Classical Music News of the Week, September 28, 2019

More Orchestras Join InsideOut Concerts for 19/20 Season

After last season's sold-out concerts and much media acclaim, InsideOut Concerts - the innovative, audience-within-an-orchestra format created by Music Director David Bernard - announces ramped-up activities for the 2019-20 season. These include a greater number of concerts than ever before, the strengthening of old partnerships and the establishment of new ones. Headlines include a return to the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony in New York City (as part of the orchestra's twentieth anniversary celebrations), a first public concert with the Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra, and a debut with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut.

InsideOut Concerts are highly interactive experiences which seat audiences inside a full symphony orchestra as part of a dynamic and developed program, designed to help orchestras grow their audiences, improve donor participation, and deliver meaningful outreach to families and children in the community. Developed and led by David Bernard, InsideOut Concerts have received wide and enthusiastic press coverage, including from New York One television ("The ultimate surround-sound experience..may very well be the future of classical music"- Stephanie Simon), WQXR ("InsideOut is transforming the traditional concert-going experience"), Newsday, Mail Online, Musical America, and Symphony.

The 19/20 season concerts are led/conducted by David Bernard and begin with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, October 26th 2019: Dvorak New World Symphony, at the Danbury Music Centre. For a complete list of following concerts, detail information, and tickets, visit

--James Inverne Music Consultancy

Soprano Golda Schultz Makes Carnegie Hall Recital Debut with Pianist Jonathan Ware
On Friday, November 1, 2019 at 7:30pm, Carnegie Hall presents celebrated South African soprano Golda Schultz in her Carnegie Hall recital debut in Weill Recital Hall with frequent collaborator, pianist Jonathan Ware.

Part of Carnegie Hall's series "Great Singers III: Evenings of Song," the recital features Schubert's "Der Morgenkuss," "Heimliches Lieben," "Der Vollmond strahlt auf Bergeshöh'n" (Romanze) from Rosamunde, and Suleika I and II; Richard Strauss's "Morgen," "Heimliche Aufforderung," "Ruhe, meine Seele," and "Cäcilie;" Ravel's Shéhérazade; Amy Marcy Beach's Three Browning Songs, Op. 44; and John Carter's Cantata.

For details, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Miller Theatre's Early Music series opens with Belgian group Vox Luminis
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts opens its 2019-2020 Early Music series with the Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis in Scarlatti's Stabat Mater.

The first piece Belgian ensemble Vox Luminis ever sang together was Stabat Mater, Scarlatti's masterpiece about the Virgin Mary that pays homage to the great tradition of polyphony. This signature work anchors a collection of powerfully moving compositions depicting the suffering of the Mother of God at the foot of the cross, fittingly performed in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
145 West 46th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues, NYC
Tickets starting at $30; Students with valid ID: starting at $7

For complete information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Book Launch, New Artists at Piatigorsky International Cello Festival
The 2020 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, recently listed by The New York Times as a classical season highlight, and Artistic Director Ralph Kirshbaum, have announced several new developments to the exciting 10-day event, taking place in Los Angeles from March 13-22, 2020, including the addition of several new guest artists, the complete roster of Festival Fellows, and the launch of a never-released work of fiction by the Festival's namesake, Gregor Piatigorsky, published by Adelaide Books. Tickets to all 42 events of this truly unique international celebration of the cello are now on sale.

In conjunction with the Piatigorsky Film Screening & Panel Discussion on Saturday, March 14, 2020, Joram Piatigorsky, Gregor's son, will present the fictional work entitled Mr. Blok. The novel is published with an introduction by Joram, who states about this release, "I am very grateful to Adelaide Books and Stevan Nikolic for publishing my father's novel, Mr. Blok, after it has languished unpublished for some sixty years. In my opinion, this wildly imaginative, surreal novel makes a significant contribution to literature by the creation of a unique fictional character – Mr. Blok – who my father calls in the forward, 'a likable fellow, who will not mind in the slightest being put aside, should he not succeed in holding your attention.'"

The Festival has also announced the addition of cellists Ye Lin (Stella) Cho, Evan Drachman, and Terry King; conductor Hilo Carriel; pianists Vivian Fan, Lily Maisky, and Alin Melik-Adamyan; soprano Sarah Shafer, and violist Yura Lee. The expertise, diversity, and artistry of these outstanding musicians serve to enhance the Festival's already-outstanding roster, through thoughtful programming, direct audience engagement, and mentorship of the Festival Fellows.

Additionally, the Festival Fellows have been selected and announced.  Recommended by the guest artists, each young musician was considered for their immense talent and accomplishments and spend the entirety of the Festival with their mentors and each other, building a network of the next generation of excellent cellists.

Tickets to and information about each Piatigorsky International Cello Festival event are now available for purchase by calling the USC Thornton Ticket Office at 213.740.4672 or clicking here:

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates Inc.

New York Festival of Song presents "Lyrics by Shakespeare"
The "engaging, ever-curious series" (The New York Times)—revisits the very first program it ever presented: "Lyrics By Shakespeare." This highly popular program, which explores the Bard's influence on music over the centuries, returned last August in a sold-out performance presented by Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival.

The 75-minute evening illuminates Shakespeare's classic poetry with musical settings by Berlioz, Dankworth, Kabalevsky, Poulenc, Sondheim, and others.

NYFOS brings back two singers who are not only refined vocalists, but also superb actors: mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O'Connell and bass Matt Boehler. Both are blessed with a theatrical imagination, and their chemistry with the great actress Kathleen Chalfant and pianist Steven Blier is magical.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th Street, NYC

For more information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

SF Girls Chorus Opens Season with "Daring Sisters / Atrevidas Hermanas"
The San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) and Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe open the 2019-2020 subscription season on Saturday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco with Daring Sisters / Atrevidas Hermanas.

In a season that celebrates cultural diversity and the empowerment of women, the carefully curated program will pay homage to Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the first published feminists of the Americas and a champion of women's rights to education, with an evening of 17th century Latin American Baroque music. A rare performance of Madre la de los primores, the only surviving work written by Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, will be featured alongside a selection of Mexican, Bolivian and Peruvian music. SFGC will be joined by a variety of Latin American and Spanish Baroque music specialists including soprano Nell Snaidas, who also serves as the program's curator; soprano and SFGC alumna Jennifer Ellis Kampani; and Richard Savino's Grammy-nominated chamber ensemble, El Mundo.

For more information, visit

--Brenden Guy PR

Princeton University Orchestra Launches Season
The Princeton University Orchestra launches its 2019-2020 season--the ensemble's 122nd season--on Friday and Saturday October 18-19 at 7:30PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton, NJ.

The program features sophomore percussion extraordinaire Elijah Shina performing Pulitzer prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra in a tour de force showcase of percussive virtuosity, paired with Johannes Brahms' iconic Fourth Symphony. The program is conducted by the ensemble's director, Michael Pratt.

Tickets to the concert, performed by one of the most celebrated university orchestras in the nation, are only $15 General/$5 Student available by calling 609-258-9220 or at

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Behzod Abduraimov Returns to Carnegie Hall
Following the enormous success of his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2016, the 29-year-old Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov returns to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on two occasions in Fall 2019.

On October 25, Mr. Abduraimov joins the storied Munich Philharmonic, under the direction of Valery Gergiev, as the soloist in the vibrant Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, which he also performs with the Philharmonic on October 27 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; he returns to Carnegie Hall on December 10 with a solo program displaying his enormous range, musical intelligence, and virtuosity which have earned him the international reputation as "the most perfectly accomplished pianist of his generation," (The Independent).

For complete information, visit

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates Inc

The YPC Big Sing Is Back
Following a series of high-profile performances earlier this month, Young People's Chorus of NYC opens its 2019-20 season two big events - the YPC Big Sing and 2019 WIT: Women Inspiring Tomorrow Conference. We are also celebrating the release of our new Decca Gold recording, and joining National Sawdust for its season opener.

The second YPC Big Sing is Saturday, October 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, NYC.

Tickets are now on sale. Back by popular demand, Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez and Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Núñez, along with and special guests a cappella quartet Midtown and musical renegade Nick Demeris, will lead the audience in a program of songs everyone knows and loves.

For complete information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

Berkeley Symphony Opens Season with Joseph Young's First Appearance as Music Director
Berkeley Symphony opens its 2019-2020 season on Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, California, featuring Joseph Young in his first appearance as the orchestra's new Music Director. Recently appointed in April, Maestro Young will lead a program that includes the return of Bay Area favorite Conrad Tao as soloist for Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, a rare performance of Shango Memory by former UC Berkeley professor of music Olly Wilson, and Beethoven's iconic Symphony No. 5 in C minor.

Maestro Young was appointed as Music Director in April 2019 following a highly successful and critically acclaimed debut appearance as guest conductor in January 2019. Due to a last-minute cancellation, Maestro Young stepped in at a moment's notice with only two days to prepare an ambitious program of works that included a Hannah Kendall world premiere, Bernstein's Symphony No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra, and Britten's Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes. The result was an instant success with Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle commenting that "Young's ability to tackle at short notice not only Kendall's world premiere but also significant works by Britten and Bernstein was an impressive display."

Single tickets for the concert are $15-$96. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (510) 841-2800 x1 or visit

--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 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 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 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

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa