Photograph of Musicians Playing

RENSSELAERVILLE, New York — “The Miracle of Bach” is the theme of the seventh edition of the Catskill High Peaks Festival, hosted by the Carey Institute for Global Good, August 7-18.  A joint presentation of the Carey Institute and Close Encounters With Music, the Berkshire-based chamber music organization, High Peaks this year turns its attention to the architectural genius and spiritual force of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose influence hovered over every future generation of composers that followed him.  On a recent New York Times survey of the all-time top ten classical composers, opinions varied from number two on; however, number one was unanimous, and Bach remains securely at the top of the chart!

The ten-day chamber music festival and teaching institute, directed by internationally acclaimed cellist Yehuda Hanani, offers a combination of concerts, lectures, film and master classes, open to the public—and featuring distinguished faculty artists sharing the stage with outstanding young musicians from around the world. Festival events will take place on the historic 100-acre estate of the Carey Institute for Global Good overlooking Lake Myosotis in Rensselaerville, New York.  Throughout the festival, the works and legacy of J. S. Bach, extending through the Romantics (Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, who worshiped him, will be present), will be explored via daily performances and events.

Guest performers include:  Peter Zazofsky, winner of the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition, soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, and first violinist of the Muir Quartet; winner of two Grand Prix du Disque and founding director of the String Quartet Institute at Tanglewood, violinist Bayla Keyes; and pianist and conductor Michael Chertock, frequent soloist with the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, and BBC Symphony Orchestra. “We are committed to bringing the very best artists and leading pedagogues to continue this new musical tradition, here in the breathtaking environment that inspired the Hudson River School painters and generations of artists since,” says Hanani.  “The majestic setting of the Carey Institute for Global Good provides a backdrop for ten days of music-making and fellowship, bringing together 50 of the most talented young musicians from around the world to work with world the world-renowned faculty.”

An unwavering enthusiasm for Johann Sebastian Bach’s music will be manifest in the programming—two main Sunday evening concerts featuring eminent guest soloists, chamber music ensembles mixing faculty and residents, and the High Peaks Festival Chamber Orchestra; a concert at the newly renovated Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY, and in talks that illuminate subjects such as a “Bravura and virtuosity a la Baroque,” demonstrate how to improvise effectively, and demystify the Fugue as a musical form.  Performers and audiences will experience an exciting perspective on the many ways to be “authentic” in approaching music that has survived and flourished for over 300 years.  

The festival opens with “A Musical Offering—Celebrating J. S. Bach, Beethoven & Duke Ellington” Sunday, August 7, 7 pm at the Carey Institute’s Guggenheim Pavilion.  Like Bach, Ellington was an exemplar of the art of improvisation, embracing the phrase “beyond category” as a liberating principle, and defying classification.

The centerpieces of the second Sunday concert are Bach’s Double Concerto for Two Violins, the Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3, the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Felix Mendelssohn’s String Octet (double string quartet) with faculty and young resident artists joining together for this chamber music favorite.  Written when Mendelssohn was sixteen, its brilliance, youthful verve and perfection make it one of the miracles of nineteenth-century music.  

Additional performances
“Music From High Peaks,” with a mix of faculty and young artist-participants, has been featured throughout the Hudson Valley-Berkshire region—at Basilica Hudson in Hudson, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, in the orchard at Olana, at historic Clermont, at the Doctorow PAC in Hunter and the Orpheum Theater in Tannersville, NY.  This August, in addition to concerts in Rensselaerville, a performance is scheduled on Friday, August 12, 7 PM at Bridge Street Theatre’s Mainstage in Catskill, a former industrial building newly renovated and repurposed as an intimate arts center. Performers include: Bayla Keyes and Peter Zazofsky, violin; Michael Strauss, viola; Yehuda Hanani, Tom Landschoot and Sae Rom Kwon, cello; Michael Chertock and Mikael Darmanie, piano; Baroque specialist Paul Dwyer; and the High Peaks Festival Chamber Orchestra. 

On a frothy note, “Bach and Beethoven in the Tavern” will be presented at the Carey Institute on Saturday, August 13 as part of the “Moonlight Sonatas” series, and in conjunction with the Helderberg Brewery.  Not some saintly figures above common indulgences, both masters were fond of their beer and the tavern atmosphere.  From all accounts, J. S. Bach enjoyed life enormously, and this included beer drinking.  He was often paid for his compositions in beer.

Throughout the festival, a series of performances by talented up-and-coming musicians participating in the residency will provide audiences with an opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the classical music world’s future stars.  This series of “Moonlight Sonatas” performances showcasing top-tier young artists at the Carey Institute is free and open to the public. This year’s program also features a “Buddy Day” on August 15, in which approximately 20 students from Albany’s Empire State Youth Orchestra and Kids4Harmony in Pittsfield will participate in a full day of interaction with the Residents and Masters, culminating with a performance at 4 PM.

The festival also offers a series of illuminating talks, a “Meet the Artists Tea and Talk,” and free classes and workshops offered each day. For a full schedule of events, visit www.catskillhighpeaksmusic.org

Catskill High Peaks Festival Artistic Director, Yehuda Hanani has received acclaim across the globe for his charismatic playing and profound interpretations.  An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Irish National Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Seoul Symphony, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, and the BBC Welsh Symphony. His engaging chamber music with commentary series, Close Encounters With Music, has captivated audiences from Miami to Kansas City, Omaha, Calgary, Scottsdale, the Berkshires, and at the Frick Collection in New York City. He has been the subject of hundreds of articles and interviews in the media, and his weekly program on NPR affiliate station WAMC Northeast Radio, “Classical Music According to Yehuda” attracts thousands of fans. A prolific recording artist, he is Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music and the new Taipei-New York Festival in Taipei, Taiwan as well as Shanghai, China.

Established in 2012 when international businessman Wm. P. Carey purchased the campus, the Carey Institute for Global Good mission is to make a better world by contributing to a strong, educated and just society, “to bring together innovative and dynamic people from around the world to seek creative solutions to the most pressing challenges of the day.” The Carey Institute is located in the historic hamlet of Rensselaerville, New York on a 100-acre campus in the heart of a pristine nature reserve. It works with local and international partners to achieve its mission through residency programs and initiatives in nonfiction, agriculture, and art and music.
 
Ticket information
Music From High Peaks at The Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY
Available at catskillhighpeaksmusic.org  in advance or at the door: 444 West Bridge Street, Catskill
General admission $25; students $15

Most events are free.  To reserve tickets, and for information about concerts, a list of master classes, Stars of Tomorrow concerts and Tea & Talk at the Carey: www.catskillhighpeaksmusic.org  and (800) 843-0778; or www.careyinstitute.org (518) 797-3692  http://berkshirehighpeaksmusic.org/

The Music that Shook the World Press Release

(Great Barrington, MA) The 20th century saw a series of cultural earthquakes that shook the music establishment and scandalized audiences. Now that modernism has receded, we can view them in perspective and see how they entered the mainstream and vitalized our concert experience. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Debussy’s breaking through the German hegemony with Impressionism; granting Jazz concert hall respectability; coupling music with film (from “Bad Boy of Music” George Antheil and Fernand Léger’s 1924 Ballet Mécanique); and the advent of Latin American vernacular—all radically transformed our notion of classical music. Amplifying the music, passages from Igor Stravinsky’s and Antheil’s memoirs will be threaded through the program and read by brilliant comedienne Alison Larkin.

As Paris was the nexus of all the art forms and isms of the early part of the 20th century, the first half of the program includes Claude Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; Olivier Messiaen’s “Louange a l’Éernité de Jésu” from his transcendent Quartet for the End of Time; as well as (Paris adopted son) Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in its piano version. Perhaps no one composer shook the musical establishment and revolutionized what followed so much as Beethoven. His magnificent final violin sonata, No. 10 in G Major Opus 26 receives a performance along with the effervescent and irreverent Café Music by Paul Schoenfield. Schoenfield’s music attracts listeners with its combination of exuberance and seriousness, originality, lightness and depth, often with sly twists in the spirit of the French musical iconoclasts.

This program brings to the fore some of the direct predecessors of John Cage, Philip Glass and John Adams. Performers are pianist Michael Chertock, violinistYehonatan Berick, cellist Yehuda Hanani, and comedienne Alison Larkin.

All in all, a thrilling, kinetic and illuminating evening, infused with a sense of historic immediacy.

TICKET INFORMATION:

Tickets, $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony), are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Visit our website at www.cewm.org.

~Patron’s Preferred Package~
$150 includes Preferred Patron seat and Patron-only dinner reception. Contact Close Encounters With Music at.800.843.0778 or [email protected].

THE ARTISTS: 

Cellist Yehuda Hanani has performed 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 and many others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Blue Hill, Bowdoin, Great Lakes, Ottawa Festival and Finland Festival, among many others, and has collaborated with fellow musicians including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Itzhak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, and the American and Tokyo quartets. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. A prolific recording artist, his pioneering recording of the Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination. As founder and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music, he has been at the forefront of presenting thematic concerts with commentary in cities across the U.S.  He is professor of cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and artistic director of the Catskill High Peaks Festival. His broadcasts on Northwest Radio WAMC’s “Classical Music According to Yehuda” with Dr. Alan Chartock reach thousands of listeners weekly.

Prizewinner at the 1993 Naumburg competition and a recipient of the 1996-97 Prix Opus, violinist Yehonatan Berick is in high demand internationally as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Performances as soloist include Quebec, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ann Arbor, Jerusalem and Haifa symphonies, and the Israel, Cincinnati, Montreal and Manitoba chamber orchestras. He has collaborated with many world renowned artists, and toured as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, the Lortie-Berick-Lysy Piano Trio, and the Huberrman String Quartet among other ensembles.  Festival apprearances include Marlboro, Ravinia, Seattle, Ottawa, Great Lakes, and [email protected] He has been featured in the world’s most important venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’s Musée du Louvre, Milan’s Sala Verdi and London’s Wigmore Hall. On CD, he has recorded for the Albany, Centaur, Equilibrium, Gasparo, Summit, and Helicon labels.  Equally sought after as violin teacher and chamber music mentor, Berick serves as professor of violin at the University of Ottawa and visiting professor at the University of Toronto.  His studies were at the Tel Aviv University Music Academy, followed by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Dorothy Delay and master classes with Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng and Josef Gingold.  Mr. Berick plays on a 1761 violin by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, generously on loan from the University of Ottawa. 

Pianist Michael Chertock has fashioned a successful career as an orchestral soloist, collaborating with conductors such as James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel and Andrew Litton. His many orchestral appearances include solo performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, l’Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony and he has won accolades with his solo performances in Great Britain, Germany, Japan and Korea. Mr. Chertock made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops, performing Duke Ellington’s New World A’Comin’. In June 2005 with the Boston Pops Orchestra, he performed the world premiere of a work by Todd Machover, commissioned by the Boston Pops expressly for him.  His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi turned in rave reviews in Gramophone and American Record Guide. In 1994, Chertock released his first CD on the Telarc label, a collection of his original arrangements of music from movies entitled Cinematic Piano. Since then, he has recorded three more discs with Telarc: Palace of the WindsChristmas at the Movies and Love At the Movies, which have been praised for their lush, original arrangements and exquisite technical facility. He is a regular performer at the Ravinia Festival, Blossom Music Center, Grand Tetons Music Festival and Catskill High Peaks in Rensselaerville. Mr. Chertock serves as chair of the keyboard division at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his master’s degree.

“Hysterically funny Anglo-American comedienne” NBC TV
Internationally acclaimed actress, award-winning audio book narrator and comedienne ALISON LARKIN is the bestselling author of “The English American,” a novel that sprang from her hit one woman show, about an adopted English woman who finds her birth parents—and true love—in the United States. A Vogue “most powerful book of the season” and Redbook’s Book Club pick of the month, “The English American” is currently under development for a film adaptation. Her show played to packed houses and high critical acclaim on both sides of the pond.

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, Alison Larkin Tickets: $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony)

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
Close Encounters With Music stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite and lively commentary from founder and Artistic director Yehuda Hanani puts composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time: Paul Schoenfield, Robert Beaser, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, among others to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists Adam Neiman, Roman Rabinovich, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman, Itamar Zorman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Kelley O’Connor, and Lucille Beer; the Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, and Dover quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.

THE 2015-16 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SEASON CALENDAR

CONCERTS AT THE MAHAIWE
Grand Piano Quartets–Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin
Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons:  Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Acronym Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday April 17, 3 PM
Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor
Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
The Dover String Quartet

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, tba

CONVERSATIONS WITH…
Curator Ken Moore
Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM | The Mount, Lenox, MA

Professor and Inventor Edgar Choueiri
Making Waves | Sounds of the Future
(New lifelike 3D audio system in picture-perfect fidelity)
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM | Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Mid-Winter Fireside Concert 
“Some Enchanted Evening”
Saturday, February 20, 6 PM, | Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
Mischa Bouvier, baritone; Yegor Shevtsov, piano

ANNUAL BLANTYRE LUNCHEON MUSICALE BENEFIT 
Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Edgar Choueiri Press Release

“Choueiri belongs to a distinctly modern type: the engineer-aesthete.”—The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik

Audiophiles will enjoy the sounds of Edgar Choueiri demonstrating how the brain can be tricked into believing it is experiencing a live performance, when it is actually a recording being heard. An avid acoustician, Choueiri is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University and head of the school’s 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics Lab. On May 22 he brings his binaural audio set-up to Time & Space Limited’s art space in Hudson, NY to discuss the fruits of a decade of development, application, and refinement of this revolutionary, groundbreaking system of recording that captures lifelike 3D audio in picture-perfect fidelity. Binaural recording systems are unique because they emulate the workings of the human head. Prepare to be fooled, says Choueiri: “You can hear a bird flying over your head. You’ll hear a whisper in one ear.”

“Making Waves—Sounds of the Future” is part of a series of intimate and stimulating conversations about music and ideas, an intrinsic part of the Close Encounters With Music season.

“Conversations With…” has presented such notable speakers as writer, editor and Bob Dylan biographer Seth Rogovoy; composer, National Endowment grantee and Guggenheim fellow Judith Zaimont; baritone and actor Benjamin Luxon; Emmy Award-winning animator, illustrator, cartoonist and children’s book author R.O. Blechman; art restorer David Bull; Academy Award nominee Daniel Anker; scholar, performer and multimedia artist Robert Winter; former Yankee, author and sportscaster Jim Bouton; Metropolitan Opera costume designer Charles Caine and Metropolitan Museum curator of musical instruments Ken Moore.

TICKET INFORMATION:
Tickets for this event are $15 and are available on the Close Encounters website—www.cewm.org or at 800-843-0778. Light refreshments following the presentation are included.

BIO:
Edgar Choueiri is a professor of applied physics at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of Princeton University and the associated faculty at the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Program in Plasma Physics. He is also director of Princeton University’s Engineering Physics Program and chief scientist at the university’s Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Lab, a center of research in the field of advanced spacecraft propulsion. He is also the director of Princeton’s 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics (3D3A) Lab. An avid audiophile and acoustician, over the last decade, he has dedicated his time to the development, application, and refinement of a revolutionary, groundbreaking system of audio recording that captures lifelike 3D audio in picture-perfect fidelity. The author of more than 160 scientific publications and encyclopedia articles on plasma rockets, plasma physics, space physics and applied mathematics, he is Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the recipient of many awards and honors including a knighthood. He has been an invited speaker on more than 55 occasions at symposia and leading institutions in the USA, Russia, China, Japan, Poland, Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, and many countries in Western Europe. He is the recipient of a number of awards and honors and was recently elected president of the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society, whose members include hundreds of scientists working on plasma propulsion for spacecraft in more than 15 countries. Dr. Choueiri was selected by NASA in 2004 as the winner of a competition to lead a team of NASA and academic researchers on a 3-year research project to develop a high-power plasma rocket system intended for the robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
Close Encounters With Music stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite and lively commentary from founder and Artistic director Yehuda Hanani puts composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time: Paul Schoenfield, Robert Beaser, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, among others to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists Adam Neiman, Roman Rabinovich, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman, Itamar Zorman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Kelley O’Connor, and Lucille Beer; the Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, and Dover quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.

THE 2015-16 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SEASON CALENDAR

CONCERTS AT THE MAHAIWE
Grand Piano Quartets–Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin
Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons:  Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Acronym Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday April 17, 3 PM
Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor
Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
The Dover String Quartet

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, tba

CONVERSATIONS WITH…
Curator Ken Moore
Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM | The Mount, Lenox, MA

Professor and Inventor Edgar Choueiri
Making Waves | Sounds of the Future
(New lifelike 3D audio system in picture-perfect fidelity)
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM | Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Mid-Winter Fireside Concert 
“Some Enchanted Evening”
Saturday, February 20, 6 PM, | Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
Mischa Bouvier, baritone; Yegor Shevtsov, piano

ANNUAL BLANTYRE LUNCHEON MUSICALE BENEFIT 
Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA

The Dover Quartet Press Release

(Great Barrington, MA) A rising quartet takes the stage in the Berkshires—the Dover—dubbed by The New Yorker “the young American string quartet of the moment” and catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. The program’s triad of Beethoven, Dvořák and Alban Berg offers up the “American” Quartet, a triumph of Dvořák’s astonishing melodic vision, disarming immediacy, and attempt to capture the American spirit; Beethoven’s cosmic “Razumovsky” Quartet; and Alban Berg’s Second String Quartet Op. 3 (1908), written during a turbulent courtship with his wife-to-be Helene. It is the composer at a compositional as well as personal crossroads and, in spite of its rigor, is full of Viennese flavor—somewhat like eating a Sachertorte with cream. These three core works of chamber music will be delivered by the first quartet to be honored with a residency at the venerable Curtis Institute.

The Dover Quartet has performed at Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall in London and in festivals such as Chamber Music Northwest, the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cartagena, La Jolla SummerFest, Bravo! Vail, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. They have been the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Festival. Individual members of the Quartet have appeared as soloists with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic. The Dover Quartet draws from the musical lineage of the Cleveland, Vermeer, and Guarneri Quartets, having studied at the Curtis Institute and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were in residence from 2011-2013. Its members are Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violin; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; and Camden Shaw, cello.

“The Dover, among the finest of their generation, presents for us a program of landmarks,” says Close Encounters With Music artistic director Yehuda Hanani. “There is Dvorak’s tribute to America, Berg’s fascinating synthesis of his teacher Schoenberg and his idol Mahler, and Beethoven’s “Razumovsky,” which changed the course of quartet writing. This is a must evening not to be missed.”

“The Dover Quartet won new fans for its sublime playing.”—The New York Times

LOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
Close Encounters With Music stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite and lively commentary from founder and Artistic director Yehuda Hanani puts composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time: Paul Schoenfield, Robert Beaser, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, among others to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists Adam Neiman, Roman Rabinovich, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman, Itamar Zorman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Kelley O’Connor, and Lucille Beer; the Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, and Dover quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.

THE 2015-16 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SEASON CALENDAR

CONCERTS AT THE MAHAIWE
Grand Piano Quartets–Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin
Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons:  Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Acronym Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday April 17, 3 PM
Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor
Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
The Dover String Quartet

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, tba

CONVERSATIONS WITH…
Curator Ken Moore
Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM | The Mount, Lenox, MA

Professor and Inventor Edgar Choueiri
Making Waves | Sounds of the Future
(New lifelike 3D audio system in picture-perfect fidelity)
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM | Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Mid-Winter Fireside Concert 
“Some Enchanted Evening”
Saturday, February 20, 6 PM, | Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
Mischa Bouvier, baritone; Yegor Shevtsov, piano

ANNUAL BLANTYRE LUNCHEON MUSICALE BENEFIT 
Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Fiddler Off the Roof Press Release

(Great Barrington, MA) The fascinating phenomenon of Jewish music—spanning multitudes of cultures and centuries—its ancient roots, its meandering trails as it wends its way across continents, and its contribution to the American voice—takes center stage at a matinee performance Sunday, April 17 at 3 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.

Works by Gershwin, Bernstein, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Milhaud, Bloch, and Max Bruch, (non-Jewish, but who adopted Jewish modes and themes), will be performed. And of course, expect a touch of klezmer, the toe-tapping Eastern European celebratory music imbued with spirituality. Medieval Iberian ballad repertoire will meet German Enlightenment (Bruch’s Kol Nidre and Felix Mendelssohn’s incomparable Piano Trio in D minor). The musical material has been passed from generation to generation, with adaptations, emendations, additions, and reinterpretations. Ravel’s rendition of Kaddish, which recycles the ancient chant in Aramaic for the departed dating back to the First Century, will be sung by tenor Alex Richardson, who this season appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Symphony, at Santa Fe Opera and Spoleto USA.

The journey will include a world premiere of ZEMER for cello and piano by celebrated American composer Paul Schoenfield. Exemplifying the kaleidoscopic exploration of diverse traditions and the symbiosis of East and West, Schoenfield’s ZEMER is an adaptive reshaping of liturgical material to concert hall spirit, based on a melody by local composer Cantor Max Roth. Works from the world of klezmer include Divertimenti from Gimpel the Fool by David Schiff and Béla Kovács’s Klezmer Medley, a tribute to Argentinian-born klezmer master Giora Feidman.

Joining artistic director Yehuda Hanani and tenor Alex Richardson are clarinetist Paul Green, pianist Michele Levin and violinist Sarah McElravy. Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, popular songs by Gershwin and Kurt Weill, Kol Nidrei, Sephardic melodies by Paul Ben-Haim and Eastern European melodies by Joseph Achron offer a rich spectrum—but only the tip of the iceberg—of what constitutes Jewish music. Since in Jewish humor the answer to a question is always another question, “What Is Jewish Music?” raises many theories, but more questions. A superb time will be had seeking answers.

Jewish music is the song of Judaism through the lips of the Jew. It is the tonal expression of Jewish life and development over a period of more than two thousand years.”—Abraham Z. Idelsohn, “Jewish Music: Its Historical Development,” 1929

TICKET INFORMATION:
Tickets, $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office,413.528.0100. Visit our website at www.cewm.org.

THE ARTISTS AND CEWM:

“Like a cobra intent on doing some charming of its own, the clarinetist Paul Green weaved, darted and hovered over his instrument at his recital in Merkin Concert Hall…conjuring gorgeous sounds.”—The New York Times

“You really will not find a voice like Alex Richardson’s for miles around. He has that beautiful, old-school “ping” to his sound that makes everything just so meltingly gorgeous and recalls the great tenors of yesteryear.”—Operagasm, Wade Davis

Close Encounters With Music continues to expand its original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music. The 2015-2016 season moves onward with celebration and discovery, featuring world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces. 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 enlighten the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and an opportunity to meet the musicians.

THE 2015-16 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SEASON CALENDAR

CONCERTS AT THE MAHAIWE
Grand Piano Quartets–Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin
Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons:  Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Acronym Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday April 17, 3 PM
Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor
Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
The Dover String Quartet

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, tba

CONVERSATIONS WITH…
Curator Ken Moore
Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM | The Mount, Lenox, MA

Professor and Inventor Edgar Choueiri
Making Waves | Sounds of the Future
(New lifelike 3D audio system in picture-perfect fidelity)
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM | Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Mid-Winter Fireside Concert 
“Some Enchanted Evening”
Saturday, February 20, 6 PM, | Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
Mischa Bouvier, baritone; Yegor Shevtsov, piano

ANNUAL BLANTYRE LUNCHEON MUSICALE BENEFIT 
Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Photograph of the Acronym String Band

(Great Barrington, MA) The Berkshires’ premiere chamber music organization, Close Encounters With Music, celebrates Johann Sebastian Bach and his progeny Saturday, March 19, 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with “J.S. Bach and Sons—Legitimate and Otherwise.” The Bach brood boasts an illustrious cluster of great musicians who act as a bridge into the Classical style. Family members represented include Bach’s uncle Heinrich and his sons Johann Christoph Friedrich, Wilhelm Friedemann, and Carl Philipp Emanuel.

Also appearing on the program is Johann Sebastian’s “illegitimate” son (the twenty-first of Johann’s twenty children!), P.D.Q. Bach (a.k.a. Peter Schickele), in a concerto for “Four Handed Viola” that combines musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque, and the antics of slapstick comedy.

Internationally renowned cellist and Artistic Director of CEWM, Yehuda Hanani, will perform early twentieth century composer Henri Casadesus’ Concerto in C Minor, originally ascribed to Johann Christian Bach before scholars confirmed that it was in fact only written in his style—the other “illegitimate” element on the program. Johann Sebastian’s heavenly Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor, will come alive with solo performances by violinist Edwin Huizinga and oboist James Austin Smith, who dazzles audiences with his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker). ACRONYM, the 12-piece Baroque String Band will conclude with the timeless glory of the patriarch’s “Brandenburg Concerto” No. 3.

ACRONYM is distinguished by an ambitious mission to unearth and revive forgotten masterpieces of the Baroque era, often unheard since the 17th century. CEWM’s Yehuda Hanani says: “ACRONYM brings a youthful exuberance to ancient music, making it sound like it was written yesterday.” The ensemble’s director Kivie Cahn-Lipman is founding cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with which he performs regularly to international critical acclaim. He is also a gambist and lironist. Award-winning harpsichordist Gabriel Schuford joins the ensemble for historically informed performances infused with joyful insouciance.

“…The idiomatic performances and spacious recording by these young musicians are absolutely first-rate.”—Early Music America
“I find it hard to imagine better playing…”—Iowa Public Radio (Valentini CD featured on Best of 2015 List)

Close Encounters With Music continues to expand its original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music. The 2015-2016 season moves onward with celebration and discovery, featuring world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces. 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 enlighten the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and an opportunity to meet the musicians.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets, $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), are available at
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Visit our website at www.cewm.org.

Cellist Yehuda Hanani has performed 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 and many others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Blue Hill, Bowdoin, Great Lakes, Ottawa Festival and Finland Festival, among many others, and has collaborated with fellow musicians including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Itzhak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, and the American and Tokyo quartets. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. A prolific recording artist, his pioneering recording of the Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination. As founder and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music, he has been at the forefront of presenting thematic concerts with commentary in cities across the U.S. He is professor of cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and artistic director of the Catskill High Peaks Festival. His broadcasts on Northwest Radio WAMC’s “Classical Music According to Yehuda” with Dr. Alan Chartock reach thousands of listeners weekly.

Formed in 2012 to create the first recording of the complete “Alphabet Sonatas” of Johann Pezel, ACRONYM is a 12-member string band distinguished by an ambitious program to discover and revive forgotten masterpieces of the Baroque era, including composers such as Alessandro Poglietti, Clemens Thieme, and Adam Drese, representatives of the Viennese and German composers of the period. A second recording of instrumental sonatas by Antonio Bertali was released in early 2014 to critical acclaim: Alex Ross selected it as a CD Pick, and Early Music America magazine wrote, “The idiomatic performances and spacious recording by these young musicians are absolutely first rate. This is a disc…belonging in everyone’s collection.” Upcoming projects include concert tours featuring works of Pezel and Bertali, as well as the first recordings and modern performances of music by Samuel Capricornus, Johann Rosenmüller, and others. ACRONYM released a third album, modern premieres of Viennese composer Giovanni Valentini’s instrumental music, in 2015. Gramophone UK lauded the album, “played with expertise, enthusiasm and an almost tactile sense of timbre.” ACRONYM further recorded two albums to be released early 2016. Quickly becoming recognized as unique to their field, ACRONYM are “vital and vibrant…”,”…irresistible” and “…exceptional.”

Praised for his “virtuosic” and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times), oboist James Austin Smith performs equal parts new and old music across the United States and around the world. Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Chamber Music Society Two), the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Talea Ensemble, Cygnus and Decoda, and is a regular guest of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He is a member of the faculty of the State University of New York at Purchase and of the Manhattan School of Music. Festival appearances have included Marlboro, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, OK Mozart, Schwetzingen and Spoleto USA. He has performed with the St. Lawrence and Orion string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode and Kairos labels.

AHEAD:
J.S. Bach & Sons: Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
ACRONYM Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

THE 2015-16 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SEASON CALENDAR

CONCERTS AT THE MAHAIWE
Grand Piano Quartets–Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin
Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons:  Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Acronym Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday April 17, 3 PM
Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor
Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
The Dover String Quartet

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, tba

CONVERSATIONS WITH…
Curator Ken Moore
Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM | The Mount, Lenox, MA

Professor and Inventor Edgar Choueiri
Making Waves | Sounds of the Future
(New lifelike 3D audio system in picture-perfect fidelity)
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM | Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Mid-Winter Fireside Concert 
“Some Enchanted Evening”
Saturday, February 20, 6 PM, | Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
Mischa Bouvier, baritone; Yegor Shevtsov, piano

ANNUAL BLANTYRE LUNCHEON MUSICALE BENEFIT 
Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Photograph of Dually Noted

(Great Barrington, MA)  The Berkshires’ premiere chamber music organization, Close Encounters With Music, sparkles December 12, 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with “Dually” Noted—Music for Four Hands. Doubling the sonorities and dazzle of the piano, and turning the solitary recital into an eloquent dialogue, this duo piano evening features the brilliant husband-wife team of Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank in a panoply of styles together and separately. In the spirit of the holiday, the program includes Beethoven’s ever-popular “Moonlight Sonata” and a bravura arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite”—plus Debussy’s Preludes, Barber’s “Souvenirs,” Mozart’s Four Hand Variations in G Major K. 501, and Scriabin’s mystical Fantasy in B minor. The precise coordination of four hands is thrilling, the more so with a couple united in music and matrimony!

Artistic director Yehuda Hanani says of the upcoming performance:  “This is a throwback to the golden age of live music, when the piano was the king of instruments and at the center of every self-respecting household, before it was replaced by the media room. Kate and Ran perform in the tradition of important husband-wife piano teams – Rosina and Josef Lhevinne, Gaby and Robert Casadesus, Vronsky and Babin – and dazzle alone or in combination.”

“Four Hands and Two Hearts Beating as One”—The New York Times

Artist Bios:
First prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been lauded by the New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style,” and by the Washington Post for her “stunning command of the keyboard.” She has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in the Dominican Republic, Orquesta de Valencia, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Naples Philharmonic. In recent seasons, she has given recitals at New York’s Zankel, Alice Tully, and Merkin halls; Kennedy Center, Ravinia Festival, Madrid’s National Auditorium, and San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre. A Naxos artist, she records a double CD of Scriabin piano works this season following the Scarlatti and Liszt albums released earlier. Second prize and Mozart Prize winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Santander International Piano Competition in Spain, she has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Robert McDonald, Ursula Oppens, and Jerome Lowenthal. Ms. Lee is the co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series dedicated to bringing together young professionals in New York City. A Yamaha Artist, Ms. Lee is an assistant professor of piano at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.

Technically dazzling and intellectually probing artistry exemplify pianist Ran Dank‘s 2015 summer festival appearances which included a world premiere for piano by Alexander Goehre at Santa Fe; the Schumann Piano Quintet with the Shanghai String Quartet at Maverick Concerts in Woodstock; and solo and chamber pieces at the Great Lakes Festival in Michigan. A favorite with New York audiences, he was recently presented by Peoples Symphony at Town Hall and soloed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall. In 2013 he and pianist Soyeon Kate Lee performed the world premiere of Fredric Rzewski’s “Four Hands” at Le Poisson Rouge. Mr. Dank is assistant professor and director of piano studies at the College of Charleston and serves as artistic director of the college’s International Piano Series. He completed his doctoral studies with Ursula Oppens and Richard Goode at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York as a Chancellor’s Fellow, having previously received a bachelor’s degree from the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University in his native Israel and a master’s degree and artist diploma from Juilliard. Among recent and upcoming highlights are appearances with the Jerusalem Symphony, the Asheville Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony and the Charleston Symphony. In recital, he has been presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society at Kennedy Center, the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Finland’s Mantta Festival, and Seattle Chamber Music Festival. The recipient of numerous honors, Ran Dank won a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists roster in 2009 and was a laureate of the Cleveland International Competition, and the Naumburg and Sydney International Piano Competition and first prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.
Ms. Lee and Mr. Dank live in Cincinnati with their one year old son, Noah.

Close Encounters With Music continues to expand its original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music. The 2015-2016 season moves onward with celebration and discovery, featuring world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces. 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 enlighten the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and an opportunity to meet the musicians.

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

THE 2015-16 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SEASON CALENDAR

CONCERTS AT THE MAHAIWE
Grand Piano Quartets–Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin
Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted:  Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons:  Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Acronym Baroque String Band
James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday April 17, 3 PM
Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor
Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
The Dover String Quartet

GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin
Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, tba

CONVERSATIONS WITH…
Curator Ken Moore
Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM | The Mount, Lenox, MA

Professor and Inventor Edgar Choueiri
Making Waves | Sounds of the Future
(New lifelike 3D audio system in picture-perfect fidelity)
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM | Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Mid-Winter Fireside Concert 
“Some Enchanted Evening”
Saturday, February 20, 6 PM, | Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
Mischa Bouvier, baritone; Yegor Shevtsov, piano

ANNUAL BLANTYRE LUNCHEON MUSICALE BENEFIT 
Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Photograph of Ken Moore

Musical instruments serve an intangible and immaterial art that accompanies ritual, battle and work, entertains and expresses emotions; they document technological advancements and societal change.  Depictions in the visual arts reveal their functions and portray their performers —accurately or symbolically.  Surprisingly, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the perfect place to explore these connections using its global collection of over 5,000 instruments from the 3rd millennium BCE to the present and their matching depictions found throughout its galleries.   On Sunday, November 15, 2 PM, Ken Moore, Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of Musical Instruments, will provide an introduction to the collection and reveal new ways of looking and thinking about these extraordinary sounding forms.
“Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection” is part of a series of intimate and stimulating conversations about music and ideas, an intrinsic part of the Close Encounters With Music season.Conversations With…” has presented such notable speakers as writer, editor and Bob Dylan biographer Seth Rogovoy; composer, National Endowment grantee and Guggenheim Fellow Judith Zaimont; baritone and actor Benjamin Luxon; Emmy Award-winning animator, illustrator, cartoonist and children’s book author R.O. Blechman; art restorer David Bull; Academy Award nominee Daniel Anker; scholar, performer and multimedia artist Robert Winter; former Yankee, author and sportscaster Jim Bouton; Metropolitan Opera costume designer Charles Caine, and  award-winning poet Charles Coe.

Tickets for this event are $15 and are available on the Close Encounters website – www.cewm.org, at 800-843-0778, or at the door.  Light refreshments, following the presentation, are included.

ABOUT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
Close Encounters With Music stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite and lively commentary from founder and Artistic director Yehuda Hanani puts composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time: Paul Schoenfield, Robert Beaser, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, among others to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists Adam Neiman, Roman Rabinovich, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman, Itamar Zorman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Kelley O’Connor, and Lucille Beer; the Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, and Dover quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.

ABOUT THE MOUNT The Mount, a National Historic Landmark, is a cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton. The estate, designed and built by Edith Wharton in 1902, embodies the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897). In addition to the mansion, the property includes three acres of formal gardens, including a French flower garden and an Italian white garden. Extensive woodscapes surround the formal gardens. Each year, The Mount hosts over 30,000 visitors. Daily tours of the property are offered May-October with special events throughout the year. Annual summer programming includes Wharton on Wednesdays, Music After Hours, and the popular Monday Lecture Series.  Exhibitions explore themes from Wharton’s life and work.

Photograph of Walter Ponce

(Great Barrington, MA)  The Berkshires’ premiere chamber music organization, Close Encounters With Music, opens its season October 24, 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with two epic works by Brahms and Dvořák, two giants whose lives intersected, both nurtured by the traditions of Central Europe. Brahms’ G minor Piano Quartet Op. 25, with its animated Hungarian idioms and whirlwind coda; and the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major Op. 87, one of Dvořák’s most sublime works, are symphonic in scope, with unbuttoned, folksy finales.  The two composers, friends and fellow admirers during their lifetime, stand side by side with these powerful masterpieces that display the seemingly endless inventiveness of both in architecture, melody, instrumental interplay, and sheer sonic beauty.

Artistic director Yehuda Hanani says of the juxtaposition of pieces:  “Dvořák’s forty chamber music compositions are a wonder.  One of the great melodists of the century, he incorporated ideas and techniques from everybody:  Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Mendelssohn.  But the greatest influence was Brahms.  Being rooted in Bohemian folklore, though, he lightens up Brahmsian textures and deep probing, and wipes the frown from the German master.” 

Joining Hanani to play some of the most vivacious and appealing music in the repertoire are pianist Walter Ponce (“Delectable playing done with an electric crackle that Liszt himself would have applauded –Chicago Tribune); violinist Ara Gregorian, who made his orchestra debut with the Boston Pops; and violinist/violist Xiao-Dong Wang, who has appeared as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic in London and the London Mozart Players. 

Close Encounters With Music, continues to expand its original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music. The 2015-2016 season will be one of celebration and discovery, featuring world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces. 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 enlighten the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and an opportunity to meet the musicians.

Artistic director Yehuda Hanani is internationally 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 and many others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Blue Hill, Bowdoin, Great Lakes, Ottawa Festival and Finland Festival, among many others, and has collaborated with fellow musicians including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Itzhak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, and the American and Tokyo quartets. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. A prolific recording artist, his pioneering recording of the Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination.  As founder and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music, he has been at the forefront of presenting thematic concerts with commentary in cities across the U.S.  He is professor of cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and artistic director of the Catskill High Peaks Festival.  His broadcasts on Northwest Radio WAMC’s “Classical Music According to Yehuda” with Dr. Alan Chartock reach thousands of listeners weekly.

Grand Piano Quartets—Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

Photograph of Walter Ponce

Celebration of Instrumental Virtuosos, Brilliant Vocalists, and Stars of the Chamber Music World in Concerts at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington Fall, Winter, Spring 2015-16

Curator Ken Moore Presents the Met’s 5,000 Piece Musical Instrument Collection Dating from 300 B.C. at The Mount in Lenox and Revolutionary, Lifelike 3D Audio Captured by Princeton Aerospace Engineering Professor Edgar Choueiri in “Conversations With….” Series

(Great Barrington, MA…) Going into its 24th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, the Berkshires’ premier chamber music organization, Close Encounters With Music, continues to expand its original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music. The 2015-2016 season will be one of celebration and discovery, featuring world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces. Walter Ponce (“Delectable playing with a crackle that Liszt himself would have applauded” – Chicago Tribune) returns after a hiatus, as well as consummate chamber musician Michele Levin and frequent Boston Pops soloist Michael Chertock; violinists Yehonatan Berick, Sarah McElravy and Ara Gregorian; and oboist James Austin Smith, already inducted into Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society (“virtuosic” and “brilliant performances—The New York Times—to which we can attest from his past performance!). The Dover Quartet, which has risen meteorically to the highest echelons of the string quartet firmament, makes its CEWM debut; and we introduce tenor Alex Richardson (“A charismatic Richardson triumphed!” – Huffington Post) and duo pianists Kate Soyeon Lee and Ran Dank, who together and apart garner raves (“Stunning command of the keyboard” –Washington Post). The Acronym Baroque Band brings its own brand of Baroque glitter to the Mahaiwe stage for the second consecutive year, and we are delighted to welcome Paul Green, an extraordinary clarinetist equally at home in classical, jazz and Klezmer music. From October through June, it’s a season not to be missed!

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 enlighten the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and an opportunity to meet the musicians.

(For Calendar listings, see below.)

Grand Piano Quartets—Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

The season opens at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 24, at 6 PM with two epic works by Brahms and Dvořák, two giants whose lives intersected, both nurtured by the traditions of Central Europe. These pieces are symphonic in scope, with unbuttoned, folksy finales; four superb soloists convene to play some of the most vivacious and appealing music in the repertoire. The program features Brahms’ G minor Piano Quartet Op. 25, with its animated Hungarian idioms and whirlwind coda; and the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major Op. 87, one of Dvořák’s most sublime works. The two composers, friends and fellow admirers during their lifetime, stand side by side with these powerful masterpieces that display the seemingly endless inventiveness of both in architecture, melody, instrumental interplay, and sheer sonic beauty.

Walter Ponce, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin; Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Dually” Noted—Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

On Saturday, December 12 at 6 PM, CEWM presents “Dually” Noted—Music for Four Hands at the Mahaiwe. Doubling the sonorities and dazzle of the piano, and turning the solitary recital into an eloquent dialogue, this duo piano evening features the brilliant husband-wife team of Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank in a panoply of styles together and separately. In the spirit of the holiday, the program includes Beethoven’s ever-popular “Moonlight Sonata” and a bravura arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite”—plus Debussy’s Preludes, Barber’s “Souvenirs,” Mozart’s Four Hand Variations in G Major K. 501, and Scriabin’s mystical Fantasy in B minor. The precise coordination of four hands is thrilling, the more so with a couple united in music and matrimony!

“Four Hands and Two Hearts Beating as One”—The New York Times

Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank, piano

J.S. Bach & Sons–Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

On Saturday, March 19 at 6 PM, the Mahaiwe stage sparkles with contrast and complement as the characters of the illustrious and multifarious Bach family tree resound. J.S. Bach & Sons–Legitimate and Otherwise showcases this cluster of great musicians who forged a pathway into the Classical style. Presented with reverence are the works of Johann Sebastian, the Oboe Concerto by Carl Philippe Emanuel, and the Cello Concerto by Johann Christian. Presented with mischievous irreverence is his “illegitimate” son, P.D.Q. Bach (a.k.a. Peter Schickele) in a concerto for “Four Handed Viola” that combines musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque, and slapstick comedy. The program concludes with the timeless Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. Acronynm is a 12-member string orchestra that is distinguished by an ambitious program to unearth and revive forgotten masterpieces of the Baroque era, often unheard since the 17th century.
“…The idiomatic performances and spacious recording by these young musicians are absolutely first-rate.” – Early Music America
Acronym Baroque String Band; James Austin Smith, oboe; Yehuda Hanani, cello

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday, April 17, 3 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

On Sunday, April 17 at 3 PM the Mahaiwe stage is set for the fascinating phenomenon of Jewish music, spanning multitudes of cultures and centuries—its ancient roots, its meandering trails as it wends its way across continents, and its contribution to the American voice. Works by Gershwin, Bernstein, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Milhaud, Bloch, and Max Bruch, who adopted Jewish modes and themes. And of course, a touch of Klezmer, the toe-tapping Eastern European celebratory music imbued with spirituality. Medieval Iberian ballad repertoire meets German Enlightenment (Bruch’s Kol Nidre and Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor) and a rendition by Maurice Ravel of the ancient Kaddish, which dates back to the 1st century. A kaleidoscopic exploration of diverse traditions and the symbiosis of East and West, as exemplified in the world premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s Evocation, an adaptive reshaping of liturgical material to concert hall spirit.

Michele Levin, piano; Paul Green, clarinet; Alex Richardson, tenor; Sarah McElravy, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony)

On Saturday, May 14 at 6 PM, CEWM presents a rising quartet—the Dover— dubbed by The New Yorker “the young American string quartet of the moment” which catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. The program’s triad of Beethoven, Dvořák and Alban Berg offers up the “American” Quartet, a triumph of Dvořák’s astonishing melodic vision, disarming immediacy, and attempt to capture the American spirit; Beethoven’s cosmic “Razumovsky” Quartet; and Alban Berg’s Second String Quartet Op. 3 (1908), written during a turbulent courtship with his wife-to-be Helene. It is the composer at a compositional as well as personal crossroads and, in spite of its rigor, is full of Viennese flavor—somewhat like eating a Sachertorte with cream. Three landmark works of chamber music delivered by the first quartet to be honored with a residency at the venerable Curtis Institute.
“The Dover Quartet won new fans for its sublime playing.” – The New York Times

The Dover String Quartet: Joel Link, violin; Bryan Lee, violin; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; Camden Shaw, cello

“Music That Shook the World!”
Gala Event!
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony)

“Music That Shook the World!” vibrates the Mahaiwe stage Saturday, June 11 at 6 PM, bringing the season to a close. The 20th century saw a series of cultural earthquakes that shook the music establishment and scandalized audiences. Now that modernism has receded, we can view them in perspective and see how they entered the mainstream and vitalized our concert experience. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Debussy’s breaking through the German hegemony with Impressionism; granting respectability to the Jazz concert hall; coupling music with film (from “Bad Boy of Music” George Antheil and Fernand Léger’s 1924 Ballet Mécanique); and the advent of Latin American vernacular—all radically transformed our notion of classical music. This program brings to the fore some of the direct predecessors of John Cage, Philip Glass and John Adams. Amplifying the music, passages from Igor Stravinsky’s and Antheil’s memoirs will be threaded through the program. In Paris of the 1920s, Antheil’s concerts regularly incited huge riots. Ballet Mécanique is scored for multiple pianos, percussion, electric buzzers and airplane propellers and we offer a segment of the film. (Bring your riot gear!)

Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello; special guest narrator, TBA

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.

For Subscribers Only: Mid-Winter Fireside Concert
An exclusive event, the Midwinter Fireside Concert, for season subscribers, Saturday, February 20, 6 PM at Ventfort Hall in Lenox:
“Some Enchanted Evening” with baritone Mischa Bouvier and pianist Yegor Shevtsov.

MORE THAN MUSIC:

Close Encounters With Music continues its listen and talk series, Conversations With…intimate and stimulating afternoons of music, literature and exchanges of ideas with notable performers, critics, authors, and cultural personages.

Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection with Curator Ken Moore
Sunday, November 15, 2 PM
The Mount, Lenox, MA
Tickets: $15 per person includes light refreshments

On Sunday, November 15 at 2 PM Close Encounters With Music and Edith Wharton’s The Mount present Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection with Curator Ken Moore: The Metropolitan Museum’s collection of musical instruments includes approximately 5,000 examples from six continents and the Pacific Islands, dating from 300 B.C. to the present, and illustrating the development of musical instruments from all cultures and eras. Ken Moore, the Frederick P. Rose Curator of Musical Instruments, will share information about this extraordinary collection and its storied history. Since 1990, he has advocated the application of contextual display methods of non-European instruments and developed educational performance programs that emphasize world music cultures. Outside the Metropolitan, he has made pioneering studies of the music of the Snake Handler cult in West Virginia. Woven into the talk is the story of how, at the end of the 19th century, a forward-thinking woman founded a comprehensive collection of musical instruments rivaling any in the world.

Making Waves – Sounds of the Future
Sunday, May 22, 2 PM
Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY
Tickets: $15 includes light refreshment

On Sunday, May 22 at 2 PM at Basilica Hudson in Hudson, NY, CEWM presents Making Waves – Sounds of the Future, with Edgar Choueiri, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University who heads the school’s 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics Lab. An avid audiophile and acoustician, over the last decade he has dedicated his time to the development, application, and refinement of a revolutionary, groundbreaking system of audio recording that captures lifelike 3D audio in picture-perfect fidelity. With his binaural audio set-up, he will demonstrate—in Basilica Hudson’s post-industrial raw and resonant space—how the brain is tricked into believing the performance being heard is actually live, and not recorded. Binaural recording systems are unique because they emulate the workings of the human head. Prepare to be fooled, says Choueiri: “You can hear a bird flying over your head. You’ll hear a whisper in one ear.”

Close Encounters on the Radio/Podcast

Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and audiences are encouraged to tune into 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 composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time—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 James Tocco, Adam Neiman, Walter Ponce, Lydia Artymiw and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Amy Burton, Jennifer Aylmer, Robert White, Lucille Beer and William Sharp; the Vermeer, Amernet, Muir, Manahattan, Avalon, Hugo Wolf, Dover quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs. 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 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; and the Catskill High Peaks Festival continued the educational mission of Close Encounters With Music with 50 international students in residence in the Great Northern Catskills at the Carey Center for Global Good in an immersive course of study and performance.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets, $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Subscriptions are $225 ($195 for seniors) for a series of 6 series concerts PLUS one subscriber-only concert. Visit our website at www.cewm.org.

2015-16 CALENDAR AT THE MAHAIWE

Grand Piano Quartets—Brahms and Dvořák
Saturday, October 24, 6 PM

“Dually” Noted—Music for Four Hands
Saturday, December 12, 6 PM

J.S. Bach & Sons–Legitimate and Otherwise
Saturday, March 19, 6 PM

“Fiddler OFF the Roof”
Sunday, April 17, 3 PM

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, May 14, 6 PM

“Music That Shook the World!”
Saturday, June 11, 6 PM

These six performances are at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.
14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA.
A reception with light refreshments follows each concert.

Conversations With…

“Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection with Curator Ken Moore” at The Mount (Lenox, MA) is on Sunday, November 15 at 2 PM. $15 per person includes light refreshments.

“Making Waves – Sounds of the Future,” at Basilica Hudson (Hudson, NY) is on Sunday, May 22 at 2 PM. $15 per person includes light refreshments.