Classical Music News of the Week, June 2, 2018

New Century Chamber Orchestra Announces 2018-2019 Season

Music Director Daniel Hope and New Century Chamber Orchestra announces its 2018-2019 season including four subscription weeks in venues across the San Francisco Bay Area and a debut European tour of Germany and Poland.

Recently announced as the ensemble's permanent Music Director, Hope will lead a season that includes a debut appearance by Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez performing Erwin Schulhoff's Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings; the San Francisco premiere of Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons featuring Hope as soloist; the U.S. premiere of Seavaigers by British composer Sally Beamish featuring Guest Concertmaster Anthony Marwood and Scottish accordionist James Crabb; and a program of American masterworks that showcases jazz legends The Marcus Roberts Trio.

"I am thrilled to be leading New Century as Music Director and can't wait to build upon the many successes that we have enjoyed together so far," said Daniel Hope. "This orchestra has achieved many significant milestones in its 26 year history and thoroughly deserves its reputation as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world."

New Century's season opens November 1-4, 2018. For a complete list of places, times, and ticket prices, visit

--Brenden Guy, New Century Chamber Orchestra

Concerts at Saint Thomas Presents a Program of Organ Duets on June 16
Concerts at Saint Thomas closes their 2017-18 season with "Four Hands, Four Feet: Daniel Hyde and Benjamin Sheen in Recital" on June 16, 2018 at 2 pm. In their debut duo recital, showcasing the magnificent pipe organs of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, NYC, award-winning organists Daniel Hyde and Benjamin Sheen perform virtuosic transcriptions of works from the orchestral and operatic literature.

The pipe organ is one of the oldest instruments in the Western musical tradition. In the 19th century, before the advent of recording technology, transcriptions for organ of symphonic and opera works became a popular way for people to hear the masterworks of the repertoire – every area had a church with an organ.

For further information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Zukerman Receives Dushkin Award at Music Institute's Anniversary Gala
The Music Institute of Chicago, one of the nation's oldest, largest, and most distinguished community music schools, welcomed 300 guests to its 2018 Anniversary Gala on Monday, May 21 at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago. The event raised more than $715,000 from a combination of table sponsorships, ticket sales, and outright contributions.

The evening included a cocktail reception, followed by an elegant dinner and awards presentation. Musical performances took place throughout the evening, representing every area of the Music Institute. Highlights included young musicians from the Community Music School; award-winning students from the renowned Academy, a training center for gifted pre-college musicians; and young students from its outreach programs, including ArtsLink, an arts integration program offered in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, and Third Coast Suzuki Strings, a violin program on Chicago's Northwest Side in collaboration with the YMCA of Metro Chicago.

The prestigious Dushkin Award, established 30 years ago and named for the Music Institute's visionary founders, Dorothy and David Dushkin, recognizes international luminaries in the world of music for their contributions to the art form, as well as to the education of youth. This year's recipient, Pinchas Zukerman, has remained a phenomenon in the world of classical music for more than four decades.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

July 17-29: Music Without Borders
Join us for our 48th annual summer season, Music Without Borders, July 17-29, 2018, featuring 30 events in 19 different venues in beautiful San Luis Obispo County, California.

Explore all of Festival Mozaic's unique concert series: Orchestra, Chamber Music, UnClassical, and Notable Encounters. The Festival also offers a range of Free Community Events, including lectures, open rehearsals, master classes, and the popular Midday Mini-Concerts.

There are three easy ways to order your tickets:
Online: Click the link below to select seats, view venue maps (available 24 hours a day)
Phone: 805 781-3009 (Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM)
Walk-in: Visit our new office at 265 South Street, Suite G, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM)

For complete information, visit

--Festival Mozaic

Yannick Nezet-Seguin Signs Exclusive Contract with Deutsche Grammophon
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, incoming Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera and Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, has signed an exclusive contract with esteemed classical label, Deutsche Grammophon.

The Montreal-born conductor, hailed by the Financial Times as the "greatest generator of energy on the international podium," will record a broad range of symphonic and operatic repertoire under the label as part of his work as Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, and as an Honorary Member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE). The contract was signed in Hamburg on May 30 2018, during Nézet-Seeguin's nine-city tour of Europe and Israel with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

--Samatha Sklar, Universal Music

Miami Music Festival Summer Program Lineup
Miami Music Festival (MFF), an intensive training program for the next generation of classical musicians, announces the lineup for the 2018 season from June 5 through July 29, 2018 at various venues in Miami. In its fifth season, MMF will host young artists from around the world selected from top conservatories and universities.

This year, 250 students from over 25 countries will receive instruction from an assembly of world-class faculty while the community benefits from accessible public concerts featuring many of the industry's most talented artists.

This season will include musical milestones such as the return of MMF's POPS Concert and Independence Day Celebration after a successful first year, and the directorial debut of Antoine Wagner-great grandson of famed German composer Richard Wagner- as the MMF's critically acclaimed Wagner Institute stages complete Acts from Lohengrin and Die Walküre.

For complete information, visit

--Leticia Rivera, Miami Music Festival

New England Conservatory's Children's Choruses: Three Choirs to Perform in Jordan Hall
Children's choirs are woven through the 150-year history of New England Conservatory. Two years after Eben Tourjée opened NEC, famous bandleader, Patrick Gilmore (he penned "When Johnny Comes Marching Home") conceived the idea of a "Great Peace Jubilee." He asked Tourjée to organize and train 20,000 chorus members and an orchestra of 2,000. Many children participated in the chorus from all over the United States. The coliseum built in 1872 for the Jubilee was situated on what is now the Copley Plaza Hotel. It covered four and a half acres, seated 50,000 people, and contained the world's largest organ.

Continuing the tradition of children's choir, New England Conservatory presents an afternoon of delightful choral music with its Preparatory Chorus, Children's Chorus and Chamber Chorus. The afternoon will be conducted by Carey Shunskis, who also curated the program. Studies show there are many benefits for children who sing in groups, including positive social, community, and academic development.

The NEC Children's Chorus event will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 3:00pm in NEC's Jordan Hall.

For more information, visit

--Lisa Helfer, New England Conservatory

Foundation to Assist Young Musicians Newsletter, June 2018
Summer 2018 Calendar

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

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

Couldn't make it to the End of Year Recital? You can view each performance on the FAYM Youtube channel. Find the links here:

--Arturo Ochoa, President, FAYM

Young People's Chorus of New York City Partners with Yale Choral Artists
The Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) partners with Yale Choral Artists for two concerts in New Haven and New York that explore the theme of citizenship--Saturday, June 16 at 2:00 p.m. at the Yale School of Music's Morse Recital Hall and Monday, June 18 at 8:00 p.m. at Merkin Concert Hall, respectively.

The performances feature works that engage with such topics as immigration, inclusion, and national identity, including world premieres of Paola Prestini's The Glass Box (YPC and Yale Choral Artists co-commission; to be performed June 16 and 18) and Arturo O'Farrill's Borderless (YPC commission; to be performed June 18), as well as works by Dominick DiOrio, Michael Gordon, David Lang, and YPC Founder and Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, among others. The two choirs sing separately as well as together, and both Mr. Núñez and Yale Choral Artists Director Jeffrey Douma conduct. The performance in New Haven is programmed within the Yale International Choral Festival, which is part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.

For more information, visit

--Shuman Associates 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