Classical Music News of the Week, November 17, 2018

LA Master Chorale to Present Five Christmas Concerts in Walt Disney Concert Hall

"English Cathedral Christmas"
Sunday, December 2 – 7 PM

"Festival of Carols"
Saturday, December 8 & 15 – 2 PM

Handel's Messiah
Sunday, December 16 – 7 PM

38th Annual Messiah Sing-Along
Monday, December 17 – 7:30 PM

All concerts conducted by Grant Gershon,
Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Directors

The Los Angeles Master Chorale will perform five festive Christmas concerts in Walt Disney Concert Hall in December including a new program called English Cathedral Christmas on December 2 that aims to bring the unbroken advent tradition of British carols and anthems to Walt Disney Concert Hall with works by a range of composers dating from the 16th century to today. The concerts include the popular "Festival of Carols" concerts (December 8 and 15), Handel's Messiah (December 16) and the 38th Annual Messiah Sing-Along (December 17) when the 2,200-strong audience sings as the chorus.

Tickets are available now, starting from $29:
Phone: 213-972-7282
Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.

--Jennifer Scott, LA Master Chorale

Nu Deco Ensemble To Perform With Macy Gray and BJ The Chicago Kid at the Arsht Center
December 15 will see the Nu Deco Ensemble's first concert at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Florida in their 2018–19 season, in a soul music-infused program that will center around special collaborations with superstar Macy Gray, R&B singer/songwriter BJ The Chicago Kid, and the Miami Mass Choir. This will be the ensemble's second concert in their fourth season, continuing a commitment to forward-thinking programming and genre-bending performances.

Having kicked off their 2018–19 season with a jazz-influenced program in early October, this December concert offers a smooth segue from jazz to soul. Beginning with Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances" from West Side Story, the first half of the program will end with a suite honoring Aretha Franklin, arranged by Nu Deco's Sam Hyken, Aaron Lebos, Armando López, and Jason Matthews. Contemporary R&B stars Macy Gray and BJ The Chicago Kid will join Nu Deco on stage for the second half of the evening, backed by the Miami Mass Choir featuring original works and reimagined arrangements.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Princeton University Orchestra Presents World Premiere
The Princeton University Orchestra ("PUO") will include the world premiere of Three Places
in Grand Rapids by its principal cellist, Princeton University senior Calvin Van Zytveld , in two
performances on December 6 & 7, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander
Hall, Princeton, NJ.

On the heels of a busy October that included presenting internationally renowned conductor Ivan Fischer leading the Orchestra of the Accademia Teatro Alla Scala as well as the ensemble's own season opening concerts, PUO continues to showcase its vibrant season under the baton of associate conductor Ruth Ochs, standing in for Michael Pratt. The December programs also include Aaron Copland 's Fanfare for the Common Man, Manuel De Falla 's The Three-Cornered Hat Ballet Suite, and will conclude with Claude Debussy's orchestral masterpiece La mer.

Tickets are $15 General; $5 Students. 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.

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts Presents "In the Wake of the Marseillaise"
Songs for soprano and early romantic guitar by Cimarosa, Crescentini, Doisy, Haydn, Domenico Puccini, and Fernando Sor join jewel-like arrangements from the popular operas of the day by Rossini and Halévy, speaking of an age of liberation and a growing taste for bel canto singing.

Jessica Gould, soprano
Pascal Valois, early romantic guitar

Thursday, December 13th, 8:00pm

The Brotherhood Synagogue
28 Gramercy Park South
NY, NY 10003

Tickets: or 1 888 718 4253

For more information, visit

--Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Young People's Chorus of NYC Performs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) brings together two holiday traditions under the baton of Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez, who conducts contemporary stagings of Benjamin Britten's Christmas cantata A Ceremony of Carols and Samuel Adler's Hanukkah cantata "The Flames of Freedom" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m. Heard for the first time in New York City, "The Flames of Freedom" was composed as a musical counterpart to Britten's classic, and both works are explored on the program through sets, lighting, and choreography.

This YPC program is one of two performances by the chorus on back-to-back weekends at The Met's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. On Sunday, December 2 at 3:00 p.m., the chorus performs two settings of poetry by Langston Hughes: Ricky Ian Gordon's new choral version of "Litany" and YPC alumna Jessie Montgomery's "Danse Africaine," which was commissioned by the chorus. YPC Founder and Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez conducts both works as part of "A Dream Deferred: Langston Hughes in Song," a program created by the Museum's 2018–19 Artist-in-Residence, soprano Julia Bullock.

Tickets start at $50 for December 2 and $65 for December 9, and are available online at or by phone at 212-570-3949. Tickets are $1 for children ages 6 to 16 with the purchase of one adult ticket. For groups of 15 or more, call 212-570-3750.

For more information, visit

--Shuman Associates PR

Lake Simons Directs Holiday Production of Saint-Saëns's' Carnival of the Animals
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway at 116th Street, NYC

Miller's annual holiday treat returns, a playful production that brings Camille Saint-Saëns's beloved work to life--Carnival of the Animals. A compelling merging of puppets, set design, poetry and music, this production has been described as "enchanting" by The New Yorker and "splendidly witty" by TheaterScene. Audiences will experience magic as everyday objects take on new lives as lions, elephants, and birds, through the incredible vision of director Lake Simons and some of New York's best puppeteers.

Saint-Saens's score, performed by a ten-piece onstage chamber orchestra that is "virtuosic, nuanced, and sublime" (ZealNYC), literally comes to life with Lake's puppets. Lucid Culture calls the ensemble's playing "exquisitely detailed" and "unselfconsciously playful."

For more information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Wet Ink Ensemble and Being & Becoming Perform at St. Peter's Church, Dec. 1
The "sublimely exploratory" (The Chicago Reader) Wet Ink Ensemble teams up with renowned trumpeter/composer and longtime collaborator Peter Evans for an evening of sonic adventure on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 8:00pm at St. Peter's Church, 346 W 20th St., New York, NY.

The concert features a new set of music by Peter Evans with a lineup that Evans describes as "an unholy amalgam of current and closest collaborators in a holiday season blow-out." Performers include 12 musicians from Wet Ink and Being & Becoming (Joel Ross, vibes; Nick Jozwiack, bass and cello; Savannah Grace Harris, drums; Peter Evans, trumpet), with special guests Mazz Swift (violin) and Levy Lorenzo (percussion). Evans writes, "this evening will represent an ongoing process of discovery and collaborative creativity with these players - it is not a culmination of anything. Old and new compositions will be combined together with the improvisational talents of all the musicians, creating an hour-long work tailored specifically for this concert."

Tickets are $10 general admission, students free. No pre-orders, cash only at the door.

For more information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Nutcracker Dance Party with the Experiential Orchestra
December 1st, 2018 at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 E. 73rd Street, NY, NY 10021.
3:30pm (Kids with Adult Dancing Companions); 7:30pm (Adults only with full cash bar).

Have you always wanted to dance to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker with a symphony orchestra?
Now is your chance!

Whether you danced ballet as a child or have never set foot in pointe shoes, EXO is expanding the magical experience of the Nutcracker as they invite the audience to dance to
the complete ballet with a live symphony orchestra of top-level freelancers. (Experiential
Orchestra draws from New York freelancers who also perform as subs with the New York
Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra among others).

Video, descriptions, and tickets available at, or

For more information, visit

--James Blachly, Experiential Orchestra

SF Girls Chorus Presents "Holidays at Davies"
San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) presents its annual holiday concert, "Holidays at Davies," on Monday, December 17, 7:30 p.m. at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA.

A longstanding tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area's holiday concert schedule, the program will build on the success of last year's multi-cultural theme with a variety of traditional and holiday music from around the world. SFGC welcomes frequent collaborators Kronos Quartet for works including the West Coast Premiere of Michael Gordon's Exalted, Alexandra Vrebalov's Missa Supratext, Reena Esmail's Still I Rise, and Stacy Garrop's Glorious Mahalia. Women's choral group Musae also features alongside hundreds of members from six Chorus School levels, SFGC's Premier Ensemble and Alumnae.

For more information, visit

--Brenden Guy PR

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to classicalcandor@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa