Classical Music News of the Week, October 6, 2018

The Emerson Quartet Celebrates the 80th Birthday of American Composer William Bolcom

The world-renowned Emerson String Quartet celebrates the 80th birthday of American composer and pianist, winner of the National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award, William Bolcom at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 5 PM.

Joined by the acclaimed pianist Shai Wosner, the Quartet performs Bolcom's Piano Quintet No. 1.  Composed in commemoration of the 80th birthday of the legendary violinist Isaac Stern, the piece was premiered in 2001 by Stern and members of the Emerson Quartet (Philip Setzer, violin, Lawrence Dutton, viola, David Finckel, cello) along with pianist Jonathan Biss at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Bolcom's Piano Quintet, the upcoming concert features the Mozart Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, K. 493 and concludes with the vibrant and unabashedly joyful Dvorák Quartet in G major for Strings, Op. 106 of which the slow movement is considered one of the glories of Dvorák's whole catalog.

Emerson String Quartet, with Shai Wosner, piano
Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY

For more information, visit

--Xi Wang, Kirshbaum Associates

Hurry! Ticket Prices to "Mozart Magnified" Go Up at the Door!
Join PBO with exquisite Puerto Rican soprano Camille Ortiz and a star-studded cast as we celebrate Mozart for our season opener. With the full force of the Chorale, and the Orchestra's vibrant range on period instruments, PBO's authenticity shines brightest in simple and dramatic moments of Mozart's most glorious vocal works.

Mozart: Litaniae Lauretanae, BMV in D Major, K. 195
Mozart: Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165
Mozart: Mass No. 15 in C major, "Coronation"

Remaining performances:
Saturday, October 6 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA
Sunday, October 7 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

For more information and tickets, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

PARMA Fall 2018 Call For Scores
It's hard to believe that fall is here, and the end of 2018 is right around the corner. PARMA has experienced a fruitful summer, with the successful launch of our China tours, dozens of innovative new releases, and recording sessions in Croatia and the Czech Republic. Now, we are looking forward to an equally exciting fall season - which includes our latest Call for Scores. In addition to being recorded, selected submissions will be considered for live performances. Previously accepted scores have been performed in Poland, Russia, Croatia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United States, and more.

We are currently accepting submissions for
- Solo Piano or Piano Concerto Works - Prague CZ
- Woodwind Quintet Works - Boston MA
- Orchestral Works with or without soloists - Prague CZ

Please submit PDF scores and corresponding MIDI files or live recordings via our Project Submission form.

Selected scores will be recorded and commercially released by PARMA Recordings. The submitter is responsible for securing funds associated with the production, and retains all ownership of the master and underlying composition.

Works should ideally be between 5 and 15 minutes in length, but pieces outside of that range will still be considered.

Deadline for all submissions is October 19, 2018. There is no fee to submit.

You will receive a confirmation of receipt for submissions. We will work with the performers and our Sessions, Audio, and A&R Teams to select pieces that could fit these open projects. Should your music be selected, we will reach out to you with more information on pricing, scheduling, and other details.

Upload PDF scores and audio files via our Project Submission form:

For more information, visit

--PARMA Recordings

Spooktacular Concert and Haunted Open House
The Music Institute of Chicago's Faculty and Guest Artist Series continues Sunday, October 28 with a 3 p.m. "Spooktacular" Concert and 4 p.m. Haunted Musical Open House at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. Using a festive Halloween theme as inspiration, the Music Institute's award-winning faculty perform appropriately "scary" music that showcases the historic 1914 E. M. Skinner pipe organ as well as a variety of instruments and musical styles.

This family-friendly, 60-minute concert is followed by a "Haunted Musical Open House." Guests make their way to the lower-level Community Music School to travel from room to room for spooky music and trick-or-treating. Audience members of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes and show their Halloween spirit.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Wet Ink Ensemble Collaborates This Fall with Nate Wooley and Darius Jones
The "sublimely exploratory" (The Chicago Reader) Wet Ink Ensemble is pleased to collaborate on two exciting fall projects: Nate Wooley's FOR/WITH Festival at Issue Project Room and For The People, a special event curated by saxophonist/composer Darius Jones, at Roulette.

Wet Ink makes an appearance on FOR, the first evening of the FOR/WITH Festival, organized by trumpeter/composer/writer Nate Wooley, at ISSUE Project Room on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 8:00pm. Members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble will present the U.S. Premiere of Catherine Lamb's Prisma Interius VII. Previously staged in London at Cafe Oto in March 2018, Lamb's work is the most recent development of a series of pieces constructed around the Secondary Rainbow Synthesizer, an instrument—in development with Bryan Eubanks—that spectrally filters a live sound input of the outer atmosphere to the listening space within which the the performance piece is situated. In this iteration, the piece is staged with violin, clarinet, guitar, cello, and the Secondary Rainbow Synthesizer.

On Monday, November 5, 2018 at 8:00pm, Wet Ink joins saxophonist/composer Darius Jones at Roulette as part of "For the People," a community-based event and concert organized by Jones on the eve of the November Congressional Election. The evening is centered around a collection of compositions by Jones, in collaboration with The Wet Ink Large Ensemble that upholds the belief that artists have the duty and power to inform, inspire, and empower their surrounding community. The evening includes the world premiere of Jones's Being Caged in ICE, followed by the second performance ever of America The Joke (written for Wet Ink in 2018), and concludes with the return of LawNOrder (pronounced "law no order"), a 45-minute game piece dealing with social justice and American history. Each player represents a separate character (unknown to the other players) and is handed a law to follow at the beginning of the piece.

For complete information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Festival Mozaic Brings Chamber Music to San Luis Obispo County, CA
Festival Mozaic's WinterMezzo Series runs October 25-27, 2018 with three days of music, food, wine and education. Well-known for its popular summer music festival, Festival Mozaic brings world-class chamber music performances to scenic San Luis Obispo County, California, throughout the year with its WinterMezzo series.

Scott Yoo, the Festival's Music Director, curates the WinterMezzo series, which showcases exceptional artists performing in intimate venues. Yoo will perform as violinist in these programs along with featured artists. Yoo is in residence in San Luis Obispo six weeks annually; he serves as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic and he recently conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in two recording projects. Yoo is also the host and co-executive producer of "Now Hear This," a music and travel television program slated to air as part of Great Performances on PBS in Spring 2019.

For complete information, visit

--David George, Festival Mosaic

October 2018 Newsletter from the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians
The 2018/2019 school year is off to a great start. Students in our beginning violin class have been busy practicing with a wooden practice bow and finally after 6 classes it was time to trade in their practice bow for a real violin to take home and practice. On September 17 it was my privilege to assist in the distribution of violins to Ms. Chung's beginning class at the East Las Vegas Community Center. Mr. Tim Thomas assisted Ms. Johnson distribute violins to her beginning students at the Pearson Center on the same day. Students knew the day for violin distribution was that day and as they entered the classroom the air was filled with anticipation from students and parents.

You can see from some of the photos that the students were elated to finally hold a violin in their hands. Parents were busy taking pictures of their child receiving their violin and I am sure they were anticipating the day that their child would soon appear on stage and perform for an audience.

Our first recital for the year is scheduled for October 20. The beginning classes will not perform for that recital but they will definitely have a song or two to play on the next recital scheduled for December 8.

We now have a beginning orchestra, advanced orchestra, chamber orchestra, beginning mariachi, beginning guitar/guitarrón/and vihuela, advanced mariachi, beginning cello, second-year cello, and classes for levels 1-4 violin. Our program is growing and we strongly believe it is making a difference in the lives of our FAYMsters. Many thanks to all the generous contributors to FAYM. It is your support that makes all this possible. If you like what we are doing, please share our website with friends and businesses that may also join in supporting what we do. Hal Weller, the FAYM Board, and I do our best to assure that all donations are used to provide services, scholarships, and materials for our students.

For more information, visit

--Arturo Ochoa, Board President

Nicholas McGegan to Retire After 35 Years at Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale
Nicholas McGegan, Music Director for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO), has announced that he will retire from his leadership post at America's preeminent period performance ensemble after the 2019-20 Season; at that time, he will have guided the organization for 35 years. He will be designated Music Director Laureate in recognition of his many contributions to the Orchestra at the beginning of the 2020-21 season. At the time of this announcement, the organization's Board of Directors, led by President Kay Sprinkel Grace, and institutional leadership will convene to begin the search for a new Music Director to build upon McGegan's legacy of programming and presenting period music at the highest level of artistic integrity.

"Nicholas McGegan has led Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for 35 years. We have benefitted from the strength of his programmatic vision, energy, and aptitude for making historic performances accessible to broader audiences," said the ensemble's Board of Directors president Kay Sprinkel Grace. "He has embraced and advanced our mission throughout his decades of leadership of Philharmonia, and his passion for everything from early music to new works continues to propel Philharmonia to new heights. We look forward to having him remain an integral part of our future."

"This certainly isn't a farewell," said Music Director Nicholas McGegan. "It has been an enormous honour and privilege but also tremendous fun to work with our terrific musicians for half my life, and I look forward to many more years of performances as Music Director Laureate, with fewer administrative responsibilities. Thanks to the musicians, board, staff, donors and our wonderful audience, I've been able to realise so many of my artistic dreams, creating lots of happy memories along the way."

For more information, visit

--Amanda Sweet, Bucklesweet

Harpsichord Star Mahan Esfahani Opens Miller Theatre's New "Signature Keys" Series
Back by popular demand, the exceptionally gifted Mahan Esfahani returns for two harpsichord recitals featuring J.S. Bach's treasured Well-Tempered Clavier at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, NYC. Over two nights, Esfahani pairs selections from Bach's masterpiece with a world premiere commission by George Lewis, as well as contemporary works from Luciano Berio and Tristan Perich.

Concert I: Wednesday, November 7
J.S. Bach selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (1722)
George Lewis new work for harpsichord (2018), world premiere, Miller Theatre commission

Concert II: Thursday, November 8
J.S. Bach selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II (1742)
Luciano Berio Rounds (1966)
Tristan Perich Dual Synthesis (2009)

For complete information, visit

--Aleba & Co.

Baby Got Bach Family Concert with Orli Shaham & Westerlies Brass
Princeton University Concerts' popular family concert for kids 3-6 and their families, "Baby Got Bach," returns on Saturday, November 3 at 1 PM at Richardson Auditorium. Hosted by pianist Orli Shaham with guest artists the Westerlies Brass Quartet, this year's concert will focus on introducing pre-school-aged kids to the joy of live classical music.

"Baby Got Bach: Bring on the Brass!"
Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 1PM
A family chamber music concert for kids ages 3-6
Princeton University Concerts, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University

Tickets: $5 Kids/$10 Adults. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 609-258-9220, or in person two hours prior to the concert at the Richardson Auditorium Box Office.

For more information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Cellist Maksin Joins Orion Ensemble in November
The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, continues its 26th season with "Russian Passion," welcoming guest cellist Ian Maksin and guest violist Stephen Boe.

Performances take place November 11 at a new venue, First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Il; November 14 at the PianoForte Studios in downtown Chicago; and November 18 at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, Il.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman

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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.

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.

Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For more than 20 years I was the editor of The $ensible Sound magazine and a regular contributor to both its equipment and recordings 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 they 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 Marantz CD 6007 and Onkyo CD 7030 CD players, NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, 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.
The reader will find Classical Candor's Mission Statement, Staff Profiles, and contact information ( toward the bottom of each page.

William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Writer

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. 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 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. Most recently I’ve moved to my “ultimate system” consisting of a BlueSound Node streamer, an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a CD transport, Legacy Wavelet DAC/preamp/crossover, Tandberg 2016A and Legacy PowerBloc2 amps, and Legacy Signature SE speakers (biamped), all connected with decently made, no-frills cables. With the arrival of CD and higher resolution streaming, that is now the source for most of my listening.

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

Contact Information

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa