Classical Music News of the Week, December 22, 2018

West Edge Opera Announces New Venue and 2019 West Edge Festival

Under the artistic leadership of General Director Mark Streshinsky and Music Director Jonathan Khuner, West Edge Opera announces venue and casting for its 2019 Festival, which takes place August 3 though August 18.

Our venue will be The Bridge Yard at 210 Burma Road in Oakland near the East Bay landing of
the Bay Bridge. This historic building is the anchor for what will be the new Gateway Park. The
24,000-square foot industrial building went up in 1938 as a repair facility for rail cars that once
traveled over the Bay Bridge. With renovations completed in January 2017, the Bridge Yard
Seismic and Renovation Project has created a dramatic, seismically sound public event space
preserving the building's original architecture and characteristic 1930s craftsmanship. The
restoration project already has won several awards for preservation and outstanding

The Three Penny Opera by Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht opens the season with
performances on Saturday, August 3 at 8:30 with repeat performances on Sunday, August 11
at 3:00 and Thursday, August 15 at 8:30.

Christoph Willibald Gluck's Orfeo & Euridice opens Sunday, August 4 at 3 with repeat
performances Friday, August 9 at 8:30 and Saturday, August 17 at 8:30.

The final opera of our festival will be the West Coast Premiere of Breaking the Waves by
Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek with performances on Saturday, August 10 at 8:30, Friday,
August 16 at 8:30 and Sunday, August 18 at 3:00.

3-Opera series tickets go on sale April 1, priced from $129 to $339. Series ticket holders enjoy
priority seating and a discount as well as easy exchanges. Single tickets go on sale June 1,
priced at $19-$125. For the first time, $19 bronze seats will go on sale on the same date that
single tickets are available. Bronze tickets will not be available to buy as a series. All tickets may
be purchased online at or by calling (510) 841-1903.

For more information, visit

--Mark Streshinsky, West End Opera

Details about Gustavo Dudamel January Residency Events
Maestro Gustavo Dudamel's residency at Princeton University Concerts, in honor of our 125th anniversary, will continue January 7-9, 2019.

Members of the press only are invited to a press conference during this visit with Maestro Dudamel and Princeton University Concerts Director Marna Seltzer on Monday, January 7 at 2:45PM.

Residency events during this January visit include performances by musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, students from the El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, a conversation in Spanish with Maestro Dudamel, a gallery reception for works by local artist Marsha Levin-Rojer, and two panel discussions with Maestro Dudamel: one about the "El Sistema" music education program, and one about Art and Faith.

An updated residency public schedule is available online at

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Danube Cruise Deadline Extended
We have great news: Amadeus Cruises has extended our commitment deadline to January 14, 2019!

Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be one of only 50 lucky Festival Mozaic enthusiasts to be a part of this extraordinary 50th Anniversary cruise on the Danube! Amadeus Cruises has created a special itinerary that is designed especially for classical music lovers – with private classical concerts that will be exclusive to our group, in spectacular venues such as the Salzburg Mozarteum, Melk Abbey, and Duna Palace.

Because this is an exclusive itinerary, Amadeus Cruises will only hold space for our group on Amadeus II for a limited time, and they have extended our deadline to January 14, 2019. To guarantee your spot for this unique opportunity, you must commit with a $500 expression of interest deposit. Please make your expression of interest deposit of $500 per person directly with Happy Pilgrims Travel by January 14, 2019. (This deposit is fully refundable until 9/1/19.)

Join us in this unique fundraising opportunity to celebrate Festival Mozaic's 50th Anniversary and to honor our beginnings as the Mozart Festival.

Learn more at; and contact Happy Pilgrims Travel at or 805-835-2545.

--Festival Mosaic

Pianist Inna Faliks Premieres Autobiographical Concert-Monologue
Returning to her alma mater with a Chicago premiere, Inna Faliks, an alumna of the Music Institute of Chicago and daughter of faculty member Irene Faliks, brings her autobiographical concert-monologue to Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois on Sunday, February 10 at 3 p.m.

"Polonaise-Fantaisie: The Story of a Pianist" traces Faliks' journey from the former Soviet Union to the freedom of the United States and a life in music. She tells her incredible story while playing music that spans 289 years, running the gamut from Bach and Mozart to contemporary composer Jan Freidlin, interspersed with her own writings chronicling her upbringing in Odessa, Ukraine; her musical and romantic awakenings; and her immigration to the U.S. as a Jewish refugee.

Inna Faliks in "Polonaise-Fantaisie: The Story of a Pianist" takes place Sunday, February 10 at 3 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Il. Tickets are $50 for VIP seating, $40 for adults, $25 for senior citizens, and $15 for students.

Tickets are available by calling 847.448.8328 or 800.838.3006 or at

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Baritone Benjamin Appl Embarks on First U.S. Recital Tour
German baritone Benjamin Appl, hailed as "the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers," by Gramophone magazine, will embark on his first U.S. recital tour with pianist James Baillieu from January 6-20, 2019, performing in New York, NY (January 6, 8, 10; Park Avenue Armory); Portland, OR (January 13, Portland Friends of Chamber Music); New Orleans, LA (January 15, 16; New Orleans Friends of Music); Cleveland, OH (January 18, Art Song Festival at CIM; and Washington, DC (January 20, The Phillips Collection).

Benjamin Appl was mentored by one of the greatest singers of the twentieth century, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and records exclusively for Sony Classical. His U.S. tour follows his second Sony album featuring the music of J.S. Bach, which was released in September 2018.

For more information, visit

--Christina Jensen, Jensen Artists

Miller Theatre's Early Music Series Presents the Orlando Consort
With performances described as "simultaneously ravishing and reverential" by the The Los Angeles Times, the London-based Orlando Consort returns to perform a collection of sublime sacred music from the first part of the 16th century. The period is marked by unprecedented richness in music, with text settings that often went beyond the confines of the usual daily liturgy. Joined for this concert by bass Robert Macdonald, the Consort performs a program of works by Josquin des Prez, Clemens non Papa, Nicolas Gombert, and others, concluding with Lamentations by English Tudor composer Robert White.

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
145 West 46th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues, NYC

For more information, visit or

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Nu Deco Ensemble To Perform Outdoor Concert
On January 26, Nu Deco will be performing on Miami Beach for their annual outdoor North Beach Bandshell performance. Hailed by Billboard Magazine as "a sonically spellbinding experience," this genre-bending program will be premiering new works by members of the ensemble, including electric guitarist Aaron Lebos of Aaron Lebos Reality, as well as keyboardist and drummer Jason Matthews and Armando Lopez. The ensemble will also be performing suites including music from modern artists such as Outkast, Daft Punk and more. Special guest performer to be announced in January.

Tickets for the North Beach Bandshell can be purchased at Nu Deco Ensemble's website. For more information about Nu Deco Ensemble's fourth season, and to purchase tickets for all upcoming performances, please visit their website at

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Treefort Music Fest 2019 Announces Second Round of Artists
Treefort Music Fest is an annual music and arts festival featuring over 400 bands plus film, art, comedy, yoga, and more across multiple venues in downtown Boise, Idaho in March. Now in it's eighth year and set for March 20-24th, Treefort Music Fest is excited to announce its second round of artists which include: Vince Staples, American Football, mewithoutYou, JPEGMAFIA, Cherry Glazerr, Sudan Archives, Flint Eastwood, TEEN, and many more. The full list of acts can be found at our Web site below. Be on the lookout for the final artist announcement in February!

With the second artist announcement comes the release of the updated official Treefort Music Fest 2019 playlists, which can be found on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music.

Web site: Jump inside the land of Treefort 8 to explore even more bands on the lineup.

Five-day general admission passes are currently on sale for $200. The price will increase on March 1st when single day passes go on sale, so act fast! For additional ticket information, visit:

--Terra Lopez, Terrorbird

A Symphonic Winter from "Great Performances" on PBS
This winter, Great Performances and Great Performances at the Met present a special series of classical music programming starring world-renowned orchestras and leading opera vocalists.

"A Symphonic Winter with Great Performances" features a brand new classical music special each week, beginning January 1 with the annual From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2019 concert hosted by Hugh Bonneville, and concludes February 1 with the broadcast premiere of the Metropolitan Opera's adaptation of the classic novel Marnie.

Great Performances – From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2019
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Great Performances: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Gala
Friday, January 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS

Great Performances: Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago
Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. on PBS

Great Performances at the Met: Aida
Sunday, January 20 at 12 p.m. on PBS

Great Performances: Doubt from Minnesota Opera
Friday, January 25, at 9 p.m. on PBS

Great Performances at the Met: Marnie
Friday, February 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS

--Dorean Rose Pugh, WNET

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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 John 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 simple-minded, 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 Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. 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 LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. 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.

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