Close Encounters with Music 24th Season Offers its Signature Mix of Innovative Programs December 12 Concert Features Brilliance with Piano Duo Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank Celebrity Talks, Fireside Concert; Collaborations, Celebrations Through June

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)


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

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

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

Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM | Blantyre, Lenox, MA