Classical Music News of the Week, March 20, 2021

Bach and Beyond: Concert Violinist David Yonan

Sheridan Music Studio presents David Yonan in "Bach and Beyond," Saturdays at 1pm CST.


Sheridan Music Studio is pleased to present Violinist David Yonan in a 12+ week Concert Series “Bach and Beyond” in which he will perform the complete works of Johan Sebastian Bach for Solo Violin and Solo Viola as well as Solo works inspired by Bach. These pre-recorded VIRTUAL concert performances will take place in various churches in Berlin, Germany with superb acoustics and will be hosted by Silicon Valley’s best new platform for livestreaming music: IN.LIVE.

Exclusively Livestreamed on IN.LIVE every Saturday at 11am PST, 1pm CST, and 8pm Berlin, Germany time.

--Sheridan Music Studio

What's Streaming: Classical (Week of March 22-28)
Monday, March 22 at 3:15 p.m. ET:
Gilmore Artist Igor Levit performs Beethoven's final three Piano Sonatas.

Monday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. CT:
A Conversation with Lara Downes presented by SHE Festival of Women in Music:

Wednesday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. ET:
Pianist Jonathan Biss & violinist Miriam Fried perform Violin Sonatas by Mozart, Janácek, and Debussy.

Saturday, March 27:
AMPLIFY with Lara Downes on NPR Music features poet Rita Dove.

Sunday, March 28 at 4:00 p.m. ET:
The Gilmore presents all-Bach recital by pianist Angela Hewitt.

--Shuman Associates

“Krzysztof Penderecki In Memoriam”
Lincoln Center will partner with Polish Cultural Institute New York (PCINY) on the multi-faceted project Krzysztof Penderecki in Memoriam, honoring the life and legacy of Poland’s greatest modern composer. The New York City cultural complex will live-stream three of the concerts surrounding the one-year anniversary of Penderecki’s death on March 29, 2021. The concerts – on March 21, March 26 and April 1, 2021 – are part of the 25th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, “Beethoven and Penderecki. The Sphere of Sacrum”, and will be streamed on Lincoln Center’s website:

And PCINY’s YouTube channel:

--Melanne Mueller, Music Company International

Music Camps and Classes Begin June 15
The Music Institute of Chicago is offering a variety of summer programs for all ages and levels beginning June 15. Directed by award-winning Music Institute faculty and artists-in-residence, most camps and classes will take place online, making participation accessible anywhere.

Summer camps opportunities for youth include piano, guitar, ukulele, woodwind and Suzuki camps as well as camps focusing on jazz and musical theater. Camps for adult instrumentalists include Adult Piano, the Art of the Jazz Band, Chamber Music for Winds with Quintet Attacca, the Chicago Suzuki Institute (for teachers), and the Chicago Duo Piano Festival. 

Summer classes for youth include early childhood music and movement, as well as instrument-specific group instruction, while adult classes, in addition to instrument-specific group instruction, include music listening clubs, music appreciation classes, music production, and band programs.

For complete information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

Broadcast at the Crossroads by Lisa Bielawa, Composer and Producer
Composer and producer Lisa Bielawa, in collaboration with the DePauw University School of Music, presents the online world premiere of Broadcast at the Crossroads on Friday, April 2, 2021 at 7:30pm ET. This new work is the culmination of Bielawa’s Composer-in-Residence appointment at DePauw’s annual Music of the 21st Century festival, organized by School of Music professor Dr. Eliza Brown. Though the residency was originally scheduled pre-pandemic to be in-person, Bielawa and Brown pivoted their work together as a way to build community in the challenging lockdown conditions.

Bielawa explains, “Indiana’s state motto is ‘The Crossroads of America,’ but furthermore, the piece also considers the unique predicament of this generation whose studies have been dramatically affected by Covid and its impact on educational institutions, at the crossroads of their lives.

The video will remain online to watch after its initial premiere, available at DePauw’s YouTube channel and at

--Maggie Stapleton, Jensen Artists

Audiences Return to Minnesota Orchestra Concerts
The Minnesota Orchestra will conclude its 2020-21 Classical season with concerts in June that will re-introduce in-person audiences to Orchestra Hall, after nine months of performances that have been designed solely for at-home viewing and listening.

The Orchestra’s Friday night concerts between April and August 2021, including the summer season in July and August, will continue to be televised live on Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s MN Channel; broadcast live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio (with exception of April 2; see notes in calendar below); and streamed live online for free at

--Shuman Associates

Miller Theatre’s “Mission: Commission” Podcast to Follows Three Composers
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts launches “Mission: Commission,” a six-episode podcast demystifying the process of how classical music gets made.

Follow the creative journeys of three composers who have been given six weeks to create a newly commissioned piece of music. In New York, Marcos Balter writes for harpist Parker Ramsay. In New Orleans, Courtney Bryan writes for trombonist Andrae Murchison and herself on piano. And in Chicago, Aususta Read Thomas writes for percussionist John Corkill.

Hosted by MELISSA SMEY, Executive Director of Miller Theatre.

For details, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Composer Vivian Fung’s (Un) Wandering Souls
Composer Vivian Fung has released (Un) Wandering Souls, a new film collaboration featuring Sandbox Percussion performing Fung’s original composition co-commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts and Metropolis Ensemble. The film, premiered today by I Care if You Listen, originally aired at the 2020 virtual Bangkosol Festival and was created by Oscar-nominated Cambodian film director Rithy Pahn.

Fung says, “My extended family – maternal grandmother, uncles, aunts, and cousins – lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in the 1970s as part of the overseas Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. They were there quite happily, in fact, until the Khmer Rouge stormed the capital in April 1975 and drove everyone out. Those events changed the course of my family forever. I was born in 1975 so my birth and childhood were most definitely affected by these events even though I was born and raised in Canada. I have been increasingly trying to piece together my family history and how it affected my family members' subsequent lives. My extended family miraculously survived an arduous journey – over a month on foot in the countryside of Cambodia, traveling only in the dead of night, and then in Vietnam. Ultimately, they ended up in Paris and Canada. I went to visit Cambodia for the first time in 2019 with my family – parents, son, and husband – and with some sleuthing, we were able to find my family’s former home and the hospital that my aunt ran, still standing all these years later but now abandoned. I look forward to returning and to continuing to understand more about their past.”

View here:

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

American Lyric Theater Expands Composer Librettist Development Program
Today, American Lyric Theater (ALT) announced significant changes to its flagship Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP), the only full-time, multi-year professional mentorship initiative for opera composers, librettists and dramaturgs in the country. The application period for the 2021-22 season of the CLDP is now open, with applications being accepted online through April 30th.  Three composers and three librettists will be accepted to the new cycle of the CLDP, which begins in September 2021. There is no fee to apply for the program.  Accepted artists will be announced in June.

Full details here:

--Rebecca Davis PR

Los Angeles Master Chorale's High School Choir Festival
Celebrating its 32nd year, the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s annual High School Choir Festival (HSCF) will culminate in a virtual Festival Day video that will premiere on Friday, April 23, 2021, at 10am PST. Featuring hundreds of high school students from 26 schools, the video will feature three virtual choir performances: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Resilience” by Abbie Betinis, and “Es Tu Tiempo” by Francisco Núñez, all led by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director. The Festival Day video will also feature pre-recorded and highlights from past festivals, and can be viewed at

The High School Choir Festival, one of the longest running arts education programs in Southern California, is designed to deepen students’ exposure to and understanding of the choral art form through a year-long experience leading up to the celebratory Festival Day, traditionally held at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Throughout the pandemic period, the festival experience has been especially meaningful for students, offering a continuous opportunity to connect and build community during an extended period of social isolation.

For more information, visit

--Lisa Bellamore, Cresent Communications

John Rommereim and Claudia Anderson Live Stream
On Thursday, March 25th at 7:00 pm EST, flutist Claudia Anderson and composer/pianist John Rommereim present Homelands, a concert of recent works for flute and piano. The performance includes the premieres of two works by John Rommereim, as well as interviews with two composers/flutists, Ian Clarke and Allison Loggins-Hull.

Learn more about the event here:

--Aidan Curran, PARMA Recordings

Copland House and I Care If You Listen Partner on CULTIVATE Concerts
Copland House announces the debut of a new six-program virtual series called Cultivated Spaces. Featuring the World Premieres of all six new works Copland House commissioned for its CULTIVATE 2020 emerging composers institute, the series begins on March 23, and runs for consecutive Tuesdays at 5:00pm (Eastern Time) through April 27.

“With COVID preventing CULTIVATE’s concluding public concerts premiering these new works from taking place last year,” explained Copland House’s Artistic and Executive Director Michael Boriskin, “Cultivated Spaces is our launch-pad for these amazing creations. And we are so excited that I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, powered by the American Composers Forum, will serve as the exclusive Media Partner in this important initiative.”

Each Cultivated Spaces livestream spotlights one of CULTIVATE’s six 2020 Fellows and their work in a complete performance by the Music from Copland House ensemble, “one of the leading champions of contemporary music” (Louisville Weekly). Each program begins with a brief introduction by the featured composer, who returns for a lively post-performance conversation with CULTIVATE’s Director, Grammy-nominated composer-clarinetist Derek Bermel.

Watch and listen here:

--Elizabeth Dworkin, Dworkin & Company

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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