CEWM Presents: The Moonlight Sonatas… and more!


Berkshire High Peaks Music Festival – Music with Altitude!

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The “Moonlight Sonatas” faculty concert on Tuesday, July 25, 7:30 PM showcases the brilliant guest artists who will share their experience and inspire a new generation of performers during the eleven-day festival. Pianists Alexander Shtarkman performs works by Ravel and Debussy; Gila Goldstein presents Chopin’s Prelude in C sharp minor, op. 45 and Polonaise-Fantasy in A flat major, Op. 61; and Ching-Yi Lin plays Bach/Rachmaninoff’s Partita No. 3 BWV1006. Artistic director Yehuda Hanani will play Dvorak’s Rondo for cello and piano. Soprano Danielle Talamantes and baritone Kerry Wilkerson present arias from Mozart operas and gems from the American Songbook. The program culminates with 9 festival cellists joining Ms. Talamantes in the rapturous Bachianas Brasileiras by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. 

“We are committed to bringing the very best artists and leading pedagogues to continue this musical tradition, here in the breathtaking environment that inspired generations of writers, artists and musicians,” says Hanani. Guest faculty and performers include violinists Peter Zazofsky, first prize winner of the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition and Hye-Jin Kim, first prize winner at the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition at the age of nineteen; Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes, George Mason University baritone Kerry Wilkerson and opera director and conductor Jay Lesenger (who directed John Corigliano’s Ghosts of Versailles at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown); pianists Alexander Shtarkman, a Van Cliburn Competition winner and Gila Goldstein, director of piano studies at Brown University; cellists Jeffrey Zeigler (former member of the renowned Kronos Quartet), Diego Fainguersch, first cellist of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Ross Harbaugh, member of the Bergonzi String Quartet, and Yehuda Hanani.

The festival Farewell Concert, Sunday July 30, 7:30 PM, will be a wall-to-wall celebration of participant achievement and faculty mentoring with over twenty pieces performed by fifty participants.  

A selection of the festival concerts taking place at Berkshire School’s Allen Theater and open to the public:

Sunday, July 23

7:30 PM – Concert Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks residents perform)

Tuesday, July 25

7:30 PM – Concert Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks Faculty perform)

Wednesday, July 26

7:30 PM – Concert Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks residents perform)

Friday, July 28

3 PM – Private Concert in Tannersville, NY

7:30 PM – Concert Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks residents perform)

Sunday, July 30

7:30 PM – Moonlight Sonatas — Farewell Concert popular concert locations, in

See our website for the full festival schedule.


The Berkshire High Peaks Festival is a performing and teaching summer institute bringing together renowned musicians, pedagogues, and exceptionally gifted international students, normally held in the cultural hub of the southern Berkshires.  The intimate scale and highest level of talent make possible an invigorating ten days of discovery, exploration, bonding, and growth. The festival has an all-inclusive atmosphere, fostering camaraderie and cross-cultural exchange and understanding. The faculty is similarly international. In past summers, in addition to the classical canon, the music has focused on traditions ranging from Latin American tango to Japanese ceremonial drums to the heritage of Jazz and improvisation in addition to the classical canon. Central to the festival’s mission are performance opportunities for young artists on the cusp of their careers.  Faculty and guest performers have included the most respected classical musicians and teachers of our time: guitarist Eliot Fisk; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Elmar Oliveira, Peter Zazofsky, and Stefan Milenkovich; violists Pierre-Henri Xuereb and Michael Strauss; pianists James Tocco, Michael Chertock, and Vassily Primakov and cellists Thomas Landschoot, Sae Rom Kwon and Yehuda Hanani. Berkshire High Peaks concerts have taken place at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY; the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge,MA; Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY; Orpheum Theater in Tannersville, NY; in the orchard at Olana, at Claremont Historical Site and at the Carey Center for Global Good in Rensselaerville, NY.

Berkshire 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, Belgrade Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Seoul Symphony, and 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” attracted thousands of fans. A prolific recording artist, he served on the faculties of the Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory, as Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is now on the faculty of Mannes School in New York City.