Classical Music News of the Week, June 8, 2019

Festival Mozaic Orchestra Series

In the Festival Mozaic Orchestra Series, musicians from the nation's top orchestras and ensembles come together under the dynamic leadership of our music director, Scott Yoo. This year's musicians hail from the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Colorado, Jacksonville, Minnesota, and St. Louis, as well as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and our hometown San Luis Obispo Symphony.

Complete 2019 Summer Festival Schedule
July 19: FILM: Scarlatti - Man Out of Time (Palm Theater)
July 24: Midday Mini-Concert: Susan Cahill Bass Recital (Atascadero)
July 24: Notable Encounter Dinner (Halter Ranch Vineyard)
July 25: Chamber Series: Opening Night (United Methodist Church)
July 26: UnClassical Series: An Evening of Flamenco (Dana Adobe)
July 27: Notable Encounter Luncheon (Dallidet Adobe)
July 27: Orchestra Series: Baroque in the Vines (Serra Chapel)
July 28: Chamber Series: European World Music (Cong. Beth David)
July 28: UnClassical Series: Ancient Future (See Canyon Fruit Ranch)
July 29: Family Concert: Carnival of the Animals (Cuesta College)
July 29: Orchestra Series: Resplendent Baroque (Cuesta College)
July 30: Notable Encounter Insight: Chopin Cello Sonata SOLD OUT
July 31: Midday Mini-Concert: Premieres by Michael Fine (Cambria)
July 31: Benefit Dinner in Mission Plaza
July 31: Orchestra Series: Mozart in the Mission
August 1: Midday Mini-Concert: Grace Park Violin Recital (SLO)
August 1: UnClassical Series: Take 3 Piano Trio (Clark Center)
August 2: Backstage Breakfast, Tour & Rehearsal (Cuesta College)
August 2: Chamber Series: Silver and Gold (Cuesta College)
August 3: Midday Mini-Concert: Novacek Piano Recital (Los Osos)
August 3: Orchestra Series: Spanish Flair (Cuesta College)
August 4: Notable Encounter Brunch: Brahms Quartet SOLD OUT
August 4: Chamber Series: Scott Yoo and Friends (Cuesta College)
Plus: master classes, open rehearsals, and lectures!

For complete information, visit

--Festival Mosaic

Who Was Terpsicore?
One of the nine Greek Muses who were believed to rule over all the major literary and artistic spheres, Terpsicore was the goddess of dance and choral song.

Usually depicted seated, holding a lyre, accompanying dancers and choirs with her music, her name (often spelled "Terpsichore") is derived from Greek words meaning "delight" and "dance."

In 1612, the German composer Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) assembled a compendium titled Terpsichore of more than 300 instrumental dances, taking credit only for arranging the music rather than composing the tunes. And in 1734, George Frideric Handel composed Terpsicore, a prologue to his previously performed opera, Il pastor fido, which had been premiered in 1712.

And, Are there really three choirs in the Lotti Mass? No, there are as many as five!

While the title of Lotti's captivating "Mass for Three Choirs" (Missa a tre cori) can be misleading, it is a work composed for more than 20 independent vocal and instrumental parts, often organized in up to five different and separated groups, drawing upon the Venetian tradition of polychoral—or "cori spezzati"—works from the time of the great composers at San Marco. If you enjoy performances of large-scale works by Monteverdi and Gabrieli, you'll love the Lotti Mass!

Handel: Terpscicore and Lotti: "Mass for Three Choirs"
Academy Orchestra & Soloists • Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

Hear these extraordinary works in the ABS Festival & Academy, performed by American Bach Soloists on Thursday August 8 2019 & Friday August 9 at 8:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA.

For complete information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

Musikiwest Announces Inaugural Summer Festival
Artistic Director Michelle Djokic and Musikiwest, a Palo Alto-based chamber ensemble, announced today its inaugural summer festival, "Musikiwest ChamberFest," July 7-12, 2019 at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, CA.

The six-day chamber music festival brings participants from some of the country's most prestigious music schools for intensive rehearsals and wellness workshops that focus on the collaborative power of chamber music. Led by a roster of professional musicians from across the United States and Bay Area, the festival will culminate in two public performances that bring faculty and students together for a variety of chamber masterworks including Antonín Dvorák's String Sextet in A Major, Op. 48 and Felix Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.

The WholeHearted Musician Founder, Dana Fonteneau and Colburn School Wellness Professor, Jennie Morton appear as special guests for three public workshops that share insight into essential skills such as empathy, communication and creativity as it applies to both professional and personal life.

For more information, visit

--Brenden Guy PR

Chicago Duo Piano Festival Celebrates Crumb's 90th
The Music Institute of Chicago announces two concerts for its 31st Chicago Duo Piano Festival (CDPF), featuring performances by renowned Chicago piano duo performers and a mix of favorite repertoire for four hands at one and two pianos, as well as eight hand piano performances. The concerts take place Sunday, July 14 at 3 p.m. and Friday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. Registration for the educational component is available at

Among the highlights of this year's concerts is a tribute to American composer George Crumb on the occasion of his 90th birthday. The July 14 Gala Opening Concert includes a complete performance of his Makrokosmos III: Music for a Summer Evening for two amplified pianos and percussion, with pianists Fiona Queen and Louise Chan and percussionists Joshua Graham and John Corkill. Other works include Weber's Invitation to the Dance in a version featuring Katherine Peterson, Katherine Lee, Soo Young Lee, and Camille Witos; Schubert's Andantino Varié with Matthew Hagle and Mio Isoda; and Borodin's "Polovetsian Dances" from Prince Igor with Xiaomin Liang and Jue He.

For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

California Arts Council Makes Largest Investment in Arts and Culture in Nearly Two Decades
The California Arts Council announced 1,243 grant awards totaling $20,823,541 in project and operational support for nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California. Two additional grant programs, providing support for local, regional and statewide arts partnerships, are slated for approval by the Council at its meeting on June 25, increasing the total award amount for the 2018-19 fiscal year to a projected $24,508,541 across more than 1,300 grants.

Awarded project designs span the whole of the arts and cultural fields, with funding offered in 14 unique grant program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and aligning with the California Arts Council's vision of a state strengthened by a spectrum of art and artists.

New artwork, events, classes, workshops, and other opportunities for creative expression funded through these projects will directly benefit our state's communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California's historically marginalized communities key among them. This year's projected total award amount marks an increase of more than $8.1 million over last year's investment, the second highest investment in statewide arts programming, surpassed only by the 2000-01 fiscal year.

Learn more at

--Kimberly Brown, Public Affairs Specialist

2019 Midsummer Mozart Festival
The Midsummer Mozart Festival and Music Director Paul Schrage today announced the lineup for their 2019 summer festival with five performances, July 11-15, 2019 throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dedicated to fresh interpretations of the composer's most enduring masterworks, the Midsummer Mozart Festival includes an opening night piano recital featuring local pianists Daniel Glover and Thomas Hansen in a variety of works including Gluck Variations, K. 455 and Sonata for Four Hands in F, K. 497; three orchestral performances with guest artist, soprano Christina Major performing arias from Idomeneo and Don Giovanni and Exsultate Jubilate, K. 165; and an intimate evening of words, wine and music featuring anecdotes from Marrying Mozart author Stephanie Cowell alongside arias sung by Christina Major and selected string quartets performed by the Midsummer Mozart Festival Chamber Players.

The festival opens on Thursday, July 11, 8:00 p.m. at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, with a solo piano recital featuring Bay Area based pianist Daniel Glover.

For further information, visit

--Brenden Guy PR

2019 Concours Musical International de Montréal: Hao Zhou, Grand CMIM Winner
The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) unveiled the name of the winners of the 2019 Violin Edition. 22 year-old Hao Zhou from the United States was the Grand Laureate, acquiring the title of First Prize Winner and Radio-Canada Audience Prize Winner.

 $150 000 in prizes, divided into 8 different awards, were given during the award ceremony.

 "Hao Zhou broke the mold at every competition round this year," says Christiane LeBlanc, Artistic and Executive Director of the CMIM. "He touched both the jury and the public. That's the mark of a true artist."

From May 29 to June 5, 24 competitors from 11 countries performed in the competition. The First round and Semifinal took place at Bourgie Hall. The six finalists then went on to perform the Final round over two days, on June 4 and 5, at Maison symphonique with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, with guest conductor Alexander Shelley.

For complete information, visit

--France Gaignard

SF Symphony Presents Semi-Staged Performances of Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilèges
British conductor Martyn Brabbins leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Chorus, joined by Young Women's Choral Projects of San Francisco, San Francisco Boys Chorus, and an internationally-renowned cast featuring mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as The Child, in semi-staged performances of Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilèges ("The Child and the Magic Spells"), June 27 & 29–30 at Davies Symphony Hall.

Currently Music Director of the English National Opera, Brabbins has previously conducted Ravel's enchanting opera at the Opéra de Lyon in France in 2012, at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in 2013, and again in Lyon in 2016—premiering a new production, which will be featured at the San Francisco Symphony's performances in June. Originally commissioned by Opéra de Lyon in association with L'Auditori de Barcelona and Maestro Arts, the production was conceived by Animator Grégoire Pont and Director James Bonas.

For further information, visit

--San Francisco Symphony PR

John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1
The Chelsea Symphony's (TCS) final concerts of their 2018/2019 season, on June 29 & 30, feature John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1,  and the winner of its 5th annual composition competition, Aaron Israel Levin's In Between.

John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 was written in the late 1980s as the AIDS pandemic was claiming the lives of many. The first of Corigliano's large-format works, the symphony commemorates, as the composer noted, "my friends – those I had lost and the one I was losing." Partly inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the first movement is subtitled "Apologue: Of Rage and Remembrance," and is dedicated to a pianist. The next two movements commemorate a music executive and a cellist. In the finale, a tarantella melody played by piano in a featured role and the cello line from the previous movements are juxtaposed against "a repeated pattern consisting of waves of brass chords ... [to convey] an image of timelessness."

For more information, visit

--Elizabeth Holub, Chelsea Symphony

Surround Sound!
We want to share an article from the latest issue of Symphony Magazine, the publication of the League of American Orchestras, in which we are described as one of the most innovative ensembles in the field, mentioning EXO ahead of such luminaries as Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, California Symphony, and many others.

This is the most widely read publication in the field of orchestral music, so it is something to celebrate that EXO is highlighted as a pioneer in the field and a trend-setting ensemble.

Read the complete article here:

--Experiential Orchestra

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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