Trio Program Explores Mysticism and Timelessness in Music


APRIL 12, 2008

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – Close Encounters With Music will present Transcendental Night on April 12, 2008, at 8 p.m. at Theater 4301 in downtown Scottsdale. The series is underwritten by The Richard and Deborah Felder Foundation.

Single tickets are available for $25 from the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Web site at or the box office at (480) 994-ARTS (2787).

Close Encounters With Music brings together sublime chamber music, distinguished performers and musical commentary, all in the intimate setting of Theater 4301. Transcendental Night features acclaimed pianist Walter Ponce, violinist Yehonatan Berick and cellist Yehuda Hanani performing a program that explores mysticism and timelessness in music. The recital includes Beethoven’s Ghost Trio, Rachmaninoff’s Trio Elegiaque, piano works by Franz Liszt and Alexander Scriabin and the world premiere of Jorge Martin’s Recuerda (To Remember) for solo cello. A reception with the artists will follow the performance.

Internationally acclaimed pianist Walter Ponce has been heard in the most important concert halls of every major city of North and South America as well as in Europe, Japan, Korea and Africa. He came to the United States at age 17 on a Fulbright grant, receiving a Master’s and doctorate from The Juilliard School, where he was one of three students chosen to study with Vladimir Horowitz. Ponce is now professor and head of the piano area at UCLA.

A prize winner at the 1993 Naumburg Competition and a recipient of the 1996–97 Prix Opus, violinst Yehonatan Berick is a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and pedagogue. He has performed with symphony orchestras and at leading festivals world-wide. Currently professor of violin at the University of Michigan, he can be heard on recordings on the Summit, Gasparo and Helicon labels. 

The founder and artistic director of the Close Encounters With Music chamber series, Yehuda Hanani has performed as a soloist with numerous symphony orchestras, and he is a frequent guest at festivals in the United States, Europe and Australia. He has collaborated with music luminaries such as Aaron Copland, Leon Fleisher and Itzhak Perlman, and he has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works by leading contemporary composers. Professor of cello at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Hanani has released CDs of Vivaldi and Bach that have become best-selling standard setters.

Jorge Martin is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Academy Award in Music and a Cintas Fellowship in Music (for distinguished creative artists of Cuban descent). His works have been performed across the United States and Europe, and he has received numerous commissions, including two from 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 Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. He is joined by familiar musicians from the Close Encounters roster of artists as well as brilliant newcomers.

For additional information about Close Encounters With Music and featured artists please visit

Accommodations for the artists are graciously provided by The Ritz Carlton, Phoenix. The Steinway piano is available to the series through the generosity of Steinway of Phoenix. Cookies for the reception are generously provided by AJ’s Fine Foods.

Theater 4301 is located in the Galleria Corporate Centre at 4301 Scottsdale Road on the corner of Drinkwater Boulevard and Fifth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, one block east of Scottsdale Road. Free parking is available in the Galleria Corporate Centre parking garage.

Students with valid student identification may purchase half-price tickets (subject to availability; limit one per student) 72 hours before any performance at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts box office. Tickets must be purchased in-person; phone orders are not accepted.