Celtic Baroque Band Makaris on St. Patrick’s Day

Makaris Celtic Band 12 musicians holding lyres, flutes, cellos standing against a stone wall

Close Encounters With Music presents the Celtic Baroque Band Makaris in “A Bach Family Concert with an Irish Twist” on Saint Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, 4pm at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Violin, Guitar, Harp and Harpsichord Meet Bagpipes and Irish Whistle in a Cross-Genre Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration

In his dance suites, J.S. Bach ventures into Spanish sarabandes, French bourrées, and British gigues. He and family members delighted in arranging Celtic and Scottish folk music. They will be joined by Beethoven and Haydn who also forayed into Irish folk music with their own arrangements. Makaris formed in 2018 to explore the broad musical heritage of Scotland and the following year released its disc Wisps in the Dell, to critical international acclaim.

“Absolutely wonderful…one of the very best releases of 2019 – MusicWeb International).  A makar (pl. makaris) was a royal court troubadour of medieval Scotland and the program provides a lush sampling from the ensemble’s collection. “You can’t help but feel like you’ve suddenly traveled back in time and are enjoying a tankard of old Scottish ale inside a seedy establishment.”

Classical Music Sentinel

Scottish music proved creatively productive and financially lucrative for several composers during the 18th century. Haydn and Beethoven alone arranged hundreds of these traditional songs for home performance. The songs included dance calls, serenades, expressions of unrequited love, laments for lost loved ones, and all manner of joyous and gruesome subjects. Well-known names from orchestral music and opera clothed the folksy melodies and down-to-earth lyrics in sophisticated arrangements and their own styles. The ensemble Makaris’s debut CD, Wisps in the Dell, shows why this repertoire proved so popular with audiences and artists.

About Makaris

Members of New York-based 10-member Makaris include Fiona Gillespie, a classically-trained singer, songwriter and composer who holds degrees in voice performance from Westminster Choir College and the University of North Texas; and Eliott Figg, keyboardist, conductor and composer, a graduate of the Historical Performance Program at Juilliard who recently appeared with New Vintage Baroque and as conductor and harpsichordist with Little Opera Theatre of New York, with Spoleto Festival USA and L.A. Opera.  The leader of the ensemble, cellist, viola da gamba and lirone player Kivie Cahn Lipman performs and records with Le Strange Viols.  He formed ACRONYM Baroque Band, who have been guests of CEWM several times, because he discovered 17th-century music in old manuscripts which have to date translated into eight CDs of modern premieres recorded and more on the way! Cahn-Lipman is a graduate of Oberlin, Juilliard, and the University of Cincinnati where he received his doctorate studying under CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani.

Afterglow Reception Post Concert

As of this season, CEWM has fully resumed its hors d’oeuvres and wine receptions.  Audience members are invited to meet the artists and enjoy beverages and bites by Authentic Eats by Oleg on stage at the Afterglow receptions. The concert fortuitously coincides with St. Patrick’s Day. Join us for a toast!

Ticket Information

Tickets are $52 for Orchestra and Mezzanine and $25 for Balcony seats, can be purchased at www.cewm.org or by calling 800-843-0778. Pro-rated Season subscriptions for the remainder of 2024 ($185 Regular, $160 Senior), are available until February 11 at cewm.org. We also offer a virtual option—tickets are $28 for individual programs, delivered to your email address one week post performance.

“CEWM patrons have learned that sooner or later they’ll be blindsided by a performance so sublime it will defy explanation.”

— The Berkshire Edge