Classical Music News of the Week, January 12, 2019

Daniel Hope in First Appearances as Music Director of New Century

New Century Chamber Orchestra continues its 2018-2019 season February 7 through 10 with the return of British violinist Daniel Hope in his first appearances as the ensemble's new Music Director.

Exploring the theme of "recomposition," Hope will appear as soloist for the San Francisco Premiere of Max Richter's complete Recomposed: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons from his 2012 bestselling Deutsche Grammophon album. Continuing as soloist, Hope will perform the 2nd Movement from Robert Schumann's Violin Concerto arranged by Benjamin Britten alongside a second Britten arrangement of Henry Purcell's Chacony in G minor. Rounding out the program are two popular Renaissance inspired works: Peter Warlock's 1926 work Capriol Suite based on dances by Thoinot Arbeau and Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

This program will be presented as part of New Century's subscription series on four evenings in different locations around the Bay Area: Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley; Friday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m., Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto; Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m., Wilsey Center for the Arts, San Francisco and Sunday, February 10 at 3 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael. New Century offers an Open Rehearsal Wednesday, February 6 at 10 a.m., Trinity St. Peter's Church, San Francisco with free admission. The Open Rehearsal offers a sneak preview of the concert repertoire while allowing audiences to experience the musical democracy of a rehearsal without a conductor.

Single tickets range in price from $29 to $61 and can be purchased through City Box Office: and (415) 392-4400. Discounted $15 single tickets are available for patrons under 35 and $10 single tickets for Students with a valid ID.

Admission to the Open Rehearsal is free and can be reserved by contacting or (415) 357-1111.

--Brenden Guy PR

PBO Welcomes Violinist Rachel Barton Pine in February
Music Director Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale start the second half of their season with a visit to the early Romantic period in February when they welcome violinist Rachel Barton Pine who will reprise her deeply-researched performance of Franz Clement's Violin Concerto in D major. The program titled "Viennese Pivot" also features works by Mozart and Schubert and takes place February 6–10 in four performances throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pine was the first in the world to record the Clement Violin Concerto in D major in 2008 and wrote her own cadenzas for the recording and live performances. Clement, also a virtuosic violinist, premiered his own Violin Concerto in D Major at the Theater an der Wien on April 7, 1805, on the same bill as the first public performance of Beethoven's Third Symphony (Eroica), conducted by the composer. Clement later commissioned what would be the only violin concerto from Beethoven who noted on the manuscript, "Concerto par Clemenza pour Clement" (Concerto with compassion, for Clement) and premiered it a year after he premiered his own. Interestingly, both works are in the same key, the same length, and use the same instrumentation.

Wednesday February 6 @ 7:30 pm | First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Friday February 8 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Saturday February 9 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA
Sunday February 10 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

City Box Office: (415) 392-4400 or
Price range: $32–$120

For more information, visit

--Dianne Provenzano, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

Pianist Christopher O'Riley at the VPAC Jan 17
Pianist and longtime host of NPR's "From the Top" Christopher O'Riley to play solo concert at Vilar Performing Arts Center on Jan. 17

Rarely is a pianist's voice as familiar to audiences as their playing style. But for Christopher O'Riley, former host of NPR's "From the Top," listeners may first recognize his soothing, radio-friendly voice before picking up on his masterful piano skills.

Christopher O'Riley will perform a solo concert at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC), Beaver Creek, Colorado on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $58 for adults and $10 for students and are available now at the VPAC box office (970-845-8497; ). This show is part of the VPAC Pick 5 Ticket Package, where you can get 1 ticket to 5 different shows for $150. Contact the box office for a list of available shows or visit the VPAC website. The VPAC is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village (68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, Colorado).

To learn more, visit

--Ruthie Hamrick, Vilar Performing Arts Center

Don't Miss Out on the 50th Anniversary Cruise!
Reminder: The commitment deadline for the 50th Anniversary Danube Cruise is January 15!
Join your fellow Festival Mozaic enthusiasts in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in an itinerary that is designed especially for classical music lovers. Amadeus Cruises has scheduled their May 22 – June 1, 2020 cruise with private classical concerts that will be exclusive to our group. We will attend these performances in many spectacular venues along the cruise route, 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. 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 15, 2019. (This deposit is fully refundable until 9/1/19.)

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

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

--Festival Mosaic

The CMIM Nominated for the Grand Prix of Conseil des Arts de Montréal
Earlier this week, the Conseil des arts de Montréal announced that the CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal) is one of the finalists nominated for its 34th Grand Prix, to be held on March 21, 2019.

Every year, since 1985, the Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal has been awarded in recognition of the excellence and outstanding contribution of a particular artistic organization. "This nomination confirms that the CMIM contributes to defining the culture that permeates Montreal today: creative, innovative and geared towards excellence. We are delighted and honored for this recognition," declared Christiane LeBlanc, CMIM's Executive and Artistic Director.

For complete details, visit

--France Gaignard, CMIM Media Relations

Opera Maine Announces Auditions for The Magic Flute
Opera Maine announces auditions for its July 2019 production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. We seek local singers for comprimario roles and chorus in a fully-staged production sung in German with English dialogue.Live auditions will be held on Friday, February 1,between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Williston Immanuel – 156 High Street, Portland, Maine.

To request an audition, email, subject "Magic Flute auditions." Please include a resume and/or tell us about your musical training. If you cannot attend the auditions but would like to be considered, please include a high-quality video to act as your audition.
Auditions are by appointment. There is no fee to audition. Accompanist provided.
Audition requirement: One German language aria or art song; one English aria or art song.

For more information, visit

--Kristen Levesque, Opera Maine

Music For Life International Presents "Beethoven For the Rohingya"
Music for Life International continues its decade-long tradition of global humanitarian concerts with "Beethoven for the Rohingya," a benefit concert featuring Beethoven's monumental Ninth Symphony, presented in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, NYC on Monday, January 28, 2019.

"Beethoven for the Rohingya" is an urgent call to the global community to raise awareness for the nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees fleeing what the United Nations have defined as genocide in Rakhine State in Myanmar.  Refugees, who are seeking safety in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other nearby locations, are grossly lacking access to healthcare when it is needed most; net proceeds from this performance will benefit Doctors Without Borders/Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF), which provides medical aid to those who are among the world's most vulnerable.

For more information visit

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

YPC Performs with The Chamber Music Society and the NY Phil
Following a very active holiday season, the Young People's Chorus of New York City is keeping up the pace with four performances this month alone on Lincoln Center stages beginning Sunday.

January 13 at 2:00 p.m. | Alice Tully Hall
Young People's Chorus of New York City will be featured in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's production of the The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, based on the enchanting tale of a Native American girl with a mystical connection to wild horses by Paul Goble. Recommended for kids ages 6 & up and their families.

January 24, 25, 26 | David Geffen Hall
In one of the city's most anticipated events this season, 110 female singers from the Young People's Chorus of New York City join Jaap Van Zweden, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Crossing in three world premiere performances of Julia Wolfe's Fire in My Mouth, based on New York City's catastrophic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, an immersive production complete with scenic lighting, video, and projections.

For complete information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

WinterMezzo Is Around the Corner
Festival Mosaic's next WinterMezzo weekend, February 22-24, 2019, is just around the corner! Join music director Scott Yoo, along with visiting cellist Bion Tsang and pianist Anna Polonsky, for an immersive weekend of musical experiences.

Tickets are still available for the Notable Encounter Insight and the Chamber Music Concert.
PLUS: on February 21st we have added a special Encore Insight and Performance of Bach's Violin Partita No. 2 by Scott Yoo, which was previously performed at the WinterMezzo weekend in October 2018.

Tickets are going quickly, so act now to get the best seats. We look forward to seeing you at these events in San Luis Obispo, CA.

For complete information, visit

--Festival Mosaic

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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