Close Encounters with Music Presents the Linden String Quartet & Friends in Works of Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn

Photograph of the Linden String Quartet

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Standouts in a chamber music landscape that is populated by exceptional young string quartets, the Linden has been heard at festivals from Ravinia to Caramoor, Banff, and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, collecting honors and prizes along the way. In their Berkshire debut performance, the brilliant and dynamic Linden Quartet (“Fire and Flare” –The Strad) will be heard on Saturday, March 22 at 6PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in an intensely passionate, lyrical and utterly winning program.

The centerpiece is Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, written for a St. Petersburg chamber music society as a musical souvenir of his visit to Italy as he recovered from a disastrous marriage and developed an infatuation with the city that spawned the Renaissance. Florence worked its magic on Tchaikovsky, and the result is one of the most delightful and charming pieces in the repertory, for string sextet. Cellist and artistic director Yehuda Hanani and French violist Pierre-Henri Xuereb join the Linden for this work.

The Linden Quartet will also offer Felix Mendelssohn’s Quartet opus 13 in A minor and Tchaikovsky’s popular Andante Cantabile. Richly romantic, and notable for its uplifting and optimistic spirit, outpouring of sheer beauty and belief in a bright future, the Mendelssohn quartet, written when the composer was 18, recalls the overture to the incidental music to A Midsummer’s Night Dream, at the same time offering a tribute to Beethoven by modeling itself on his late quartets. One of Tchaikovsky’s most successful compositions, the Andante Cantabile, first performed in a quartet concert honoring Leo Tolstoy, and has been rewritten for many other instrumental combination.

Ticket Information for “An Evening with the Linden Quartet
Tickets, $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), are available at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100; through Close Encounters With Music at 800-843-0778; or by emailing [email protected]. A four-concert subscription is available for $140/ $120 for seniors. Visit Performances are supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

For more information about Close Encounters with Music and its 2013–2014 concert schedule, visit For your listening pleasure here is a YouTube of the Linden String Quartet performing Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major.

Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) 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, and 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 Jeffrey Swann; 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.

Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and weekly broadcasts of “Classical Music According to Yehuda” are broadcast on WAMC Northeast Radio and at

For more information about Close Encounters with Music and its 2013–2014 concert schedule, visit