Classical Music News of the Week, August 4, 2018

Bravo! Vail, Philadelphia Orchestra Contract Extension

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival is pleased to announce that The Philadelphia Orchestra will continue to be a mainstay of this distinguished summer destination for classical music, with a three-year contract extension ensuring its presence in Vail from 2019-2021. The announcement was made by Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott and The Philadelphia Orchestra's Board Chairman Richard Worley and Interim President Ryan Fleur during its finale performance on Saturday, July 14, 2018, with esteemed pianist Daniil Trifonov. The Philadelphia Orchestra first performed at Bravo! Vail in 2007. More information about Bravo! Vail is available at

Highlights of The Philadelphia Orchestra's relationship with Bravo! Vail include the Festival debut or world premiere of works by Mason Bates, Guillaume Connesson, and Jennifer Higdon, as well as notable orchestral transcriptions created by the Orchestra's famed late Music Director Leopold Stokowski. Together, they also presented the Festival's first film screening with the live score, Disney's Fantasia in 2014, and the concert music of critically acclaimed film composer John Williams. The Orchestra also brought the circus to the mountains with the exciting debut production of Cirque de la Symphonie at Bravo! Vail.

Early in his tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin concluded the ensemble's 2013 residency with a triumphant performance of Verdi's Requiem Mass, which was broadcast live on Colorado Public Radio stations across the state. Additionally, the Orchestra presented a theatrically staged Shakespeare program in collaboration with Colorado Shakespeare Theater, selections from La bohème in concert with conductor Rossen Milanov, and a Jazz evening with the legendary Paquito d'Rivera. The Orchestra has also been an enthusiastic participant in Bravo! Vail's community and education outreach, dispatching musicians to perform in Free Family and Little Listeners @ the Library concerts throughout the Vail Valley.

"Our partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra has yielded some of Bravo! Vail's most innovative offerings," said Festival Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott. "The announcement of our first opera production, Tosca, in collaboration with the Orchestra, signals that Bravo! Vail will continue to evolve and pursue new artistic endeavors with this exceptional creative partner. We are thrilled for their renewed commitment to the Festival and Vail audiences."

"The Philadelphia Orchestra has enjoyed more than a decade of memorable performances at the esteemed Bravo! Vail Music Festival," said Richard B. Worley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Orchestra. "We look forward to continuing this fruitful relationship with a partner that believes in the versatility of the Orchestra and the inspiring possibilities of symphonic music. This special collaboration enables us to present the most creative forms of our art for the devoted and appreciative audiences of Vail."

For more information on Bravo! Vail, call 970.827.5700 or visit

--Amanda Sweet, Bucklesweet

Brubeck & More That's New
The name BRUBECK evokes memories of the 1950's hit "Take Five" with the amazing sax player Paul Desmond but, nowadays, it means CHRIS Brubeck, who has written superb pieces for Canadian Brass, Time for Three, and Sharon Isbin.

On August 11th at the Classical Tahoe Festival, Jaime Laredo & Sharon Robinson will give the world premiere, with conductor Joel Revzen, of the Double Concerto "Pas de Deux" that Chris has written for them. It's bound to be another great piece for Jaime and Sharon. So, if it's Brubeck or Brahms, Rozsa, Previn, Zwilich, Danielpour or more, you'll want to have Jaime and Sharon come and delight your audience.

For complete information, visit

--Frank Salomon Associates

WinterMezzo Tickets On Sale Now
The last notes are still ringing from our incredible 2018 Summer Festival. And oh, what a Festival it was! Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see new videos of the Summer Festival. And be sure to follow our Facebook page to re-live the Festival magic by seeing the photos from all of our Summer events.

Tickets for our 2018-2019 WinterMezzo Chamber Music Series are on sale now! Buy tickets online at or call our office at (805) 781-3009.

Festival Mozaic's internationally-renowned artists present chamber music concerts in spectacular venues on the California Central Coast in the fall and winter. This season, Music Director Scott Yoo presents two weekends of great works of chamber music and offers three sequential ways to connect to the music and the musicians. We encourage you to attend all events in each weekend, and experience the special intimacy that comes from Festival Mozaic.

For complete information, visit

--Festival Mosaic

September Concerts Open Orion's 26th Season
The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, opens its 26th season with "Vienna, City of My Dreams," welcoming guest violist Stephen Boe. Performances take place September 23 at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, Illinois; September 26 at the PianoForte Studios in downtown Chicago; and September 30 at Chapelstreet Church in Geneva.

The program
Orion's first concert program of the season features Mozart's Clarinet Quartet in B-flat Major, after KV317d. Mozart's love for the violin and viola was second in his heart only to his beloved fortepiano.

Opening night event: September 23
To open the season, Orion hosts a benefit reception after the September 23 performance from 5 to 7 p.m. at Vinic Wines, 1509 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Guests enjoy wine, snacks and conversation with Orion artists, board members and concertgoers.

For more information about the Orion Ensemble's season, visit

--Jill Chukerman, The Orion Ensemble

Foundation to Assist Young Musicians: President's Message
The summer is almost over and we will soon be into the2018/2019 school year. This newsletter has lots of important information regarding the start of the year's activities. Please be sure to review important dates and if you have any questions feel free to call!

This past year, we started a Mariachi program that is doing very well under the leadership of Ms. Marla Huizar. This year we are looking at creating a Beginning Mariachi class in which any FAYM student that has completed their first year with us may attend. We are still working out the details and are searching for a teacher for this class. We will have more information at the orientation meetings.

In addition to our Violins for Kids program, FAYM also provides some scholarship assistance to students that have finished high school and are moving on to college. This month I would like to give an update on one of our scholarship recipients, Miss Kelly Haines. Kelly is a very accomplished young musician that is pursuing a college degree. If you are a FAYM parent, please be sure to share this article with your children currently in FAYM. Someday they too may receive a FAYM scholarship.  --Aruthur Ochoa, President

To register, visit
For more information on the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians, visit


Turn the Spotlight Launches to Create a More Equitable Future in the Arts
Today, twenty-one arts leaders and activists announce the launch of Turn the Spotlight, a foundation created to pair top-tier mentors with exceptional women, people of color, and other equity-seeking groups in the arts. Beth Stewart, a New York City-based arts entrepreneur and classical music publicist, will lead the foundation, which is supported by an Advisory Board of arts world luminaries, including soprano Julia Bullock, journalists Anne Midgette and Celeste Headlee, conductors Lidiya Yankovskaya and Nicole Paiement, stage director Francesca Zambello, classical music publicist Mary Lou Falcone, arts advocates Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora, and women's rights advocate Amanda Mejia.

"We believe that systemic change is crucial," said Turn The Spotlight Founder Beth Stewart. "We also believe that one-on-one mentoring can have real impact, particularly in an industry in which so many professionals are freelancers working outside an established institutional framework. Our mission is to identify, nurture, and empower leaders, and in turn, illuminate the path to a more equitable future in the arts."

For more information, visit

--Beth Stewart, Verismo Communications

2018/19 Single Tickets Now on Sale for Philharmonia Baroque
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's 2018/19 Season promises an eclectic array of sound experiences, with sacred vocal works by Bach, Mozart and Pärt, virtuosic concerti by Vivaldi and Geminiani, and Handel at his dramatic heights. Join us at one (or more) of these exciting season programs.

Purchase tickets early while the best seats are still available!

For complete season listings and tickets, visit

Or call Call City Box Office at (415) 392-4400

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

PUBLIQuartet Announces Nat'l Sawdust Residency & PUBLIQ Access Composers
PUBLIQuartet has named the recipients of the 2018-19 PUBLIQ Access award (PQA), three composers with whom they will collaborate for the 2018-19 season, Vahid Jahandari, Gemma Peacocke and Niloufar Nourbakhsh. They will each receive a commission to write for PUBLIQuartet and get the chance to engage in high profile talks, panels and concerts featuring their compositions, performed by PUBLIQuartet. Additionally, The Violin Channel will share the composers' works in their New Music Tuesday feature and conduct an interview with each of them.

2018 marks the commencement of PUBLIQ Access Junior, which serves as an avenue of exposure for composers age 17 and under. This year's award recipient is Avik Sarkar. This PQA Junior award will allow him the opportunity to compose a 5-minute commission for PUBLIQuartet that will debut along with the other PQA composers on April 26th. Additionally, The Violin Channel will feature Sarkar's work in New Music Tuesday and conduct an interview with him.

PUBLIQuartet residency at National Sawdust:
National Sawdust recently announced that PUBLIQuartet will be their 2018-19 Artists-In-Residence.  All workshops with PQA & PQA Junior composers will be held at National Sawdust as well as performances of all four works on April 26th. Other residency performances by the Quartet are November 7th, 2018 and February 10th, 2019.

For complete information, visit

--Amanda Sweet, Bucklesweet

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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