Classical Music News of the Week, March 2, 2019

Dave Holland Headlines Inaugural Jazz Festival: 4/13/19

Jazz at Princeton University, with Rudresh Mahanthappa at its helm, presents the inaugural Princeton University Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

The world's newest jazz festival, a day-long, free, outdoor lineup of today's top jazz stars coming together in exciting formations and alongside Princeton University's exceptional student jazz ensembles, will take place 12PM-6:30PM on Alexander Beach, outside Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus, Princeton, NJ. The festival will culminate with headliner Dave Holland, the multi Grammy-Award-winning bassist and 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, alongside Princeton University Jazz Small Group I in a ticketed concert.

Tickets for this
concert only are $15 general/$5 student, available at and by calling
609-258-9220. The remaining jazz festival events are free.

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Oscar-Winning Composer André Previn Dead at 89
Famed composer André Previn, who won four Academy Awards for his work on films like "Porgy & Bess" and "My Fair Lady," has died. He was 89.

His management company, IMG Artists, confirmed the news. Previn's manager, Linda Petrikova told CNN that he died Thursday morning in his Manhattan home after a short illness. During his seven decade career, Previn earned four Oscars, 10 Grammy Awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also named honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

--Sandra Gonzalez and Chloe Melas, CNN

Saint Thomas April Concerts Include King's College Choir, Bach's St. John Passion, and More
Concerts at Saint Thomas will continue their 2018-19 season with a guest performance by the acclaimed Choir of King's College, Cambridge at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (at West 53rd Street, NYC) on April 1 at 7:30 pm. This marks the choir's final North American tour with current Director of Music Stephen Cleobury, who will retire after 37 years in September, and whose position will be filled by current Saint Thomas Organist and Director of Music Daniel Hyde.

Concerts at Saint Thomas will also be highlighting the Lenten season on April 11 at 7:30 pm with Johann Sebastian Bach's St. John Passion. Conducted by Daniel Hyde and featuring New York Baroque Incorporated with soloists Dann Coakwell, Sarah Brailey, Jay Carter, Mark Bleeke, and Andrew Padgett, St. John Passion provides a balance of drama and spirituality that has become synonymous with Passiontide and in anticipation of Easter.

Leading up to Easter, during Holy Week, performances featuring the Miller-Scott Organ will vividly depict the pivotal events from the Passion of Christ. On Monday, April 15 at 6:45 PM, organist Benjamin Sheen will perform Marcel Dupré's Symphonie-Passion, and on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:45 PM, Daniel Hyde will perform a mixed program of organ music for Lent.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Eighth Blackbird Comes Home for 2019 Performances
Four-time Grammy Award winner Eighth Blackbird, which aims to move music forward with innovative chamber music performance, comes home to Chicago in 2019 with a series of concerts showcasing the ensemble members together and in smaller configurations, performing new works from its international touring program.

Rather than engaging Chicagoans from a single location, as the ensemble did in 2016 with a yearlong MCA residency, this spring Eighth Blackbird brings programs to a variety of venues and neighborhoods on a range of days and times. Between March and October, the ensemble collaborates on a series of events with private and public cultural partners. The trajectory leading to the 2021–22 season, the group's 25th anniversary, is anchored by Chicago partnerships, old and new, including three projects with Cedille Records.

For information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Duruflé Requiem & Dale Trumbore's "How to Go On"
Two works representing the sacred and the secular, and also representing the Los Angeles Master Chorale's past and present, will be performed in Walt Disney Concert on Sunday, March 17 at 7 PM.

Maurice Duruflé's Requiem was written by the French composer in 1947 and has become one of the most-beloved choral compositions of the 20th century. The Requiem has been given storied performances by the Master Chorale since the 1960s. Dale Trumbore describes her work How to Go On as a "secular requiem" and the work — commissioned by the non-profit, Southern California-based Choral Arts Initiative — was premiered in July 2016 and subsequently saw Trumbore awarded the ASCAP Young Composers Award in 2017. The March 17 concert will be the Los Angeles Master Chorale's first performance of the work.

For further information, visit

--Jennifer Scott, Los Angeles Master Chorale

Happy Hour Concerts: Hidden Treasures
Jeunesses Musicales Canada (JMC) invites music lovers to their Happy Hour Concerts, a golden opportunity to hear the best emerging artists in the classical world in a casual atmosphere, while sipping on a glass of wine after work.

Starting at 6:15 p.m., JMC partner RéZin offers a selection of wines. Then, at 7 p.m., the audience is in for a little over an hour of music, including commentary by the artists, in a intimate venue with impeccable acoustics. Don't miss this unique occasion, taking place at Joseph Rouleau Hall, located at 305, Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, in Montréal, just a few steps from the Mont-Royal metro station.

Hidden Treasures, March 13, 2019
Michel-Alexandre Broekaert, piano
Nuné Melik, violin

Despite its thousand years of cultural history, the music of Armenia remains little known. This concert is a celebration of the creativity and resilience of the Armenian people, whose music bears the mark of both the genocide and the country's folklore. Accompanied by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert on the piano, violinist Nuné Melik will present the fruits of her quest to share the music of her people. This expressive duo will lead spectators to discover Armenia's rich and intense musical repertoire.

--France Gaignard, Media Liaison

New Century Chamber Orchestra: "Forbidden Music"
New Century Chamber Orchestra presents "Forbidden Music" March 21 through 24, featuring debut appearances by Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez. Four performances will be given around the San Francisco Bay Area in Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and San Rafael.

Exploring works written by composers under the shadow of oppressive regimes, Vanessa Perez will feature alongside Music Director Daniel Hope in a rare performance of Erwin Schulhoff's Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings. Also featured on the program is Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a, Hans Krása's Tanec, and two works by Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 13 in C minor, "Sinfoniesatz" and String Symphony No. 10 in B minor.

"Forbidden Music"
March 21-24, 2019
Daniel Hope, Concertmaster
New Century Chamber Orchestra
Vanessa Perez, Piano

Open Rehearsal:
Wednesday, March 20, 10 a.m., Trinity St. Peter's Church, San Francisco
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Friday, March 22, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Oshman JCC, Palo Alto, CA
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 3:00 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, CA

--Brenden Guy PR

Merdinger and Greene in Concert
The Northbrook Public Library presents the Merdinger-Greene Piano Duo, with Susan Merdinger and Steven Greene.

Sunday, March 3, 2019  3pm
1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, Illinois 60062
"Famous Themes on Two Pianos: Variations on the Classics"

The concert is free and open to the public. Reserve seats at (847) 272-6224.
For more information, visit

--Susan Merdinger

St. Charles Singers' "Victorian Flourish" Concerts
The St. Charles Singers will conclude their 35th concert season with an eclectic program of Victorian-era choral works, both secular and sacred, from the British Isles, the U.S., France, and Germany.

The mixed-voice professional chamber choir conducted by Jeffrey Hunt will present its "Victorian Flourish" concerts 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 310 S. Wheaton Ave., Wheaton, Illinois, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles, IL.

"The Victorian era was a Renaissance for choral music," Hunt says of the period marked by the reign of Britain's Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.

Unique Musical Personalities:
Hunt says the era's celebration of individual artistic expression and embrace of unique musical personalities is reflected in the works chosen for Victorian Flourish, the St. Charles Singers' first-ever program devoted to music by a broad range of composers from a specific historical period.

Tickets and Information:
Single tickets for "Victorian Flourish" are $35 adult general admission, $30 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for students.

Tickets and general information about the St. Charles Singers are available at or by calling (630) 513-5272. Tickets are also available at Townhouse Books, 105 N. Second Ave., St. Charles (checks or cash only at this ticket venue). Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the day of the concert, depending on availability. Group discounts are available.

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

Happy Birthday to Emma Kirkby!
70th Birthday Concert
at Wigmore Hall

Works by Dowland, Purcell, Byrd, Danyel, Gibbons, Lawes,  Notari, and more
Jakob Lindberg, lute
Steven Devine, harpsichord
Miriam Allan, soprano

Dame Emma performs alongside long-term musical associates as well as a younger generation of artists she believes will play an important role in the future of early music.

Full concert details here:

And listen to her podcast here:

--Schwalbe and Partners

Princeton University Glee Club Presents: Calmus Vocal Ensemble
Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30PM at the Miller Chapel (Princeton Theological Seminary, Preinceton, NJ)

Continuing the fifth season of their immensely successful Glee Club Presents series, the
Princeton University Glee Club is proud to present a concert featuring the storied vocal ensemble
from Leipzig, Germany: Calmus . On Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 7:30PM at the Miller Chapel
in the Princeton Theological Seminary , the community is invited to a FREE concert of these
Echo Klassik Award and Concert Artists Guild winners. The members of the Calmus ensemble
were the inaugural performers of the very first Glee Club Presents concert in 2014, and they
make a most anticipated return to Princeton to celebrate the series' fifth anniversary. The concert
will feature a juxtaposition of early and modern music, including works by Giovanni Pierluigi da
Palestrina, Antoine Brumel and Heinrich Schütz interspersed with the unmistakable sound of
John Tavener. Princeton University students in the Glee Club will also join Calmus to perform
movements from Antoine Brumel's "Earthquake" Mass, one of the marvels of Renaissance
choral music.

For more information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Marketing & Outreach Manager

Nu Deco Ensemble Continue Their Season
Nu Deco Ensemble continues their fourth season this March, performing at the New World Center, Miami, Florida on March 29 and 30.

The concerts will open with two works that will both incorporate visual projections onto the iconic New World Center sails. The first is a world premiere from Greek-born film composer and conductor Magda Giannikou, entitled "KHONSU" and inspired by ancient Greek mythology and mysticism. The second is an immersive installation piece by electronic and classical composer Ricardo Romaneiro and visual artist Christian Hannon called "Sombras," which includes motion-tracking technology that will follow conductor Jacomo Bairos throughout the piece and manipulate the film projections based on his movements. Nu Deco will also collaborate with the indie rock ensemble Tune-Yards, who will be making their orchestral debut, and will conclude the show with an orchestral suite of music by The Police and Sting.

Tickets are available on Nu Deco Ensemble's Web site:

For more information about Nu Deco Ensemble's fourth season, and to purchase tickets for all upcoming performances, please visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

The Crossing Performs World Premiere of Thomas Lloyd's In the Light
On Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. at The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, The Crossing and conductor Donald Nally present the world premiere of Thomas Lloyd's In the Light, a choral-theater work for 20 voices, clarinet, cello, and piano.

In the Light explores the strange and oppressive culture of a Cape Cod religious community with an internationally recognized choir, examining the desire to belong and the fear of exclusion. This is the second choral-theater work Lloyd has composed for The Crossing; his previous work Bonhoeffer, written for The Crossing, was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award.

The production features projections, digital audio transitions by Jeremy Lloyd of the band Marian Hill, and an ensemble featuring clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati, who performed on The Crossing's 2019 Grammy-winning album Zealot Canticles; cellist Thomas Mesa, who performed on The Crossing's 2017 Grammy-nominated CD, Thomas Lloyd's Bonhoeffer; and pianist John Grecia, who has performed with The Crossing for eleven years.

Program Information
Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral | 23 South 38th Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tickets: $35 General Admission, $25 Seniors, $20 Students

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

New York Festival of Song Presents "Love at the Crossroads"
Each year, the legendary New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) works deeply with emerging singers through numerous song-filled residences led by NYFOS co-founders/pianists/artistic directors Steven Blier and Michael Barrett. These song-intensives train young artists in programming and translation, presentation and production, and research and musical style.

NYFOS continues its 31st anniversary season in March with the culmination of its eleventh annual residency at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. After an intensive week of daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops, NYFOS and four exciting young voices bring to life a program entitled "Love at the Crossroads."

Performances take place in New York City on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. at Merkin Hall, and in Katonah, NY on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at Caramoor.

For more information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Young People's Chorus of New York City Opens Its Fourth Decade
Young People's Chorus of New York City, under the direction of Artistic Director/Founder Francisco J. Núñez, marks the start of their fourth decade with "Listen to the Music," a non-stop, high energy Gala Evening on Tuesday, March 12, at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  It opens at 7 p.m. with YPC's award-winning choristers and special guest artists Ashley Brown and Nmon Ford in a musically diverse program, highlighted by the sounds of "The Seventies" and continues with dinner in the Mandarin Oriental. 

Hosted by YPC Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez and directed and choreographed by Jacquelyn Bird, the concert includes a musical excursion back to the days of the Bee Gees, Queen, Elton John, and Leonard Bernstein…with exciting choreography to match. YPC's choristers will also join baritone Nmon Ford, fresh from his recent triumph in Bernstein's Mass at Mostly Mozart, in excerpts from the Mass, and will join Ashley Brown in a medley of songs from Mary Poppins, the role she originated on Broadway.

Concert-only sponsorship tickets, as well as tickets to the entire gala evening, are available at, by emailing, or by calling 212-289-7779, ext. 16.

--Angela Duryea, Young People's Chorus of NYC

"An Evening of Opera" Comes to Beaver Creek
The Richard Tucker Music Foundation presents "Rising Stars of the Opera," Wednesday, March 6 at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Beaver Creek, Colo., March 6, 2019: Coming to the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, "Rising Stars of the Opera" offers a rare opportunity to experience remarkable young artists on the cusp of extraordinary careers. General admission ticket prices for the show are $68 for adults and $10 for students and are available now at the VPAC box office (970-845-8497; ). The VPAC is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village (68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, Colorado).

Back by popular demand, "Rising Stars of the Opera," presented by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, will once again showcase four young singers who have been recognized by the Richard Tucker Foundation as among the leading opera singers of the next generation – one of which is already a Grammy award winner. In a concert of operas most beloved arias, duets and ensembles and composers, these superb artists will once again bring their magnificent voices to the audience.

To learn more, visit

--Ruthie Hamrick, Media Relations

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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

Contact Information

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa