Classical Music News of the Week, June 13, 2020

IDAGIO Launches Global Concert Hall

IDAGIO, the leading streaming service for classical music, has launched the Global Concert Hall, a new online concert venue made available to audiences worldwide. Artists and ensembles will use this audiovisual platform to offer their own exclusive digital concerts, and their audiences can support them directly from the comfort of their own homes with their ticket purchases. At IDAGIO, artists are empowered in their creative endeavors through a wide-reaching platform which allows them to connect with existing fans, and enabled to share music that is meaningful to them with a broader audience. The Global Concert Hall is the next evolutionary phase of the Fair Artist Payout Model, launched in 2015, to ensure that artists are properly compensated for their content. 80% of the net proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the artists.

The concerts are streamed live and are available across the globe for 24 hours following the initial broadcast. An array of interactive features elevates the Global Concert Hall experience above existing options: artists offer personal introductions to their programs and remain online following the performance to chat directly with audience members in the Virtual Green Room, to answer questions and to collectively reflect on the performance. Further interactive features are being developed in collaboration with participating artists.

The Global Concert Hall's launch partners include Teldex Studios, Berlin, and the production company OTB Medien, both of which are synonymous with the highest quality audio and video production.

Visit www.IDAGIO.com and download the app at the App Store or at Google Play.

--IDAGIO press

Experiential Orchestra "Morning Meditations"
Beginning May 2020, EXO has become a full-time creative content commissioning organization. Please support us as we commission top-flight New York City musicians to create beautiful new music.

Initiatives include Mark Dover's unique arrangement of "Alone Together" with creative partner Jeremy Ajani Jordan, and Faylotte Joy Crayton, while "EXO Morning Meditations" are offered each Sunday as a way to prepare you for the week ahead. Future projects include our release of EXO's recording of Doug Balliett's Bass Concerto, Four Seasons of NY, with crowd-sourced photography of New York City.

For Experiential Orchestra's "Morning Meditation," click here: https://experientialorchestra.com/

--James Blachly, Experiential Orchestra

Order Your T-Shirt to Support Festival Mozaic
Festival Mozaic is proud to partner with local T-shirt company Left Coast T-Shirts in a fundraising campaign called "Here for Good SLO." Left Coast is producing T-shirts for many local organizations and businesses during the pandemic to let our customers know that we are here for good!

T-Shirts cost $25 each and half of the proceeds from the sales of Festival shirts will be shared with us. So for every shirt purchased, Left Coast will donate $12.50 directly to our organization!
Please visit www.hereforgoodslo.com or click the button below to order. The Festival shirts are currently located right at the top of the page. Men's and women's shirts are available and pictures of the shirts are below.

This fundraiser campaign ends June 30, so order now. Thank you for your support.

To order, click here: https://hereforgoodslo.com/here_for_good_slo/shop/home

--Festival Mozaic

New Podcast Series "Embrace Everything: The World of Gustav Mahler"
The "Embrace Everything" podcast series, created and hosted by award-winning radio producer Aaron Cohen, is an exploration and celebration of the music of Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) via a journey through his symphonies. Through commentary by Mr. Cohen, interviews with leading Mahler interpreters and scholars, readings from the letters of Mahler and his contemporaries, and through the sounds of the symphonies themselves, each season of the series will guide listeners through one of these landmark works in the orchestral repertoire.

Season 1 focuses on Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D major (1888), taking listeners back to the work's origins in the street songs, folk tunes, and bugle calls of Mahler's childhood. Each episode is devoted to a particular movement of the symphony, and guest commentators include Michael Tilson Thomas, who recorded a multi-Grammy Award-winning Mahler symphony cycle with the San Francisco Symphony, and Kent Nagano, who has conducted and recorded Mahler's music with orchestras around the world.

The series launches on Mahler's birthday—Tuesday, July 7—when all four episodes of Season 1 will become available for free on-demand listening via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify, among other streaming platforms. That evening, at 9:00 p.m. ET, New York Public Radio's classical music station, WQXR, airs a special one-hour radio adaptation of Season 1. The program will subsequently re-air on the station; details to be announced.

For more information about the "Embrace Everything" podcast, visit theworldofgustavmahler.org. Also follow the podcast on Facebook (facebook.com/theworldofgustavmahler) and Twitter (@worldofmahler).

--Shuman Associates

American Pianists Assoc. Awards $50,000 to all 5 Classical Finalists
In response to the dire situation that musicians are living in, and in accordance with its mission to support and promote young American pianists, American Pianists Association's (APA's) President/CEO and Artistic Director Joel Harrison and its board of directors have awarded each of the five 2021 American Pianists Awards finalists--Dominic Cheli, Kenny Broberg, Mackenzie Melemed, Michael Davidman, and Sahun Sam Hong--a cash prize of $50,000 before they even begin the Awards public adjudication process.

Each pianist will travel separately over a period of weeks in Spring of 2021 for solo recitals to be professionally produced and livestreamed in HD, with no-in person audience. The competition will culminate June 25-27, 2021 with solo, chamber music with the Dover Quartet and concerto performances. The winner will receive the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship, consisting of career assistance for two years, publicity, performance engagements, an Artist-in-Residence post, and a recording contract with Steinway & Sons record label.

For more information on the American Pianists Association, visit www.americanpianists.org/.

--Amanda Sweet, Bucklesweet

Orli Shaham MidWeek Mozart - The Complete C Major Sonata
This week pianist Orli Shaham shares the complete Sonata No.16, K. 545 in C Major, with MidWeek Mozart. Available to stream for free beginning Wednesday, June 10.

"The C major sonata is the first big classical sonata that most piano students learn. Mozart wrote this in a didactic way with all the fingerwork, technique, and getting around the keyboard with arpeggios, trills, and scales – it's all in there," says Ms. Shaham about Sonata No.16.

Orli Shaham's MidWeek Mozart gives you exclusive access to a different movement of a Mozart piano sonata, available for a whole week, FREE! Get your weekly dose of Mozart each Wednesday, and enjoy it until the following Wednesday when it will be replaced by the next installment, at OrliShahamMozart.com.

--Gail Wein, Classical Music Communications

Xavier Roy Appointed General Manager of Festival de Lanaudière
The Board of Directors of Festival de Lanaudière announces the appointment of Xavier Roy to the position of General Manager Mr. Roy will take up his duties on July 1, following the retirement of François Bédard, who has guided the Festival's destinies since 1991.

"The Board of Directors of Festival de Lanaudière is delighted at the arrival of Mr. Roy, who will seamlessly pursue the organization's mission. His ambitions, expertise and his background in the cultural world and particularly in classical music will undoubtedly take Festival de Lanaudière to new heights," said Dr. Denis Richard Roy, Chair of the Festival's Board of Directors.

Renaud Loranger, the Festival's Artistic Director since 2018, also expressed his delight at Xavier Roy's appointment: "Xavier Roy was a first-rate candidate in a very high-level playing field, and he will be a formidable General Manager. He fully shares my vision for the Festival's development, and I am happy to welcome him as we usher in this new chapter."

--France Gaignard Press Relations

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Announces Summer and Fall Programming
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) announces the postponement of its scheduled fall 2020 Season to fall 2021 due to the ongoing uncertainties of the current pandemic and its commitment, first and foremost, to the health and safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. Rescheduling the fall season as a whole was a conscious artistic decision. It serves to honor both the artistic effort invested in the programming and the importance of the artists being able to eventually complete these creative endeavors. CMS will pay its performing artists 50% of their fees this season and 75% of their fees in 2021, to not only support them financially during these difficult times, but emotionally as well, by laying out a clear plan for moving forward that aims to inspire hope for the future.

CMS is currently programming an entirely new season of concerts for fall 2020 that is being curated and produced specifically for the online, at-home concert experience, and will, as always, feature exceptional production values, with crystal-clear HD video and uncompromised sound quality. Details of CMS fall 2020 Front Row programming will be announced later this summer.

--Kirshbaum Associates

What's Streaming: Classical (Week of June 15-21)
Monday, June 15 – Sunday, June 21:
MTT25: An Online Tribute series continues to celebrate Michael Tilson Thomas's 25-year music directorship at the San Francisco Symphony
https://www.sfsymphony.org/MTT25

Monday, June 15, Wednesday, June 17, and Friday, June 19 at 2:00 p.m. CT (rescheduled from June 8, 10, and 12):
Tulsa Opera's "Staying Alive" video series
https://tulsaopera.com/stayingalive/

Tuesday, June 16 as of 1:00 p.m. PT:
James Conlon continues discussion of Beaumarchais and The Ghosts of Versailles on LA Opera James Conlon at Home podcast
https://soundcloud.com/laopera

Wednesday, June 17 as of 12:00 p.m. ET:
Pop Up Pipa with Wu Man: Episode 12: Xuefei Yang
Saturday, June 20 as of 12:00 p.m. ET:
Pop Up Pipa with Wu Man: Episode 13: Duo Barocco
https://www.facebook.com/WuManPipa/

Friday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m. ET:
New World Symphony's "NWS Fellows: Live from Our Living Room"
https://www.facebook.com/NewWorldSymphony/

Saturday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET (rescheduled from June 13):
Jennifer Koh concludes Alone Together series with new works by Kati Agócs, Vincent Calianno, Patrick Castillo, and Sugar Vendil
https://www.facebook.com/jenniferkohviolin/

Sunday, June 21:
Special video release of Michael Tilson Thomas's "Whistle Tune," part of San Francisco Symphony's MTT25 tribute series
https://www.youtube.com/user/sfsymphony

Minnesota Orchestra at Home
https://minnesotaorchestra.org/community-education/lifelong-learning/minnesota-orchestra-at-home

--Shuman Associates

HAUSER (of 2Cellos) to Stream Performance
HAUSER announces "Alone, Together--From KRKA Waterfalls," a special performance event from Croatia's gorgeous Krka National Park.  Performing solo among the park's world-famous waterfalls, the event will stream globally on HAUSER's official YouTube channel this Monday, June 15th at 2PM ET / 11AM PT.

The concert arrives on the heels of HAUSER's "Alone, Together--From Arena Pula," a special performance event the cellist dedicated to frontline workers in which he performed solo at Croatia's iconic Arena Pula without a live audience – watch the concert here.  The latest effort in HAUSER's continued goal to provide audiences everywhere a much-needed musical escape in these troubling times, the event will feature the acclaimed cellist performing his renditions of classic compositions.

Watch HAUSER's "Alone, Together--From KRKA Waterfalls" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EejNUPl5bz0

Watch HAUSER's "Alone, Together--From Arena Pula" concert here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eYuUAV4YE4&feature=youtu.be

--Larissa Slezak, Sony Music

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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

Contact Information

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

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to classicalcandor@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa