Close Encounters With Music

PRESS RELEASE ARCHIVE 2009-2010

MUSIC OF DVOŘÁK, SMETANA & JANÁČEK
HIGHLIGHTED AT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC SUMMER GALA
AT THE MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER JUNE 5 and
DOCTOROW CENTER FOR THE ARTS JUNE 6
May 18, 2010

Close Encounters With Music ushers in the summer season in the Berkshires Saturday, June 5, 6PM with Prague Spring—Czech Idyll, a program at the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts celebrating the land of Franz Kafka, bucolic landscapes, and Bohemian crystal. The music of Dvořák, Smetana, and Janáček glows with lyricism and melodiousness. Dvořák’s Piano Quintet, a recognized masterpiece, along with other selections, overflows with Mittel-European ease, cultivation, and affecting tenderness. We are never far, in this music, from the Czech countryside and a languid summer’s evening. The influence of nationalism on nineteenth century music extended to the Czech masters. As Liszt, Brahms, Chopin, and Grieg drew from the folk traditions of Hungary, Poland, and Norway, so too, Dvořák, Smetana, and Janáček, created a distinctively Czech musical voice, reflecting the rhythms and harmonies of native song and dance.
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CHOPIN AND HIS CIRCLE
CHOPIN’S PIANO REVOLUTION WITH ADAM NEIMAN
MUSIC OF INFLUENTIAL CONTEMPORARIES
ALSO HIGHLIGHTED ON APRIL 24 AT
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC’S
MAHAIWE PAC PERFORMANCE
MARCH 11, 2010

Close Encounters With Music continues its 18th season Saturday, April 24, 6PM with Chopin and His Circle, the second of two programs celebrating the bicentennial of Chopin’s birth. From John Field, father of the Nocturne, who paved the way for Frederic Chopin’s masterworks in the genre, to Hummel, whose music he heard in his youth and whose concerti he performed, to the cellist Franchomme, for whom Chopin composed his Cello Sonata, to the charismatic Paganini, a frequent collaborator, this program offers a spectrum of works by Chopin’s friends and mentors, as well as his own sublime Ballades and Nocturnes.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
THE ROMANTIC BACH
Saturday, March 20 at 6 PM
At the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
FEBRUARY 3, 2010

Close Encounters With Music continues its 18th season Saturday, March 20, 6PM offering The Romantic Bach, a selection of Bach’s works reimagined by masters of the Romantic Era who wrestled with his revolutionary legacy. Brahms, Liszt, and Busoni, each from his own perspective, offered homage to the master they all revered through arrangements for the piano, the instrument of choice in their own time. Busoni, the tireless transcriber of Bach’s works, is represented by two Organ-Chorale Preludes, Liszt by an organ Fantasy and Fugue, and Brahms by his brilliant arrangement of the violin Chaconne for piano left hand. The program also includes Bach undiluted in the Violin Sonata No. 3 and the third Suite for Solo Cello and concludes with the premiere of a neo-Bach chamber work composed by Jonathan Keren that was commissioned by Close Encounters.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC
A NIGHT OF QUARTETS
Featuring The Avalon Quartet
Saturday, February 20 at 6 PM
At the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
DECEMBER 22, 2009

Close Encounters With Music continues its 18th season with The Avalon String Quartet (“Engrossed, impassioned and imaginative…” –The New York Times) on Saturday, February 20, 6PM offering A Night of Quartets, a striking program of works by Beethoven, Arensky, and Prokofiev, all mining overlapping Russian folkloric themes. The Opus 59 No. 2 Razumovsky Quartet represents the pinnacle of Beethoven’s quartet writing, revolutionary in character and symphonic in reach. Arensky’s arresting work is for two cellos, and Prokofiev’s Quartet No. 2 bears his infatuation with folk instruments. Yehuda Hanani joins the Quartet in the Arensky at South County’s premier venue, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC ANNOUNCES
IGOR STRAVINSKY'S ICONIC MASTERPIECE: L'HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT
A HOLIDAY CONCERT FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 AT 6 PM
AT THE MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN GREAT BARRINGTON
NOVEMBER 17, 2009

Set to music by Igor Stravinsky, with a libretto based on a Russian folk tale, the much-loved l’Histoire du Soldat is a parable about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a get-rich-quick recipe. The music—orchestral color at the fore—is scored for a septet of strings, winds and percussion; and the story is told by a narrator. Virtuoso violinist Yehonatan Berick leads the performance and other holiday fare, including light-hearted and virtuosic works by Rossini and Eugene Ysaye. Helping participants discover the charm of Stravinsky’s score, Berick and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani will be joined by a diverse ensemble, all of whom are faculty members at the University of Michigan who have served as first desks with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, Rochester Symphony, and other venerable American orchestras across the U.S.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC PRESENTS
“MUSIC ROOMS OF THE GILDED AGE”
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009

Close Encounters’ Conversations With… series opens Sunday, October 11, 2 PM, at Ventfort Hall, Lenox, with Music Rooms of the Gilded Age. Harvey Rosenberg, professor of the History of Interior Design and Architecture at FIT/SUNY for 25 years, and frequent lecturer at Parsons, Pratt and the New School of Interior Design, offers a slide presentation and discussion of how European design principles were incorporated into the Berkshire “cottages” of the Gilded Age.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC ANNOUNCES 2009–2010 SEASON
CELEBRATION AND DISCOVERY:
NEW SEASON HIGHLIGHTS CHOPIN BICENTENNIAL WITH WORKS BY CONTEMPORARIES
AUGUST 27, 2009

A smart blend of classical, contemporary, and cutting edge from October through May

Saturday, October 17 marks the beginning of the highly anticipated 2009-2010 Close Encounters With Music season in the Berkshires. In its 18th year, Close Encounters presents six innovative and captivating programs of chamber music, thirty performers, and more than twenty composers at South County’s premier venue, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. To celebrate the Chopin anniversary year of 2009, Close Encounters will present two programs that include works by Chopin and his contemporaries: Liszt, Hummel, Field, Paganini, Bellini, and Donizetti. In addition, the Conversations With… series resumes on October 11 with “Music Rooms of the Gilded Age” and a “Chopin Hour” on April 25.
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