Classical Music News of the Week, May 5, 2018

Art Haus Makes Second Burning Man Appearance

Art Haus, a San Francisco based classical music and dance organization dedicated to presenting large-scale collaborative performances of classical and contemporary works, will give its second appearance at Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada, August 28 through 30.

Building on the massive success of its 2017 debut, Art Haus will present three separate performances including the World Premiere of Robert Dekker's ballet We Human set to Steve Reich's 8 Lines, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and a community performance of Terry Riley's In C. The performances will be presented on a specially designed Art Car, a mobile stage that Art Haus is creating out of an old fire truck specifically for these events. Over fifty musicians and dancers will be involved in the project including many working professional musicians and dancers from across the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Conceived of by Courtney Wise and Robert Dekkers in 2017, Art Haus is a performance arts organization dedicated to bringing edgy, spectacular performances of classical and contemporary works into unique spaces. In 2017 their performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring at Burning Man drew a crowd of estimated 10,000 and a photo capturing the moment earned a spot in the Smithsonian "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" exhibit. The group is made up largely of members of the Bay Area arts communities as well as artists from all over the world.

For more information, visit

--Brenden Guy Media

The Angel's Share, New Concert Series in the Catacombs of Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery
Unison Media and The Green-Wood Historic Fund are proud to announce The Angel's Share, a new series of opera and chamber music concerts taking place in Green-Wood's remarkable Catacombs. One of the oldest structures in the 478-acre National Historic Landmark cemetery, the Catacombs were built in the 1850s, and are normally closed to the public. The series takes its name from the distiller's term for whiskey that evaporates while maturing in the barrel, thus going to the angels.

Performances include the World Premiere of David Hertzberg's chamber opera The Rose Elf, harpist Bridget Kibbey and friends, twin sister piano duo Christina and Michelle Naughton, the JACK Quartet, and the World Premiere of Gregg Kallor's Sketches from Frankenstein. The season will also include the world-renowned harpist Bridget Kibbey and friends in a program that will include Debussy's "Danses Sacrée et Profane." Pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton will perform the works of French and American composers, including Green-Wood "permanent resident," Leonard Bernstein. The JACK Quartet will also perform a program entitled "Modern Medieval," while pianist and composer Gregg Kallor will also introduce a World Premiere, his new cantata based on Mary Shelley's 1818 Gothic novel, "Frankenstein," in partnership with On Site Opera.

Each performance includes a pre-concert reception with a whiskey tasting overlooking the Manhattan skyline and harbor at sunset. The Angel's Share follows Unison Media's acclaimed Crypt Sessions concert series, conceived and curated by Andrew Ousley.

Each performance will begin with a pre-concert reception with food, drinks, and a whiskey tasting overlooking the Manhattan skyline and the New York Harbor at sunset. At dusk, guests will then follow a candle-lit pathway down to the Catacombs for the performance.

The Angel's Share follows Unison Media's acclaimed Crypt Sessions, which debuted at the Church of the Intercession in Harlem in 2015. The intimate performances have generated unprecedented attention, with tickets selling out within minutes of the on-sale date. The New York Times included one of last year's Crypt Sessions on its list of the "Best Classical Music Performances of 2017."

Andrew Ousley, president of Unison Media, said, "I'm tremendously excited to present The Angel's Share, expanding on all that we've accomplished with the Crypt Sessions. I can think of no better space to experience these programs and no better partner than the amazing people at Green-Wood. There's a lot of angst-ridden, hand-wringing over the death of classical music and opera, but based on the view from the Catacombs, things look very much alive to me."

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Summer Festival Continues Chicago Duo Piano Festival's 30th Season
The Music Institute of Chicago continues the 30th anniversary season of its Chicago Duo Piano Festival (CDPF) with an expanded schedule of public performances featuring international guest artists July 8–20, 2018 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois.

In addition, pianists age eight and older may apply to participate in the education program of the two-week festival, which includes coachings, lectures, master classes, and recitals. The deadline is May 25.

All concerts and master classes take place at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Il.
Single concert tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students; a 3-PASS is $60 for adults, $40 for seniors, and $20 for students.

For complete information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, June 3 through 10
This year's Berkeley Festival and Exhibition 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; and 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.

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.

For more information, including the Fringe Festival, three-day exhibition, lectures, masterclass and special events, visit

--Brenden Guy Public Relations

Young Southland Voices Showcased at Walt Disney Concert Hall
The combined vocal force of over 900 high school students from 29 Southland schools can be heard at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, May 18 when the Los Angeles Master Chorale presents the 29th Annual High School Choir Festival. The Festival choir concert at 1 PM will be conducted by Grant Gershon, the Master Chorale's Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, and guest artist Dr. Edith A. Copley. The program for the concert includes works by Joseph Haydn, Astor Piazzolla, Paul Simon, and more. Eighty-five students have been selected by their choir directors for a prestigious Honor Choir that performs on stage during the concert.

The concert is open to the public and free to attend. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of tickets can be reserved at Tickets will also be available on the day of the concert on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 AM in the main lobby.

In addition to the Festival concert at 1 PM, the day includes a performance by a 16-member Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Ensemble in Walt Disney Concert Hall conducted by Associate Conductor Jenny Wong at 11 AM. This performance is a professional showcase for the students and is also open to the public. Tickets are required for this free event and can be reserved at

--Jennifer Scott, LA Master Chorale

Violinist Tosca Opdam Makes Weill Debut in Robin de Raaff World Premiere
Dutch violinist Tosca Opdam will make her debut in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall presented by EBF Classics on June 4, 2018 at 8pm with a program exploring the theme of "home." The centerpiece of the evening is the world premiere of Robin de Raaff's North Atlantic Light, commissioned by and dedicated to Opdam and inspired by Willem de Kooning's 1977 painting of the same name. Accompanied by pianist Victor Stanislavsky, she will also perform J.S. Bach's Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in E major, BWV 1016; selections from Korngold's Much Ado About Nothing Suite; Debussy's Violin Sonata; and Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94bis. Opdam plays a Matteo Goffriller violin from 1700, which is generously on loan to her by a private collector.

Composer Robin de Raaff praises "the honesty and authenticity" of Opdam's musical personality. He says, "Her sound palette features a remarkably beautiful core: she can be beautifully fierce at one moment and at other times warm and intimate, with a beauty out of this world. These extremes are exactly what I am looking for when I compose. I feel a great resemblance between her and my music."

The program explores the theme of home: homelands, adopted homes, and changed homes. Prokofiev wrote his Violin Sonata No. 2 at a refuge for Soviet artists in the Ural Mountains in 1943. Austrian-Jewish composer Korngold wrote his Much Ado About Nothing Suite in 1918 before moving to Hollywood, where he hoped to maintain footholds in both his old and new homes, scoring films and writing concert works. Debussy, an ardent champion of the French classical tradition, wrote his Violin Sonata in 1917 in his native Paris, on the front lines of World War I. The fountainhead of Western music, J.S. Bach represents an oft-returned-to home for classical musicians.

Tickets, priced at $25, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall Web site,


--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Foundation to Assist Young Musicians May Newsletter
Recently, Hal Weller and Arturo Ochoa along with two students, Gema Aguirre and Sabdy Cordon had the opportunity to be interviewed on by John Stiles and Beth Toy on a show called "Doing It With Stiles." You can view the interview here:

This was a great opportunity for us to share what FAYM is doing and also let us showcase two of our students playing their violins. Read more here:

Spring 2018 Calendar:

Last Day of Spring Classes
May 9th and 10th

Year End Recital
Saturday, May 12th
3pm to 5:30pm
East Las Vegas Community Center

FAYM Summer Camp
June 4th to June 9th
8:30am to 1pm
Roy Martin Middle School

Mariachi Summer Camp
June 4th to June 9th
12:30am to 3:30pm
Roy Martin Middle School


Pianist Shai Wosner Returns to 92Y
Israeli pianist Shai Wosner is internationally acclaimed for the scope of his artistic intelligence, deeply perceptive interpretations, outstanding technical sophistication, and inspired programming. Praised by Gramophone as "a Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character," the pianist is welcomed back to 92Y's Soundspace series, performing the second and third of three recitals which highlight the final sonatas Schubert composed during his short lifetime.

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 9:00 PM
92Y - Buttenwieser Hall
Shai Wosner, piano

Sonata in G Major, D. 894, Op. 78 "Fantasie"
Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960

Tickets: from $30
Buttenwieser Hall, NYC

--Xi Wang, Kirshbaum Associates

Principal Players from Major American Orchestras Perform at Festival Mozaic
Fresh faces and new talent will be joining returning familiar Festival favorites on stage this July. Music Director Scott Yoo has invited several principal players from the nation's top orchestras to travel to San Luis Obispo County for two weeks of glorious chamber music and orchestra concerts in unique venues on the Central Coast. Read more about them below, or click here to see the complete list of artists performing this summer:

And for more information about Festival Mozaic, visit

--Festival Mosaic

New England Conservatory Continues 150th Anniversary Celebrations
Tchaikovsky's music is woven into the fabric of the world and specifically the United States. Imagine the winter Holidays without Nutcracker performances or the July 4th weekend without his Overture 1812. In honor of its 150th anniversary, New England Conservatory (NEC) presents an evening of music by Tchaikovsky for the 28th Annual Composer Celebration.

The event will be held on May 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm in NEC's Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA. For complete information and tickets, visit

--Lisa Helfer, Media Relations

YPC Performs at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Apollo Theater
Saturday, June 2 - The Cathedral of St. John the Divine:
Young People's Chorus of New York City will celebrate the coming of summer with its debut in The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. For more than 425 YPC singers, the largest cathedral in the world will provide a spectacular setting for a program of music and exciting choreography that spans the musical gamut. From the most challenging commissioned compositions to music from the Broadway, spiritual, folk, and popular genres, YPC's spring concert, led by YPC conductors, will display the remarkable skill and talent of every one of YPC's young singers, and herald the momentous summer performance schedule to come.

Thursday, May 17 at 10:45 a.m. - Apollo Theater:
For the 15th annual celebration of its School Choruses program, YPC welcomes more than 1,000 children from New York City schools in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan to Harlem's historic Apollo Theater for "Red Light, Green Light," a dynamic concert of songs, dances, and stories from the many vibrant cultures that make New York City the most diverse city in America. The singers–all participants in YPC's School Choruses program, a music education and performance program under the direction of YPC's Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez–will be joined onstage by special guests from The Classical Theatre of Harlem led by Producing Artistic Director Ty Jones, and Elise Monte Dance, led by Artistic Director Tiffany Rea-Fisher.

For complete information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

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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