Close Encounters with Music New and Expanded 2010-2011 Season Chamber Orchestras, String Quartets, Stars of Opera, Dance, Theatre, and the Chamber Music World Perform at the Mahaiwe PAC in Great Barrington, Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, The Clark Art Institute, the Hudson Opera House and Lenox Athenaeum Fall, Winter, Spring

Photograph of Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

Inaugural season of CEWM at the Frick Collection in New York City

(Great Barrington, MA) As the Berkshires blaze with Autumn splendor, Close Encounters With Music offers a bountiful harvest of classical, contemporary, and cutting edge music. Now in its 19th season, CEWM presents world-renowned musicians, dancers, composers, and others in works that span the Renaissance to the 21st century, the brilliance of the Italian baroque to the introspection of the Russian masters, the spirituality of the late German Romantics to the extroversion of Latin fusion artists.

The season begins at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 16, 6PM with the Berkshire debut of Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in a program including Tchaikovsky’s lush Serenade for Strings and Prokofiev’s collection of miniature gems of mood, Visions fugitives. The “crème de la Kremlin,” known for its supercharged brilliance, has toured the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America with Misha Rachlevsky, conductor. Artistic director Yehuda Hanani joins as soloist for Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile and Max Bruch’s cantorial, uplifting Kol Nidrei.

With a discography of over 30 recordings, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin garners universal raves: “The ensemble’s music director elicited warm, full-blooded and virtuosic playing with colorfully shaped, gleaming phrases,” The New York Times has written.

The Camerata San Marco, CEWM’s resident Baroque string ensemble, sets off fireworks with Baroque Pantheon, the annual Holiday concert, on Saturday, December 4, 6PM. Here are Baroque composers with a twist: Vivaldi’s sun-dappled orchestral work, of course, but also Geminiani’s Concerto for Two Violins; the lesser known Valentini; Biber’s Battalia, entertainment demonstrating an experimentalism uncharacteristic of the period; and C.P.E. Bach’s Symphony in G, brimming with his signature inventiveness and improvisatory élan.

The late German Romantics sought answers to the West’s malaise in Eastern spirituality, philosophy, poetry and art. Thus Spake German Romanticism on Saturday, March 12, 6PM, highlights this via songs by Mahler, chamber music by Strauss, and the world premiere of Jorge Martín’s Four Noble Truths inspired by Buddhist wisdom and the pathways of the 19th Century German Romantics. Opera star Jennifer Rivera makes her Close Encounters debut: “A ravishing mezzo-soprano bloom from top to bottom, effortlessly negotiating the filigree with grace” – Opera News. She is joined by Walter Ponce, piano, and Yehuda Hanani, cello.

On Saturday, April 16, 6PM, the series continues with Viola Quintets: Dvořák and Mendelssohn. The two exuberant and rarely heard string quintets with viola doubled, Mendelssohn’s Op. 87 and Dvořák’s Op. 97, abound with wit, elegance and some of the most exquisite combinations of string sounds ever conceived. Performers are Yehonatan Berick and Renee Jolles, violins; Toby Appel and Tony DeVroye, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello.

The Avalon String Quartet (“Engrossed, impassioned and imaginative…” – The New Yorker) returns to the Mahaiwe for an electrifying evening on Saturday, May 7, 6PM with works by Steve Reich, Osvaldo Golijov and Schubert. Reich, considered one of “our greatest living composers” by The New Yorker, shares with Golijov the ability to transcend regional and cultural boundaries, incorporating influences from around the world and across time. The program includes Reich’s Holocaust-themed Passing Trains, Golijov’s Tenebrae, and Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, an iconic chamber work that has inspired films by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen.

The season finale, FIESTA! A Latin Splash of Music and Dance, sizzles with the rhythms of Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Spain on Saturday, June 4, 6PM in a most unusual and fun fusion evening at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall in Lenox. Stars from the chamber music and dance world share the stage: David Parsons’ choreography of Astor Piazzolla’s Grand Tango (commissioned by CEWM in 2001), and composer-in-residence Jorge Martín’s hypnotic Ropa Vieja (also a CEWM commission), along with works by Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, and Granados. Performers include Boston Pops favorite Michael Chertock, piano; Bill Schimmel, accordion; Arti Dixson, percussion; Yehuda Hanani, cello; and David Parsons Dance soloists.

An exclusive event for season subscribers on Saturday, February 26, 6PM at The Lenox Athenaeum, the Midwinter Fireside Concert features Chopin, Scriabin, César Franck, and two rising stars: Ukrainian pianist Pavel Gintov, first prizewinner in the first Takamatsu International Piano Competition, and Russian violinist Artur Kaganovsky who recently made his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall.

Close Encounters With Music continues its tea and talk series Conversations with…, intimate and stimulating afternoons of music and exchanges of ideas with notable performers, critics, authors, and cultural personages, on Sunday, November 21, 3PM at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY. CEWM’s Composer-in-Residence, Cuban born Jorge Martín, gives a presentation with musical and visual illustrations on his first full-length opera, Before Night Falls, based on the autobiography of Reinaldo Arenas who chronicled the persecution of gays under Fidel Castro. On May 15, 3PM at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, David Bull, Senior Consultant in the Painting Conservation Department at the National Gallery of Art, explores The Conundrum of Restoration and Interpretation and addresses the question of the shared responsibility of conservators and performers as re-creators: How to implement the artist’s intentions as an interpretive custodian when you are handed a neglected or “aging” painting or score?

This year marks the inaugural season of CEWM at the Frick Collection in New York City with an innovative two-part series. A Gilded Age Evening on October 12 features Lydia Artymiw, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello; and special guest, actor Richard Chamberlain reading from Frick family diaries and period accounts. Chopin in Paris on March 29, a toast to the intimacy of the salon, includes Chopin’s Ballades, Waltzes, Polonaises and Cello Sonata, framed by works of his contemporaries and features Jeffrey Swann, piano and Yehuda Hanani, cello. Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera sings arias by Donizetti and Bellini whose operas influenced Chopin’s “bel canto” piano style.

Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and audiences are encouraged to tune into the new weekly broadcasts of Classical Music According to Yehuda on WAMC Northeast Radio or visit


Close Encounters With Music 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, 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 William Wolfram; 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.


Tickets, $40 (orchestra and mezzanine) and $30 (balcony), are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100, or through Close Encounters With Music at 800-843-0778 or by emailing [email protected]. Subscriptions are $175 ($150 for seniors) for a series of 6 concerts. Visit our website at

Note: Tickets for June 4th concert at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall can be purchased through CEWM only.

2010-11 CALENDAR

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Saturday, October 16, 6PM
Baroque Pantheon: A Holiday Concert Saturday, December 4, 6PM
Thus Spake German Romanticism Saturday, March 12, 6PM
Viola Quintets: Dvorak and Mendelssohn Saturday, April 16, 6PM
The Avalon Quartet: Steve Reich, Osvaldo Golijov and Schubert Saturday, May 7, 6PM

These five performances at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA. A reception with light refreshments follows each concert.

Tickets for Conversations with…. events on Sundays, November 21 and May 15, Hudson Opera House, Hudson NY, are $15 per person which includes refreshments.

Fiesta! A Latin Splash of Music and Dance takes place Saturday, June 4, 6PM, at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Lenox, MA. Tickets: $50 Orchestra and Loges; $40 Balconies.

For information and tickets for the inaugural season of Close Encounters with Music at the Frick Museum in NYC call 212.547.0696 or

“A chamber music series on a par with anything heard at the height of the season. For this, we year-rounders are blessed.” —Rogovoy Report

“There’s a palpable mystique about these Close Encounters concerts.” —Berkshire Eagle

“STUNNER CLOSES SEASON! Though Hanani, Prutsman and Upshaw all performed with that rare combination of mutual understanding and technical finesse which makes for the most satisfying chamber music, Hanani deserves special recognition for his astute program choices.”

—Albany Times Union

“An all-star lineup…CEWM’s usual high caliber.” —Metroland