Close Encounters With Music

September 7, 2016
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC ANNOUNCES 25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
WITH ITS SIGNATURE MIX OF INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS—CHAMBER ORCHESTRA KREMLIN LAUNCHES SEASON OCTOBER 15;
LA GUITAR QUARTET TAKES THE STAGE; SEASON FINALE COMMEMORATES 100 YEARS OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE; CELEBRITY TALKS, FIRESIDE CONCERT; COMMISSIONS, COLLABORATIONS, CELEBRATIONS ALL SEASON

Celebration of String, Piano, and Opera Virtuosos and Stars of the Chamber Music World in Concerts at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington Fall, Winter, Spring 2016-2017

(Great Barrington, MA…) Embarking on its 25th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, the Berkshires’ premier chamber music organization Close Encounters With Music CELEBRATES a landmark anniversary! It will be a season of commemorations and discoveries, world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces, and continued expansion of original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music.

Concurrent with celebrating its 25th, CEWM marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in NY State and declares 2016-17 the Year of the Woman, launching a three-season initiative to bring works by women composers to the fore! The season culminates with a gala concert of commissions—a “quilt” of miniatures by Thea Musgrave, Tamar Muskal, Joan Tower, and Judith Zaimont, musical portraits of suffragettes and other women of valor—Ethel Smyth, Emma Lazarus, and Sojourner Truth—who advanced the causes of everyone with their steadfastness, ingenuity and idealism. A light shines on the work and life of French composer Augusta Holmès and her relationship with Camille Saint-Saëns and César Franck—and two superstar speakers (see Conversations With… panel) present women’s themes.

Featured performers this season are the Escher Quartet, which has risen meteorically to the highest echelons of the string quartet firmament; Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes (“The luminous shimmer, bright finish and clarion high notes brought pure sunshine to everything she sang”—Washington Post), pianists Roman Rabinovich, Michael Brown, Renana Gutman and Ieva Jokubaviciute; the outstanding Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, plus CEWM returning favorites and brilliant performers making their debuts. From October to June, it’s a season NOT TO BE MISSED!

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 enlighten the concert experience. Each concert is framed by an introduction before the music, and is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception with an informal “talk-back” and an opportunity to meet the musicians. Venues include the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the newly renovated Saint James Place in Great Barrington; Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox; and the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY.

(For Calendar listings, see below.)


Chamber Orchestra Kremlin—Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Haydn
Saturday, October 15, 6 PM

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), Students $15

The season opens Saturday, October 15, at 6 PM with the return of audience favorite Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in a panoramic program of Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich (augmentation of his powerful 8th String Quartet). The grand and lush sweep of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings was not lost on the composer himself who said, “I am violently in love with this work and cannot wait for it to be played.” Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C was discovered in a private music collection in Czechoslovakia in 1964 and has since been embraced by cellists as one of the major solo vehicles for their instrument. Carving out a singular niche, the “crème de la Kremlin” tours the US, Europe, Asia, and South America annually, and has recorded over thirty CDs with its signature supercharged brilliance (“The ensemble’s music director elicited warm, full-blooded and virtuosic playing with colorfully shaped, gleaming phrases” —The New York Times).

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Misha Rachlevsky, conductor; Yehuda Hanani, cello

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The Passion of Camille Saint-Saëns and César Franck—Cherchez la Femme!
Saturday, December 3, 6 PM

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), Students $15

Tout Paris was in love with the alluring Augusta Holmès, a student at the Conservatoire, later a pivotal figure in the artistic circles of fin-de-siècle Paris (her daughters were famously painted at the piano by Renoir). The tie that binds together the brilliantly virtuosic Saint-Saëns Violin Sonata No. 1 and the smoldering Franck Piano Quintet is the composers’ shared unrequited adoration of Augusta. Dubbed the “quintet of discontent” it was dedicated to Saint-Saëns, who walked out of the first performance while Madame Franck quietly seethed at the transparency of this emotional exposé of passion. One of the masterpieces of the repertoire, it provides musical high drama and a glimpse into a fevered soul. Holmès’s own salute to love opens the program on Saturday, December 3 at 6 PM.

Roman Rabinovich, piano; Diana Cohen and Sarah McElravy, violin; Xiao-Dong Wang, viola; Yehuda Hanani, cello

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Mid-Winter Fireside Concert
The Intimate Bach
Saturday, February 18, 6 PM

Saint James Place, Great Barrington, MA
FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS ($35 FOR THE PUBLIC, $15 FOR STUDENTS)

The wonders of Bach are inexhaustible, and after decades of intimate dialogue with the suites, artistic director Yehuda Hanani is “still awed by his mastery, his architectural strength and harmonic daring, the human truth reflected in his balancing tension and release.” Three of the sublime unaccompanied suites that have taken dances from the courts of Europe and lifted them to the most spiritual realm will be presented in contrasting modern and historical approaches on modern cello and baroque cello. These are works that were conceived under uneven nonelectric light, predating the metronome, paved roads, and assembly lines, with no two performances or performers alike—an unending realm of possibilities. CEWM is delighted to return Saturday, February 18 at 6 PM to the legendary acoustics of the newly “converted” Saint James Place, its earliest home.

Yehuda Hanani, cello; Kivie Cahn-Lipman, baroque cello

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Beethoven Journey--Early, Middle and Late
Saturday, March 18, 6 PM

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), Students $15

Saturday, March 18 at 6 PM represents three stops along Ludwig’s journey, from disciple of Haydn to Olympian master and from historical time and place to transcending earthly connections. The early Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, a middle-period Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor, and the glorious “Archduke” Trio. Winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Michael Brown has been described by The New York Times as a “young piano visionary” and “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers.” Violinist Rachel Lee Priday, acclaimed for her beauty of tone, riveting stage presence, and “irresistible panache” (Chicago Tribune), has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras, including the Chicago, St. Louis, Houston, and Seattle Symphony orchestras, the Boston Pops, and the Berlin Staatskapelle.

Michael Brown, piano; Rachel Lee Priday, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

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The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, April 15, 6 PM

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), Students $15

Acclaimed for musical insights and rare tonal beauty, and championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the Escher has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. They served as BBC New Generation Artists and gave debuts at the BBC Proms, are winners of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and perform as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For this program, they bring their special sheen to Mendelssohn’s gripping Quartet in E minor, opus 80, saturated with poetic melancholy and written in memory of his beloved sister Fannie; to the Bartok Quartet No. 3, whose string quartets in particular achieve a fusion of folk and Western art music; and Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartet in E minor, opus 59, No. 2, resplendent in its cosmic grandeur. Three landmark works of chamber music delivered by new stars in the quartet firmament, Saturday, April 15 at 6 PM.
“Clearly one of the finest quartets of their generation” (The Guardian)

The Escher String Quartet: Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre La Pointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello

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The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Saturday, May 6, 6 PM

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $25 (Balcony), Students $15

The Grammy Award-winning LAGQ is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre, consistently playing to sold-out houses world-wide. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground. Haunting music from the time of Cervantes, breathtaking transcription from the opera Carmen, Copland Mexican songs, Jazz, and an arrangement of the Bach Brandenburg as well as Far East and Irish classics will transport listeners around the world in a single concert experience! Saturday, May 6 at 6 PM.

“The world’s hottest classical ensemble or its tightest pop band? However it helps you to think about the LAGQ, keep the emphasis on superlatives for its unrivaled joy, technical élan and questing spirits.” —Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet: John Dearman, Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant, guitar

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Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman—Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage
Saturday, June 10, 6 PM

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony), Students $15

Anonymous may have been a woman composer. Clara Schumann, Fannie Mendelssohn, Germaine Tailleferre, Maria Theresia von Paradis, Ethel Smyth, Lili Boulanger, Amy Beach, Marianna Martinez, and Augusta Holmès (120-some songs!), move from footnotes to forces in the annals of classical music as women gain the vote and their artistic voices. Extraordinary works by these fearless female composers include songs and sonatas displaying the genius of Fannie, Clara, Amy and Augusta; Tailleferre’s richly romantic Piano Trio; von Paradis’ shimmering Sicilienne; Piano Sonata in G Major by Martinez, a study in beauty and classicism, plus the Mozart four-hand piano sonata she performed with Amadeus himself. Additionally, to kick off a multi-year celebration of women in music, CEWM has commissioned a “quilt” of miniatures by Thea Musgrave, Tamar Muskal, Joan Tower, and Judith Zaimont, musical portraits of suffragettes and other ladies of valor—Smyth, Emma Lazarus, Sojourner Truth, and Candace Wheeler—who advanced the causes of women and everyone else with their steadfastness, ingenuity and idealism. Saturday, June 10, 6 PM.

Renana Gutman and Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; Xiao-Dong Wang, violin; Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Yehuda Hanani, cello


In the Close Encounters With Music tradition, each performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants.


MORE THAN MUSIC:

Close Encounters With Music continues its listen and talk series, Conversations With… intimate and stimulating afternoons of music, literature and exchanges of ideas with notable performers, critics, authors, and cultural personages.

Shattering the Glass Ceiling – Brigadier General (Ret.) Carol Eggert
Sunday, November 20, 3 PM

Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY
Tickets: $15 includes light refreshment

Joining the military as a French horn player, recently retired Brigadier General Carol Eggert has served in a wide variety of field and staff positions, including battalion command and overseas deployments to Germany, Italy, Nicaragua and Lithuania. During a combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as Chief of the Women’s Initiatives Division and Senior Liaison to the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, she developed a strategic plan for the economic and political empowerment of Iraqi women under the U.S. Secretary of State. In recognition of her contributions to the military, she has received numerous awards and commendations, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal. Weaving personal biography with history, General Eggert will provide first-hand insights that resonate with our celebration of women’s full assumption of roles in government and the arts.
$15 includes light refreshment

Author Linda Hirshman and The Feminine Mystique
Sunday, May 14, 3 PM

The Mount, Lenox, MA
Tickets: $15 includes light refreshment

Lawyer, best-selling author, and cultural historian Linda Hirshman has chronicled battles that have changed the social landscape of America in her books Get to Work: A Manifesto For Women of the World, Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex, and others. Her dual biography of Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sisters in Law reveals how these trailblazers shaped the legal framework of modern feminism. Hirshman has written for a variety of periodicals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Daily Beast, and participated herself in cases in the United States Supreme Court representing organized labor. She has also spent time in academia, teaching law, and philosophy and women’s studies at Brandeis University. A charismatic speaker, she will analyze the 14th and 19th Amendments in tandem as two paths to equality in the suffrage effort and as they affected private and public lives of women.
$15 includes light refreshment

For further information and to make reservations: 800.843.0778 or cewmusic@aol.com.


Close Encounters on the Radio/Podcast

Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and audiences are encouraged to tune in to the new weekly broadcasts of “Classical Music According to Yehuda” on WAMC Northeast Radio or visit www.wamc.org.


ABOUT 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 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—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 James Tocco, Adam Neiman, Walter Ponce, Lydia Artymiw and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman and Erin Keefe; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Amy Burton, Jennifer Aylmer, Robert White, Lucille Beer and William Sharp; the Vermeer, Amernet, Muir, Manahattan, Avalon, Hugo Wolf, Dover quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; 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 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; and the Catskill High Peaks Festival continued the educational mission of Close Encounters With Music with fifty international students in residence in the Great Northern Catskills at the Carey Center for Global Good in an immersive course of study and performance.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets, $45 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $25 (Balcony) and $15 for students, are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Subscriptions are $225 ($195 for seniors) for a series of 7 concerts. Visit our website at www.cewm.org.


2016-2017 CALENDAR

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin—Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Haydn
Saturday, October 15, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

The Passion of Camille Saint-Saëns and César Franck—Cherchez la Femme!
Saturday, December 3, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

Mid-Winter Fireside Concert--The Intimate Bach
Saturday, February 18, 6PM
Saint James Place, Great Barrinton, MA

Beethoven Journey--Early, Middle and Late
Saturday, March 18, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

The Art of the String Quartet
Saturday, April 15, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Saturday, May 6, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman—Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage
Saturday, June 10, 6 PM
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA.
Saint James Place is at 352 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA.
A reception with light refreshments follows each concert.


Conversations With…

“Shattering the Glass Ceiling” with Brigadier General Carol Eggert at the Hudson Opera House (Hudson, NY) is on Sunday, November 20 at 3 PM. $15 per person includes light refreshments.

“Author Linda Hirshman and The Feminine Mystique” is at The Mount (Lenox, MA) on Sunday, May 14 at 3 PM. $15 per person includes light refreshments.

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“The Berkshires are home to distinguished cultural events, but none so brilliant, perhaps, as the chamber music series Close Encounters With Music.” —Berkshire Record

“…A stunning, majestic resolution, a brilliant ending to an unforgettable encounter with music. Bravi!” —The Berkshire Edge

“...To experience the finest music ever written, presented by leading musicians of the day, in the inviting atmosphere of the Berkshires, is the best of all possible worlds. . . The quality of Lincoln Center with an intimacy that exceeds it....”
—Yehuda Hanani, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

HOW TO REACH US

Close Encounters With Music
Post Office Box 34
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Mahaiwe Box Office: 413.528.0100
CEWM: 800.843.0778
Web: www.cewm.org
Email: cewmusic@aol.com

MEDIA CONTACT
For images, interviews, information:
Pamela Dreyfus Smith, Marketing Director
Phone: 800.843.0778
Email: cewmusic@aol.com