Classical Music News of the Week, October 20, 2018

New Century Presents Anthony Marwood

New Century Chamber Orchestra opens its 2018-2019 season November 1-4 with debut performances by British violinist Anthony Marwood.

A renowned interpreter of contemporary music, Marwood leads New Century as guest concertmaster for the U.S. Premiere of Seavaigers for Violin, Accordion and Strings by British composer Sally Beamish, featuring Scottish accordion pioneer James Crabb in his Bay Area debut. Marwood also takes to the stage as soloist in Concerto for Violin and Strings, 'Distant Light' by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks with Dvorák's classic Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22 rounding off the program.

The program will be performed on four different occasions throughout the SF Bay Area:
Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA
Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA
Sunday, November 4 at 3 p.m., Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael, CA

This season, New Century will offer free admission to its popular Open Rehearsal at 10 AM on Wednesday, October 31 at Trinity & St. Peter's Church, San Francisco.

For more information on New Century, please visit

--Brenden Guy PR

Third Coast Percussion to Premiere Brand-New Work by Philip Glass
Third Coast Percussion, GRAMMY winners for their 2016 album "Third Coast Percussion | Steve Reich," turn to Philip Glass, another composer known for music with repetitive structures, for their latest recording. The centerpiece of the album is a brand-new work by Glass, "Perpetulum," which also gives the disc its title. "Perpetulum" is Glass's first-ever work for percussion ensemble and was commissioned by Third Coast Percussion and a consortium of partners (see below); it will receive its world premiere on November 9, 2018 in Third Coast's home base of Chicago, presented by the Chicago Humanities Festival. Third Coast Percussion will take "Perpetulum" out on tour in the spring of 2019, and the album release is set for March 29, 2019 on Glass's label Orange Mountain Music.

For more information, visit

--Caroline Heaney, Bucklesweet

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Presents "Stars Aligned" at Carnegie Hall
On Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 7:00pm, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra presents "Stars Aligned," an exploration of classical works by composers who revolutionized America's collective imagination and cultural heritage through film scoring, at Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Stars Aligned features works by composers with deep cinematic roots — Nino Rota, Miklós Rózsa, and Franz Waxman.

The unique duo of Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova joins Orpheus in the premiere performances of Golden Globe, Grammy, and Emmy nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch's Monomachía (Concerto for Mandolin and Accordion) commissioned by Orpheus as part of its American Notes initiative, and a novel rendition of Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor, BWV 1060R. The premiere will be paired with Waxman's Sinfonietta for Strings and Timpani; Rota's Canzona (1935); and Rózsa's Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25 (1945).

Single tickets for the November 10 performance, priced from $12.50 to $75, are available for purchase at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th and 7th, NYC, can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or by visiting the Carnegie Hall Web site at

The program will also be performed on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 7:30pm at the Weis Center at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 7:00pm at DePaul University in Chicago, IL:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7:00pm at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO:

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 8:00pm at the Staller Center for the Performing Arts in Stony Brook, NY:

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Miller Theatre Debut of the Dutch Vocal Ensemble Cappella Pratensis
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues its 2018–2019 Early Music series with Cappella Pratensis: "The Josquin Imitation Game."

Josquin des Prez paid homage to his predecessors through the use of imitation. By the same token, subsequent composers played this game as a deliberate tribute, utilizing the same texts, melodies, and other characteristics of his music. The acclaimed Cappella Pratensis, known for their period interpretations, makes their Miller debut with a program anchored by Josquin masterpieces and exploring some of the great polyphonic works of the period by composers who inspired Josquin and those who were later inspired by him.

Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
(145 West 46th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues, NYC)

Tickets $30–$45; Students with valid ID: $7–$27

For more information, visit and

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Juilliard Grads Face Off with Former Instructors in "Vivaldi the Teacher"
Vivaldi composed his most exceptional concerti to spotlight his most talented students. How apropos to showcase three recent graduates of The Juilliard School's esteemed Historical Performance program, alongside three PBO orchestra musicians--their Juilliard teachers! Watch them "double down" on these Vivaldi double concerti, bookended by sumptuous music by Corelli and Geminiani—including the most famous theme in musical history, La Follia.

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Elizabeth Blumenstock & Alana Youssefian, violin
Phoebe Carrai & Keiran Campbell, violoncello
Gonzalo X. Ruiz & David Dickey, oboe

Wednesday November 7 @ 7:30 pm: First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Friday November 9 @ 8 pm: Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Saturday November 10 @ 8 pm: First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA
Sunday November 11 @ 4 pm: First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

All concert tickets available at City Box Office: (415) 392-4400 or
For complete information, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Music Institute and Dance Chicago "Duke It Out" December 8
Classical, jazz and dance combine when the Music Institute of Chicago collaborates with Dance Chicago to present a family concert, "Duke It Out!," Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois.

This Nutcracker performance, curated by Dance Chicago, pairs the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite, performed by Axiom Brass and Music Institute Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca. Featured ensembles in past years have included Forum Jazz Dance Theatre, Moscow Ballet's children's cast, The Kate Jablonski Statement, Tapman Productions, Visceral Dance Chicago, Wheatland Dance Theater, and other companies and choreographers participating in Dance Chicago. The performance is a family-friendly 60 minutes, followed by a festive holiday reception featuring refreshments and a photo booth with the artists.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Announcing Gustavo Dudamel Residency Public Events
Princeton University Concerts is thrilled to announce a comprehensive schedule of public events for Gustavo Dudamel's upcoming residency. Maestro Dudamel will come to campus in three separate visits throughout the 2018-19 season for series of events showcasing his dedication to music's unique capacity to unite people and disciplines, and to serve as a catalyst for social change.

The unprecedented scope of the residency includes concerts curated and led by Maestro Dudamel, numerous community and educational events, and a series of themed talks, discussions and interdisciplinary exhibits exploring relationship between music and the world around us.

The residency concludes with Maestro Dudamel conducting two performances with the Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club, including a newly-announced FREE concert April 27 in Trenton, NJ, and an April 28 "seminario" with hundreds of students from El Sistema-inspired programs across New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic region.

For complete information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Buy One, Get One Free for PBO Sessions: H.I.P. Revolution Nov. 8
From HIP's rebellious beginnings to today, come hear three recent Juilliard grads and their teachers (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra members) in this dynamic evening of discussion, history, and music. Audiences will learn about the history of Historically Informed Performance (HIP) from Nicholas McGegan, Ben Sosland, and Bruce Lamott and experience it for themselves as the musicians perform works by Vivaldi, Handel, Corelli and Geminiani.

Now, you can buy one $25 ticket and get one free! Use discount code: HIP18 at checkout.

Nicholas McGegan, PBO Music Director
Ben Sosland, Director of Juilliard Historical Performance
Bruce Lamott, PBO Chorale Director

For more information, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

JACK Quartet named Musical America's 2019 Ensemble of the Year
JACK Quartet is proud to announce that it has been named Musical America's 2019 Ensemble of the Year. In his tribute article, Allan Kozinn said of the quartet: "This group's fresh, energetic, and stylistically omnivorous approach to the contemporary repertoire makes it a worthy heir to the tradition of new-music quartets that goes back to the Composers Quartet in the 1960s and rivals the Kronos and Arditti Quartets of today...If JACK thought a piece was worth programming, you wanted to be there to hear why."

The announcement precedes the December publication of the 2019 Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts, which, in addition to its comprehensive industry listings, pays homage to each of these artists in its editorial pages. The annual Musical America Awards will be presented in a special ceremony at Carnegie Hall.

For more information, visit and

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Fifth Graders to Perform Songs They Wrote Themselves
"Be Brave!" and "Just Say Yes!" are two of the rules of collaboration fifth grade students follow when they take part in the Los Angeles Master Chorale's "Voices Within" program. The Fall series of "Voices Within" concerts featuring students performing songs they have written will take place on Wednesday, November 14 at Carlos Santana Arts Academy and Friday, November 16 at Hooper Avenue Elementary School.

The concerts are the culmination of the 12-week Voices Within program that brings three teaching artists--a composer, a lyricist, and a performer--into the schools to introduce the students to music ideas such as pitch, rhythm, and melody, and teaches them how to apply these concepts to songwriting. The students perform their songs for fellow students, teachers, and friends and family. Each school will give two performances.

Carlos Santana Arts Academy
Wednesday, November 14, 9:20 AM & 10:40 AM
9301 Columbus Avenue, North Hills, CA 91343

Hooper Avenue Elementary School
Friday, November 16, 10:00 AM & 11:25 AM
1225 E 52nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90011

For more information, visit

--Jennifer Scott, Los Angeles Master Chorale

The Rubies 2018: Spotlight on Dominique Labelle
Soprano and vocal pedagogue Dominique Labelle feels honoured to receive one of this year's Opera Canada Awards (a 'Ruby'). "It is humbling but heart-warming to be recognised by your country and your peers." Dominique Labelle adds with a wistful grin, "in addition the ruby is my birth stone but I've never possessed one" and laughing adds, "until now that is." Meeting Labelle is like a breath of fresh air. She both reassures and inspires with her uncomplicated but positive approach to life and to her musical vocation. Because in many respects, music is, for her, a vocation.

Montréal-born Labelle comes from a rich musical background. Her ancestor, Louise Labelle, was grandmother of the famous, late 19th-century Québécoise soprano, Emma Albani, and Dominique's major musical influence was her own paternal grandmother, Marie-Flore Labelle. Not only did Marie-Flore sing all the time, but she also collected folk and popular songs. I had the privilege of seeing a beautifully annotated ledger of these songs, supplemented by several cassettes of her grandmother singing them. These treasured possessions are not only souvenirs, but also help explain why music became an integral part of Dominique's life.

For more information, visit

--Schwalbe and Partners

I-Hao Lee Joins Music Institute's Academy Faculty
The Music Institute of Chicago announces the appointment of noteworthy violinist I-Hao Lee, who joins a group of esteemed faculty members at the Academy, a training center for gifted pre-college musicians. Lee also teaches at The Juilliard School's Pre-College Division and DePaul University's School of Music.

"The Music Institute is thrilled to welcome I-Hao Lee to our Academy faculty," said Music Institute President and CEO Mark George. "His achievements as a violin teacher are truly remarkable. I am very impressed with his high energy and gracious collegiality." Lee's active teaching career has culminated in notable achievements by his students, including top prizes at the Queen Elisabeth, Young Concert Artists, Sarasate, Sion-Valais (Tibor Varga), Cooper, and Postacchini International Competitions; an Avery Fisher Career Grant; and performances with major orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony OrchestraO and Mariinsky orchestra. Lee has given master classes throughout the U.S., China, and Taiwan and has taught violin and chamber music at Manhattanville College and the Great Mountains Music Festival and School.

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

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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