Classical Music News of the Week, June 1, 2019

Midsummer's Music 2019

Midsummer's Music of Door County, Wisconsin, announces its 2019 concert season with Mendelssohn, Mozart and More! Presenting concerts hailed as "exciting, pulse-pounding and riveting," Midsummer's Music provides unique and diverse cultural, historical and scenic musical experiences. The 2019 season, running June 14 through September 2, features 41 concerts performed by world-class musicians. The inspiring concerts, many of which sell out, attract a growing dedicated following every year, plus thousands more via Wisconsin Public Radio broadcasts, and on Live from Chicago's WFMT Radio.

Midsummer's Music offers chamber music for strings, piano and winds performed in  distinctive settings throughout Door County, including art galleries, museums, historic venues and private homes.

Programs feature works by Mozart, Schubert and Dvorák, gems from lesser-known composers and world premieres by Midsummer's own award-winning Composer-in-Residence Jacob Beranek. This season will celebrate the premiere of Beranek's Quintet for Winds on July 11. A complete 2019 summer brochure can be found at www.midsummersmusic.com.

--Genevieve Spielberg, GS Artists

Le Grand Chœur du Centre-Sud: Free concert By and For the Community
On June 7, Voies culturelles des faubourgs will present the very first edition of a great citizen concert, Le Grand Choeur du Centre-Sud. This unifying event will begin outside at Espace Pierre-Bourgault (corner of Plessis and Ontario) and will end with a grand concert at Sacré-Coeur Church.

This great collective work, directed by André Pappathomas, composer, musician and winner of the 2017 artist award in the community, will bring together a hundred choristers from the Centre-Sud community. The choir will be accompanied by soloists, musicians and the great organ of the Sacré-Coeur Church.

Le Grand Choeur du Centre-Sud is more than just a choir concert, it's a community and artistic project that aims to break isolation and put the community back at the heart of our lives. "Through this inclusive event, we want to promote social cohesion and generate pride and joy in taking part in a common project," says Claudine Khelil, general coordinator of Voies culturelles des faubourgs.

The goal of the project is to create links between citizens from all horizons and to develop, through musical expression, an unsuspected creative potential. "It is the result of a collective work of creation that will be presented in the form of a big happening to the entire community," says Pappathomas.

When: June 7, 2019, from 5:30 pm
Where: Espace Pierre-Bourgault (park on Plessis Street, south of Ontario street) and Sacré-Coeur Church (Ontario at the corner of Plessis, Montreal)
Information: 514-526-2787; communications@voiesculturelles.qc.ca or voiesculturelles.qc.ca

--France Gaignard PR

2019 Concours Musical International de Montréal : Semifinalists Announced
On May 29 and 30 was held the First round of the 2019 Violin Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal. The jury selected twelve semifinalists, from 6 countries. The semifinal will take place on June 1 and 2 at Bourgie Hall.

Presided by Zarin Mehta, le 2019 international jury includes Pierre Amoyal (France), Kim Kashkashian (United States), Boris Kuschnir (Austria), Cho-Liang Lin (United States), Mihaela Martin (Romania), Barry Shiffman (Canada), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (United Kingdom/United States) and Pavel Vernikov (Israel - Switzerland).

2019 CMIM Final
Following the Semifinal round, 6 violinists will proceed to the Final round, which will take place at the Maison Symphonique. Competitors perform a concerto with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Alexander Shelley, on June 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. The jury deliberation and the competition results will be made after the Final round on June 5. $150 000 in prizes and awards will be given during the award ceremony.

For more information, visit www.concoursmontreal.ca

--France Gaignard PR

Schwalbe Artists in June
June 2:
Sherezade Panthaki
Bach Virtuosi Festival
Portland, ME

June 3:
Michael Schade
Teatro de la Zarzuela
Madrid, Spain

June 3 & 4:
Matthew Halls
Bremer Philharmoniker
Bremen, Germany

June 4:
Sherezade Panthaki
Spoleto Festival USA
Charleston, SC

June 4, 5, 7 & 8:
Marc Molomot
The Angel's Share
Brooklyn, NY

June 4:
Hadleigh Adams
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
San Francisco, CA

June 6, 8,13:
Michael Schade
Staatsoper Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

June 6 & 9:
Sherezade Panthaki
Bach Virtuosi Festival
Portland, ME

June 8, 10:
Douglas Williams
Les Talens Lyriques
Dortmund and Halle, Germany

June 9, 12, 14, 16:
Stephen Stubbs
Boston Early Music Festival Centerpiece Opera
Boston, MA

June 10:
Michael Schade
Stift Melk
Melk, Austria

June 12:
Thomas Cooley
St. Michaelis Musik
Hamburg, Germany

June 21 & 23:
Nicholas McGegan, Thomas Cooley, Sherezade Panthaki, William Berger, Douglas Williams
NDR Radiophilharmonie
Hanover, Germany

June 23:
Stephen Stubbs
Boston Early Music Festival
Caramoor, NY

June 25:
Eric Jurenas
Komische Oper Berlin
Berlin, Germany

June 26:
Matthew Halls
Trasimeno Music Festival
Umbria, Italy

June 27 & 29:
Hadleigh Adams
Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati, OH

June 29:
Laura Strickling
Berkshire Choral International
Sheffield, MA

For complete information, visit https://schwalbeandpartners.com/artists/

--Schwalbe and Partners

JACK Quartet Announces 2019 Summer Season
The JACK Quartet is excited to announce their 2019 summer season, which kicks off with a return to Ojai Music Festival June 3–9 where they will perform a variety of works, including Schoenberg's Second String Quartet with Music Director Barbara Hannigan as soloist.

JACK then goes to New Music On The Point June 10–18 and The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity July 14–30 to work with young performers and composers. In August and September, JACK will go to Tippet Rise Art Center to perform works by John Luther Adams.

For complete information, visit http://jackquartet.com/

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Princeton University Concerts: 2019-20 Season
Subscriptions are on sale and going quickly for Princeton University Concerts's 2019-20 season! The 126th season includes a brand new "Icons of Song" series featuring vocal superstars alongside luminary pianists: Ian Bostridge with Brad Mehldau; Joyce DiDonato, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Matthias Goerne with Jan Lisiecki.

Additional highlights include a special event with the Georgian state vocal Ensemble Basiani, and a new improvisatory spin on the intimate, audience-on-stage Up Close series with the genre-defying Vision String Quartet, pianist and improviser Gabriela Montero, and a groundbreaking collaboration between pianist/composer Conrad Tao and tap dancer Caleb Teicher.

The heralded Concert Classics Series includes performances of two premieres co-commissioned by PUC, a number of highly anticipated debuts including a collaboration between legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, as well as the return of violinist Stefan Jackiw, the Calidore String Quartet, and more….
 
With the lowest ticket prices in the region, subscription packages start at just $16 per concert. Single tickets will go on sale, online only, at noon on July 22.

For complete information, visit http://www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org/

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Virtual Singing Virtues
Ground-breaking scientific study shows how singing in virtual choirs is good for mental health. Results show that singing in a Virtual Choir boosts participants' self-esteem, reduces feelings of social isolation and promotes better mental health. Members of Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir and multiple 'live' choirs supply huge data set for compelling comparative research project.

Since ancient times, philosophers have sought to cultivate happiness and well-being. Their intuitions about the benefits of shared creative experiences have now been confirmed by pioneering scientific research conducted by University College London (UCL) in partnership with Eric Whitacre and Music Productions. The detailed study, led by UCL Senior Research Fellow and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker Dr. Daisy Fancourt, shows how singing in a virtual choir delivers significant psychological benefits.

Dr. Fancourt devised an online questionnaire to gather data from global participants in Virtual Choir 5.0. The results were compared with those from diverse 'live' choirs, which were collated and submitted online to the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test. The two cohorts, comprising 2,316 singers, generated a data set that was used for statistical matching and comparative analysis. Daisy Fancourt and her colleagues used the data to focus on the under-explored area of the psychological impact of virtual creative experiences.

Virtual and 'live' choral singers answered questions about social presence, the connections made by individuals through face-to-face or online communication, and how they used singing to help regulate their emotions. Having compared emotion regulation in both a live or 'virtual' choir, the responses are stronger in live choirs, but still present and applicable in those virtual. Both groups reported experiencing improved self-esteem, greater individual confidence and a strong sense of personal agency.

Their responses also suggested that the virtual choir experience can help combat feelings of social isolation and promote a sense of connection to others. The message is clear: choral singing, whether of the traditional or virtual variety, is good for mental health.

For much more on the subject, visit https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00778/full and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGngoGvOSuY#t=280

--Izzy Herschmann Music Productions

Miami Classical Music Festival Summer Program Lineup
Miami Classical Music Festival presents its 2019 season, with all new performance spaces across the Miami Beach area.

Miami Classical Music Festival, an intensive training program for the next generation of classical musicians, announces the lineup for the 2019 season from June 4 through July 28, 2019 with over 50 performances this summer.

Browse the new season and purchase your tickets: https://miamimusicfestival.com/

--Miami Music Festival

Music Institute Gala Honors Marsalis
The Music Institute of Chicago, one of the nation's most distinguished and respected community music schools, welcomed 300 guests to its 2019 Anniversary Gala on Monday, May 20 at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. The event raised more than $850,000 from a combination of table sponsorships, ticket sales, and outright contributions.

The evening included a cocktail reception, followed by an elegant dinner and awards presentation. Musical performances took place throughout the evening, representing every area of the Music Institute. Highlights included a New Orleans brass band procession; young musicians from the Community Music School; award-winning students from the Music Institute's renowned Academy, a training center for gifted pre-college musicians; young string students from Third Coast Suzuki Strings, a violin program on Chicago's Northwest Side in collaboration with the YMCA of Metro Chicago; and a surprise finale performance by 2019 Dushkin Award recipient Wynton Marsalis alongside Music Institute students.

The prestigious Dushkin Award, established more than 30 years ago and named for the Music Institute's visionary founders, Dorothy and David Dushkin, recognizes international luminaries in the world of music for their contributions to the art form, as well as to the education of youth. This year's recipient, Wynton Marsalis, is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator, and leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music for groups ranging from quartets to big bands, from chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, and from tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world's finest musicians and composers.

For information, visit musicinst.org

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For more than 20 years I was the editor ofThe $ensible Soundmagazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me -- point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, I should probably point out that I do a LOT of music listening and employ a variety of means to do so in a variety of environments, as I would imagine many music lovers also do. Starting at the more grandiose end of the scale, the system in which I do my most serious listening comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. I also do a lot of listening while driving in my 2016 Acura RDX with its nice-sounding ELS Studio sound system through which I play CDs (the ones I especially like I rip to the Acura's hard drive so that I can listen to them whenever I want) or stream music through the system using my LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. For more casual listening at home when I am not in my listening room, I often stream music through the phone into a Vizio soundbar system that has remarkably nice sound for such a diminutive physical presence. And finally, at the least grandiose end of the scale, I have an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker for those occasions where I am somewhere by myself without a sound system but in desperate need of a musical fix. I just can't imagine life without music and I am humbly grateful for the technology that enables us to enjoy it in so many wonderful ways.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

Visitors that view my technical papers on this site may wonder why they appear here, rather than on a site that features audio equipment reviews. My reason is that I tried the latter, and prefer to publish for people who actually want to listen to music; not to equipment. My focus is in describing what's technically beneficial to assure that the sound of the system will accurately replicate the source input signal (i. e. exhibit high accuracy) without inordinate cost and complexity. Conversely, most of the audiophiles of today strive to achieve sound that's euphonic, i.e. be personally satisfying. In essence, audiophiles seek sound that's consistent with their desire; the music is simply a test signal.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job. --John J. Puccio

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to classicalcandor@gmail.com.

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa