What might happen if Robert Langdon, acclaimed professor of Symbology at Harvard University (and fictional hero of Dan Brown’s best-selling novels, including The Da Vinci Code), were enlisted to explore hidden symbols, secret codes, and long-forgotten historical connections buried in manuscripts of choral music over the centuries? Join GRAMMY-nominated Skylark to find out. The Close Encounters With Music season continues with more surprises: Video introductions by author Dan Brown, musical selections drawn from the ancient to the modern, including works by Giuseppe Jannacconi (who wrote in the style of Palestrina), Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer Guillaume du Fay, Hildegard von Blingen, and Benjamin Britten hold the audience riveted as the mysteries are unpacked.
Boston-based Skylark is one of the leading vocal ensembles in the U.S., praised for their “gripping” performances (Times of London) and “original, imaginative, and engrossing” programming. Gramophone has called them passionate…radiant…exquisite…ethereal…thrilling…stunning.” The intriguing mix they bring includes contemporary composers Sarah Rimkus, Fahad Siadat, Per Nørgård, and Gregory W. Brown, brother of Dan Brown, who will also be present with narration during the program.
Since its founding in 2011 in Atlanta and Boston, Skylark has branched out to perform its dynamic programs in museums, concert halls, and churches across the United States. Skylark made its international debut in March 2018 at St. John’s Smith Square, London, as part of the UK choir Tenebrae’s Holy Week Festival. The Times of London declared that Skylark was “the highlight” of a festival that included some of the UK’s leading choirs, including The Tallis Scholars, Polyphony, Tenebrae, and the Gabrieli Consort.
In 2017, Skylark embarked on a historic tour with Clear Voices in the Dark, a compelling program featuring Francis Poulenc’s notoriously difficult Figure Humaine paired with songs of the American Civil War. Skylark’s performance at the French Institute Alliance-Française in New York was described as “fascinating…. impeccable diction and a seamlessly blended sound… Singing in a shimmering pianissimo that rises to a triumphant crescendo, the Skylark ensemble practically opens the heavens with the beauty of their sound…” (Stage Buddy NYC). The previous year, Skylark made its debut at Atlanta’s celebrated Spivey Hall with a chamber performance of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil.
Skylark has conducted residencies at premier colleges and elite secondary schools including Harvard, MIT, Wellesley College, Endicott College, Milton Academy, Woodward Academy, and Philips Exeter Academy. Mathew Guard directs the chorus.
TICKETS Live at Mahaiwe $28/$52/ Virtual $28
ABOUT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
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, Thea Musgrave, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, Robert Beaser, among others—to create over 20 important new works that have already taken their place in the chamber music canon and on CD. A core of brilliant performers includes pianists Max Levinson, Roman Rabinovich, and William Wolfram; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cho-Liang Lin, Vadim Gluzman and clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Emily Marvosh and William Sharp; the Escher, Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Dover, Avalon quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Sam Waterston, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Alexander and Richard Chamberlain Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.
HOW TO REACH US
Close Encounters With Music
Post Office Box 34
Great Barrington, MA 01230