Close Encounters’ “The Many Faces of Antonin Dvorak,” Program Spotlights Instrumental and Vocal Music of Dvorak: Dumky Trio, Grand Piano Quintet, Gypsy Songs, Biblical Songs, and Selections from Opera “Rusalka” Major Prize Winners, a Diva, and One of Classical Music’s Most beloved Figures in Gala Matinee
LENOX, Mass. – With representative works from many of the genres in which he wrote—piano quintet, piano trio, song cycles, and opera, and always with his trademark captivating melodiousness and soulfulness—audiences at the Close Encounters With Music all-Dvořák gala concert, Sunday, June 15 at 2 PM will take away a composite portrait of the composer as an original and independent force in classical music. The program will also illustrate how the irresistible charm and mastery of Dvořák’s compositions helped bridge the world of popular musical culture with that of the 19th century concert hall.
The gallery of scheduled works includes two of his greatest and most dazzling chamber pieces—the “Dumky” Trio and the Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, both incorporating pensive Slavonic music (Dumka), Czech folk dances, and glowing with Dvořák’s optimism, rhythmic vitality and intoxicating beauty. The “Dumky” was so well received at its premiere that it was presented on a forty-concert tour, just before Dvořák left Bohemia to head the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. It was published while Dvořák was in America and proofread by none other than his friend, Johannes Brahms. The Piano Quintet is acknowledged as one of the masterpieces in the form, along with those of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Shostakovich.
A stellar assemblage of instrumentalists includes violinist Itamar Zorman, first prize winner of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition and 2013 Avery Fisher Award; pianist Roman Rabinovich, first prize winner of the Arthur Rubinstein International Competition; violinist David McCarroll; violist Ara Gregorian; and CEWM founder and artistic director, cellist Yehuda Hanani.
Adding a vocal dimension to the Dvořák portrait, special guest mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor makes her Berkshire debut singing Dvořák’s rarely heard Biblical Songs, the Gypsy Songs, and “Song to the Moon,” from the opera Rusalka. O’Connor’s impressive calendar this season has included John Adams’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Grant Gershon conducting the Ravinia Festival Orchestra; the world premiere of John Harbison’s Crossroads with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Edo de Waart; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic; an international tour with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as performances with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The cycle of Biblical Songs was composed in 1894. Following a personal crisis, with the death of two dear friends (Tchaikovsky and conductor Hans von Bulow) and with the news of the terminal illness of Dvořák’s own father, the deeply religious composer sought comfort in his faith. He selected verses from the book of Psalms, and produced some of his most spiritual music. “Songs my mother taught me” from the Gypsy Songs, and “Song of the Moon” from his fairy-tale opera Rusalka are among the most beloved of vocal works.
“The Many Faces of Antonin Dvořák” is scheduled for Sunday, June 15, 2 PM at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood (Lenox, MA). Tickets for this extraordinary concert are $40 and $50. A limited number of Preferred Patron Seating and Gala Reception Packages are available at $125 per person. For more information or to order tickets, visit www.cewm.org or call (800) 843-0778.
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE AND TIME.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
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 Emerson 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 in Hunter and Tannersville, NY.
Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor is taking the music world by storm! The California native’s recent engagements have included appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of music director Gustav Dudamel; a debut as Suzuki in a new production of Madama Butterfly by Lillian Groag at Boston Lyric Opera; Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with both Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony; Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony, Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony, and Lieberson’s The World in Flower with Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Ms. O’Connor brought her “smoky sound and riveting stage presence” (The New York Times) to performances of Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénedict with Opera Boston, and to her signature role as Federico Garcia Lorca in a Peter Sellars staging of Golijov’s Ainadamar at Teatro Real in Madrid. She has performed in festivals, including the London Proms, Colorado Music Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, and the Berlin Festival, among others.
Twenty-eight year old Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich is winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel. Praised by critics for “vivacity and virtuosity” and his “impeccable clarity of execution,” he has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Israel in such prestigious venues as Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Wigmore Hall, Lucerne and Davos festivals in Switzerland, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the Metropolitan and the Isabella Stewart Gardner museums, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Glazunov Hall in St. Petersburg, Vienna’s Musikverein, as well as Jordan Hall in Boston, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Les Invalides in Paris and the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Born in Uzbekistan, Mr. Rabinovich immigrated to Israel where he studied at the Rubin Academy of Music, making his Israel Philharmonic Orchestra debut under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age ten. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and with a Masters Degree from Juilliard, he also excels as an artist, often combining concerts with exhibitions of his paintings.
Violinist Itamar Zorman is winner of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia, where he subsequently performed in the winners’ concerts with Maestro Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. In 2013, he was named a winner of the Avery Fisher Prize. Mr. Zorman has performed as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, with the Juilliard Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, the Het Gelders Orkest at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Philharmonie Baden-Baden, and Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has appeared at Lincoln Center, in Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and at the Kennedy Center. Born in Tel Aviv to a family of musicians, he holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School and Artist Diplomas from Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard. He plays on a 1737 Pietro Guarneri violin from a private collection.
Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite and lively commentary from founder and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time—Paul Schoenfield, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Kenji Bunch, and John Musto, among others—to create important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists James Tocco, Adam Neiman, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman and Toby Appel; harpsichordist Lionel Party; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Amy Burton, Jennifer Aylmer, Robert White, Lucille Beer and William Sharp; the Vermeer, Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, Hugo Wolf quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.
Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and weekly broadcasts of “Classical Music According to Yehuda” are broadcast on WAMC Northeast Radio and at www.wamc.org.
For more information about Close Encounters with Music and its 2013–2014 concert schedule, visit www.cewm.org.