Close Encounters with Music Presents Fiesta! A Latin Splash of Music and Dance

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APRIL 1, 2011

The 2011-2012 season will mark the 20th anniversary of CEWM’s presence and contribution to the cultural life of the Berkshires. To kick off the celebration of this landmark year, CEWM announces a gala concert at Tanglewood’s famed Ozawa Hall on Saturday, June 4. Fiesta! A Latin Splash of Music and Dance embraces the sizzling rhythms of Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Spain. The program includes Chick Corea’s jazzy, flamenco-inspired La Fiesta!, performed by accordionist Bill Schimmel, one of the principal architects of the tango revival in America; Astor Piazzolla’s Grand Tango, choreographed by David Parsons as a 2001 CEWM commission; Ropa Vieja, a hypnotic work by composer-in-residence Jorge Martin and also a CEWM commission; plus works by Granados, Ginastera, and Villa-Lobos. Close Encounters promises an unusual evening of fusion fun.

A Close Encounters tradition that has featured artists ranging from Sigourney Weaver, Richard Chamberlain, and Jane Alexander to diva Dawn Upshaw , and that has seen world premieres of commissioned works by Osvaldo Golijov and Paul Schoenfield, this first major concert of the Berkshire summer season brings stellar musicians and performers to the Ozawa stage in original productions. Joining artistic director and cellist Yehuda Hanani are pianist Michael Chertock, percussionist Arti Dixson, and premier dancers from the Parsons Company. Fittingly, CEWM—“A celebration of the uncommon in chamber music” (The Miami Herald)—launches its next decade true to form.

“FIESTA: A Latin Splash of Music and Dances” is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 6 PM at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood (Lenox, MA). Tickets for this extraordinary concert are $50 for orchestra seats, $40 for all balconies, and can be purchased by calling 800-843-0778 or online at


“Gorgeous, just the right poetic tone” – Cincinnati Enquirer

Pianist MICHAEL CHERTOCK has fashioned a successful career as an orchestral soloist, appearing, among others, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony. He made his debut at seventeen, performing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Andrew Litton conducting, and has toured Asia with the Boston Pops and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi turned in rave reviews in Gramophone and American Record Guide. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, performing Duke Ellington’s New World A’Comin’. In June 2005 with the Boston Pops Orchestra, he performed the world premiere of a work by Todd Machover, commissioned by the Boston Pops expressly for him.

Yehuda Hanani is “one of the most polished performers of the post-Starker generation and is a consistently expressive artist.” – The New York Times

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, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, and BBC Welsh Symphony, to name a few. He is a frequent guest at the Aspen, Chautauqua, Pablo Casals Prades Festival (France), Finland Festival, Oslo Festival, Ottawa Festival, and the Australia Chamber Music Festival. He has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Dawn Upshaw and Vadim Repin, among others. This distinguished artist made the first recording ever of the monumental Alkan Cello sonata, receiving a Grand Prix du Disque nomination.

“One of the great movers of modern dance.” –The New York Times

DAVID PARSONS founded Parsons Dance in 1987 with lighting designer Howell Binkley. Since then, he has created more than 70 works for the company, through commissions from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, the Spoleto Festival, and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, among others. His works have also been performed by BatSheva Dance Company of Israel, English National Ballet, Feld Ballets/NY, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Nederlands Dans Theatre, and Paris Opera Ballet, among many others. He choreographed and directed the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the Millennium, viewed live on television by billions of people all over the globe.

“Accordion player the star” – The New York Times

WILLIAM SCHIMMEL, virtuoso accordionist, teacher and lecturer, received his diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music and his BM, MS and DMA degrees from the Juilliard School. Mr. Schimmel has performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra in America and enjoys a longstanding relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra. He is founder of the Tango Project, which appeared with Al Pacino in the film Scent of a Woman, won the Stereo Review Album of the Year Award, received a Grammy nomination, and rose to number one on the Billboard Classical Charts. An authority on the music of Kurt Weill, he has recorded all of Weill’s music that employs the accordion and has written many new works for concert hall as well as Broadway and off-Broadway.

Percussionist ARTI DIXSON studied drum set concepts with the legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette. With folk-pop singer Janis Ian, he has performed in most major concert halls in the United States and toured Israel, Japan, Australia, Holland, Belgium, Spain and South Africa. He has also appeared with pianist Ahmad Jamal, throughout Europe as well as at Tanglewood, Saratoga, and Carnegie Hall and has worked at the the Foxwood Casino with Harry Connick and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.


Tickets, $50 (Orchestra) and $40 (Balcony), are available through Close Encounters With Music at 800-843-0778/ or by emailing [email protected]. Visit our website at


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. In addition to tours that have taken the series to cities such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Omaha, Calgary, and Kansas City, and South Florida, Close Encounters presents concerts each season in Scottsdale, Arizona, and in the Berkshires. To date, over one hundred fifty themes have been explored in the series’ programs. 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, and Jorge Martin, 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, 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. In 2006, CEWM presented the world premiere of American composer Paul Schoenfield’s trio for clarinet, cello and piano, released for NAXOS in an all-Schoenfield CD. Naxos is scheduled to release a CD of CEWM’s discovery composer Eduard Franck, one of Felix Mendelssohn’s only students, in 2011 (Yehuda Hanani, James Tocco and Shmuel Ashkenasi), and Albany Records will release a CD of CEWM commissioned Jorge Martin works this summer.

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

For information and tickets for the Close Encounters with Music at the Frick Museum in NYC (October 4, 2011 and March 27, 2012) call 212.547.0696 or


Berkshire Living
“Must-see concerts, engaging hearts and minds.”

Kansas City Star
“Spontaneity, sophistication and gritty music-making….Hanani’s congenial manner and entertaining anecdotes succeeded in bringing the audience closer to the music.”

Omaha World-Herald
“Audiences at the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC series have come to expect the unexpected…..This series demonstrates the important lesson that great music-making does not require superstars from the classical music world.”

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC opened its season with a typically imaginative, ambitious program.”

“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.”

“Close Encounters with Music, under the direction of cellist Yehuda Hanani, began its 19th season Saturday night with a leap of faith that paid off in a stunning performance by the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin.”

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

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

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