Great Quintets — Dvořák and Brahms

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

Dvořák’s sublime Piano Quintet in A Major occupies a lofty place in the chamber music canon, at the same elevation as Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34.  Simply put, both works are majestic, symphonic in scope, and invite the listener into a lost world of powerful beauty, profundity, and nobility of sentiments, peppered […]

Café Vienna — Nervous Splendor

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

The imperial “City of Song” has played an essential role as a leading European cultural center, hosting major personalities in the development of music, as well as literature, painting, psychiatry and intellectual thought, from the 16th to 20th centuries. As in the architecture, musical styles that sprang up are a mix of Baroque, Classical, Art […]

Something Borrowed, Something Blue — Cross-Cultural Synergy

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

The Romans appropriated the entirety of classical Greek culture, and the Renaissance rediscovered and revitalized it.  Then came Rodin and Greek Revival in American architectural style. An Egyptomania craze gripped 19th century Europe and found its way into operas (Aida, Samson and Delilah), couture (harem pants as high fashion), architectural idioms, decorative arts, music and […]

A Bach Family Concert — Celtic Baroque Band Makaris

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

In his dance suites, J. S. Bach ventures into Spanish sarabandes, French bourrées and British gigues. He and family members delighted in arranging Celtic and Scottish folk music. They will be joined by Beethoven and Haydn, who also forayed into Irish folk music with their own arrangements. Makaris formed in 2018 to explore the broad […]

Nocturne — Night and Dreams

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

Nuances of the night are explored in this multi-faceted program. Release from the brightness of daylight, from consciousness into sleep and dreaminess, the night’s seductive, mysterious potion-like allure has fascinated artists throughout the ages. Lullabies celebrate repose, the restful charm; serenades celebrate love. Other works mark the fear of darkness, the unseen and what may […]

Virtue and Virtuosity

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

The words are intricately related but diverge. Virtuosity: music that glorifies the possibilities of the instrument and the prowess of the performer—that titillates and stuns the audience in the Romantic tradition of Paganini.  It’s the violinist tight-rope walking on the strings, performing impossible feats, stretching the capabilities of the instrument, creating pacts with the Devil. […]

Gala Concert: Schubert “Trout” and Schumann Piano Quintet

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

** Concert Tickets Still Available! Gala Dinner is Sold Out. ** 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. […]

The Escher String Quartet – Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Ruth Crawford Seeger

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

The Souvenir de Florence String Sextet takes us on a musical excursion to Italy, where Tchaikovsky spent some of his happiest times— reflected in the unforgettable tunes and warm cantabile style. Assessments of the work’s national style—Italianate or inescapably Russian—differ, but the sextet is quintessential Tchaikovsky, suffused with his characteristic longing and incomparable melodies. Ravel’s […]

From Bach Brandenburg to Appalachian Spring with Manhattan Chamber Players

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

Bringing a “mellifluous blend of vigorous intensity and dramatic import, performed with enthusiasm, technical facility and impressive balance,” the 13-strong Manhattan Chamber Players make their Close Encounters With Music debut this season. In a program both orchestral (Brandenburg No. 3 and Copland’s iconic Appalachian Spring and reduced to octet for Mendelssohn’s early work (“Its youthful […]

“Pictures at an Exhibition”— A Gallery Stroll

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

A work in ten movements by Modest Mussorgsky that was inspired by a visit to an art exhibition, "Pictures at an Exhibition" is a showpiece where only the most virtuosic pianists dare to tread! It is also a perfect point from which to explore the common language of music and art, which share not only […]

Grand Piano Trios—Beethoven’s “Ghost” and “Archduke”

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

A virtual symphony for three musicians, expansive and noble—like the Austrian Archduke who was the dedicatee—the great “Archduke” is more than a trio. It offered Beethoven the perfect vehicle for the development of his compositional techniques and the exploration of instrumental brilliance and virtuosity with three independent, powerful voices. In the “Ghost” Trio, conjuring up […]

Grand Opening: Otherworldly Schubert and “One Earth”

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

Tamar Muskal’s twice-postponed work will receive its long-awaited world premiere, kicking off the new season with a musical adventure. In the words of the composer, “We live in a very challenging time—a time of war, sickness, climate disasters, and economic difficulties. One Earth, for a rapper/beatbox artist, table player, string quintet and a treble chorus, […]

Musica Latina

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

Classical Spanish and Flamenco dancer and choreographer Irene Rodriguez has been the leading figure of Spanish dance in Cuba. Described as “an intense, exacting dancer” by the New York Times, she exudes charisma and artistic excitement. In addition to a new dance work that will be specifically choreographed for Close Encounters, she is joined by […]

Reeds and Strings

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

First oboist of the New York Philharmonic Liang Wang leads the way from Mozart’s Oboe Quartet to Cimarosa’s Oboe Concerto and Britten’s Metamorphosis. Tchaikovsky Competition winner, violinist Itamar Zorman, violinist Susan Heerema, violist Michael Strauss and Yehuda Hanani perform the Beethoven String Trio in C minor, written in his dramatic, misterioso key. This concert is […]

SKYLARK A Cappella Vocalists: Hidden Symbols, Secret Codes

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

What might happen if Robert Langdon, acclaimed professor of Symbology at Harvard University (and fictional hero of Dan Brown’s best-selling novels, including The Da Vinci Code), were enlisted to explore hidden symbols, secret codes, and long-forgotten historical connections buried in manuscripts of choral music over the centuries? Join GRAMMY-nominated Skylark to find out. Featuring video […]

A Night of Chopin and Brahms—Presenting Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA, United States

Some of the most astounding keyboard music ever written, Chopin’s Four Scherzi receive a masterful performance by the most recent Cliburn laureate (“superbly assured pianism” – BBC Music). He is joined by violinist Daniel Phillips, violist Daniel Panner and cellist Yehuda Hanani for Brahms’s epic Piano Quartet Opus 25 in G minor with its intoxicating […]