Classical Music News of the Week, October 27, 2018

Jazz at Princeton University Opens 2018-2019 Season: Nov. 14-May 11

The 2018-2019 Jazz at Princeton University season under the direction of Rudresh Mahanthappa presents a dynamic roster of guest artists including trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington alongside student ensembles led by faculty members Mahanthappa, Trineice Robinson-Martin, Darcy James Argue, Jay Clayton, and Matthew Parrish.

Highlights include performances by student groups joined by guest artists including Blue Note Records trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, legendary vocalist Nnenna Freelon, and Grammy winner and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. In April, Jazz at Princeton will present Princeton University's first-ever outdoor Jazz Festival.

"This year's Jazz at Princeton program is going to be extraordinary," says Mahanthappa. "With the contribution of so many of jazz's most articulate voices – both as guest artists and ensemble leaders – we are thrilled to offer performances that will engage, inspire and entertain students, educators and the community at large.  I am also excited that we'll be hosting our first outdoor jazz festival."

Jazz at Princeton's six major student ensembles include the Creative Large Ensemble directed by Darcy James Argue, Small Groups I and A directed by Mahanthappa, Small Group X directed by Matthew Parrish, the Jazz Vocal Collective directed by Trineice Robinson-Martin, and the Vocal Improvisation Ensemble directed by Jay Clayton.

For complete information, visit

Also, The Richardson Chamber Players, Princeton University Concerts' resident ensemble of performance faculty, distinguished guest artists and supremely talented students, offer a Sunday afternoon concert of mixed chamber works on November 11, 2018 at 3PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Tickets are $15 General/$5 Students, available online at, by phone at 609-258-9220, or in person two hours prior to the concert at Richardson Auditorium.

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Introducing Vocal Currents...Young People's Chorus
"Vocal Currents: Music in our Changing World" reimagines and redefines today's music by bringing YPC's young singers together with composers to spark their visions and imaginations to create the music of tomorrow. Vocal Currents launches with Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez and Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez conducting YPC in eight 2018 YPC commissions and a choral arrangement of a 2010 work.

Vocal Currents: Music in our Changing World
November 3 at 3:00 p.m. -  Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, NYC

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

American Classical Orchestra Presents Imperial Haydn
On Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8:00pm at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC, American Classical Orchestra (ACO) presents "Imperial Haydn," with guest soloist Aisslinn Nosky (violin) and ACO principals Marc Schachman (oboe), Andrew Schwartz (bassoon), and Myron Lutzke (cello). Along with Haydn's "L'Impériale" (No. 53), the program also features his Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major and a rare performance of Kalliwoda's Symphony No. 5 in B minor.

The orchestra's current season includes two more concerts at Lincoln Center: Joyous Bach, featuring ACO principal flutist Sandra Miller and The ACO Chorus (Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 8:00pm); and Beethoven's Eroica, a performance of the composer's monumental Symphony No. 3, preceded by his Coriolan Overture (Friday, May 17, 2019 at 8:00pm). In addition, ACO is presenting two salon concerts at landmark New York City venues: Bass (Thursday, January 24, 2019) a revelatory look back at the instrument's role in classical music, with ACO principal bassist John Feeney; and "A Ladies' Journey 1876" (Thursday, June 6, 2019), an evening of 19th century parlor music with soprano Christina Kay, Alex Cook on horn and Gwendolyn Toth on fortepiano.

For more information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Musica Viva NY Commemorates 100th Anniversary of WWI Conclusion
Musica Viva NY commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with a program entitled the "End of the War to End All Wars" on Sunday, November 11 at 5:00 p.m. at All Souls Church, NYC.

The concert features mezzo-soprano Barbara Dever and the Musica Viva NY Choir led by Artistic Director Alejandro Hernandez Valdez performing works by composers directly affected by World War I, including Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin and Holst's Ode to Death. Also on the program is a NY premiere for choir and chamber orchestra based on texts by World War I poets composed by Joseph Turrin, co-commissioned by Musica Viva NY, the New Orchestra of Washington, and the Washington Master Chorale.

Tickets, priced at $40, are available by visiting or can be purchased at the door. For discounted pricing, please visit for details.

--Will Albach, Morahan Arts and Media

NYFOS Opens 2018-19 Season with Celebration of W.C. Handy and the Birth of the Blues
New York Festival of Song--the "engaging, ever-curious series" (The New York Times)--opens its 2018-2019 season by delving into the world of W. C. Handy, often referred to as the "Father of the Blues," and his vast influence as a prominent African-American composer and publisher in the early 20th century.

The concert takes place at Merkin Concert Hall, NYC, on Wednesday, November 14 at 8:00 p.m.

For complete information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
On Site Opera (OSO) will present Gian Carlo Menotti's holiday opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen December 6-8, 2018. In partnership with Breaking Ground, New York City's largest provider of permanent supportive housing for the homeless, performances will feature a chorus made up of community members who have experienced homelessness.

Tickets will be free, part of OSO's "Opera Free For All" initiative, though the company asks that all attendees bring a small donation of non-perishable food items, to be given to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

December 6 & 7, 2018 at 7:30pm
December 8, 2018 at 2:00pm & 6:00pm
Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
296 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Music in our Changing World
Don't miss "Vocal Currents," the newest commissioning series from Young People's Chorus of New York City: Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m., at the Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, NYC.

"Vocal Currents: Music in our Changing World" reimagines and redefines today's music by bringing YPC's young singers together with composers to create the music of tomorrow. Tickets on sale now at $25 general admission | $15 students.

For more information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of NYC

Saint Thomas Church Announces Jeremy Filsell as New Organist and Director of Music
The Rector, Wardens and Vestry of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue announce that Dr. Jeremy Filsell has been called as Organist and Director of Music to succeed Daniel Hyde who is returning to the prestigious King's College, Cambridge in the Spring of 2019.

As a U.S. citizen and a British subject, Jeremy is uniquely placed to lead the finest professional choir of men and boys in North America, whose life owes much to the great English choral tradition since T. Tertius Noble was invited to found the Saint Thomas Choir School in 1919.

"I am very excited to welcome Jeremy to join a hard-working team at Saint Thomas Church and to build on the great legacy of his predecessors.  Jeremy not only has an international reputation on the organ, but is also passionate about music changing peoples' lives, and I know how much he is looking forward to leading our Choir as its unique Choir School celebrates the centenary of its founding," said the Rector, Canon Carl Turner.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

WMI Presents NY Debut of Balkan/Classical Duo Aritmia
World Music Institute presents two celebrated instrumentalists who ruminate on their common roots and love of traditional Balkan and classical music with original works and arrangements of Erik Satie, Manuel de Falla, and the mournful music of sevdah—sometimes called 'Bosnian blues.' Known for their sheer virtuosity combined with a blend of improvisation and jazz with their sound, they are able to create powerful, distinct sound-worlds through their own compositions as well as their own arrangements of folk and classical works.

Bosnian-born Merima Kljuco is one of the world's finest concert accordionists. She is a frequent guest soloist with orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Holland Symphonia, and has worked with internationally renowned artists and ensembles such as Theodore Bikel, MusikFabrik and the Schönberg Ensemble.

An acclaimed guitarist of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian origins, Miroslav Tadic has performed and recorded with luminaries such as Terry Riley, Plácido Domingo, Wadada Leo Smith, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo. He has also recorded duo albums with such luminaries as guitarists Vlatko Stefanovski, Dusan Bogdanovic, vocalists Teofilovic brothers, and saxophonist Peter Epstein, and he is on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.

Saturday, November 17, 2018
Doors, 7 p.m.
Show, 7:30 p.m.
Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway, NYC

For more information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Meet the Juilliard Grads in "Vivaldi the Teacher"
Meet the Future of Period Perfomance!

November 7-11, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra welcomes three recent graduates of the Historical Performance program at The Juilliard School. Violinist Alana Youssefian (Class of 2018), oboist David Dickey (Class of 2016) and cellist Keiran Campbell (Class of 2017) have all been instructed by PBO musicians during their studies. Now, they are coming to PBO to reunite with their former teachers Elizabeth Blumenstock, Gonzalo X. Ruiz and Phoebe Carrai to perform Vivaldi double concerti in "Vivaldi the Teacher."

PBO is pleased to introduce you to our November Guest Artists in the following videos.

Alana Youssefian performs Bach's Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003 (Bach):

David Dickey performs Pierre Danican Philidor's Cinquieme Suite:

Keiran Campell performs Bach's Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major BWV 1012:

For more information and tickets, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale

The Crypt Sessions Presents Thibaut Garcia on November 14
Unison Media's acclaimed concert series The Crypt Sessions continues its third season on November 14, with French/Spanish guitarist Thibaut Garcia, performing a program of music composed and inspired by Bach - centering around his towering Chaconne, and also including music by 20th Century composers Heitor Villa-Lobos, Agustín Barrios Mangore, and Alexandre Tansman. The program stems from Thibaut's new Erato album "Bach Inspirations," which was released October 5.

The young guitarist spent six months touring the U.S. in 2016-17, playing over 50 dates across the country while witnessing a period of profound social and political change.

Wed, November 14, 2018
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
Crypt Chapel of The Church of the Intercession
550 West 155th Street
New York, NY 10032

For complete information and tickets, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

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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