Classical Music News of the Week, July 21, 2018

Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin to Make North America Debut at Bravo! Vail, 2019

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter to join ensemble for auspicious performance.

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival has just commenced its 2018 season and already it is tempting patrons with the announcement that Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin will make its North America debut at the distinguished summer classical music festival in 2019 alongside lauded violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. The performance also marks Anne-Sophie Mutter's Bravo! Vail debut. Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott made the announcement from stage to a thrilled audience of nearly 2,000 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Specific details about the repertoire and concert date are not yet available. More information about Bravo! Vail can be found at

"To present the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin in its North American debut is a singular opportunity for Bravo! Vail. That this occasion also marks the Vail debut of the great violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter performing all five of Mozart's violin concertos is thrilling," said McDermott, hinting at the program to come in 2019. "We are so excited to be a home for this compelling musical partnership and to introduce them to our exceptional audience and setting."

Comprised of musicians from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin showcases the prowess, sophistication, and collaborative spirit of two dominant forces in classical music. Though easy to emphasize the differences in these celebrated ensembles--the smooth elegance and nobleness of the Viennese; the captivating passion of the Berliners--when performing together it is clear that they treasure a refinement of playing, enormous flexibility, and a specific beauty of sound.

For more information, visit and

--Mike Fila, Bucklesweet

2018 Festival Mozaic Events
The 48th anniversary season of Festival Mozaic began this week. From now through July 29th, we will celebrate top-quality music-making, camaraderie, community-building, and music education. You'll see a diverse group of musicians from around the country present concerts in unique and beautiful spaces. We look forward to sharing the experience with you as we welcome these incredible musicians and bask in the glow of their creativity and artistry. We invite you to join us as we explore Music Without Borders.

Enjoy this video interview with Music Director Scott Yoo and Executive Director Bettina Swigger to learn more about the summer festival and its theme, Music Without Borders:

--Festival Mosaic

Emerson String Quartet Performs All Five of Beethoven's Last Quartets at Tanglewood
The world-renowned Emerson String Quartet returns to Tanglewood for performances of all five of Beethoven's immortal late string quartets, performed over two concerts. Like his final piano sonatas, the late quartets are some of Beethoven's greatest and most philosophical, inward-looking works. The program includes the String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat, Op. 127, the String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, and the String Quartet No. 16 in F, Op. 135.

Tuesday, July 24, 2017 at 8 PM
Seiji Ozawa Hall - Lenox, MA
String Quartets Nos. 12, 14, and 16

Wednesday, July 25, 2017 at 8 PM
Seiji Ozawa Hall - Lenox, MA
String Quartets Nos. 13 and 15 and Grosse Fuge in B-flat

For complete information, visit and

--Xi Wang, Kirshbaum Associates

Summer at the Green Music Center 2018
The Green Music Center's Summer 2018 Season in Weill Hall + Lawn (Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA) features a star-studded lineup with some of the most renowned names across a variety of genres from Country and bluegrass to jazz and blues. Voted best Music Venue in Sonoma County by readers of the Press Democrat and Best Outdoor Venue by The Bohemian, the Green Music Center offers unparalleled concert experiences, whether you're inside the stunning Weill Hall or soaking in the sounds of Summer on beautifully landscaped Weill lawn.

Free Movies on the Green
Annie (2014) and The Greatest Showman
Sunday, Jul. 22, 2018 – 3:00 pm

Blues at the Green
Maceo Parker Big Band, Eric Lindell & The Grand Nationals, Deva Mahal
Saturday, Jul. 28, 2018 – 2:00 pm

A Free Concert for the Community
Mariachi Champaña Nevín and the Santa Rosa Symphony
Sunday, Jul. 29, 2018 – 7:00 pm

Free Movies on the Green
The Lion King and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018 – 3:00 pm

Hunter Hayes
Friday, Aug. 10, 2018 – 7:30 pm

An Evening with Chris Botti
Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018 – 7:00 pm

Boyz II Men
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 – 7:30 pm

Punch Brothers
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 – 7:30 pm

Taste of Sonoma
Saturday, Sep. 1, 2018 – 12:00 pm

Free Movies on the Green
Black Panther
Friday, Sep. 7, 2018 – 7:00 pm

An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
Saturday, Sep. 8, 2018 – 7:30 pm

Tower of Power – 50th Anniversary Tour with special guest Average White Band
Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018 – 7:30 pm

For complete information, visit

--Green Music Center

Miami Music Festival
Opera Scenes
Sunday, July 22: 2:00pm
Weber Hall, Barry University
MMF Opera Apprentice singers perform an intriguing program of opera and operetta dating from the inception of the art form to current works.

Summer Chamber Works
Sunday, July 22: 8:00pm
Andy Gato Gallery, Barry University
Free Concert

MMF's Orchestral Institute draws a remarkable pool of talent from around the globe each season, and out of this ensemble, we offer our Chamber Concert series, comprised of student musicians who select their own programs and coach with our distinguished faculty and artists-in-residence. Chamber Concert performances can be enjoyed by the community throughout the entire festival.

For more information, visit

--Miami Music Festival

ASPECT Foundation for Music and Arts Announces 2018-2019 Season
The ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts today announces its third New York City season of illuminating performances featuring many of the most prominent performers and musical scholars of today. Paired with stimulating illustrated cultural discussions, ASPECT Foundation's 2018-2019 concerts include performances by the Zemlinsky String Quartet, Ariel String Quartet, violinist Philippe Quint and cellist Zlatomir Fung, the Sitkovetsky Duo, pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and the Four Nations Ensemble.

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7:30pm at Bohemian National Hall, ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts' season opens with Zemlinsky, Janácek, Dvorák and Their Muses.

The season continues on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 7:30pm with "Beethoven: Intimate Letters" at the Italian Academy at Columbia University. The program features the virtuosic Ariel String Quartet.

Mozart, Schumann, and the Tales of Hoffmann on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 7:30pm at Bohemian National Hall is a program conceived by violinist Philippe Quint.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7:30pm, ASPECT presents the thrilling Sitkovetsky Piano Duo in "When Brahms Met Tchaikovsky" at Bohemian National Hall.

The ASPECT Foundation season continues with Archduke Rudolf: Beethoven's Pupil and Patron on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:30pm at Bohemian National Hall. Russian-American pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn is joined by violinist Korbinian Altenberger and cellist Na-Young Baek.

On Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 7:30pm, ASPECT closes its season with Music Of The 18th Century Grand Tour at Bohemian National Hall. The concert features New York's Four Nations Ensemble with soprano Pascale Beaudin.

To find out more, please visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Opening Weekend of ABS Festival & Academy
The 9th annual ABS Festival & Academy will take place August 3-12, 2018 in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco's Saint Mark's Lutheran Church.

Each summer festival focuses on a different aspect of the world of Baroque music, and for 2018, ABS Artistic Director Jeffrey Thomas has chosen the music of Germany with a particular emphasis on "The Glorious Court of Dresden," known for the extraordinary quality of music that was composed for the electors and kings of Saxony who upheld the highest artistic and cultural standards for their subjects. Its splendid Baroque and Rococo architecture brought the city its nickname as the "Jewel Box," and a distinguished roster of performers and composers made it one of Europe's most important musical capitals. A full array of free events--including public master classes, lectures, concerts, and colloquia--complement the performances by American Bach Soloists in two exceptionally fine venues.

For more information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

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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