Classical Music News of the Week, April 27, 2019

Music of the Americas Presents the International Contemporary Ensemble NY Premiere

Music of the Americas presents the New York premiere of Canadian composer Claude Vivier's chamber opera Kopernikus, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble and Meridionalis conducted by Sebastian Zubieta, with live video by Sergio Policicchio.

There will be two presentations, the first on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 7:00pm and the second on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 7:00pm at 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn, NY.

Described by Vivier as a "ritual opera of death," Kopernikus centers around a young woman named Agni, who descends into a dream world where "mystical beings borrowed from stories, gravitate around her: Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a witch, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan and Isolde, Mozart, the Master of the Waters, Copernicus and his mother. These characters could be Agni's dreams that follow her during her initiation and finally into her dematerialization."

Tickets are free for Americas Society and Young Professionals of the Americas members and $20 General Admission.

To view an excerpt from the opera, visit

For complete information, visit:

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

The Crypt Sessions Presents Clarinetist Sam Boutris
The Crypt Sessions will continue its fourth season on May 14, 2019, with fast-rising Juillard-trained clarinetist Sam Boutris playing the two pillars of the clarinet repertoire: Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major, K.581 and Brahms's Clarinet Quintet, Op.115. Boutris will be joined by a crack team of young string players: Brian Hong (Violin), Helen Vassiliou (Violin), Sergio Munoz Leiva (Viola), and Sam DeCaprio (Cello).

In addition to their shared Autumnal sound-world, numerous musical threads connect the two works, as Brahms sprinkled elements of the Mozart quintet throughout his own profoundly nostalgic, achingly reflective work.

Tickets will be released on the Death of Classical Facebook Page at 12:00PM Eastern Time on May 1, following the previous evening's performance by the Attacca Quartet, playing an all-Caroline Shaw program.

The Crypt Sessions are presented under the new non-profit sponsored organization Death of Classical. Both The Crypt Sessions and its new sister series The Angel's Share in the Catacombs of The Green-Wood Cemetery are curated by Andrew Ousley.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

So Percussion Offers Free Concert
So Percussion, the Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence at the Princeton University Department of Music, offer their final, FREE concert in the 2018-19 season on Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton, NJ. Their program includes cutting edge works by two female composers -- Nicole Lizée and Julia Wolfe -- as well as "From Out a Darker Sea," a new multimedia work by the ensemble exploring the social history of British Coal Mining.

Free tickets are required for this concert, which will be released on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 10AM online at and in person during box office hours at the Frist Campus Center and Lewis Arts complex box offices. Remaining tickets will be available one hour before the concert at the venue.

For more information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Grammy-Winning Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Jazz at Princeton University
Jazz at Princeton University's 2018-19 season finale on Saturday, May 11, 8PM features Grammy Award-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington as a guest artist with students in the Princeton University Creative Large Ensemble, directed by Darcy James Argue. The unique program features a rare performance of Jim McNeely's Tribute to Tony Williams Lifetime in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Tickets $15 General/$5 students.

For more information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Festival Mozaic Selects Nonprofit Arts Executive Lloyd Tanner as Executive Director
The Board of Directors of Festival Mozaic announced today that Lloyd Tanner will take on the role of Executive Director, following a nationwide search conducted by the Arts Consulting Group. Mr. Tanner will officially join Festival Mozaic on May 23, 2019 and will immediately focus his attention on the Festival's 49th season, which opens July 24th.

Search Committee Chair and Board President Jo Anne Miller noted "We are incredibly excited to welcome Lloyd Tanner to the Festival Mozaic family. His leadership experience and accomplishments achieved at internationally recognized arts organizations will help further establish the ambitious artistic programming of our Music Director Scott Yoo.  We look forward to collaborating with Lloyd on further engaging our donors and stakeholders and building their support for the mission and programs of the Festival."

Over its nearly five decades, the Festival has expanded its programming to include early music, jazz, contemporary music, opera, world music, and new commissions and world premieres. The concerts have taken place in multiple venues around San Luis Obispo county, CA, including Chapel Serra in Shandon and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

In 2019, our 49th season, the Festival continues its artistic evolution, bringing the world's best musical influences to San Luis Obispo County through performances and informative educational music experiences. The Festival draws visitors from around the state, country and the world to its events each year to enjoy not only the music, but also the bounty of our region and our warm hospitality.

For more information, visit

--David George, Festival Mosaic

Have You Attended ABS's Free Educational and Outreach Programs?
A variety of formats attracts wide audiences. American Bach Soloists' 30th Season may be approaching its final notes, but our programs are launching forward with an especially wide range of free activities for audiences from all backgrounds and with all amounts of experience with Early Music.

ABS trumpeter John Thiessen will present a free Master Class at the end of April. Victor Gavenda will provide "Insights" before upcoming Brandenburg Concertos concerts. ABS Festival & Academy offers more than a dozen free performances and educational events.

The 30th Season's final free public Master Class at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music takes place on Monday, April 29th at 7:30 p.m. Witness the artistic transformations that make Master Classes so tremendously exciting, as performers from the Conservatory's curricula and ABS musicians share their knowledge and insights.

For more information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

Tod Machover World Premiere for Kronos Quartet Livestreamed
As a part of its important initiative to support the future of the string quartet, the globally-renowned Kronos Quartet will perform the first public performance of GAMMIFIED by American composer Tod Machover, through the expansive "50 for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire" commissioning and education project in partnership with Carnegie Hall and others.

Utilizing cutting-edge research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, where Machover holds the position of Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media, the piece for string quartet and electronics features Gamma frequencies, which have begun to show highly promising results for resynching the brain and promoting mental well-being. Machover, alongside graduate students  Alexandra Rieger, Nikhil Singh and Ben Bloomberg in Machover's "Opera of the Future" group, will discuss this technology and its potential implications for mental health with the Kronos Quartet.  Additionally, the composer and quartet will address Kronos's five-year 50 for the "Future" project and its aspirations of creating a free library of 50 works – 25 by women and 25 by men – designed to guide young amateur and early-career professional string quartets in developing and honing the skills required for the performance of 21st-century repertoire.

Monday, April 29th
1:00-2:30 pm
MIT Media Lab
6th Floor Multi-Purpose Room (E14-674)
Admission free; no tickets required

View live on YouTube:
or on MIT Media Lab's Web site:

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

Cantata Profana's Politically Charged Lucretia
The audacious stars of New York's Cantata Profana--as comfortable on period instruments as they are on modern ones--juxtapose masterpieces from the medieval era to the 21st century in lovingly curated shows filled with unexpected works and daring theater. On May 23, 24, and 25 they premiere their most dramatically and politically charged creation yet: Lucretia at HERE Arts Center on the Lower East Side (145 6th Avenue, NYC). HERE's Mainstage Theater is a perfect space for the visceral power of the Lucretia story; Handel's genre-busting cantata needs to be felt up close, the audience contending with the lonely horror of her unanswered pleas from only feet away.

La Lucrezia is a masterwork from Handel's earlier life in Italy, when he wrote his most experimental and utterly brilliant music. It is scored for solo voice and continuo, and follows the traditional alternating recitative and aria format until the very end. In the last movement, as Lucretia feels the blade entering her breast, she sings the briefest Arioso ("Gia nel seno")—"one of the most sublime 60 seconds in all of music," says Jacob Ashworth, CP's Artistic Director—but then splinters into a scattered accompagnando, ending on a wild note, swearing vengeance from the grave. Ashworth continues: "Handel was one of the greatest dramatists to ever compose for the voice. This piece is proof."

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Announces Applications and Jury
The Menuhin Competition Richmond has been characterized as the "Olympics of the Violin," and for more than three decades has established itself as the world's leading international violin competition for young violinists, with each new competition year accepting hundreds of applicants for 44 coveted spots.

Founded in 1983, the Menuhin Competition has served countless aspiring concert violinists as a major catalyst for initiating the trajectory from the very early days of their international solo and orchestral careers into household names. Notable alumni include Ray Chen, Tasmin Little, Julia Fischer, Chad Hoopes, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, and Stephen Waarts. The application period for the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 closes on October 31, 2019 and welcomes all aspiring young violinists under the age of 22 to apply. Gordon Back, Artistic Director of the Menuhin Competition, says: "We are thrilled and honoured that Richmond is hosting the 2020 Menuhin Competition. It will be a brilliant and innovative collaboration and promises to be an event of the highest artistic excellence.  We look forward to receiving applications from young violinists across the globe.

May 14-24, 2020
Applications open now through October 31, 2019.
Announcing full roster of jurors, including acclaimed performers, pedagogues, and Menuhin alumni.

For more information, visit

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

ASPECT Foundation Presents the Four Nations Ensemble
The ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts concludes its third New York City season of illuminating performances with "Music of the 18th Century Grand Tour" on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 7:30pm at Bohemian National Hall, NYC. The concert features New York's Four Nations Ensemble and soprano Pascale Beaudin in a program celebrating the 18th century culture of Paris, Venice, Rome, and Napes, including Jean-Baptiste Quentin's Quatuor in A, Op. 12, No. 1; selected Gondoliere Songs arranged by Johann Hasse; Vivaldi's Concerto in F Major for Flute, Op. 10, No. 5; Corelli's La Folia, Op. 5, No. 12; and Pergolesi's Orfeo for Soprano and Strings.

Historian John Brewer, author of "The Pleasures of the Imagination," presents an illustrated talk that takes the audience on a musical journey to better understand the historical and artistic importance of the "Grand Tour" -- a trip wealthy young men in the 18th century customarily took to experience art, culture, and forbidden pleasures after they'd finished their formal education.

Program information:
"Music of the 18th Century Grand Tour"
Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 7:30pm
Bohemian National Hall, 321 E 73rd St., New York, NY
Tickets: $45, includes wine and refreshments

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Composers & the Voice Extends Deadline
Composers & the Voice, a tuition-free training program, is a competitive two-year fellowship offered to composers and librettists. AOP welcomes applications from musicians of all backgrounds interested in composing for opera and music theatre and seeks to present a group of fellows that represent the diversity of our community and country. Applications are reviewed and fellowships are selected by the C&V artistic team and a panel of industry professionals chosen with an emphasis on diversity. Deadlines for applications is now extended until Tuesday, April 30 at 11:59PM EST.

Application and info at

--American Opera Projects

Young People's Chorus of New York City Monthly News
YPC Choristers Return from Toronto Tour
This month, 41 of YPC's enthusiastic Intermezzo choristers traveled to Toronto for their first international tour! At the invitation of the Toronto Children's Chorus, YPC was the only chorus from outside Canada to perform in the Junior Treble Festival. The choristers participated in engaging music and movement workshops and presented a magical performance at the festival concert.

Vocal Resolutions: Balancing Bubbles 
May 19, 2019: Gerald W. Lynch Theater, NYC
YPC's third annual Vocal Resolutions Summit features a partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, Mantra Percussion, and Newfoundland's Shallaway Youth Choir. The weekend will culminate with a concert exploring the theme of "Balance" and presenting a world premiere of Ms. Reid's piece, "So Much on My Soul."

YPC's Community Chorus Concert
May 11, 2019: The Church of the Intercession, NYC
Over 100 excited young artists from the two community choruses of the Young People's Chorus of New York City in Washington Heights and at Goddard Riverside Community Center, will join together for a buoyant program of music beloved by the singers and sure to delight their spring concert audience on May 11.

YPC's School Chorus Concert
May 13, 2019: 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC
The energy and talents of the children who participate in the School Choruses music education program of the Young People's Chorus of New York City will be on display at its 16th annual School Choruses celebration concert on Monday, May 13.

YPC's Spring Concert
June 1, 2019: The United Palace, NYC
YPC is excited to celebrate the coming of summer with its debut in the historic 3400-seat United Palace, one of Manhattan's largest theaters. As YPC continues to grow, the United Palace provides the perfect setting for the more than 425 YPC choristers to perform a program of music and choreography of extraordinary and astonishing breadth.

For complete information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

Spring 2019 Call for Scores - PARMA Recordings
Winter has come to a close, flowers and trees are beginning to bloom, and if you live anywhere near the PARMA headquarters in New England, you're probably sighing in relief with us as the temperatures climb higher above freezing. With the change in season comes time for creative inspiration, new music, and of course, the latest Call for Scores. In addition to being recorded, selected submissions will be considered for live performance. Previously accepted scores have been performed in Russia, Croatia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United States, and more.

We are currently accepting submissions for:
1. Dieter Flury
Works for flute, flute with chamber ensemble, and flute with orchestra
Zagreb Croatia

2. Vox Futura and Prague-based Choirs
Works for Choir
Boston MA; Prague CZ

3. Athens Philharmonia Orchestra
Works for Orchestra
Athens Greece

Please submit PDF scores and corresponding MIDI renderings or live recordings via our Project Submission form.

Selected scores will be recorded and commercially released by PARMA Recordings. The submitter is responsible for securing funds associated with the production and retains all ownership of the master and underlying composition.

Works should ideally be between 5 and 15 minutes in length, but pieces outside of that range will still be considered.

Deadline for all submissions is May 17, 2019. There is no fee to submit.

Project Submission Form:

--PARMA Recordings

Public Solidarity Concert for Notre-Dame de Paris
American Bach Soloists are proud to collaborate with members of the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera, the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, Johann Vexo (organist of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame), and singers Frederica von Stade and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen in a free Public Solidarity Concert for Notre-Dame de Paris on Monday evening, April 29th. San Francisco and Paris are Sister Cities, and this musical offering of solidarity expresses our support for the Paris community. The event--co-sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco, the French Consulate in San Francisco, and Grace Cathedral--begins at 6:00 p.m.

Monday, April 29, 2019 at 6 p.m.
Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., San Francisco, CA 94108.

This is a free public concert and is first-come first-served. Registration is available at

--American Bach Soloists

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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