Classical Music News of the Week, July 11, 2020

Guggenheim Premieres Lisa Bielawa’s Broadcast from Home Chapter 15

On Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7:30pm, Works & Process at the Guggenheim will present a virtual program featuring premieres of two new commissions related to composer Lisa Bielawa’s ongoing project, Broadcast from Home, a significant new musical work launched by Bielawa in April 2020, which creates community during the isolation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by featuring contributions from the public. Works & Process has commissioned Bielawa to compose Chapter 15 of Broadcast from Home, as part of their Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions series, a response to the pandemic to provide financial and creative support for artists during these challenging times. Anthony Hawley has created a film response to Chapter 4 of Broadcast from Home. Both new works will be premiered during this free, online event. The program also includes a discussion with Bielawa, Hawley, and Broadcast from Home participants Oriana Hawley and Gregory Purnhagen, moderated by project archivist Claire Solomon.

The public can submit testimonies and vocal submissions for at www.lisabielawa.net/broadcast-from-home.  

About Broadcast from Home: Launched on April 9, 2020 with Chapter 1, Broadcast from Home features written and recorded vocal contributions from the public. Bielawa collects new written testimonies each week and sets the testimonies to music. The melodic lines are posted on her website for people to learn, sing, record, and submit, after which she weaves them together into a new Chapter. With a new Chapter published every week, Broadcast from Home has grown to fifteen Chapters, featuring testimonies and recorded vocal lines from over 300 people across five continents.

Describing Bielawa’s composition process for this work, The Washington Post reports, “The collected lines (‘I want to sit across from you,’ ‘I don’t want to meet you for happy hour online’) are then layered and formed by Bielawa into spellbinding, sparsely accompanied socially distanced choral pieces that play with absence and presence, isolation and community, fear and solace — and sound an awful lot like the voices in your head.”


--Maggie Stapleton, Jensen Artists

What's Streaming: Classical (Week of July 13-19)
Tuesday, July 14 and Thursday, July 16 at 2:00 p.m. CT:
Tulsa Opera presents baritone Jarrett Logan Porter and mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez

Thursday, July 16; Friday, July 17; and Saturday, July 18 at 5:30 p.m. PT:
Miró Quartet launches livestreamed Beethoven string quartet cycle, presented by the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival via OurConcerts.live

Minnesota Orchestra at Home

--Shuman Associates

The Crossing Presents Weekly Series, “Rising w/ The Crossing: Equinox Lope”
GRAMMY-winning choir The Crossing, led by conductor Donald Nally, today launches Series 2 of Rising w/ The Crossing: Equinox Lope, the new music ensemble’s musical response to the pandemic, isolation, and quarantine. Each Monday at sunrise, The Crossing will release a full, live concert recording, as originally heard in the broadcast following the concert, hosted by Donald Nally. The weekly release will include the original program with notes from composers and texts, the WRTI 90.1FM broadcast hosted by Nally, as well as a new, introductory note in which he talks about the process. Each program, with notes, will be available for one week at www.crossingchoir.org/equinox.

"Rising w/ The Crossing: Equinox Lope" launches today with The Crossing's November 2017 concert, the national anthems, featuring the ensemble with the strings of the International Contemporary Ensemble in works of Caroline Shaw, Ted Hearne, and David Lang. On the heels of Independence Day, the program discusses what makes a nation: its immigrants (in Shaw's To the Hands), its language (in Hearne’s Consent), its fears (in Lang’s the national anthems), and absence (in Hearne’s What it might say). "Rising w/ The Crossing: Equinox Lope" features artwork by Christopher St. John.

For more information, visit https://www.crossingchoir.org/rising

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Wet Ink Ensemble Releases Second Edition of New Monthly Journal
Wet Ink Ensemble today releases the second edition of its new online journal of adventurous music and conversation, the Wet Ink Archive.

The second issue features "Echoes, Mirrors, Roses: Behind the Scenes of a New/Old Opera" in which Kate Soper (composer/librettist), Michael Rau (stage director), and Josh Modney (music director/violinist) each share an in-depth look into their work on Soper's forthcoming opera, "The Romance of the Rose." The article includes the premieres of excerpts from the opera, performed by Soper and Modney. Co-produced by Peak Performances at Montclair State (NJ) and the Wet Ink Ensemble, the April 2020 premiere performances of "The Romance of the Rose" were postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19.

Learn more at www.wetink.org

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Minnesota Orchestra Announces Full-Orchestra Concert Cancellations
The Minnesota Orchestra announced today the cancellation of all full-Orchestra concerts scheduled to take place inside Orchestra Hall in August and early September 2020, as they are not in compliance with the “Stay Safe MN” current guidelines for large events in the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The cancelled concerts include all programs previously scheduled from August 3, 2020, through September 5, 2020. See a list of affected events below.

In place of the cancelled concerts, the Minnesota Orchestra is pleased to announce a phased return to live concerts, beginning with 24 newly-programmed chamber music (small ensemble) concerts outside Orchestra Hall on Peavey Plaza throughout the month of August. These concerts are offered as a complimentary thank-you for concertgoers who currently hold tickets to the cancelled August and early September full-Orchestra performances. Those concertgoers will be contacted directly with a full range of ticket/credit options for the cancelled concerts, as well as an invitation to attend the newly-added outdoor performances. Due to limited capacity, tickets are not available for purchase to these chamber performances, but there will be a small number of complimentary tickets available to the public through an online lottery system.

For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org

--Lisa Jaehnig, Shuman Associates

PBO Announces Fall Concert Cancellations
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) announces today the cancellation of its fall concerts, September through December 2020, and announces concurrently a robust slate of virtual programming the organization has developed thus far, with more to be announced in the weeks and months ahead. The 2020/21 season was announced last January, and Richard Egarr officially became Music Director on July 1, 2020.

Together with Music Director Richard Egarr, PBO is actively re-envisioning the first half of its upcoming 20/21 season under its latest initiative — 2020/VIRTUAL — an umbrella for a variety of inspired and unusual programming.

For more information about the 2020/VIRTUAL program, visit philharmonia.org/virtual.

Memberships are available to the public and can be purchased for the 2020/VIRTUAL series at philharmonia.org/member.

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

Orli Shaham MidWeek Mozart
All through July, Orli Shaham's MidWeek Mozart features a different complete Mozart piano sonata each week. This week enjoy Sonata No.17, K. 570, available to stream for free beginning Wednesday, July 8.

For more information, visit OrliShahamMozart.com.

--Gail Wein, Classical Music Communicaitons

YPC's Virtual Season Finale
Don't miss Young People’s Chorus of New York City’s virtual season finale concert on Monday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Featuring YPC's Performance and Community Choruses, along with a special graduation tribute to YPC's Class of 2020.

Save the date and bookmark the YouTube link now: https://youtu.be/OYvvCPL03pc

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

Sheridan Music Studio
Welcome to the new website of Sheridan Music Studio--in both Highland Park and Chicago, Illinois.

Please visit our website pages to understand more about what we offer: private music lessons on piano, violin, viola, and voice to chamber music, group classes and orchestral concerts, and everything in between!

We are offering small gifts of appreciation to new students who sign up for regular lessons downtown at our Fine Arts Building location. In addition, by signing up now you will have the best chance of getting a date and time for your lessons!

Please come for a visit and enjoy our "Music With a View”: https://sheridanmusicstudio.com/

--Sheridan Music Studio

 "Indoor Voices" Continues
The Music Institute of Chicago’s “Indoor Voices,” a free series of weekly virtual visits with music luminaries featuring conversation and occasional performance, continues with more artists in July.

Each “Indoor Voices” episode, hosted by the Music Institute’s Director of Performance Activities Fiona Queen, takes place on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and lasts about 30 minutes. Guests in June included Solti Foundation US co-founder Lady Valerie Solti, jazz musicians Joe Locke and Music Institute Artist-in-Residence Tammy McCann, and pianist and Music Institute faculty member Abraham Stokman.

The July schedule features:
July 10: award-winning violist and Music Institute Academy alumnus Matthew Lipman
July 17: Grammy-winning harmonica player and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones member Howard Levy
July 24: pianist and Music Institute alumna Inna Faliks
July 31: Chicago Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Robert Chen

To tune in to free episodes of "Indoor Voices" each week, visit musicinst.org/nch.

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Do Mi Si La Do Ré Contest: Announcement of Awards and Scholarship Recipients
The Jeunesses Musicales Canada Foundation announces the names of the recipients of the prizes and grants of the Do Mi Si La Do Ré (Home Sweet Home) Contest. This competition invited young Canadians 30 years of age and under to compose and perform a classical musical piece of 3 minutes or less on the theme of the musical phrase: Do Mi Si La Do Ré. Out of the 220 applications that were submitted, 173 creations from 7 different provinces across the country were selected.

Divided into 3 stages, a first selection of videos was made by the JM Canada Foundation and put online from May 20th to June 14th. All works were then randomly submitted to the 3 pre-selection juries, comprising a total of 34 members. Based on the scores obtained, the top 10 finalists made it to the final round of the Contest and had their creations submitted to the Grand Jury.

A total of $128,000 was awarded in prizes and grants for this exceptional project. Thanks to the generosity of more than 2,800 donors, all the amounts announced at the launch of the Contest have been increased and will thus be redistributed to the 74 musicians who received awards.

For more information about the contest, please visit our website: jmcanada.ca

To watch the Official Awards Ceremony on July 9, 2020 and to find out the names of all the winners and review their creations: click here: https://www.jmcanada.ca/en/winners-of-the-home-sweet-home-contest/

--France Gaignard, Media Liaison

Room | to | Breathe Series Presents "Divine Feminine"
On July 11, Room | to | Breathe presents “Divine Feminine” -- showcasing music, words and movement that break the expectations of where femininity thrives. Featuring Grammy-nominated cellist Amanda Gookin, and the world premiere of AND SHE by violist/composer/singer Jessica Meyer & choreographer/dancer Caroline Fermin. Other guest performers include mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert. Part of all proceeds will benefit Step Up, an organization that helps girls reach their highest potential. (www.suwn.org)


--Paula Mlyn, A440arts

“Festival de Lanaudière Connected”: Programming for July 17 to 19
For the second week of its “connected” edition, the Festival de Lanaudière invites the public to relive three standout events in its history: an evening marking the Festival's 25th anniversary, one of the first concerts conducted at the Festival by then rising star Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and a celebrated performance by the renowned German orchestra Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

Symphony of a Thousand
Friday, July 17 at 7 :30 p.m.

All That Jazz!
Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Brahms by Paavo Järvi
Sunday, July 19 at 3:30 p.m.

The Festival de Lanaudière's first online edition runs from July 10 to August 9, showcasing fifteen memorable concerts selected from the Festival's and Radio-Canada's video archives. These concerts will be broadcast and accessible free of charge Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on the lanaudiere.org website and on social media platforms. As a supplement to its musical programming, four musically themed movies, Ballerina, The Soloist, Les Choristes (The Chorus) and Amadeus will be shown on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

For details, visit www.lanaudiere.org

--France Gaignard, CN2 Communication

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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 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