Photographs of the Performing Artists

FEBRUARY 13, 2020

(Great Barrington…) The greatest period of creativity among French composers coincides with the emergence of Impressionist art. Attempting to define that French “je ne sais quoi” is as elusive as describing a bottle of Château Petrus.  But, as exemplified by the music of Fauré (Piano Quartet No. 1), Debussy (the prophetically daring cello Sonate), Saint-Saëns (Rondo Capriccioso) and Lili Boulanger (D’un matin de printemps), tension between elegance, restraint and intense fervor is a hallmark of the French aesthetic. There is passion, powerful emotion and a remarkable level of concentration. The mood is sensuous, pleasure-oriented, delicately colored and shimmering with élan.  Refinement is balanced with brilliant instrumental display in what is one of Fauré’s rare virtuoso pieces, in Saint-Saëns’ violin showpiece and Debussy’s 1918 captivating master work for cello. For sheer glamour and artistic vitality, late-19th and early 20th century Paris has not been surpassed and gave rise to lasting new isms and musical portraitists who created some of the best loved classical music of today. It’s the magic that was Paris. 

Rachel Lee Priday, violin; Dov Scheindlin, viola; Mikael Darmanie, piano; Yehuda Hanani, cello

In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic cello playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements around the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Irish National Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Escher, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he joins the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.

“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength.  Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times                

“Soulful, fiery performance.” –The New York Times                                                                      

As a soloist, Mikael Darmanie has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, Russia and the Caribbean. Recent festival appearances have included: The Weil Institute at Carnegie, Trinity Wall Street, Prototype, Bang on a Can Marathon, Close Encounters With Music, Berkshire High Peaks Festival, Cape Cod Symphony Nth Degree, Pianofest in the Hamptons, the Mozarteum, Mainly Mozart, and L’Acadèmie de Musique de Sion, to name a few. As a member of the Warp Trio, he performs throughout the world in genres ranging from jazz to hip-hop, rock, fusion and electronic music.and as a DJ. In his travels he regularly presents masterclasses and workshops in classical music and in various forms of improvisation. Since his debut as a conductor with the Carolina Chamber Symphony in 2008, he has performed throughout the U.S., conducting various piano concerti from the keyboard and symphonic works. Also a composer, his works have been performed in the U. S., Europe and Russia; and he has been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at SUNY Stony Brook under the guidance of Gilbert Kalish.

Violinist Rachel Lee Priday is a passionate and inquisitive explorer in all her musical ventures, in search of contemporary relevance when performing the standard violin repertoire, and in discovering and commissioning new works. Her wide-ranging repertoire and eclectic programming reflect a deep fascination with literary and cultural narratives. She has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras, including the Chicago, Saint Louis, Houston, Seattle, Buffalo and National Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Pops, and the Berlin Staatskapelle, and with orchestras in Graz, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea, where she performed with the KBS Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic and Russian State Symphony Orchestra on tour. Recital appearances have brought her to eminent venues including the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Musée du Louvre, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, and tours of South Africa and the UK. Recent seasons have seen a new violin sonata commissioned from Pulitzer Prize Finalist Christopher Cerrone and the premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s “The Orphic Moment” in an innovative staging that mixed poetry, drama, visuals, and music. Rachel has collaborated with Ballet San Jose, and was lead performer in Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart during a week-long theatrical concert with Ensemble for the Romantic Century at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Her work as soloist with the Asia America New Music Institute promoted new music relationships and cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, combining new music premieres and educational outreach in the US, China, Korea and Vietnam. Ms. Priday began her violin studies at the age of four in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, she moved to New York to study with Dorothy DeLay, and continued at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division with Itzhak Perlman. She holds a B.A. degree in English from Harvard University and an M.M. from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried. As of Fall 2019, she serves as Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Washington School of Music. She has been profiled in The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle Magazine, and The Strad. Praised by the Chicago Tribune for her “irresistible panache,” Rachel Lee Priday enthralls audiences with her riveting stage presence and “rich, mellifluous sound.” She performs on a Nicolo Gagliano violin (Naples, 1760) double-purfled with fleurs-de-lis, named Alejandro.

Acclaimed by the New York Times as an “extraordinary violist” of “immense flair,” Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999. He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. Mr. Scheindlin has recorded extensively for EMI, Teldec, Auvidis, and Mode, and won the Gramophone Award in 2002 for the Arditti Quartet’s recording of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Pulse Shadows. As a member of the Arditti Quartet, he gave nearly 100 world premières, among them new works by Benjamin Britten, Elliott Carter, György Kurtág, Thomas Adès and Wolfgang Rihm. He has also been broadcast on NPR, BBC, CBC, and on German, French, Swiss, Austrian, Dutch and Belgian national radio networks. Dov Scheindlin was raised in New York City, where he studied with Samuel Rhodes and William Lincer at the Juilliard School. He has taught viola and chamber music at Harvard, Wilfrid Laurier University and Tanglewood. He regularly participates in summer festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Tanglewood, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Met Chamber Ensembles. His chamber music partners have included members of the Juilliard, Alban Berg, Tokyo, and Borodin String Quartets, as well as concertmasters of many major symphony orchestras. He plays a viola made by Francesco Bissolotti in 1975.

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 www.wamc.org.

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, 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. 

Photographs of the Performing Artists

JANUARY 8, 2020

(Great Barrington…) Two enduring treasures of the chamber music canon lift us into the realm of the transcendent and channel the Viennese tradition: Schubert’s Trio in B flat Major and Brahms’ in B Major were both written or rewritten towards the end of the composers’ lives. Both display masterful sculpting of heavenly melodies coupled with passion and heady romanticism.  Brahms makes use of the piano to create a symphonic sweep, and is in the best of hands with pianist Max Levinson (“Brilliant…He uses his wide spectrum of pianistic mechanics for altogether poetic ends, touching the listener deeply and often”—Los Angeles Times), violinist Peter Zazofsky and cellist Yehuda Hanani (“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength….Rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.”—New York Times).  Schubert’s trio, despite having been written in the difficult last year of his life, conveys triumph and tenderness.  

As Robert Schumann aptly wrote, “One glance at Schubert’s trio and the troubles of our existence vanish, the world takes on fresh luster.” 

“What unites the two trios, apart from celestial melodies, grandeur, joy, mystery and beauty, is that they are both at the heart of Romanticism and reflect the highest achievement of Schubert and Brahms,” says Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani. “To call them epic or transformative pieces is not an overstatement!”

Max Levinson, piano; Peter Zazofsky, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets, $52 online or by phone 800-843-0778

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic cello playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements around the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Escher, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he will join the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.

“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength.  Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times                

“Soulful, fiery performance.” –The New York Times     

Pianist Max Levinson’s career was launched when he won first prize at the Guardian Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2005, the Andrew Wolf Award for his chamber music playing. The Boston Globe proclaimed: “The questioning, conviction, and feeling in his playing invariably remind us of the deep reasons why music is important to us, why we listen to it, why we care so much about it.” Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Uriel Segal, Joseph Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber Music Festival (Ouray, Colorado), he has appeared at major music festivals including Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Bravo/Vail, Seattle, Killington, Vancouver, Cartagena, and Switzerland’s Davos Festival. Max Levinson garnered international accolades for his two recordings. Max Levinson, his debut recording, traces the musical lineage between Brahms, Schumann, Schönberg and Kirchner. American Record Guide declared Levinson’s second disc, Out of Doors: Piano Music of Béla Bartók “an important recording and a great one. The disc blew me out of my chair….Hearing performances as riveting as these produces a rare frisson; indeed, this is the most brilliant and exciting Bartók piano disc I have heard. On the basis of only two recordings, Mr. Levinson has created the myth of a pianist with everything.” He has experimented with internet broadcast, served as Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Lowell House for four years, and has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “A Note to You.” He has also taught master classes at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Harvard, MIT, Brigham Young University, Rutgers, the University of Washington, UCLA, the Colburn School, and Boston University. Mr. Levinson is chair of the Piano department at the Boston Conservatory, and is also a faculty member at the New England Conservatory.

Violinist Peter Zazofsky has enjoyed a richly varied career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator that spans thirty years and thirty countries on five continents. He has performed with many of the great orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, including the Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta, Minnsota, and Hong Kong, collaborating with maestros Tennstedt, Ozawa, Ormandy, Kurt Sanderling and Charles Dutoit. As a recitalist, Mr. Zazofsky has given innovative programs in Carnegie Hall, Sala Cecilia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. He also tours the world’s music centers as first violinist of the Muir String Quartet, for which he has performed many complete cycles of the Beethoven quartets. A native of Boston, he first studied with Joseph Silverstein before entering the Curtis Institute, where he continued with Ivan Galamian, Dorothy Delay and Jaime Laredo. Graduating in 1976, Zazofsky went on to win top prizes in several international violin contests, including the 1979 Montreal Competition and 1980 Queen Elisabeth in Brussels. He is a frequent visitor to Israel, where he has given over forty performances of concerti, from Beethoven and Sibelius to Bach, Berg and Brahms. In recent years Peter Zazofsky added several new facets to his career. He has given premieres of new works written for him by composers in Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Spain, and he recorded concerti by Robert Chumbley and Frederick van Rossum in Belgium and Poland. He has also encouraged the creation of new works by American composers Joan Tower, Sheila Silver and Richard Danielpour. Long committed to teaching, Zazofsky holds the position of Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Boston University and serves as a jury member for the violin competitions in Montreal, Brussels and Odense, Denmark.

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 www.wamc.org.

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, 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. 

Photograph of the Borromeo Quartet

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

(Great Barrington, MA…) Anton Arensky’s Quartet in A Minor for two cellos, a personal tribute to his beloved friend Tchaikovsky, is considered one of the finest Russian string quartets ever written, with the second movement being a set of variations on a Tchaikovsky theme.  Meanwhile, in conversations across time, melodies ricochet from Beethoven to Arensky (as well as Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky) as Arensky paraphrases a celebratory Russian folk song associated with the coronation of the Tsar—used by Beethoven in his Quartet Op. 59 No. 2, one of the famous works commissioned by Count Razumovsky.  The quartet will be played by the charismatic Borromeo, hailed for its “edge-of-the-seat performances” by the Boston GlobeThe program also features J.S. Bach’s Four Preludes and Fugues from The Well Tempered Clavier, arranged for string quartet. Yehuda Hanani joins in Arensky’s best known work to enhance the remarkably rich, deeper sonorities of Russian liturgical chant.

The Borromeo String Quartet: Nicolas Kitchen, violin; Kristopher Tong, violin; Mai Motobuchi, viola; Yeesun Kim, cello, with Yehuda Hanani, cello

In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets, $52 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $28 (Balcony) and $15 for students at the door, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413-528-0100, www.mahaiwe.org

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

Inspiring audiences for more than 25 years, The Borromeo String Quartet continues to be a pioneer in its use of technology, and has the distinction of being the first string quartet to utilize laptop computers on the concert stage. Reading music this way helps push artistic boundaries, allowing the artists to perform solely from 4-part scores and composers’ manuscripts, a revealing experience which they now teach to students around the world.  The BSQ has been ensemble-in-residence at the New England Conservatory and Taos School of Music, as well as at the Heifetz International Music Institute, where first violinist Nicholas Kitchen is Artistic Director. The quartet was also in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for more than two decades, where it continues to regularly appear, and has worked extensively as performers and educators with the Library of Congress (highlighting both its manuscripts and instrument collections) and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The ensemble joined the Emerson Quartet as the 2014-15 Hittman Ensembles in Residence at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and also recently was in residence at Colorado State University, Kansas University, and the San Francisco Conservatory. Their presentation of the cycle of Bartók String Quartets as well as its lecture “Bartok:  Paths Not Taken,” both of which give audiences a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear a set of rediscovered alternate movements Béla Bartók drafted for his six Quartets, has received accolades. The Quartet has collaborated with some of this generation’s most important composers, including Gunther Schuller, John Cage, György Ligeti, Steve Reich, Aaron Jay Kernis, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Steve Mackey, John Harbison, Sebastian Currier, and Leon Kirchner, and has performed on major concert stages across the globe, including Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Suntory Hall (Tokyo), the Concertgebouw, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Prague Spring Festival, and the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt. “Nothing less than masterful” (Cleveland.com), the Borromeo Quartet has received numerous awards, including Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant and Martin E. Segal Award, and Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award

Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic cello playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements around the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Escher, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he will join the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.

“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength.  Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times                “Soulful, fiery performance.” –The New York Times                                                                      

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 www.wamc.org.

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, 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. 

Photographs of the Performing Artists

SEPTEMBER 9, 2020

(Great Barrington, MA…) Embarking on its 28th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, the Berkshires’ premier chamber music organization Close Encounters With Music, launches 2019-20 with the much anticipated North American premiere of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) for four cellos, narrated by star of film, stage and television Sam Waterston on Sunday, October 27 at 5 PM. 

“For every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  These famous words underscore some of the lessons of this sometimes perplexing and always intriguing volume of the Bible’s Wisdom Literature, which ushers us into the inner chambers of the author’s—traditionally said to be King Solomon—philosophical wrestlings with the deepest universal issues of life.  Certainly, it is a time for music, with Hajdu’s mesmerizing score that highlights the timelessness of the text, and with the autumnal season awakening reflections on the cycle of life and death. (The writer’s conclusion is that we must find the intrinsic value of the present!) Sam Waterston takes on the role of the philosopher king, traversing the proverbs, aphorisms and familiar passages that have entered our collective lexicon. A quartet of cellos accompany, challenge and serve as a sort of Greek chorus to the questions, observations and aphorisms of the narrator.

Ecclesiastes, Latin for the Hebrew “Kohelet,” is no less than an exploration of the meaning of life and mortality, as well as an affirmation of joy and wisdom. Attributed to King Solomon, the wisest of men, Kohelet/Ecclesiastes has consistently intrigued and challenged Jewish scholars. At the same time, its proverbs, aphorisms, and poetic imagery have permeated Western culture and literature throughout history. Figures as wide-ranging as Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, Ray Bradbury, Tom Wolfe, and Pete Seeger have incorporated the iconic passages in their work.

Born in Hungary, Andre Hajdu’s early musical education was molded in the modern Hungarian style of Bartók and Kodály, with whom he also explored ethnomusicology. He later studied in Paris with Milhaud and Messiaen and befriended the playwright Samuel Beckett, who had a strong influence on Hajdu’s worldview and artistic aesthetic. Moving to Israel in 1966, the composer became interested in Jewish topics including folklore, liturgy, philosophy, and history and often interpreted Jewish themes through his music. As a teacher, he nurtured some of Israel’s foremost contemporary composers and was awarded the Israel Prize for his music. Hajdu’s innovative work defies categorization much the same as the Biblical book KOHELET that he dramatizes in this production.

Andre Hajdu’s work integrates diverse musical and cultural idioms in a way that is innovative and thoroughly original. His KOHELET combines a text rooted in ancient Jewish tradition with a contemporary musical form performed by the unusual ensemble of cello quartet, who respond to the narrator-king. KOHELET has received performances in Germany, Holland, France and Israel—and now is heard in the U.S. for the first time.


A hallmark of CEWM’s programming is its mix of cultural influences and traditions. KOHELET is an ancient Jewish scriptural text yet it has a universal relevance and has influenced Christian and secular art, literature and thought for centuries. This dramatic presentation by actor Sam Waterston will make the work accessible to a wide audience, and reveal the universalism, power and poetry of the Bible to the uninitiated as well as those familiar with the text. The translation read by Mr. Waterston will be the New Saint James.

Sam Waterston
, narrator

Yehuda Hanani
, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Michael Nicolas, Do Yeon Kim, cello
In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets, $62 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $38 (Balcony) and $15 for students at the door, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413-528-0100, www.mahaiwe.org

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

Sam Waterston is an American actor, producer, and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields (1984), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and his starring role as Jack McCoy on the NBC television series Law & Order (1994–2010), which brought him Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Emmy awards, having starred in over eighty film and television productions during his fifty-year career.  He has also starred in numerous stage productions. AllMovie historian Hal Erickson characterized Waterston as having “cultivated a loyal following with his quietly charismatic, unfailingly solid performances.” Waterston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2012.

Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic cello playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements around the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he will join the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.

“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength.  Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times            

“Soulful, fiery performance.” –The New York Times                                                                      

Dr. Kivie Cahn-Lipman holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, The Juilliard School, and the University of Cincinnati. He is the founding cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble—with which he performs regularly to international critical acclaim—as well as founder, lironist, and director of the baroque string band ACRONYM and gambist with the viol consort LeStrange. Kivie appears on more than forty recordings on labels including Nonesuch, Naxos, New Focus, New Amsterdam, New World, Tzadik, ArsPublica, Kairos, Mode, Tundra, Starkland, Olde Focus, Canteloupe, Stradivarius, and ECM, and his recording of the complete Cello Suites of J.S. Bach was praised for its “eloquent performances,” “fresh thinking,” and “energy and zeal” (The Strad). As a chamber musician, he has performed frequently in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and other major venues on four continents, as well as live on WNYC 93.9 in New York and WFMT 98.7 in Chicago. Kivie taught cello at Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges from 2005-2012 and at The College of New Jersey from 2015-2017, and he has been on the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music each summer since 2012. He joined the faculty of the Dana School of Music in 2017.

A “long-admired figure on the New York scene” (New Yorker), cellist Michael Nicolas enjoys a diverse career as a chamber musician, soloist, recording artist, and improviser. His eclectic tastes and adventurous spirit have led him to forge a musical path of uncommon breadth, where his activities range from performing the masterpieces of the past in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, to freely improvising in downtown New York’s experimental venues, to working with contemporary composers of all styles, pushing the boundaries of musical expression and meaning. He is the cellist of the intrepid and genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider, which has drawn praise from classical, world music, and rock critics alike. As a member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), he has worked with countless composers from around the world, premiering and recording dozens of new works. Michael helped found the group Third Sound, which made its debut with a historic residency at the 2015 Havana Contemporary Music Festival, in Cuba. As a soloist, Michael performs recitals and concertos across the globe. His album Transitions, available on the Sono Luminus label, was named Q2 Music Album of the Week at WQXR upon release and it has since garnered critical acclaim throughout North America. His chamber music playing can also be found on the Naxos, Tzadik and Universal Korea labels. Of mixed French-Canadian and Taiwanese heritage, Michael was born in Canada and currently resides in New York City. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School.

A native of South Korea, cellist DoYeon Kim has won first prize in the Adrian Boyer Competition, the 34th Music Education Journal Competition and the Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians Madura Scholarship Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the Bayview Music Festival Orchestra and Acronym Baroque and has been a guest performer with the chamber series Close Encounters With Music in Great Barrington. International summer festivals have included The Quartet Program, Bowdoin and Aspen. Kim completed her Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance at the University of Cincinnati in the studio of Yehuda Hanani, a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Alan Harris and is now completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati as a teaching assistant. An avid chamber musician, she has worked with members of the Ying, American, Shanghai, Ariel, and Cavani quartets, and is a member of the Dante Deo Trio which was founded at the Eastman School of Music in 2012 and Miclot Production chamber society based in New York City.  Her trio was invited to play in the Lock Heaven Chamber Music series in 2016 and she played in open house concerts and annual Miclot productions in the Marjorie S.Deane Theater in New York City in 2014 and 2015. She made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as first prize winner of the 2016 American Protégé International Strings and Piano Competition. She has been a scholarship fellow and music coordinator of Berkshirel High Peaks Music Festival since 2014 and now joins the faculty.

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, 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 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 the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. 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 Berkshire High Peaks Festival takes place each July 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. Under Hanani’s leadership, CEWM pushes the traditional boundaries of traditional chamber music through thematic programming that embraces a range of musical idioms, styles, cultural influences, and eras. CEWM, now in its 28th season in the Berkshires, regularly commissions new works (25 to date!) and concert programs often weave music together with theater, dance, and literature.
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 current Conversations With…. series. 

Photograph of Tamar Muskal

APRIL 15, 2019

(Hillsdale, NY) Undaunted by new forms or new frontiers, Tamar Muskal has written everything from pop songs to symphonies to her new opera-in-progress, set in the world of high fashion, that tells the story of Diana Vreeland and Andre Leon Talley and examines the constant rises and falls of the industry.  Her score for the historic, silent, film about the Mexican revolution, a song cycle commissioned by ASCAP and music for a documentary film about finding a cure for blindness (narrated by Robert Redford), exemplify the diverse material and platforms she uses. Her work “The Yellow Wind,” based on the novel by Israeli author David Grossman, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Ms. Muskal has been the recipient of many other awards from institutions such as ASCAP, Meet-the-Composer, American Music Center and the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, with commissions from the 92nd Street Y and the Library of Congress as well as from orchestras and ensembles—including Close Encounters With Music!

“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 has received accolades from the New York Review of Books and Foreign Affairs.

TICKETS for this event are $20 and are available on the Close Encounters website www.cewm.org, by calling 800-843-0778, or for purchase at the door. Complementary light refreshments will follow the presentation.

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.

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 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.

Photograph of the Escher String Quartet

APRIL 15, 2019

(Great Barrington, MA) Acclaimed for musical insights and rare tonal beauty, and championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the Escher has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. They served as BBC New Generation Artists and gave debuts at the BBC Proms, are winners of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and perform as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For this program, they bring their special sheen to Mozart’s powerfully compelling String Quartet No. 23 in F major (third of the “Prussian Quartets”) and to Samuel Barber’s spellbinding Adagio for Strings. They are joined by Yehuda Hanani for the incomparable Schubert Quintet, regarded as one of the greatest compositions in all of chamber music, other-worldly in its beauty and miraculous melodies.

“Written as he lay dying, Schubert’s Quintet is a tremendous spiritual triumph and affirmation of hope and transcendence.  It moves from utter serenity to shattering tragedy and anguish,” says artistic director Yehuda Hanani, who has performed the work–which calls for the addition of a cellist–with many of the world’s preeminent string quartets.  “It really is a musical depiction of the human experience. I invite everyone to experience its power and profundity.”

“Clearly one of the finest quartets of their generation” —The Guardian
“Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.”   —The New York Times

The Escher String Quartet: Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Danbi Um, violin; Pierre La Pointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello, with Yehuda Hanani, cello

In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants. Audiences can savor the music and fun as well as the culinary connections with us at our thematic concerts and post-concert receptions this season!

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, www.mahaiwe.org. Pro-rated subscriptions to the remaining concerts in the spring Close Encounters series, any of our summer Berkshire High Peaks festival events and next season’s subscriptions are available to purchase by contacting 800-843-0778 or [email protected].

ABOUT THE QUARTET:

The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, recently presenting the complete Zemlinsky Quartets Cycle in a concert streamed live from the Rose Studio. In 2013, they became one of the very few chamber ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Within months of its founding in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, they were invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist’s summer festival: the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Programme on Shelter Island, NY. The quartet has since collaborated with artists including Leon Fleischer, Joshua Bell, Vilde Frang and David Shifrin. The Escher has played throughout Europe, in halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus and for the Les Grands Interprètes series in Geneva. Last season also saw debuts at London’s Kings Place, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall in Ljubljana, and festival appearances at Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses and the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway. Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher continues to flourish in the U.S., performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. The ensemble made its first Australian appearance at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2012, and last season made its debut at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. Return engagements took them to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel and the Campos do Jordão Music Festival in Brazil. Their set of the complete Mendelssohn quartets on the BIS label has been received with the highest critical acclaim; Volume II was hailed for its “sheer finesse” by Gramophone. The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.

Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he will join the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.


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.

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 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.

Photograph of Performing Artist

APRIL 15, 2019

(Great Barrington, MA) Czech nationalist composer Antonin Dvořák rose to fame in Prague, paving the way for his favorite student and later son-in-law Josef Suk.  There was great closeness and spiritual kinship between them, and both were championed by Brahms (who confessed to envying Dvořák’s melodic gifts!)  Dvořák’s Rondo and Suk’s Balada and Pisen Lasky love song are rarely performed gems, and the more familiar Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major by Dvořák is acknowledged as one of the masterpieces in the form, along with those of Schumann and Brahms.  In fact, Dvořák assimilated Brahms’ techniques and methods, while his exuberance, earthiness and the warmth of his melodies ennoble Bohemian folklore. This program will transport listeners to the cobbled streets of Old Prague and back to an era when music served as the voice of the Czech people.  An all-star ensemble of superb performers brings extraordinary virtuosity and musicianship to this joyous and heart-warming repertoire.

“The Piano Quintet offers a cornucopia of heavenly tunes.  It’s sheer beauty coupled with earthy sensuality–a perfect blend of popular and highbrow.  And my colleagues are not only among the great performers and interpreters of our time, but we have a winning chemistry and musical bond,” states artistic director Yehuda Hanani.

The composer Josef Suk was part of a great musical dynasty–his father was a violinist, as was his grandson, also Josef Suk, who founded the Suk Chamber Orchestra performed as a violin soloist under conductor George Solti. The elder Suk’s greatest influence was Dvořák himself, and the great tragedy of his life was that his wife–Dvořák’s daughter Ottilie–died after only a few years of marriage. Both Dvořák and Suk reveal through their music sentiments which have all but vanished from contemporary life–gentility, elegance, a sense of place. “We can’t wait to discover new depths and new joy as we dive into this program together” says Hanani.

Soyeon Kate Lee, piano; Irina Muresanu and Peter Zazofsky, violin; Michael Strauss, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello
Our Preferred Patron’s Gala Package includes prime seating at the beautiful Mahaiwe for this incredible concert and dinner to follow in the elegant dining room of the Stockbridge Club in Stockbridge, MA. To purchase tickets, see below.

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, www.mahaiwe.org. Preferred Patron’s Gala Package, which includes concert ticket & dinner at the Stockbridge Club is $125 and can be purchased by calling 800-843-0778, and at cewm.org.

Tickets to Close Encounters’ summer Berkshire High Peaks Festival events, July 23-August 2, and next season’s subscriptions are available to purchase by contacting 800-843-0778 or [email protected]

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic cello playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he will join the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.

“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength.  Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times           
“Soulful, fiery performance.” –The New York Times                     

Soyeon Kate Lee, the Korean-American pianist who won first-prize of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition, has been lauded by the New York Times as gifted with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style.” Lee has been guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony; the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra and Ulsan Symphony Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta de Valencia (Spain) and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Dominican Republic), including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Otto-Werner Mueller. He recent appearances include New York’s Zankel, Weill, Merkin and Alice Tully halls; Washington’s Kennedy Center, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, the Ravinia Festival’s “Rising Stars” series, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid, and Finland’s Mänttä Music Festival. She frequently collaborates in festivals throughout the U.S., including Santa Fe and Music Mountain. At Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, her performance of the Mozart Piano Trio was broadcast on PBS “Live from Lincoln Center.” A Naxos recording artist, her discography spans Scarlatti sonatas, Liszt opera transcriptions, and two volumes of Scriabin works, with upcoming releases of Clementi Sonatas.

“Soyeon Lee displayed a stunning command of the keyboard, from the beautifully gauged weighting of her finger strokes to the scrupulous calibration of inner voices and dynamics.” –The Washington Post

Praised by the Boston Globe as “not just a virtuoso, but an artist,” Romanian violinist Irina Muresanu has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her exciting, elegant and heartfelt performances of the classic, romantic and modern repertoire. She achieved early international acclaim as an outstanding young soloist, recitalist and chamber musician winning top prizes in several prestigious international violin competitions including the Montreal, Queen Elizabeth, Pro Musicis, Presser Music Award, and the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association. Recent solo engagements include appearances with the Boston Pops, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), Syracuse Symphony, the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria, S. Africa), Romanian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Radio Flamande (Brussels), and the Boston Philharmonic.  Her recent recording releases the complete William Bolcom Violin and Piano Sonatas on the Centaur label with pianist Michael Lewin. Festival appearances have included Bay Chambers and Bowdoin in Maine, Strings in the Mountains and San Juan Music Festival in Colorado, Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, and the Renncontres des Musiciennes Festival in France. She received an Artist Diploma degree and a Doctor in Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory.

“Muresanu’s performance was simply spectacular.”–Boston Musical Intelligencer

Known for his “rich tone and lyrical acumen” (Chicago Tribune), violist Michael Isaac Strauss has performed around the world as a soloist, recitalist, in chamber music, and in symphonic settings. His love for the intimate concert setting has led to performances on concert series, live radio broadcasts, and festival appearances across Europe, North America, and Asia. A former member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss made several European and domestic tours with them, as well as a critically acclaimed recording of Mozart’s complete viola quintets on the Lyrinx label. He is a founding member of the new Indianapolis Quartet, in residence at the University of Indianapolis since 2016, where he also serves on the faculty. Strauss’ solo work is featured on several CDs—the debut recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata, David Finko’s Viola Concerto and Stamitz’s works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur). He recently released Wordless Verses (Naxos)—trio works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano with the Jackson Trio. He was principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years and has served on the faculty of several prominent schools including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and Swarthmore College. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and performs on a viola attributed to Matteo Albani of Bolzano, Italy in 1704.

Violinist Peter Zazofsky has enjoyed a richly varied career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator that spans thirty years and thirty countries on five continents. He has performed with many of the great orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, including the Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Hong Kong, collaborating with maestros Tennstedt, Ozawa, Ormandy and Kurt Sanderling. As a recitalist, Mr. Zazofsky has given innovative programs in Carnegie Hall, Sala Cecilia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aries. He also tours the world’s music centers as first violinist of the Muir String Quartet, for which he has performed many complete cycles of the Beethoven quartets A native of Boston, he first studied with Joseph Silverstein before entering the Curtis Institute, where he continued with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay and went on to win top prizes at the 1979 Montreal Competition and 1980 Queen Elisabeth in Brussels. He is a frequent visitor to Israel, where he has given over forty performances of concerti. In recent years Peter Zazofsky has given premieres of new works written for him by composers in Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Poland and has encouraged creation of new works by American composers Joan Tower, Sheila Silver and Richard Danielpour. Long committed to teaching, Zazofsky holds the position of Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Boston University and serves as a jury member for the violin competitions in Montreal, Brussels and Odense, Denmark.


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.

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 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.

Photographs of Inna Faliks and Yehuda Hanani

FEBRUARY 22, 2019

(Great Barrington, MA) Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks (“adventurous and passionate”— The New Yorker) and Yehuda Hanani present a program rich in Russian lore, Slavic emotionalism, Soviet-era sarcasm, and dazzling virtuosity: the cello/piano sonatas by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5, which pianist Sviatoslav Richter considered the most difficult piece in the entire piano repertory. Rachmaninoff’s sonata is passionate and emotionally torrential, a survivor from the 19th century. Prokofiev, on the other hand, dubbed “bad boy of Russian music” by the establishment for his earlier avant-garde style, has written here a work that is mellow and reflective. Faliks will evoke Scriabin the mystic who believed he was the musical Messiah. It is music of ecstasy and visions. Faliks, who has appeared with Keith Lockhart, Leonard Slatkin and many of the world’s greatest orchestras, has been praised as a “high priestess of the piano, pianist of the highest order, as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.” The concert is a journey in Russian landscapes and into the Russian soul.

Inna Faliks, piano; Yehuda Hanani, cello. In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants. Audiences can savor the music and fun as well as the culinary connections with us at our thematic concerts and post-concert receptions this season!

Tickets, $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $27 (Balcony) and $15 for students, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413-528-0100, mahaiwe.org. Pro-rated subscriptions to the seven concert Close Encounters series are available to purchase on our website, cewm.org or by calling 800-843-0778.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences.

“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most exciting, communicative and poetic artists of her generation through her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, as well as genre-bending, interdisciplinary projects. Following acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Her 2014 all-Beethoven CD release on MSR Classics drew rave reviews: the disc’s pre-viewer on WTT W Chicago called her “High priestess of the piano…as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.” Her MSR Classics CD Sound of Verse featured largely unknown music of Boris Pasternak and works of Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Ms. Faliks’ distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti engagements throughout the U.S, Asia, and Europe, performing at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in the festivals of Verbier, Portland International, Music in the Mountains, Brevard, Taos and Chautauqua. Highlights of recent seasons include a 2016 tour of China, with appearances at the Beijing Center for Performing Arts, Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater and Tianjin Grand Theatre; in the Fazioli Series in Italy and Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum. Faliks is founder and curator of the of the Manhattan Arts Council award-winning poetry-music series “Music/Words,” creating performances in collaboration with distinguished poets. She recently co-starred with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol in “Admission—One Shilling,” a play for pianist and actor about the life of Dame Myra Hess, the great British pianist. She went on to create a one-woman show, performing at Baruch Performance Center’s “Solo in the City—Jewish Women, Jewish Stars” Festival in NYC, and at the Ebell of Los Angeles, where she gave the premiere of “Polonaise-Fantaisie, Story of a Pianist,” an autobiographical monologue for pianist and actress. A recent collaboration with WordTheatre features today’s leading screen actors in literary readings. Constantly in dialogue with today’s composers, she is the creator of the “Reimagine: Ravel and Beethoven” project, where composers such as Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres and Paola Prestini are writing works for her in response to Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and Beethoven’s Bagatelles opus 126. Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA


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.

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 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.

Photographs of the Performing Artists

JANUARY 7, 2019

(Great Barrington, MA) What constitutes a musical—or any other kind of—joke? Humor explodes our expectations and takes us by surprise. Three Haydn string quartets, including his “Joke” Quartet, provide an evening of ambiguous beginnings and fake-out endings; mismatched dialogues between instruments, misunderstandings, musical pratfalls and pretend memory lapses and digressions. What about those embarrassing long pauses, that daring modulation, that unexpected excursion into strange tonalities….? It’s all intentional and part of the fun! From the composer of the “Surprise” Symphony who wrote a cat’s meow into another comes a slightly tipsy “high” as well as “low” program of subversive humor. The audiences of Haydn’s day loved the kinds of things he put into his music, and so will you. Artistic director Yehuda Hanani and colleagues will lead us through this night of musical comedy with their expert playing as well as comments. Call it a master class in musical humor.  

Humor and Gastronomy permeate Close Encounters’ current season.  Rossini named many works after foods among his hilarious onomatopoetic parodies (as demonstrated in the “Rossini Extravaganza” opening concert); Schubert created a mouthwatering feast for the ears with his “Trout” Quintet, enjoyed at our December 8 holiday concert; and Haydn could have been a stand-up comedian if he hadn’t been the musical genius he was, to be explored on February 23rd.

Audiences can savor the music and fun as well as the culinary connections with us at our thematic concerts and receptions this season!
Hagai Shaham and Xiao-Dong Wang violin: Dov Scheindlin, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

(For Calendar listing, see below.)

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets, $38 general seating for our February concert and to inquire about pro-rated season subscriptions: www.cewm.org or 800-834-0778.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences.

Hagai Shaham is internationally recognized as one of the astonishing young violinists who have emerged from Israel in recent years. He began studying the violin at the age of six and was the last student of the renowned Professor Ilona Feher. He also studied with Elisha Kagan, Emanuel Borok, Arnold Steinhardt and the Guarneri Quartet. In addition to winning first prize at the ARD International Competition in Munich in the violin-piano duo category with his duo partner Arnon Erez, Shaham’s other awards include first prizes at the Ilona Kornhauser competition, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority Young Artist competition, The Tel-Aviv Rubin Academy competition, four Clairmont Awards, and annual scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation. As a soloist he has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Belgian National Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique Francais; Taipei, Singapore and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, SWF Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra, Slovak and Belgrade Philharmonic, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. In 1985 he was invited to join Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zukerman in a gala concert at Carnegie Hall, following which, Zubin Mehta invited him to perform Brahms’ Double Concerto at Carnegie Hall. Hagai Shaham is a professor at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University, and his master classes in Europe and Israel attract a great many students. Together with his colleague, violinist Ittai Shapira, he is co-founder of The Ilona Feher Foundation.

Xiao-Dong Wang has been called the most talented violinist to emerge from China. He began his studies at age 3 with his father, concertmaster of the Shanghai Symphony; he then studied with the renowned teacher Zhao Ji-Yang at the Shanghai Conservatory. As first prize winner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition and the Wieniawski-Lipinski International Violin Competition at the ages of 13 and 15, he was brought to the attention of violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay who arranged a four-year scholarship at Juilliard. Mr. Wang has performed as soloist with orchestras around the world, including the London Royal Philharmonic, the London Mozart Players, Adelaide, Perth, Queensland symphony orchestras and Sydney Opera Orchestra. His recording credits include the Bartok Concerto No. 2 and Szymanowski Concerto No. 1 for Polygram. He has also appeared performing on both violin and viola in chamber music concerts at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Aspen, Ravinia and festivals and music series worldwide. Wang was the resident soloist of the Shanghai Symphony for the 2012-13 season, during which he also performed as a soloist with other major Chinese orchestras, including the China Philharmonic in Beijing. He is artistic director of the chamber music group Concertante, collaborating with world renowned musicians and producing a vast number of recordings.

Acclaimed by the New York Times as an “extraordinary violist” of “immense flair,” Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999. He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. Mr. Scheindlin has recorded extensively for EMI, Teldec, Auvidis, and Mode, and won the Gramophone Award in 2002 for the Arditti Quartet’s recording of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Pulse Shadows. As a member of the Arditti Quartet, he gave nearly 100 world premières, among them new works by Benjamin Britten, Elliott Carter, György Kurtág, Thomas Adès and Wolfgang Rihm. He has also been broadcast on NPR, BBC, CBC, and on German, French, Swiss, Austrian, Dutch and Belgian national radio networks. Dov Scheindlin was raised in New York City, where he studied with Samuel Rhodes and William Lincer at the Juilliard School. He has taught viola and chamber music at Harvard, Wilfrid Laurier University and Tanglewood. He regularly participates in summer festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Tanglewood, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Met Chamber Ensembles. His chamber music partners have included members of the Juilliard, Alban Berg, Tokyo, and Borodin String Quartets, as well as concertmasters of many major symphony orchestras. He plays a viola made by Francesco Bissolotti in 1975.


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.

Photographs of the Performing Artists

OCTOBER 19, 2018

Two great melodists, two young geniuses in one brilliant evening: Bubbly, like fine Champagne, Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet is one of the most joyous pieces ever written.  A landmark of classical music, it weaves a net of enchantment with its catchy melodies and fresh exuberance.  This piece has it all—elegance, beauty and irrepressible good humor; music from the pen of a 22 year old prodigy inspired by the tragic-comic death of a fish that captures the glories of Nature!  The program also features Mozart’s miraculous Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, a reminder that the unearthly beauties of Mozart defy explanation.  An all-star ensemble that joins artistic director Yehuda Hanani includes pianist Max Levinson (“Brilliant…He uses his wide spectrum of pianistic mechanics for altogether poetic ends, touching the listener deeply and often” –Los Angeles Times); violinist Itamar Zorman (winner of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition); and David Grossman, double bass of the New York Philharmonic.

Max Levinson, piano; Itamar Zorman, violin; Karine Lethiec, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello; David Grossman, double bass

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 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.)

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

Pianist Max Levinson’s career was launched when he won first prize at the Guardian Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2005, the Andrew Wolf Award for his chamber music playing. The Boston Globe proclaimed: “The questioning, conviction, and feeling in his playing invariably remind us of the deep reasons why music is important to us, why we listen to it, why we care so much about it.” Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Joseph Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber Music Festival (Ouray, Colorado), he has appeared at major music festivals including Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Bravo/Vail, Seattle, Killington, Vancouver, Cartagena, and Switzerland’s Davos Festival. Mr. Levinson is chair of the Piano department at the Boston Conservatory, and a faculty member at the New England Conservatory.

Hailed as a “poet of the violin,” Itamar Zorman is a committed chamber player and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Since his emergence with the top prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he has appeared with major orchestras across the world, including the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Tokyo Symphony in Japan’s Suntory Hall, the Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse in France, the Israel Philharmonic, as well as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Russsian State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya.” As part of an ongoing exploration of the music of Paul Ben-Haim, he is recording a CD of the works for violin and orchestra with BBC National Orchestra of Wales for BIS Records. Zorman is a founding member of the Israeli Chamber Projects and a member of the Lysander Piano Trio, with which he won the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prize in the 2011 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and a bronze medal in the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Mr. Zorman began his studies at the age of six at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv and received his BM degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as a student of Hagai Shaham, his MM from The Julliard School, and Artist Diplomas from the Manhattan School of Music and from Julliard in 2012. He is also an alumnus of the Kronberg Academy where he studied with Christian Tetzlaff. He plays on a Guarneri Del Jesu from 1734, from the collection of Yehuda Zisapel.

Karine Lethiec holds advanced diplomas from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris as well as that of Lyon, the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and the Berne Musikschule Konservatorium. She is an award winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and teaches at the Conservatoire de la ville de Paris. With the Stradivari Quartett, she has recorded the complete Mozart quintets (Dynamic). Lethiec encourages new music by commissioning, programming and performing new works, with over 50 world premieres to her credit. Performances have taken her around the globe—to the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Athens Festival at the Odeon of Herod Atticus, Berlin Festival at Tempelhof, Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Rudolfinum in Prague. An eclectic artist, she directs the Ensemble Calliopée, currently in residence at the Musée de la Grande Guerre des Pays de Meaux (Museum of the Great War) with programs that bring together the fields of music and history. Lethiec wrote the screenplay for the film H136 on the rediscovery of a score composed by Martinu, a member of the Janácek Movement in France. She created and played the soundtrack of Don Kent’s film Juste avant l’orage. With her friend the astrophysicist Hubert Reeves she conceives performances that intertwine the cosmos and music, one of the most notable of which is “Mozart et les étoiles” (Mozart and the Stars).

Double bassist and composer David Grossman enjoys a multifaceted musical career on both the East and West Coasts—as a bassist in the New York Philharmonic (having joined in spring 2000 as its youngest member) and as newly appointed principal bass of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist and clinician, Mr. Grossman has given recitals and master classes at prestigious venues and music schools across the country, including the Boston Conservatory, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music and The Hartt School. He has released two albums—one classical and one jazz—titled The Bass of Both Worlds. An ardent educator, he is a member of the double bass faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and joined the Mannes School of Music in fall 2017. Also a passionate chamber musician, he performs in the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series at Merkin Concert Hall and has appeared at 92nd Street Y and with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the field of jazz, Mr. Grossman was a member of the Marcus Roberts Trio and has performed with Wynton Marsalis. His compositions include Mood Swings for trombone and double bass, written for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi; Fantasy on “Shall We Gather at the River?”; and two early compositions, Swing Quartet and String Quintet No. 1, which were premiered by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


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.