The PRISM Quartet at TurnPark, West Stockbridge, MA

The PRISM Quartet

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 5 PM

Close Encounters With Music presents, in collaboration with TurnPark Art Space: The PRISM Quartet’s popular program, Hit Parade, features a cross-section of traditional and contemporary music. New works reflect the enormous range of cultural and aesthetic influences on today’s composers. Praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for its ability to “move effortlessly between styles,” the program includes two stunningly beautiful sets of adaptations: Schumann Bouquet, selections from Robert Schumann’s Album for the Young, arranged for the PRISM Quartet by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom; and selected movements from Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino’s Pagine (Pages), a book of adaptations of works by J. S. Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, George Gershwin, Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, and more.

Admission $25. Attendance is limited to 100. Reserve your spot  HERE.


Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles. “A bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets” (The New York Times), PRISM has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America, China, and Russia under the auspices of USIA and USArtists International. PRISM has also appeared as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute and the Oberlin Conservatory. Two-time recipients of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has commissioned nearly 300 works by eminent composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Julia Wolfe, William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, and Bernard Rands; MacArthur “Genius” Award recipients Tyshawn Sorey, Bright Sheng, and Miguel Zenón. PRISM’s discography is extensive, with releases on Albany, BMOP/Sound, ECM, innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, New Focus, Orange Mountain Music, and its own label, XAS Records. The Fifth Century, PRISM’s ECM recording with The Crossing, was awarded a 2018 Grammy for Best Choral Performance.

PRISM musicians: Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, Matthew Levy, Zachary Shemon

Close Encounters With Music offered a series of virtual programs starting last July to keep the music going through out the pandemic. The decision was made to present the Berkshire High Peaks Festival virtually for the first time ever in Summer 2020, followed by an August live-streamed concert, “From Bach to Bachianas,” a guitar/cello recital featuring Eliot Fisk and Yehuda Hanani on stage in an empty Mahaiwe Theater. These and the October through April concerts that followed (“The French Connection,” A Night at the Opera,” Debussy and Brahms with the Escher Quartet, “Forever Bach – the Cello Suites,” Sebastians Baroque Ensemble) remain available for viewing on,, and both organizations’ YouTube channels, and have collected thousands of views.

Two magical outdoor programs titled “Wine & Song,” took place on May 23 and June 13 at Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox featuring vocalists Emily Marvosh, Sonja Tengblad, pianist Joseph Turbessi and the a cappella jazz ensemble West Side Five.

“The September 18 partnership with TurnPark Art Space is a wonderful transition from summer outdoors to indoor spaces this autumn. We are hopeful that we can begin a gradual return to concert presentation as we know it in on November 21—in person, and with a live audience at the Mahaiwe—with a rousing celebratory program postponed from June of 2020,” says artistic director Yehuda Hanani. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to scenic TurnPark, followed by our Great Reopening at the Mahaiwe!” 


Close Encounters With Music is in its 29th year of presenting music and other programming to audiences in the Berkshires and beyond. 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, Tamar Muskal, Thea Musgrave, 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 who appear regularly with Close Encounters includes: pianists, Roman Rabinovich, Soyeon Kate Lee, Inna Faliks, Max Levinson and Michael Chertock; violinists, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Vadim Gluzman, Julian Rachlin, Peter Zazofsky, Itamar Zorman and Hagai Shaham; 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 Sam Waterston, 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 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, Mass., as well as the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Summer performances have taken place at the New York State Museum, Basilica Hudson, Orpheum Theatre in Tannersville, and in the orchard at Olana.  The Berkshire High Peaks Festival takes place each July at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., as the educational initiative of Close Encounters With Music with fifty international students in residence for an immersive course of study and performance.


TurnPark Art Space combines a sculpture park, exhibition venues, and a stone amphitheater for outdoor performances. Conceived and founded by Igor Gomberg and Katya Brezgunova as an art space and a place for exploration for both children and adults, the park showcases contemporary architecture and sculpture at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains. Situated on 16-acres of a former quarry in the town of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, TurnPark Art Space boasts a unique and diverse landscape. There are hills, meadows, a lake, and a 65-foot vertical drop offering breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape.


Close Encounters With Music

Post Office Box 34

Great Barrington, MA 01230



CEWM e-mail: [email protected]  

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