Have You Planned Your Holiday Concerts?
American Bach Soloists have planned two stellar events in December: Handel's Messiah in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral and "A Baroque New Year's Eve at the Opera."
Handel's timeless masterpiece will be presented for the 21st consecutive year in the awe-inspiring majesty of Grace Cathedral. Perennially a sold-out event, audience members from far and wide attend this Bay Area favorite that features the superb American Bach Choir and the period-instrument specialists of ABS in one of their largest configurations, under the direction of Jeffrey Thomas. Praising his performances of Handel, Opera News wrote "Jeffrey Thomas draws crisp, vital playing from the ace baroque instrumentalists of American Bach Soloists." An annual holiday tradition, these performances meld together Handel's glorious music with the serene beauty of one of San Francisco's greatest architectural treasures.
Wednesday December 12 2018 7:30 p.m. - Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Thursday December 13 2018 7:30 p.m. - Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Friday December 14 2018 7:30 p.m. - Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
$10 student tickets for ages 25 and under with valid student ID at the door or reserve at 415-621-7900 Online: americanbach.org/tickets
Phone: 800-595-4TIX (-4849)
"A Baroque New Year's Eve" will be presented in San Francisco's beautiful Herbst Theatre--a cornerstone and jewel among the city's most prestigious venues--will feature one of the opera world's exciting new vocal talents, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. The 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Young Artists Award Winner, former Merola Opera Program participant, 2018 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, and ABS Academy alumnus has been capturing the hearts of opera lovers around the world and will be featured in arias by Handel and Gluck. Joined by the incomparable soprano Mary Wilson, and along with a delightful program of instrumental music from opera and concert, this early night on the town will joyfully ring in the New Year in elegant style.
One performance only:
Monday, December 31, 2018. 4:00 p.m.
Herbst Theater, San Francisco, CA
City Box Office: (415) 392-4400
Online: americanbach.org/NYE or cityboxoffice.com
For more information, visit http://americanbach.org/
--Jonathan Hampton, American Bach Soloists
Robert Trevino Extends Music Directorship of Basque National Orchestra
With audiences growing and reviews overwhelmingly positive, the Basque National Orchestra has extended - after only one year - Robert Trevino's tenure as Music Director. The fast-rising American conductor made an immediate impression upon his arrival and forged a strong partnership with the orchestra's General Manager Oriol Roch. The new contract will see Trevino as the orchestra's artistic leader until the 2021/22 season.
As the start of his time with the orchestra, Trevino spoke of his determination to strive with the players to achieve the highest standards of music-making for the Basque Country and beyond, critics have been quick to enthusiastically note the results, with Klassikbidea opining, "Trevino is taking this orchestra to very high levels of quality and his appointment there is a success that we hope will be extended for many seasons...He approaches music as an active experience, as a journey in which each length is questioned and illuminated." On reporting the news of the contract extension, that same outlet commented, "(There was a) fear that the American maestro might not finish his first contract in view of the volume and the quality of his international commitments...The orchestra can make a lot of progress with Trevino...Basque fans are in luck. Trevino is invaluable..."
For more information visit www.robert-trevino.com
--James Inverne Music Consultancy
This Week and Next at Miami Music Festival
June 16 - 8pm - Gato Gallery - Barry University
Works by Bach and Chopin.
June 17 - 7pm - Weber Hall - Barry University
Don't miss a night of scenes from your favorite operas! Our Opera Apprentice singers perform an intriguing program of opera and operetta dating from the inception of the art form to current works.
Dido and Aeneas and The Medium (Double Bill)
June 21 and 22 - Broad Auditorium - Barry University
Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell
The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti
Enjoy a double bill evening with two one-act classic operas: Dido and Aeneas, based on the legendary love story between the Queen of Carthage, Dido, and the Trojan prince, Aeneas; and The Medium, a modern work about Baba, a psychic who hosts seances that trick bereaved parents into spending their money.
Friends of MMF
Carnegie Hall's NYO2 and Gil Shaham
July 21 - 8:30pm - New World Center - Miami Beach
Carnegie Hall's NYO2 makes its New World Center debut alongside Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham and NWS Fellows and alumni for an exclusive one-night-only event—the orchestra's only public performance before its finale at Carnegie Hall on July 24. NYO2 is joined by conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto for Mexican and Russian masterpieces, including the vibrant suite from Revueltas's Redes, Prokofiev's rich First Violin Concerto and Shostakovich's dramatic Symphony No. 5.
For the full season schedule, tickets and information, visit http://miamimusicfestival.com/
--Leticia Rivera, Miami Music Festival
Composer Lisa Bielawa and Director Charles Otte Receive LA Emmy Nominations
The Television Academy has announced 155 nominations in 47 categories for the 70th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. Composer Lisa Bielawa and director Charles Otte are nominees for their work on VIREO: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser, the first episodic made-for-TV & online opera. Bielawa is nominated in the Creative Technical Crafts--Composer category and Otte's nomination is for Outstanding Director--Programming.
Winners will be announced on June 26, 2018, and will receive their Emmy statuette July 28, 2018 at the 70th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards ceremony at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center. Los Angeles Area nominees were selected by national active and Los Angeles Area Peer Group active members within the Television Academy. A complete list of today's nominations, tabulated by the Academy's accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP, is available here: http://m.emmys.com/news/awards-news/70th-los-angeles-area-emmy-awards-nominations-announced
--Maggie Stapleton, Jensen Artists
Kosmos to Play New Errollyn Wallen Concerto at Chichester Festival
Typically, concertos have a been a way to showcase the virtuosity of a soloist (every so often, multiple soloists) set against the spectacular, multi-dimensional canvas of an orchestra. Typically. But there is little that is typical about the Kosmos Ensemble. They are, indeed, a brilliantly untypical ensemble, who play untypical repertoire and with an untypical philosophy.
The violinist (Harriet Mackenzie), violist (Meg Hamilton). and accordionist (Milos Milivojevic) who comprise Kosmos (who have, individually and collectively, virtuosity to spare) are fascinated to explore the relationships between classical, folk and world musics. Errollyn Wallen - one of the UK's most in-demand composers - has similarly been much-admired for her wide stylistic palette and her ability to somehow connect different musical worlds in ways that make perfect sense. So Wallen's new "Concerto for Kosmos and Orchestra" was always going to be about more than virtuosity.
The piece becomes a conversation about what music is and where it comes from, right there on the stage. Traditionally, concertos would have had an element of improvisation for the soloists, even if that was just a cadenza. Errollyn has been brave enough to let us improvise in the concerto, giving us a tangible freedom. So in this piece, I feel there is a real sense of continuing and expanding traditions as well as challenging and expanding boundaries. It's fantastically exciting to play and, we hope, to hear!"
To hear the Kosmos Ensemble play the world premiere of Errollyn Wallen's new triple concerto at the Jersey Liberation Festival, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DENjeVaFCqw&feature=youtu.be
--James Inverne Music Consultancy
Premieres: Arturo O'Farrill's "Borderless" and Paola Prestini's "The Glass Box"
Young People's Chorus of New York City and Yale Choral Artists come together for a compelling concert at Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Concert Hall. The program is highlighted by the world premiere of "Borderless," a YPC commission from six-time, Grammy-winning Latin jazz composer Arturo O'Farrill featuring the Haven String Quartet, and the New York premiere of "The Glass Box," a YPC-Yale Choral Artists co-commission from the visionary composer/impresario Paola Prestini and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Royce Vavrek, set to dramatic visuals by Kevork Mourad.
Monday, June 18 from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Merkin Concert Hall, NYC
The 8:00 p.m. concert will be preceded by a discussion at 7:30 p.m. moderated by YPC Artistic Director/Founder Francisco J. Núñez, about the relevance and importance of music in today's society.
For more information, visit https://ypc.org/performances/
--Young People's Chorus of New York City
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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