; Friday, May 18 at 8 p.m., Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto, CA; Saturday, May 19 at 8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, and Sunday, May 20 at 3 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, CA. New Century will also feature in a special performance of this program on Wednesday, May 16 at 8 p.m. at UC Davis, CA, presented by the Mondavi Center of the Arts.
For more information on New Century, please visit http://www.ncco.org
--Brenden Guy, Marketing and Public Relations
New Video April 29 PBS: Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore with Pretty Yende & Matthew Polenzani
There is a new video available for "Great Performances at the Met": L'Elisir d'Amore, which premieres Sunday, April 29 at 12:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
Watch the video trailer here:
Or the YouTube link here:
This series brings the best of the Metropolitan Opera into the homes of classical music fans across the United States. Donizetti's classic comic opera L'Elisir d'Amore features Pretty Yende as the feisty Adina, opposite Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, with Davide Luciano as Belcore and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Dulcamara.
--Emma Dayton, WNET
Warner Classics and IDAGIO Embark on Streaming Partnership
Warner Classics has launched a new collaboration with IDAGIO, in a partnership that will see the specialist classical music streaming service make the entire Warner Classics and Erato catalogue available to its users.
The IDAGIO catalogue, which already comprises over 650,000 tracks, will encompass all new and recent releases from the Warner Classics and Erato labels, as well as the complete catalogue, including recordings originally issued on such iconic labels as EMI Classics, Teldec (now Warner Classics), and Virgin Classics (now Erato).
As an additional aspect of the partnership, IDAGIO will feature exclusive playlists curated by Warner Classics and its artists, and will work closely with the label on additional initiatives to provide an engaging classical listening experience for IDAGIO users.
--Elias Wuermeling, IDAGIO PR
Pavel Sporcl Leads 60th Anniversary Gala Concert of Kocian Violin Competition
The leading Czech violinist and patron of the world's oldest violin competition for under-sixteens will lead a gala concert in Prague on April 25th, featuring a gathering of competition laureates
The name Jaroslav Kocian holds a special place in the hearts of Czech music-lovers, so much so that after that iconic violinist died a violin competition was established in his name, and in his beloved home town of Usti nad Orlici. It remains the oldest major violin competition in the world for under-sixteen-year-olds. Its patron is a successor of Kocian as the leading Czech violinist, Pavel Sporcl. This year, to mark the competition's 60th anniversary, Sporcl has curated a gala concert at Prague's Smetana Concert Hall.
He has invited for the occasion, the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jessica Cottis, and a line-up of laureates of the Kocian Violin Competition. Among them, Stefan Milenkovich, Josef Spacek, Bohuslav Matousek and others. Sporcl will play works by Kocian himself, Vivaldi, Saint-Saëns and will take part in the finale, a world premiere by Lukás Sommer for eight violinists called "Gala Violin - Concert Phantasy on Jaroslav Kocian Themes for Eight Soloists And Orchestra." The event will be recorded for broadcast by Czech Television.
Watch Pavel Sporcl with the Prague Symphony Orchestra here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri3zS4AqJBw
--James Inverne Music Consultancy
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.
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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