Image of Yahuda Hanani Playing the Cello

A smart blend of classical, contemporary, and cutting edge awaits from October through May

In its 17th season in the Berkshires, Close Encounters With Music offers up six innovative and captivating programs of chamber music, forty-five performers, and more than thirty composers at South County’s premier venue, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. To celebrate the Mendelssohn anniversary year of 2009, Close Encounters will present two programs that include works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, and the all but unknown Eduard Franck, a prolific composer whose works have not been in circulation for over a hundred years. An accomplished pianist and renowned teacher, his professional circle overlapped that of his teacher, Mendelssohn. The February and May concerts will introduce several of his works to the American public—the masterful String Sextet No. 1 in E-flat major, op. 41; the Piano Trio in E-flat major, op. 22; and a selection of his brilliant solo piano pieces.

Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani will be joined by returning well-loved musicians and exciting newcomers to the Close Encounters roster of artists. Pianists James Tocco and Adam Neiman, violinists Yehonatan Berick and Shmuel Ashkenasi, and the Amernet Quartet, all familiar to Close Encounters audiences, will perform treasured masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire. The superb 12-member Rose Ensemble will return with a holiday program of folkloric American melodies. Composer Stephen Dankner again contributes a world premiere, his klezmer-inspired String Quintet to be offered at the March concert. Artists making their first appearances include the Avalon String Quartet, violinist Stefan Milenkovich, and harpsichordist Aya Hamada.

The season begins on Saturday, October 18, 6PM with Crown Jewels: A Musical Tour through Europe’s Princely Courts, a glittering evening of Baroque and Classical works for chamber orchestra and soloists, written for Europe’s most musically voracious rulers. Esteemed soloists join the Camerata San Marco, the virtuosic all-woman string orchestra, in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D minor; Mozart’s “Musical Joke;” Bach’s Double Concerto for two violins; and Italian gems from Corelli and Vivaldi. Soloists include Jonathan Keren and Cordelia Hagmann, violins; and Yehuda Hanani, cello.

The superb 12-member Rose Ensemble returns for its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 6, 6PM presenting An American Holiday Tapestry, a performance in which the group reincarnates itself in the 17th and 18th centuries on American shores. Traditional Acadian and Scottish dance music, Shaker melodies, spirituals, wassail songs, and colonial Jewish synagogue hymns are featured. The remarkably broad selection also includes Mexican Baroque and Hawaiian selections with mandolin and vihujela de mano accompaniment, as well as guitar, Native American flute, and foot stomping!

On Saturday, February 21, 6PM, pianist James Tocco and violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi join Yehuda Hanani in the first of two programs entitled Celebrating Mendelssohn—and Discovering Eduard Franck. The astonishingly versatile composer-pianist-conductor-painter Felix Mendelssohn has come to personify genius and musical prodigy. The celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth begins with a tribute to his inner circle: Clara and Robert Schumann’s timeless piano favorites, the darkly romantic Chopin Cello Sonata, and the “other” Mendelssohn Piano Trio in C minor, exquisite and richly melodic. Finally, the program will include an unknown treasure by Mendelssohn’s student—the American premiere of a piano trio by Eduard Franck, a distinguished composer overlooked by history.

“I am honored to be part of the revival of such a worthy composer, and to rectify an unfortunate historical omission,” says Yehuda Hanani, who was introduced to first editions of Franck’s chamber music scores by his descendants in Germany. “Whether because he published his works late in life, or because his innate reticence and lack of self-promotion contributed to the neglect of his output, his is a voice that should be heard.”

The Amernet Quartet returns on Saturday, March 28, 6PM to join maestro Hanani for A Night of Quintets. Schubert’s heavenly last word—and by current consensus, the ultimate statement in chamber music—the Quintet in C major anchors a program of works for string quartet with the addition of guest cello. The combination imparts rich textures to an evening that includes Boccherini’s sprightly Rococo Quintet in C major, and the premiere of a klezmer-inspired quintet by Williamstown composer Stephen Dankner.

The remarkable pianist Adam Neiman will be joined by violinist Stefan Milenkovich and Mr. Hanani for Beethoven and Shostakovich on Saturday, April 25, 6PM. The most uplifting and heart-wrenching—this evening will offer an exercise in extremes, a juxtaposition of the Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2, a wartime elegy for a world gone mad, and Beethoven’s Olympic “Archduke” Trio.

Concluding the season will be the second installment of Celebrating Mendelssohn—and Discovering Eduard Franck on Saturday, May 30, 6PM. Close Encounters’ annual gala finale will present Felix Mendelssohn’s sparkling Songs Without Words and Variations—two forms Mendelssohn brought to their highest points, Robert Schumann’s majestic Piano Quartet in E-flat major, op. 47, and a sampling of Frédéric Chopin’s ballades, mazurkas, and polonaises. Also featured will be works by Fanny Mendelssohn, and the American premiere of the masterful String Sextet No. 1 by Eduard Franck, Felix’s student and friend, with the Avalon String Quartet, pianist James Tocco, violinist Yehonatan Berick, and cellist Yehuda Hanani.

Close Encounters continues its tradition of commentary before the performance and of inviting the entire audience to a reception to meet the artists immediately following the performance.

In addition, a special children’s concert, An American Quilt for Kids: Living in “Harmony,” will be offered on Sunday, December 7, 9:30AM at the Chatham, NY Middle School. While helping kids to discover the diversity of American musical styles that makes for an exciting and colorful US, the Rose Ensemble’s light-hearted and informative presentation will connect each individual to past generations through songs, instruments, and stories—a holiday treat for families, in collaboration with the Spencertown Academy Arts Center.

Close Encounters With Music will also continue its series Conversations With…, presenting Seth Rogovoy, “cultural czar” of WAMC Northeast Public Radio who will speak on “The Marriage of Classical and Klezmer,” Sunday, December 14, 2 PM, at the Lenox Athenaeum, and composer Judith Lang Zaimont, editor-in-chief of the critically acclaimed series The Musical Woman: An International Perspective presenting Fanny Mendelssohn—A Room of Her Own on Sunday, March 15, 2 PM, at the Lenox Athenaeum. $25 includes light refreshment at both events.

Tickets, $35 (and $40 for the May 30, 2009 concert) for adults and $10 for students, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100, or through Close Encounters With Music at 800-843-0778 or by emailing [email protected] Subscriptions are $150 for a series of 6 concerts. Visit our website at www.cewm.org.

Crown Jewels Saturday, October 18, 6 PM
An American Holiday Tapestry Saturday, December 6, 6 PM
Celebrating Mendelssohn I Saturday, February 21, 6 PM
A Night of Quintets Saturday, March 28, 6 PM
Beethoven and Shostakovich Saturday, April 25, 6 PM
Celebrating Mendelssohn II Saturday, May 30, 6 PM
These six performances at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington

“A chamber music series on a par with anything heard at the height of the season. For this, we year-rounders are blessed.” – Rogovoy Report

“There’s a palpable mystique about these Close Encounters concerts.” – Berkshire Eagle

“STUNNER CLOSES SEASON! Though Hanani, Prutsman and Upshaw all performed with that rare combination of mutual understanding and technical finesse which makes for the most satisfying chamber music, Hanani deserves special recognition for his astute program choices.”
– Albany Times Union

“An all-star lineup…CEWM’s usual high caliber.” – Metroland


Image of Yahuda Hanani Playing the Cello

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) –To coincide with the Mendelssohn anniversary year of 2009 (born February 3, 1809 in Hamburg) Berkshire-based chamber music organization Close Encounters With Music is planning festivities in several cities, beginning with tributes to the Mendelssohn inner circle at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, that will include works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Fannie Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin and the all but unknown Eduard Franck, a prolific composer whose works have not been in circulation for over a hundred years.

A pair of concerts, Celebrating Mendelssohn…and Discovering Eduard Franck I & II, on Wednesday, February 25 and Thursday, March 5, 2009, will introduce several of his works to the American public—the masterful string Sextet No. 1 in E-flat major, op. 41; the piano trio in E-flat major, op. 22; and a selection of his brilliant solo piano pieces. Joining artistic director and cellist Yehuda Hanani are violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi and Yehnonatan Berick; pianist James Tocco; and the Avalon String Quartet.

Eduard Franck’s background in many ways paralleled that of Mendelssohn himself. He was born in 1817 to a privileged Jewish banking family in Breslau that entertained the luminaries of the age: Heine, Humboldt, the Mendelssohns and Wagner. An accomplished pianist, prolific composer and renowned teacher, his professional circle overlapped with that of Mendelssohn and included the Schumanns and Chopin.

“I am honored to be part of the revival of such a worthy composer, and to rectify an unfortunate historical omission,” says Yehuda Hanani, who was introduced to first editions of Franck’s chamber music scores by his descendants in Germany. “Whether because he published his works late in life, or because a post-Enlightenment anti-Semitism contributed to the neglect of his output, his is a voice that should be heard.” Mr. Hanani was also part of the revival of the eccentric-mystic Charles-Valentin Alkan, and made the first recording ever of his monumental cello/piano work Sonate de Concert, and was at the center of the re-discovery of the music of avant-gardist Leo Ornstein, whose cello/piano sonata he recorded for Koch International.

According to Hanani, “Franck’s eloquent and elegantly-crafted music gives a broader scope, deepens our understanding of the Zeitgeist that produced the German Romantic composers preceding Brahms and Strauss, and provides a glimmer of chromaticism and what was to follow. Hearing his music, there’s an immediate flash of recognition as to where he fits in. In addition to the tremendous artistic satisfaction, there is also the thrill of reinstating a valuable figure who has been unjustly sidelined and is now beginning to receive his due.”

The newly-discovered Franck works will be framed by the “other” Mendelssohn Trio, in C minor; Clara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano; Chopin’s darkly romantic Cello Sonata; Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet; and solo piano works by Fanny Mendelssohn to demonstrate the affinities and gestalt of this group. “The idea is to recreate for these two evenings the intimate atmosphere of the 19th century salon, of which Close Encounters With Music is a modern-day version,” says Hanani.

Celebrating Mendelssohn I & II, will be repeated during the 2009 season in Cincinnati, the Berkshires, Scottsdale, and at the Great Lakes Festival in Michigan.

TICKETS AND LOCATION

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House
129 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
www.merkinconcerthall.org
Box Office: (212) 501-3330

THE PERFORMERS

James Tocco
“…Has the big technique and the expansive temperament … A knockout performance in which the musical values were not overshadowed by the keyboard pyrotechnics. Mr. Tocco took the piece to the limit…The final fugue was built with perfect logic, but logic did not prevent it from exploding in a grandly Romantic style…” —The New York Times

Catapulted to prominence as a student of Claudio Arrau and first-prize winner in the ARD International Munich Competition when he replaced Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli as soloist with the Vienna Festival, pianist James Tocco enjoys an international career, performing with the most notable orchestras and conductors of our day. He has appeared with the Cleveland and Minnesota orchestras; the Berlin, London, Hong Kong and Munich philharmonics, and London, Houston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, National and NHK (Japan) symphonies. Regarded as a supreme exponent of American music, he has recorded the music of Bernstein, Corigliano, MacDowell, and Charles Tomlinson Griffes to great critical acclaim. He is Eminent Scholar/Artist in Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music as well as artistic director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.

Shmuel Ashkenasi
“A masterly technique. Warm, clear and strong.”—The Japan Times

Founder and first violinist of the Vermeer Quartet, Shmuel Ashkenasi captured top prizes at the 1962 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Merriweather Post Competition in Washington, and the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium. As a soloist he has toured the Soviet Union and concretizes each year throughout Europe, Israel and the Far East, performing with American orchestras such as the Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, National, Atlanta, and Los Angeles philharmonics, as well as those of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Rotterdam, Geneva and Stockholm. Among his solo recordings are the Paganini Violin Concertos with the Vienna Symphony for Deutsche Grammophon. He holds posts of Professor of Violin in Lubeck, Germany, and Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute.

Yehuda Hanani
“One of the most polished performers of the post-Starker generation, and a consistently expressive artist.”—The New York Times

Yehuda Hanani has performed as a soloist with the Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Paul Chamber, Berlin Radio, Israel Philharmonic, Puerto Rico, BBC Welsh, Irish National, Jerusalem, Lithuanian Chamber, and Seoul symphony orchestras, among others, and he is a frequent guest at numerous festivals in the United States, Europe and Australia. Hanani has collaborated with music luminaries such as Aaron Copland, Leon Fleisher, Itzhak Perlman, Christoph Eschenbach, and David Robertson, and he has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works by leading contemporary composers. Professor of cello at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Hanani has released CDs of Vivaldi and Bach that have become best-selling standard setters. His recording for Naxos of three American cello concertos (Virgil Thomson, William Schuman, William Perry) will be released in August.

Yehonatan Berick
“Delicate balance and subtlety…combined with Devil-may-care expression and dynamism”—Detroit Free Press

Yehonatan Berick, soloist, recitalist, chamber musician (violin and viola), and pedagogue, was a prizewinner at the 1993 Naumburg Competition and a recipient of the 1996-97 Montreal Prix Opus. He has performed with the Quebec, Winnipeg, Jerusalem, and Haifa symphonies, and the Israel, Cincinnati, Montreal, and Manitoba chamber orchestras. He has appeared in recital with such pianists as James Tocco, Louis Lortie, and Stephen Prutsman, and has collaborated in chamber music performances with artists including members of the Guarneri Quartet. Berick’s festival credits include Marlboro, Ravinia, Seattle, Great Lakes, Moritzburg, Strings in the Mountains and Bowdoin, and he is a member of Musicians from Marlboro, the Lortie-Berick-Lysy Piano Trio and the Huberman String Quartet.

Avalon String Quartet
“One of the most exciting young string quartets in America”—The Washington Post

Formed in 1995 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Avalon Quartet came to the fore after participating in Isaac Stern’s Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall in 1997, which led to invitations to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Stern’s Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem. They are top-prize winners of the ARD Munich Competition Concert Artists Guild, and the Newport Chamber Music Festival’s Channel Classics Prize led to their critically acclaimed recording Dawn To Dusk. They are in residence at Northern Illinois University, a position formerly occupied by the distinguished Vermeer Quartet and perform annually in Chicago and DeKalb, as well as at Alice Tully, the 92nd St Y and Carnegie Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington, DC; at Caramoor, Mostly Mozart and Ravinia festivals; and at the La Jolla Chamber Music Society and the Isabella Gardner Museum.

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 the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time—Paul Schoenfield, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Kenji Bunch, John Musto, among others—to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists James Tocco, Adam Neiman, Walter Ponce and Emma Tahmizian; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman and Toby Appel; harpsichordist Lionel Party; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Amy Burton, Jennifer Aylmer, Robert White, Lucille Beer and William Sharp; the Vermeer, Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, Hugo Wolf quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano; 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.

“Great music played with great heart.”—Berkshire Eagle

“There’s a palpable mystique about these Close Encounters concerts.”—Berkshire Eagle

“The program provided stellar performances…played with passion and pathos…” —Arizona Republic

“The Close Encounters classical music series is well known for its adventurous, innovative programming. Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani struck gold….The performers were rewarded with a highly enthusiastic ovation.”— WAMC Northeast Radio

“Must see concerts…the mind-and heart-engaging Close Encounters With Music Series!”— Berkshire Living

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APRIL 12, 2008

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – Close Encounters With Music will present Transcendental Night on April 12, 2008, at 8 p.m. at Theater 4301 in downtown Scottsdale. The series is underwritten by The Richard and Deborah Felder Foundation.

Single tickets are available for $25 from the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Web site at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org or the box office at (480) 994-ARTS (2787).

Close Encounters With Music brings together sublime chamber music, distinguished performers and musical commentary, all in the intimate setting of Theater 4301. Transcendental Night features acclaimed pianist Walter Ponce, violinist Yehonatan Berick and cellist Yehuda Hanani performing a program that explores mysticism and timelessness in music. The recital includes Beethoven’s Ghost Trio, Rachmaninoff’s Trio Elegiaque, piano works by Franz Liszt and Alexander Scriabin and the world premiere of Jorge Martin’s Recuerda (To Remember) for solo cello. A reception with the artists will follow the performance.

Internationally acclaimed pianist Walter Ponce has been heard in the most important concert halls of every major city of North and South America as well as in Europe, Japan, Korea and Africa. He came to the United States at age 17 on a Fulbright grant, receiving a Master’s and doctorate from The Juilliard School, where he was one of three students chosen to study with Vladimir Horowitz. Ponce is now professor and head of the piano area at UCLA.

A prize winner at the 1993 Naumburg Competition and a recipient of the 1996–97 Prix Opus, violinst Yehonatan Berick is a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and pedagogue. He has performed with symphony orchestras and at leading festivals world-wide. Currently professor of violin at the University of Michigan, he can be heard on recordings on the Summit, Gasparo and Helicon labels. 

The founder and artistic director of the Close Encounters With Music chamber series, Yehuda Hanani has performed as a soloist with numerous symphony orchestras, and he is a frequent guest at festivals in the United States, Europe and Australia. He has collaborated with music luminaries such as Aaron Copland, Leon Fleisher and Itzhak Perlman, and he has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works by leading contemporary composers. Professor of cello at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Hanani has released CDs of Vivaldi and Bach that have become best-selling standard setters.

Jorge Martin is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Academy Award in Music and a Cintas Fellowship in Music (for distinguished creative artists of Cuban descent). His works have been performed across the United States and Europe, and he has received numerous commissions, including two from Close Encounters With Music.

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 Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. He is joined by familiar musicians from the Close Encounters roster of artists as well as brilliant newcomers.

For additional information about Close Encounters With Music and featured artists please visit www.cewm.org.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Accommodations for the artists are graciously provided by The Ritz Carlton, Phoenix. The Steinway piano is available to the series through the generosity of Steinway of Phoenix. Cookies for the reception are generously provided by AJ’s Fine Foods.

LOCATION AND PARKING
Theater 4301 is located in the Galleria Corporate Centre at 4301 Scottsdale Road on the corner of Drinkwater Boulevard and Fifth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, one block east of Scottsdale Road. Free parking is available in the Galleria Corporate Centre parking garage.

STUDENT DISCOUNTS
Students with valid student identification may purchase half-price tickets (subject to availability; limit one per student) 72 hours before any performance at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts box office. Tickets must be purchased in-person; phone orders are not accepted.

Photograph of Charles Coe

FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Photograph of Charles Coe

Close Encounters With Music and The Mount present Charles Coe and Berkshire poets Michelle Gillett and Leslie Harrison at Edith Wharton’s Estate and Gardens Saturday, November 12 at 4 PM. Recognized by Boston Magazine as “one of the finest poets in a place that has more than its share,” Charles Coe is known for his powerful readings and unusually warm and compassionate voice, and for poems that speak to the heart and mind as well as the ear. Combining subjects as diverse as African-American history, myth, jazz, and family, Coe offers poems personal and about music—written for Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Mingus, and other music greats. He is the winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Fellowship and author of the collection Picnic on the Moon. A jazz and popular vocalist, he travels widely to perform and record his poetry.

The Boston Phoenix describes Charles Coe as “a poet’s poet, a kind of jazzy, postmodern Ben Jonson: bold, plain diction; soulful, improvised swirls in a matrix of straight-ahead narrative; understated, but shimmering with wit, compassion, integrity of purpose…” Tickets for this event are $15. Refreshments courtesy of Chocolate Springs are included following the reading.

Winner of an Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Coe now coordinates the Council’s literature and music grant programs. His work has appeared in numerous literary reviews and magazines. A volume of his poetry, Picnic on the Moon, has been published by Leapfrog Press. Charles Coe also appears on two spoken-word CDs: Get Ready for Boston, a collection of stories and songs about Boston neighborhoods, and on One Side of the River, an anthology of Cambridge and Somerville poets. In addition to poetry, he writes feature articles and book reviews that have appeared in publications such as Harvard Magazine, The Boston Phoenix, and The Boston Globe. He is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union—a labor union for freelance writers.

Michelle Gillett won the Backwaters Press Poetry Prize for Blinding the Goldfinches, selected by Hayden Carruth and published in 2005. She has won poetry awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and recently published work in Upstreet, Salamander, The Comstock Review, Southern Poetry Review and Orion. She received an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College.

Leslie Harrison’s debut book of poems, Displacement, won the 2008 Bakeless prize in poetry and was published by Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in July of 2009. She holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Irvine. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies. Ms. Harrison was the Philip Roth Resident in Poetry at Bucknell University for the fall of 2010 and was awarded a 2011 Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. She resides in the Berkshires.

“Picnic with Poets” is part of a series of intimate and stimulating conversations about music and ideas is an intrinsic part of the Close Encounters With Music season. “Conversations With…” has presented such notable speakers as writer, editor and Bob Dylan biographer Seth Rogovoy; composer, National Endowment grantee and Guggenheim fellow Judith Zaimont; pianist-authors Walter Ponce and Adam Neiman; Emmy Award-winning animator, illustrator, cartoonist and children’s book author R.O. Blechman; art restorer David Bull; Academy Award nominee Daniel Anker; scholar/performer/multimedia artist Robert Winter; and former Yankee, author and sportscaster Jim Bouton.

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 composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time: Paul Schoenfield, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, 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 James Tocco, Adam Neiman, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman and Toby Appel; harpsichordist Lionel Party; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Amy Burton, Jennifer Aylmer, Robert White, Lucille Beer and William Sharp; the Vermeer, Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, Hugo Wolf quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; 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.

ABOUT THE MOUNT

The Mount is the turn-of-the-century home that Edith Wharton designed and built in Lenox, MA, based on the precepts outlined in her 1897 book The Decoration of Houses, co-authored with architect Ogden Codman, Jr. A perfect example of the newly dawned American Renaissance, the classical revival house and its formal gardens represent the only full expression of Wharton’s architectural and landscape architectural theories. Only five percent of National Historic Landmarks are dedicated to women, and The Mount is one of them.