Close Encounters With Music

September 10, 2018

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC LAUNCHES SEASON TWENTY-SEVEN WITH ITS SIGNATURE MIX OF INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS—A ROSSINI EXTRAVAGANZA ON OCTOBER 13 TOASTS THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH WITH OPERA ARIAS, DUETS, QUARTET AND PIANO WORKS

Revelations, dazzle and merriment abound with culinary themes and a sampler of Rossini’s greatest vocal and instrumental works at the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center in Great Barrington, plus “A Taste of Rossini” reception

(Great Barrington, MA…) Embarking on its 27th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, the Berkshires’ premier chamber music organization Close Encounters With Music continues its second quarter-century with a new season of commemorations and discoveries, world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces, and an expansion of original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music.

The season opens Saturday, October 13, at 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of the great Italian composer Gioachino Rossini with an evening illustrating the wide range of his majestic, hilariously wicked and sparkling music—arias and duets from Tancredi, Adina, Cenerentola, and selections from his brilliant piano music Péchés des vieillesse (Sins of Old Age) composed at the end of his life. The enchanting contralto Emily Marvosh is joined by soprano Sonja Tengblad ("crystalline tone and graceful musicality—Boston Globe) in a romp through vocal works, that will also include the glorious Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach, whose music Rossini championed. Pianist Roman Rabinovich, winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, presents some of the fiendishly challenging Péchés that reveal a portrait of a bon vivant who pushed humor, gastronomy—and technique—to their limits. A finishing flourish will be a performance of a string quartet written originally at the tender age of twelve!

Rossnin’s bons mots (“I know of no more admirable occupation than eating” is just one!) are as legendary as his 40 operas, as were his caustic wit and outrageous humor. At his Paris home and later at his villa in Passy, he gave superb gourmet dinners attended by many of the greats of the musical and literary world of the mid-19th century. Which piece by Rossini might make the perfect side dish to the main course of his operas? He wrote a few musical hors d'oeuvres in his old age, pieces about anchovies, cornichons, raisins and nuts, dry figs, radishes and butter, which will be sampled on the musical menu as well as at a “Taste of Rossini!” reception for all subscribers and donors preceding the concert. This is also an opportunity to experience Tournedos Rossini, which he invented together with legendary Parisian chef Marie Antoine Carême.

The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians sums up Rossini’s superstar status: "No composer in the first half of the 19th century enjoyed the measure of prestige, wealth, popular acclaim or artistic influence that belonged to Rossini. His contemporaries recognized him as the greatest Italian composer of his time." And we’ll give Rossini the last word: “Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life, and they pass like the bubbles of a bottle of champagne. Whoever lets them break without having enjoyed them is a complete fool.”

More on Humor in the 2018-19 Season
Humor and gastronomy figure large in the upcoming season. Rossini was just as recognized for his culinary talent as he was for his musical talent and exhibited his wit in both realms, naming many works after foods in hilarious onomatopoetic parodies. Schubert created a mouthwatering feast for the ears with his “Trout” Quintet. Haydn could have been a stand-up comedian if he hadn’t been the musical genius he was, and injects jokes to delight and surprise. Dvorak longed for his Czech beer while composing and teaching in America.

Audience members are invited to savor the music and the fun as well as the culinary connections with the trademark thematic concerts and receptions. Bringing to life the music selected this season are the Escher Quartet, which has risen meteorically to the highest echelons of the string quartet firmament; pianists Inna Faliks, Max Levinson, Soyeon Kate Lee and Roman Rabinovich; violinists Irina Muresanu, Hagai Shaham, Peter Zazofsky and Itamar Zorman; voicalists Emily Marvosh and Sonja Tengblad; the outstanding American Brass Quintet, and many more CEWM returning favorites and brilliant performers making their debuts. From October to June, it’s a season not to be missed!

A Taste of Rossini Reception
A Special Event for Subscribers and Donors
(A PRE-Concert Reception at 4:30 PM)

A Taste of Rossini! Pre-Concert Rossini-themed Reception will take place for Patrons and Season Subscribers.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets, $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $27 (Balcony) and $15 for students, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Subscriptions are $250 ($225 for seniors) for the series of 7 concerts Tickets are available for purchase at www.mahaiwe.org. Season subscriptions are available on our website, www.cewm.org.

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 Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and 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, Haydn scholar Caryl Clark, and composer Tamar Muskal are featured in the Conversations With…. series at the West Stockbridge Historical Society and Casana T-House in Hillsdale, NY.

(For Calendar listing, see below.)

A ROSSINI EXTRAVAGANZA!
Saturday, October 13, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA
Tickets: $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $27 (Balcony), Students $15

The season opens Saturday, October 13, at 6 PM celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of the great Italian composer Gioachino Rossini with an evening illustrating the wide range of his majestic, hilariously wicked and sparkling music—arias and duets from Tancredi, Adina, Cenerentola, and selections from his brilliant piano music Péchés des vieillesse (Sins of Old Age) composed at the end of his life. The enchanting contralto Emily Marvosh is joined by soprano Sonja Tengblad ("crystalline tone and graceful musicality—Boston Globe) in a romp through vocal works, that will also include the glorious Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach, whose music Rossini championed. Pianist Roman Rabinovich, winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, presents some of the fiendishly challenging Péchés that reveal a portrait of a bon vivant who pushed humor, gastronomy—and technique—to their limits. A finishing flourish will be a performance of a string quartet written originally at the tender age of twelve!

A Taste of Rossini! Pre-Concert Rossini-themed Reception will take place for Patrons and Season Subscribers.

Emily Marvosh, contralto; Sonja Tengblad, soprano; Roman Rabinovich, piano

ABOUT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC

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, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists,Shmuel Ashkenasi, Vadim Gluzman, Julian Rachlin, Peter Zazofsky, Itamar Zorman and Erin Keefe; 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 Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. This year, the High Peaks Festival moved to the Berkshires to the Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA, where it has continued as the educational mission of Close Encounters With Music with fifty international students in residence for an immersive course of study and performance.

HOW TO REACH US
Close Encounters With Music
Post Office Box 34
Great Barrington, MA 01230



MEDIA CONTACT
For images, interviews, press tickets and information:
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Phone: 800.843.0778
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