Classical Music News of the Week, June 29, 2019

Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Presents Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Bandoneonist JP Jofre

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 7pm, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra returns to Naumburg Orchestral Concerts for the series' 114th season, this year held in Temple Emanu-El due to repairs on the iconic Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park.

The free program, titled "Pasión – A Concert Of Spanish/South American Music," features bandoneon virtuoso JP Jofre in his own composition Tangodromo 1 for bandoneon and strings (2016) and Piazzolla's Adiós Nonino for bandoneon and strings. Orpheus recorded Jofre's Double Concerto for Violin and Bandoneon with Jofre and violinist Michael Guttman for a 2018 release on the Progressive Sounds Label.

The program also includes Turina's La Oración del torero, Op. 34; Rodrigo's Zarabanda lejana y villancico; Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasilieras No. 9; Gabriela Lena Frank's "Chasqui and Coqueteos" from Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout; and Ponce's Estampas Nocturnas.

Program Information
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Presents Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 7pm (Doors Open at 6:15pm)
Temple Emanu-El | Fifth Avenue and 65th Street | NYC
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
JP Jofre, bandoneon

RSVP link:

Tickets: These FREE events ALL require tickets, available online or by registering with a form at the door. Allow extra time for tickets and for a security check when arriving for the concerts.

For more information about Orpheus, call 212.896.1700 or visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

We Can't Do It Without Your Help
On average, Young People's Chorus of NYC choristers spend 7-9 years participating in the Young People's Chorus. Your support will allow our choristers to continue making
 memories that will last a lifetime.

We are just six days away from the end of our text-to-donate campaign. Please help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 to support YPC's Scholarship Fund! All gifts made between now and June 30th will be doubled by a matching grant!

Join our Text-to-Donate campaign by texting the code "YPC19" to 443-21 or donate here:

"Singing with YPC meant building and sharing values that I hope to bring with me forever...." --YPC Graduate 2019

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

Opera Rara Announces Change of Artistic Directorship
Opera Rara, are delighted to announce the appointment of Carlo Rizzi as Opera Rara's Artistic Director to succeed Sir Mark Elder who will be stepping down in September 2019.

Speaking about his work with Opera Rara since 2012, Sir Mark Elder said: "My years as Artistic Director of Opera Rara have been enormously rewarding and I have now decided that it is time to hand on the baton. Bringing so many unknown operas to life has been challenging, but there is certainly an appetite for discovery among artists as much as the public. Opera Rara has an important role to play in that discovery, and I am so happy that my distinguished colleague, Carlo Rizzi, will continue the work of this remarkable organisation."

Commenting on his new role at Opera Rara, Carlo Rizzi said: "Opera is my passion and I strongly believe in its future. Just as it is important to present known masterpieces afresh and to commission new works, I believe that finding and bringing back to life the hidden jewels of this endlessly enriching art form is equally vital to excite modern audiences. Throughout my career I have conducted many "opera(s) rara(s)" and the journey that I am starting here with this unique organisation will allow me to go even further in exploring many strands of less known repertoire. I am looking forward to it!"

--Martina Furlan, Macbeth Media Relations

Summer at Strathmore
School's out, summer's here, and it's time to unwind, relax, and enjoy spending more time with the family. Finding fun activities to suit all budgets and tastes can be challenging, but whether you're looking for a fun date night, time with friends and family, or children-oriented programs, Strathmore has a host of fun and enriching events to keep the whole family entertained over the coming months.

Enter the magical world of David Dimitri and his L'homme Cirque—or one-man circus—in the intimate setting of a one-of-a-kind tent. He'll keep you on the edge of your seat as he balances dramatic feats like high wire flips and a human cannon launch with humor, poetry, and serenades on the accordion. Gasp as you watch him exit the tent on his high wire 150 feet above the ground against the backdrop of Strathmore's new Bernard Family Foundation Pavilion in Bethesda, Maryland.

Continuing its long tradition of bringing the community together, Strathmore's Live from the Lawn free concert series returns.

For information about each event, please visit:
L'homme Cirque:
Backyard Theater For Kids:
Live From The Lawn:

--Amy Killion, Bucklesweet

Great Classics, Italian Charms, and Romanticism Mark the Festival de Lanaudière
To kick off its 42nd season, the Festival de Lanaudière will receive the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), the Orchestre Métropolitain (OM) and the Venice Baroque Orchestra.

The opening concert will be presented by the OSM on Friday, July 5, under the renowned French conductor Alain Altinoglu, back after his highly successful Montreal debut last fall. On the programme are works inspired by the great classics of literature: Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard Wagner's Prelude and Death of Isolde, and Till Eulenspiegel by Richard Strauss. The extraordinary pianist Francesco Piemontesi joins the orchestra for his first concert in the province of Quebec, performing Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1.

For complete details, visit

--France Gaignard

SF Girls Chorus Announces European Summer Tour Appearances
Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe and the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) announce details of their European summer tour, which will include six performances at festivals and venues across England and France over a ten-day period, July 18–29.

The tour opens in London with a performance at Cafe OTO (July 20), the renowned free jazz, experimental, and free improvisation venue. SFGC will present the European premiere of excerpts from its recent commission from English composer/avant-rocker Fred Frith, Rags of Time, just three weeks after the venue fêtes the composer in a three-day 70th birthday celebration. Following this, SFGC will be presented at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge by the prestigious Cambridge Summer Music Festival (July 21), the ensemble's first return to the festival since its 1985 debut.

The ensemble will then make two more concert appearances in England including St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (July 23) and London's St. Marylebone Festival (July 24), before heading to France for the final leg of its tour. In Paris, SFGC will be presented in two performances, at Église Saint-Sulpice (July 27), which replaces a performance originally scheduled on July 26 at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, and at L'Église de la Madeleine as part of the Les Dimanches Musicaux Series (July 28).

For complete details, visit

--Brenden Guy PR

International Contemporary Ensemble Returns to Lincoln Center's "Mostly Mozart"
The pioneering International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) returns to Lincoln Center's 2019 Mostly Mozart Festival for its twelfth consecutive season with three unique programs: Fure and Thorvaldsdottir on July 25, Inside Voice on August 3, and IFCA Composer Portraits on August 5. Having performed annually at the Mostly Mozart Festival since 2008, ICE was named Artist-in-Residence for the festival in 2011.

On Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 7:30pm in Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium, the International Contemporary Ensemble performs a concert celebrating the sound worlds of pioneering composers Ashley Fure, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir. Works to be performed include Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Sequences (2016) and Illumine (2016), Ashley Fure's Something to Hunt (2014), and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir's Esoteric Mass (2014).

On Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 9:00pm at Merkin Concert Hall, the International Contemporary Ensemble explores the expressive potential of traditional Persian, Hungarian, American, and Japanese instruments in a program of works influenced by ancient ritual, oceanic wonderment, Irish Bardic poetry, and beyond in Inside Voice. This inventive evening, led by conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni in his Mostly Mozart Festival debut, features the New York premiere of Nathan Davis's Inside Voice (2018), Irish composer Ann Cleare's teeth of light, tongue of waves (2017–18), György Kurtág's Tre pezzi, Kate Soper's The Ultimate Poem is Abstract (2016) featuring Soper as soprano soloist, Anahita Abbasi's Sketch I (2012), and culminates in the world premiere of Dai Fujikura's Shamisen Concerto performed by Hidejiro Honjoh in his Mostly Mozart Festival debut.

The International Contemporary Ensemble performs the music of Anahita Abbasi, Aida Shirazi, and Niloufar Nourbakhsh from the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA) at Bruno Walter Auditorium on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 7:00pm.

For more information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

JACK Quartet Announced as One of Kaufman Music Center's 2019-20 Artists-in-Residence
Kaufman Music Center recently announced that the JACK Quartet, a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner hailed as the "nation's most important quartet" (New York Times) and "superheroes of the new music world" (Boston Globe), will take part in their new Artist-in-Residence program that embeds acclaimed, multi-faceted artists who are transforming the music world within a broad range of KMC programs spanning the concert stage and the classroom.

The JACK joins Nathalie Joachim, flutist, composer, multi-genre performance artist and member of the urban art pop duo Flutronix and the multiple Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird; and Rob Kapilow, NPR and PBS music commentator, conductor, composer, author and host of the concert series What Makes It Great?

For complete information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

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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