Musical Tribute to a Dear Deceased Fish (Which Happens to be One of Schubert’s Compositional Triumphs!) and Other-Worldly Mozart Piano Quartet Close Encounters with Music Presents “Mozart and Schubert-Marzipan and the ‘Trout'”

Photographs of the Performing Artists

OCTOBER 19, 2018

Two great melodists, two young geniuses in one brilliant evening: Bubbly, like fine Champagne, Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet is one of the most joyous pieces ever written.  A landmark of classical music, it weaves a net of enchantment with its catchy melodies and fresh exuberance.  This piece has it all—elegance, beauty and irrepressible good humor; music from the pen of a 22 year old prodigy inspired by the tragic-comic death of a fish that captures the glories of Nature!  The program also features Mozart’s miraculous Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, a reminder that the unearthly beauties of Mozart defy explanation.  An all-star ensemble that joins artistic director Yehuda Hanani includes pianist Max Levinson (“Brilliant…He uses his wide spectrum of pianistic mechanics for altogether poetic ends, touching the listener deeply and often” –Los Angeles Times); violinist Itamar Zorman (winner of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition); and David Grossman, double bass of the New York Philharmonic.

Max Levinson, piano; Itamar Zorman, violin; Karine Lethiec, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello; David Grossman, double bass


Tickets, $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $27 (Balcony) and $15 for students, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Subscriptions are $250 ($225 for seniors) for the series of 7 concerts tickets are available for purchase at Season subscriptions are available on our website,

Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani has led the series since its founding, providing entertaining, erudite commentary that puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich and amplify the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an opportunity to meet the musicians. Venues include the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the newly renovated Saint James Place in Great Barrington. To complement the musical offerings, two guest speakers, Haydn scholar Caryl Clark, and composer Tamar Muskal are featured in the Conversations With…. series at the West Stockbridge Historical Society and Casana T-House in Hillsdale, NY.
(For Calendar listing, see below.)


Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally 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, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. 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 Rogers Auditorium.

Pianist Max Levinson’s career was launched when he won first prize at the Guardian Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2005, the Andrew Wolf Award for his chamber music playing. The Boston Globe proclaimed: “The questioning, conviction, and feeling in his playing invariably remind us of the deep reasons why music is important to us, why we listen to it, why we care so much about it.” Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Joseph Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber Music Festival (Ouray, Colorado), he has appeared at major music festivals including Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Bravo/Vail, Seattle, Killington, Vancouver, Cartagena, and Switzerland’s Davos Festival. Mr. Levinson is chair of the Piano department at the Boston Conservatory, and a faculty member at the New England Conservatory.

Hailed as a “poet of the violin,” Itamar Zorman is a committed chamber player and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Since his emergence with the top prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he has appeared with major orchestras across the world, including the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Tokyo Symphony in Japan’s Suntory Hall, the Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse in France, the Israel Philharmonic, as well as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Russsian State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya.” As part of an ongoing exploration of the music of Paul Ben-Haim, he is recording a CD of the works for violin and orchestra with BBC National Orchestra of Wales for BIS Records. Zorman is a founding member of the Israeli Chamber Projects and a member of the Lysander Piano Trio, with which he won the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prize in the 2011 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and a bronze medal in the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Mr. Zorman began his studies at the age of six at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv and received his BM degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as a student of Hagai Shaham, his MM from The Julliard School, and Artist Diplomas from the Manhattan School of Music and from Julliard in 2012. He is also an alumnus of the Kronberg Academy where he studied with Christian Tetzlaff. He plays on a Guarneri Del Jesu from 1734, from the collection of Yehuda Zisapel.

Karine Lethiec holds advanced diplomas from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris as well as that of Lyon, the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and the Berne Musikschule Konservatorium. She is an award winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and teaches at the Conservatoire de la ville de Paris. With the Stradivari Quartett, she has recorded the complete Mozart quintets (Dynamic). Lethiec encourages new music by commissioning, programming and performing new works, with over 50 world premieres to her credit. Performances have taken her around the globe—to the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Athens Festival at the Odeon of Herod Atticus, Berlin Festival at Tempelhof, Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Rudolfinum in Prague. An eclectic artist, she directs the Ensemble Calliopée, currently in residence at the Musée de la Grande Guerre des Pays de Meaux (Museum of the Great War) with programs that bring together the fields of music and history. Lethiec wrote the screenplay for the film H136 on the rediscovery of a score composed by Martinu, a member of the Janácek Movement in France. She created and played the soundtrack of Don Kent’s film Juste avant l’orage. With her friend the astrophysicist Hubert Reeves she conceives performances that intertwine the cosmos and music, one of the most notable of which is “Mozart et les étoiles” (Mozart and the Stars).

Double bassist and composer David Grossman enjoys a multifaceted musical career on both the East and West Coasts—as a bassist in the New York Philharmonic (having joined in spring 2000 as its youngest member) and as newly appointed principal bass of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist and clinician, Mr. Grossman has given recitals and master classes at prestigious venues and music schools across the country, including the Boston Conservatory, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music and The Hartt School. He has released two albums—one classical and one jazz—titled The Bass of Both Worlds. An ardent educator, he is a member of the double bass faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and joined the Mannes School of Music in fall 2017. Also a passionate chamber musician, he performs in the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series at Merkin Concert Hall and has appeared at 92nd Street Y and with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the field of jazz, Mr. Grossman was a member of the Marcus Roberts Trio and has performed with Wynton Marsalis. His compositions include Mood Swings for trombone and double bass, written for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi; Fantasy on “Shall We Gather at the River?”; and two early compositions, Swing Quartet and String Quintet No. 1, which were premiered by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


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 and enlighten the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time—Joan Tower, Judith Zaimont, Lera Auerbach, Robert Beaser, Kenji Bunch, Osvaldo Golijov, John Musto, and Paul Schoenfield 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, Roman Rabinovich, Soyeon Kate Lee, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists,Shmuel Ashkenasi, Vadim Gluzman, Julian Rachlin, Peter Zazofsky, Itamar Zorman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Danielle Talamantes and Kelley O’Connor; the Muir, Manhattan, Ariel, Vermeer, Escher, Avalon, Hugo Wolf, Dover string quartets; and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet 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 programs have been presented in cities across the U.S. and Canada—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Omaha, Cincinnati, Calgary, Detroit, at the Frick Collection and Merkin Hall in New York City, at The Clark in Williamstown, at Tanglewood and in Great Barrington, MA, as well as in Scottsdale, AZ. Summer performances have taken place at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. This year, the High Peaks Festival moved to the Berkshires to the Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA, where it has continued as the educational mission of Close Encounters With Music with fifty international students in residence for an immersive course of study and performance.