Close Encounters with Music at the Clark in Williamstown “Masters of the Baroque” Celebrates Grand Reopening Music Mercurial, Ornate and Bold-Back, Boccherini, Scarlatti, Vivaldi and New Neo-Baroque Commision

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – In a program designed to celebrate the rich diversity of Baroque music—the complexity of the intellectual Northern Baroque and its counterpoint, the more outgoing Mediterranean sensibility—celebrated cellist Yehuda Hanani performs one of the incomparable unaccompanied Bach suites, displaying the composer’s depth, boldness and innovation and virtuoso pianist Lydia Artymiw dazzles with Scarlatti miniature keyboard gems. The two join forces in performances of Vivaldi and Boccherini sonatas and a new composition in neo-Baroque style by Williamstown composer Steven Dankner is to receive its world premiere.

The 4 PM Sunday, August 3 performance, “Masters of the Baroque,” also celebrates the grand reopening of The Clark following major renovations. “We are delighted to be part of the expansion and new vision of the Clark,” says artistic director Yehuda Hanani. “Being surrounded by the large and varied collection is bound to spark new revelations about the synchronicities between the ‘bow and the brush.’”

Based in Great Barrington and in its 23rd year in the Berkshires, Close Encounters has enjoyed collaborations with museums across the country, including the Detroit Institute of Art, the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Center for Fine Arts in Miami, and the Frick Collection in New York City. Often centering programs on an art movement, or commonalities between the visual and the acoustic, CEWM’s thematic programming brings a heightened sense of discovery to the concert experience.

From the mercurial keyboard music of Baroque-era Domenico Scarlatti, to Luigi Boccherini’s luscious string writing and the exuberance of Antonio Vivaldi, “Masters of the Baroque” presents a panorama of the ornate and exquisitely ornamented works that exemplify the period of the Late Baroque, also in art and architecture. J.S. Bach represents the apotheosis of this fusion, and at the same transcends the period. Yehuda Hanani is especially sought after as an interpreter and elucidator of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and his recording of the six unaccompanied suites has been critically hailed for its personal relationship with the score. From 1995-2007 he directed the International Bach”Annalia” Festival at the University of Cincinnati.

The recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and top-prize winner of the prestigious Leventritt and Leeds International Competitions, Philadelphia-born Lydia Artymiw has performed with over one hundred orchestras world-wide, with many of the leading conductors of our time. American orchestral appearances include the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Symphony. Festival appearances include Aspen, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Chautauqua, Hollywood Bowl, Montreal, and Mostly Mozart.

Tickets for “Masters of the Baroque” are $40 ($30 members). Visit or call 413- 458-0524 for information or to order tickets.
Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history. The Clark receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10 am to 5 pm.


Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and reengagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally 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, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, Belgrade Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among many others. His pioneering recording of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, and his other discs have won wide recognition. 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 new audiences to classical music. He is Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music and the Catskill High Peaks Festival.

“One of the most polished performers of the post-Starker generation and a consistently expressive artist…The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength. Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times

“Native Israeli cellist Yehuda Hanani…studied with Leonard Rose at Juilliard and with Pablo Casals. It should come as no surprise then that he possesses Rose’s tonal amplitude and Casals’s intellectual discipline, breathtaking technique and limpid style….Commanding musicianship.” – Fanfare Magazine (January/February 2012)

Lydia Artymiw is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1989 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the 1987 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and she has garnered top prizes in major competitions such as the Leeds International in England and the Leventritt in New York. A major recording artist, her seven solo albums for the Chandos label in England have been critically acclaimed; her record “Variations” was a Gramophone Magazine “Critic’s Choice” and “Best of the Year” disc; she was featured on the cover of Gramophone Magazine for the release of her Schumann record; her Mendelssohn record was hailed by Hi-Fi News and the Monthly Guide to Recorded Music as “Best of the Month”; and Ovation Magazine honored her Schubert recording as “Recording of Distinction.” Her Tchaikovsky Seasons (released by Chandos in 1982) is still in print and has sold over 40,000 copies.

Lydia Artymiw is important because she combines so many diverse qualities in such easily managed proportions. She is authoritative in many styles; she wields power and delicacy with equal ease; she is securely equipped with technique; she feels deeply and knows how to communicate her feelings. She stirred her audience repeatedly. –Los Angeles Times


Friday, August 15; 6pm
Music From the High Peaks to Olana’s Orchard
Olana’s Orchards/Barn Complex
$30/person, $25/members
Renowned faculty and international rising young artists perform in Olana’s orchard in an exuberant display of virtuosity and talent. Various chamber music combinations include cello chorus, solo and duo piano, quartets, sextets, and the High Peaks Festival Orchestra in Vivaldi’s Double Violin Concerto, Gershwin, and more. This rare opportunity to see a grand piano performance in the orchards at Olana is something that you do not want to miss! Wine and cheese reception near the orchard at Olana will follow the performance. Advanced registration is requested. Register by Wednesday, August 13 to 518-828-1872 x 109 or [email protected].

Monday, August 18; 5:30pm
Music From the High Peaks
to the Norman Rockwell Museum
Renowned faculty and international young artists will perform chamber music, and the High Peaks Festival Orchestra will present Grieg’s Holberg Suite in an exuberant display of virtuosity and talent, plus selections from Arvo Pärt, Brahms, Vivaldi.
A reception follows the performance. Free with Museum admission, free for members.

Catskill High Peaks Festival: August 10-20
The Catskill High Peaks Festival is a performing and teaching arm of Close Encounters With Music. A summer institute bringing together renowned musicians, pedagogues and exceptionally gifted international students together, it is held in the majestic Northern Catskill Mountains. Surrounded by the iconic scenery – mountain peaks, water falls and charming hamlets – that inspired the Hudson River painters, and that continues to inspire generations of artists, musicians and writer 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, 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 of our time: guitarist Eliot Fisk; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Ara Gergorian and Stefan Milenkovich; pianists James Tocco, Michael Chertock, and Vassily Primakov and cellist Yehuda Hanani.