Close Encounters With Music





Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Forever Bach - The Celestial Suites for Unaccompanied Cello
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA


A composer beyond time and place, and a journey to transcendence! J. S. Bach’s Suites are blueprints for cellists of all generations for the construction of temples of sound in time. Though alone with one instrument, “Unaccompanied” is a bit of a misnomer, as they require the performer to be an acoustic illusionist: Each suite is more like a drama for three or four characters played by one actor, at times presenting a challenge akin to tightrope-walking on a bass line while performing a juggling act! Yehuda Hanani has juggled and wrestled with the suites for decades, and his recording of the six suites is one of the definitive renditions of this holy of holies for cellists.

“In this era of the cello, Hanani is among the best. His Bach was absorbing, imaginative, beautiful in all respects.” –San Francisco Examiner; “A consistently expressive artist” – The New York Times.

Yehuda Hanani, cello

Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 7:30 pm
The Sebastians Baroque Ensemble
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA

The Sebastians connect with audiences through dynamic and vital performances of music of the baroque and classical eras. Known for their “energetic… youthful, vigorous performance style…” they have been called New York’s “leading young early-music ensemble” (The New York Times). This colorful, varied program will feature Telemann’s “Paris” Quartet, the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, and works by Vivaldi, CPE Bach, Handel and Porpora, with star roles for harpsichord and baroque flute (traverso).

Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord; Daniel Lee and Nicholas DiEugenio, violin; Jessica Troy, viola; Ezra Seltzer, violoncello; Nathaniel Chase, violone; David Ross, traverso; Yehuda Hanani, cello


Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Felix, Fanny and Frederic: Chopin and the Mendelssohns
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA

A dazzling pianist, accomplished violinist, composer, conductor, a gifted painter and a gymnast, Felix Mendelssohn enraptured the royal courts and concert halls of Europe before dying at 38, shattered by the sudden death of his beloved sister and musical soul mate, Fanny Hensel. Beyond extravagant, outsize talent and an early death, Frederic Chopin and Mendelssohn shared a warm friendship. No one matched Chopin’s genius in the realm of the keyboard, and, as Schumann declared, hearing the incomparably tender and rousing Piano Trio in D minor, “Mendelssohn is the Mozart of the 19th century.” Fanny’s works were largely consigned to the drawing rooms of fashionable Berlin, but more recently are receiving their due in concert halls and on CD’s, having been rediscovered as works belonging in the classical pantheon. Three faces of Romanticism!

Irina Muresanu, violin; Max Levinson, piano; Yehuda Hanani, cello

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Photo Michael Lavin Flower 

About Our Location

Customarily Close Encounter With Music presents seven concerts during the season at the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Join the growing number of culture enthusiasts who converge from the Berkshires, Hudson Valley, Northwest Connecticut, New York City, and Boston for each Close Encounters event! We are pleased to invite all ticket holders to an “Afterglow” reception following each performance October through May. Contributing Patrons at all levels are invited to a special Gala reception following the June concert.

Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and Lenox are within 2-1/2 hours of scenic driving from Boston and New York City.  Parking is readily available.

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Theater
14 Castle Street
Great Barrington, MA 01230 (map it!)