Classical Music News of the Week, April 13, 2019

The English Concert and Princeton Glee Club Present Bach's St. John Passion

Friday, April 19 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton Univeristy, NJ.

On Friday, April 19, 2019 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, the Princeton University Glee Club presents their annual Walter L. Nollner memorial concert, joining internationally renowned early music specialists -- The English Concert baroque orchestra and renowned tenor James Taylor as the Evangelist -- to bring Bach's beloved oratorio to life. Taylor recently made his New York Philharmonic debut in this role with conductor Kurt Masur, bringing a "sweet, light yet penetrating voice to the role of the Evangelist" (The New York Times). Glee Club Director Gabriel Crouch conducts.

Tickets are only $15 general/$5 students, available at, 609-258-9220, and at the Princeton University campus box offices.

For further information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

New York Festival of Song Offers Musical Portrait of Spanish Poet Federico Garcia Lorca
New York Festival of Song's co-founder, pianist and host Steven Blier, whose knowledge and passion for Spanish music is well known, has assembled a program that paints a fascinating portrait of the great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca through songs by an international roster of composers.

Blier divides the program into six sections: Lorca in Andalucía, with three folk songs arranged by the writer himself, who studied music in his youth; Children's Songs, with works by Mompou, Montsalvage, and Abril; Manuel de Falla, an early mentor for Lorca; Coming out, with songs by Bañuelas and Ohana; The spirit of 'cante jondo' ("deep song" in Andalusian Spanish), the most serious and deeply moving variety of flamenco; and Across the Atlantic, which features songs by Americans who set Lorca's poetry, including Paul Bowles, Billy Strayhorn, Leonard Cohen, and Cuban songwriter Ana Belén.

The brilliant American soprano Corinne Winters and Mexican-American baritone Efraín Solís are the featured soloists.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th Street, NYC

$20-$62 from the Merkin Box Office, 212-501-3330, or

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Festival Mozaic's 49th Annual Summer Music Festival Explores World Music Origins
Music lovers can hear legendary music performed at 30 different events in 19 scenic venues all over picturesque San Luis Obispo County during Festival Mozaic's 49th Summer Music Festival season.

This summer, July 24-August 4, 2019, violinist and Festival Mozaic music director Scott Yoo will lead more than 50 talented musicians. These brilliant artists are gathered from top orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the United States and abroad. "I'm so excited to be presenting this music in festive and intimate performances in beautiful venues throughout SLO County," says Yoo.

Individual tickets are on sale April 8th. Tickets may be ordered by calling (805) 781-3009 / (877) 881-8899 or online at

--David George, Festival Mosaic

Moab Music Festival 27th Season
The sensual rhythms of South America and harmonies of 1920s Paris take the stage along with the ruggedly stunning desert of southeast Utah and the world-class artists of the Moab Music Festival (MMF).

Music in concert with the landscapeTM comes to life from August 26 - September 12, 2019 when patrons will experience performances set in a variety of spectacular outdoor venues along the Colorado River, in the charming and historic Star Hall, local ranches, on musical hikes, rafting adventures, and in intimate gatherings and salons, all surrounded by the majestic sky, the Colorado River, and blazing red rock cliffs - the quintessential backdrop for the musical ride of a lifetime. Performances celebrate the wildly diverse and unifying spirit of music-making found all over the globe and throughout history with a dazzling inaugural Cabaret evening, South American inspired programs, explorations of the "taboo" musical compositions that transformed Paris in the early 20th century, and a poignant look at war through the eyes and ears of Stravinsky.

For complete information about the Festival or to purchase tickets for the 27th Annual Moab Music Festival, you may also visit the Festival Office at 58 East 300 South, Moab, UT 84532; or telephone the Box Office at (435) 259-7003; or visit the Web site at

--Elizabeth Dworkin, Dworkin & Company

Montreal Chamber Music Festival 2019
Welcome to the 2019 Season of The Montreal Chamber Music Festival, June 7-16, where our theme for the next three seasons is Beethoven Chez Nous.

Highlights include:
A special opening night event with the phenomenal Gregory Charles.
Beethoven's complete violin sonatas featuring 2019 Grammy winner James Ehnes.
Beethoven's complete symphonies transcribed for solo piano by Franz Liszt.
Five free noon-hour concerts: BMO Hottest Classical Artists Under 30!
Two evening oncerts featuring Metropolitan Opera Star Joseph Kaiser, the Danel Quartet, and more.

Watch our season announcement video here:

--Shira Gilbert PR

Over 1,000 Student Singers to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Annual High School Choir
The celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Annual High School Choir Festival will be so joyous, it cannot be contained within the walls of Walt Disney Concert Hall! As part of the celebratory Festival Day on Friday, May 3, over 1,000 student singers will give a pop-up performance outdoors on the main staircase of Disney Hall on Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA at 11:30 AM. Internationally renowned choral conductor and composer Eric Whitacre, who is the 2019 Festival's guest artist, will lead the students in a performance of Pentatonix's Sing, arranged for the Master Chorale by Ben Bram and Pentatonix.

The main event on Festival Day is the Festival concert performed by the students at 1 PM conducted by Grant Gershon, the Master Chorale's Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, and Whitacre, the Master Chorale's Swan Family Artist-in-Residence. The program for this year's concert includes Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, works by contemporary choral composers Abbie Betinis, Sydney Guillaume, and Rosephanye Powell, and the 17th century hymn Hanacpachap cussicuinin by Juan Pérez Bocanegra. In addition to the pop-up performance of Sing, Whitacre will conduct performances of his own compositions, "Cloudburst" and "Fly to Paradise." The Festival concert grand finale will be a performance of "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers.

Friday, May 3, 2019; 11 AM - 3 PM
Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Ensemble performance at 11 AM
Pop-up outdoor performance by students at 11:30 AM
High School Choir Festival performance by students at 1 PM

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Open to the public; free entry. Limited advance ticket reservations available at starting April 8.

--Jennifer Scott, Los Angeles Master Chorale

NYOA Announces the NY Opera Fest Kickoff Party
The New York Opera Alliance (NYOA) will launch their fourth annual New York Opera Fest at a Kickoff Party on Monday, April 29th with a performance and celebration at Marc A. Scorca Hall in the National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave at 29th St., NYC. The kickoff will feature performances by the little OPERA theatre of ny, Hunter Opera Theater, City Lyric Opera, Divaria Productions, Regina Opera Company, Rhymes With Opera, and Vertical Players Repertory.

The event will honor Ira Siff for his indelible impact as a performer, commentator, director, teacher, and artistic director of La Gran Scena. Conceived and launched in 1981, La Gran Scena featured Ira Siff assuming the identity of Mme. Vera Galupe-Borszkh, prima donna of La Gran Scena Opera Company. Through its acclaimed combination of affectionate, knowledgeable spoof and musical excellence, La Gran Scena broadened the ways in which opera is perceived, making it  closely aligned with the goal of the New York Opera Alliance to showcase the breadth and diversity of opera.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Pavarotti - A Film By Ron Howard
From the filmmaking team behind the highly-acclaimed documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years, Pavarotti is a riveting film that lifts the curtain on the icon who brought opera to the people. Academy Award winning director Ron Howard puts audiences front row center for an exploration of The Voice...The Man...The Legend. Luciano Pavarotti gave his life to the music and a voice to the world. This cinematic event features history-making performances and intimate interviews, including never-before-seen footage and cutting-edge Dolby Atmos technology.

CBS Films will release Pavarotti in select theaters June 7, 2019.

Watch the official trailer here:

--Julia Casey, Universal Music Group

Outhere Music Group and IDAGIO Announce Partnership
IDAGIO, the leading streaming service for classical music, is partnering with Outhere Music, making all of the recording group's back catalogue and new releases available to classical music fans globally. The agreement, which encompasses recordings from renowned labels such as Alpha, Phi, Aeon and Ricercar, is the latest addition to the offering of the classical music specialist streaming service. As an additional aspect of the partnership, IDAGIO will feature exclusive playlists curated by Outhere Music and its artists, and will work closely with the recording group on additional initiatives such as video productions to provide the most engaging classical listening experience possible for IDAGIO subscribers.

IDAGIO has licensing agreements with over 1,000 labels and rights holders, making more than 2 million tracks available to its global subscriber base.

Birgit Gehring, IDAGIO

Tickets Now on Sale for the NYC Return of As One
Since its 2014 Brooklyn premiere by American Opera Projects, As One has become the most performed opera in the U.S. and Canada written in the 21st century. American Opera Projects and New York City Opera, and Kaufman Music Center are proud to bring As One back to New York in a new production with that joins the citywide celebrations that mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation.

In As One, two voices share the role of the sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, in this moving and often funny story that follows her journey to self truth. With empathy and humor, As One traces Hannah's experiences from her youth in a small town to her college years on the West Coast, and finally to Norway where she is surprised at what she learns about herself.

May 30 - June 8 at 8:00 pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th St New York, NY 10036
Tickets: $30 - $95

Information and tickets:

--American Opera Projects

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla Becomes First Female Conductor to Sign Long-Term Exclusively to DG
Young maestro Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla makes history as she signs to Deutsche Grammophon – home to legendary conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Karl Böhm, Pierre Boulez and Carlos Kleiber. The Lithuanian musician, who is the Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, becomes the first female conductor to sign an exclusive long-term contract with the label.

Gražinyte-Tyla will release her debut album on May 3--a collection of orchestral works by Polish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, whose centenary falls this year. She conducts the combined forces of the CBSO, Kremerata Baltica and violinist Gidon Kremer in Symphony No. 21 "Kaddish" – a major work completed in 1991 and dedicated to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto. She also directs Kremerata Baltica in the early Symphony No. 2.

Gražinyte-Tyla will go on to present music by her compatriot Raminta Šerkšnyte with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Vilnius Municipal Choir and Kremerata Baltica, a project she will follow up with an album of works by British composers with the CBSO as the orchestra celebrates its centenary.

--Samantha Sklar, Universal Music

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts Concludes the Season
Salon/Sanctuary Concerts presents selections from I Sacri Musicali Affetti (Opus 5, 1655 Venice) by Barbara Strozzi in honor of the 400th anniversay of her birth.

Friday, May 10th 8:00pm
The Church of St. Francis Xavier
46 West 16th Street
New York City, NY

Jessica Gould, soprano & Elena Biscuola, mezzo-soprano
Catherine Liddell & Paula Chateauneuf, theorbos
Christa Patton, baroque harp
Katie Rietman, baroque cello
Caitlyn Koester, harpsichord

$25 senior/student
$35 general
$50 prime
$100 front row season supporter

To purchase tickets, call 1 888 718-4253 or visit

--Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Robert Trevino Leaves Basque Audiences Guessing
Announcing his third season as Chief Conductor of the Basque National Orchestra, fast-rising American maestro Robert Trevino revealed a fascinating, multi-year initiative inspired by a great historical event - and with a twist. The three-year Elkano Project will start with a concert where the audience will be almost entirely in the dark about what it is they are about to hear.

Why? Five hundred years ago, the Basque explorer Juan Sebastián Elkano set off on a three-year voyage that would see him lead the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe (on his return, Charles I of Spain presented him with a coat of arms featuring a globe, on which was written "Primus circumdedisti me" - 'you were the first to go around me'). Marking this momentous voyage, Robert Trevino leads his orchestra on its own epic (if less dangerous!) journey.

For more information about the 2019/2020 Basque National Orchestra season, visit

--James Inverne Music Consultancy

Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Announces Free Summer Events for 2019
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, the longest-running series of its type in the world, announces its 114th season of free summer concerts, running from June 18 to August 6, 2019. This season's concerts will take place indoors at Temple Emanu-El as the iconic Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, NYC, undergoes necessary repairs.

Summer 2019's slate of chamber orchestras includes the return of New York-based ensembles The Knights, Orchestra of St. Luke's and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as Boston-based A Far Cry. Making its series debut is the Venice Baroque Orchestra, which gives frequent modern-day premieres of forgotten masterpieces from the past on period instruments. Find full program information for all five ensembles below.

"As the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts enters its 114th season, we are especially grateful for this new partnership with Temple Emanu-El," said Christopher London, President of the Board of Naumburg Orchestral Concerts. "They have helped us ensure that there will be no disruption to our series of free concerts of top-tier classical ensembles while the Naumburg Bandshell undergoes renovation. We hope that our longstanding audience members, as well as new attendees, will enthusiastically embrace this new location and its stellar acoustics for the summer of 2019."

All concerts will take place at 7 PM at Temple Emanu-El's Streicker Center (Fifth Avenue at 65th Street, New York, NY 10065). Tickets are free but reservations are required. Call 212-501-7809 for more information or visit

--Caroline Heaney, Bucklesweet

New Century Presents The Marcus Roberts Trio
Music Director Daniel Hope and New Century Chamber Orchestra conclude the 2018-2019 season with a debut appearance by jazz legends the Marcus Roberts Trio, May 9-12.

Showcasing a variety of masterworks by American composers, New Century will share the stage with the trio in a selection of songs by George Gershwin arranged for violin, jazz trio, and orchestra by Paul Bateman. Two additional Bateman arrangements are also featured, including selections from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and Aaron Copland's Old American Folks Songs, with Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings completing the program.

This program will be presented as part of New Century's subscription series on four evenings in different locations around the Bay Area: Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA; Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA; Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music; and Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, CA. New Century offers an Open Rehearsal Wednesday, May 8 at 10 a.m., Trinity St. Peter's Church, San Francisco with free admission.

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.

--Brenden Guy PR

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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