Mozart, Beethoven, and Ravel on Tap in “Grand Piano Trios II,” Presented by Close Encounters with Music


GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The great masters of the German tradition—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven—and the man who challenged their aesthetic, Maurice Ravel, will be celebrated in a Close Encounters With Music concert on Saturday, May 18 at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St. “Grand Piano Trios II” features violinist Itamar Zorman, pianist Roman Rabinovich and Close Encounters’ artistic director, cellist Yehuda Hanani. This is the second in a series showcasing piano trios that reflect significant junctures in classical music.

The program begins with Mozart’s Trio in B Flat Major and continues with Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Opus 24, also known as the “Spring Sonata.” The second half of the program is devoted to Ravel’s groundbreaking Piano Trio, brimming with ardor and his signature astringent ecstasy (as in “Bolero”!). When it was introduced in 1915, it blazed with new sonorities and contemporary rhythms based on archaic Mediterranean and Basque dances, and it continues to retain its freshness and exoticism 100 years later. The first movement was used extensively as the soundtrack for the film “Un coeur en hiver” (A Heart in Winter) starring Emmanuelle Béart.

Each of the evening’s performers is an acclaimed soloist with an international career. Though a work firmly entrenched in the chamber music repertoire, the Trio requires top-tier virtuosity to realize Ravel’s dazzling vision.

Born in Tel Aviv to a family of musicians, Itamar Zorman is the winner of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia. He previously won first prize at the 2010 Freiburg International Violin Competition in Germany. In 2011, as winner of the Juilliard Berg Concerto Competition, he made his Avery Fisher Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra. Zorman has performed as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and many others. As a chamber musician, he has appeared at Lincoln Center, in Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and at the Kennedy Center. A founding member of the Israeli Chamber Project, Mr. Zorman has toured with the group across Israel and North America for the past four seasons.

Roman Rabinovich is the winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, and has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Israel. Born in Uzbekistan, he began studying piano at age six with his mother; in 1994, he and his parents immigrated to Israel, where he studied at the Rubin Academy of Music. He made his Israel Philharmonic Orchestra debut at age 10, under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and has since appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Ann Arbor Symphony, Dohnányi Orchestra of Budapest, Lubbock Symphony and the Neuchatel Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland), among others. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and with a master’s degree from Juilliard, he is also a visual artist who often combines concerts with exhibitions of his paintings.

Yehuda Hanani is 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, Jerusalem Symphony and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among many others. He has collaborated in performances with Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Itzhak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman and many other lumininaries. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. His pioneering recording of the Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination.

Ticket Information for “Grand Piano Trios II”
Tickets, $42 (orchestra and mezzanine) and $32 (balcony), are available at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 413.528.0100, or online at or

Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. 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. 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. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests. Close Encounters With Music programs have been presented in cities across the U.S. and Canada—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Omaha, Cincinnati, Calgary, Scottsdale, Detroit, at the Frick Collection and Merkin Hall in New York City and at Tanglewood. Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and weekly segments of “Classical Music According to Yehuda” are broadcast and available on podcast on WAMC Northeast Radio and at

Upcoming Close Encounters With Music Concert:

June 8 — “Nordic Lights: Grieg Revival” at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, with Adam Neiman, piano; Ara Gregorian, violin; Mischa Bouvier, baritone; and Yehuda Hanani, cello. With special guest Tina Packer, reading from Ibsen. Music of Edvard Grieg and Johannes Brahms.

For more information about Close Encounters with Music and its 2012–2013 concert schedule, visit