Close Encounters With Music

October 16, 2019

A Viennese Buffet of Genius, Neurosis and Melodrama...

Three Gentlemen of Vienna—Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler

(Lenox, MA…) Music speaks the language of the irrational, and it cannot, as Freud frustratingly found, be intellectualized or rationally explained. Musician and analyst, Melinda Haas is ideally suited to explore the interface between music and psyche. In her research, she has focused on the “inner other”—displacement, isolation and outsider status as a rite of passage that accompanies the creative act.  Seen through the prism of Jungian analysis, with Vienna as the fraught backdrop for all three of these musical giants, she takes special note of their late music. Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler—each composer juxtaposes drama and joy, suffering and elation in their end-of-life oeuvres, endowing posterity with transcendent beauty.  Haas will share highlights of a paper she recently presented in Vienna for the International Association of Analytical Psychology Congress. Before becoming a Jungian Analyst, Melinda Haas was accompanist for the Graham and Limón Dance Companies. 
Seven Hills Inn is one of the first grand Berkshire cottages, whose frequent guests have included Leonard Bernstein, Beverly Sills, Seiji Ozawa, and Dave Brubeck. Tea time refreshments will include delectable confections from Chocolate Springs in Lenox. 

“Conversations With…” has presented such notable cultural personages as writer, editor and Bob Dylan biographer Seth Rogovoy; composer, National Endowment grantee and Guggenheim Fellow composer Judith Zaimont; baritone and actor Benjamin Luxon; Emmy Award-winning animator, illustrator, cartoonist and children’s book author R.O. Blechman; astrophysicist and inventor Edgar Choueiri, art restorer David Bull; Academy Award nominee Daniel Anker and Directors Guild of America Award winner Peter Rosen; scholar, performer and multimedia artist Robert Winter; former Yankee, author and sportscaster Jim Bouton; Metropolitan Opera costume designer Charles Caine, and  author Mitchell Cohen, whose book The Politics of Opera received accolades from the New York Review of Books and Foreign Affairs.

TICKETS for this event are $20, include light refreshments and are available on the Close Encounters website, by calling 800-843-0778, or for purchase at the door. 

Close Encounters on the Radio/Podcast

Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and audiences are encouraged to tune in to the new weekly broadcasts of “Classical Music According to Yehuda” on WAMC Northeast Radio or visit


Close Encounters With Music stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite and lively commentary from founder and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich and enlighten the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time—Joan Tower, Judith Zaimont, Lera Auerbach, Robert Beaser, Kenji Bunch, Osvaldo Golijov, John Musto, and Paul Schoenfield among others—to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes: pianists, Roman Rabinovich, Soyeon Kate Lee, Inna Faliks, Max Levinson and Michael Chertock; violinists,Shmuel Ashkenasi, Vadim Gluzman, Julian Rachlin, Peter Zazofsky, Itamar Zorman and Hagai Shaham; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Danielle Talamantes and Kelley O’Connor; the Muir, Manhattan, Ariel, Vermeer, Escher, Avalon, Hugo Wolf, Dover string quartets; and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs. Close Encounters With Music programs have been presented in cities across the U.S. and Canada—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Omaha, Cincinnati, Calgary, Detroit, at the Frick Collection and Merkin Hall in New York City, at The Clark in Williamstown, at Tanglewood and in Great Barrington, MA, as well as in Scottsdale, AZ. Summer performances have taken place at the New York State Museum, Basilica Hudson, Orpheum Theatre in Tannersville, and in the orchard at Olana. In its 10th year, the High Peaks Festival takes place in July-August at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA, as the educational mission of Close Encounters With Music with fifty international students in residence for an immersive course of study and performance.

Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani has led the series since its founding, providing entertaining, erudite commentary that puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich and amplify the concert experience. His charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an opportunity to meet the musicians. Venues include the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the newly renovated Saint James Place in Great Barrington. To complement the musical offerings, two guest speakers, Musician and Analyst, Melinda Haas and Neurological Researcher, Concetta Tomaino are featured in the current Conversations With…series at the Seven Hills Inn and Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox, MA. 

Close Encounters With Music
Post Office Box 34
Great Barrington, MA 01230

For images, interviews, press tickets and information:
Avital Louria, Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: 800.843.0778 | 800.843.0778 |