Close Encounters With Music

From the Stage to Your Screen

presented by Close Encounters With Music and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
These performances were offered free online, with support from our generous donors.
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Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 7:30 pm
The Sebastians Baroque Ensemble
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA

Known for their “energetic… youthful, vigorous performance style…” they have been called New York’s “leading young early-music ensemble” – The New York Times

Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord; Daniel Lee and Nicholas DiEugenio, violin; Jessica Troy, viola; Ezra Seltzer, violoncello; Nathaniel Chase, violone; David Ross, traverso
Yehuda Hanani, cello

Program details


Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Felix, Fanny and Frederic:
Chopin and the Mendelssohns

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA

No one matched Chopin’s genius in the realm of the keyboard, and, as Schumann declared, hearing the incomparably tender and rousing Piano Trio in D minor, “Mendelssohn is the Mozart of the 19th century.”

Irina Muresanu, violin; Max Levinson, piano;
Yehuda Hanani, cello

Program details

Previous programs:

Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Forever Bach - The Celestial Suites for Unaccompanied Cello
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA

“In this era of the cello, Hanani is among the best.  His Bach was absorbing, imaginative, beautiful in all respects.” – San Francisco Examiner

Yehuda Hanani, cello

Program details

Embarking on its 29th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, the Berkshires’ premier chamber music organization Close Encounters With Music embraces its second quarter-century with a new season of chamber music treasures and discoveries, world-renowned musicians and extraordinary new faces, original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music—streamed online throughout the fall to meet the challenges facing live performing arts. The continuation of the regular in-person Season 2021 is pending COVID-19 developments.

Close Encounters With Music will partner with the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and Classical WMHT-FM to present the series of three concerts October through December filmed live from the Mahaiwe stage and available for everyone to access—with the illuminating and personal insights from artistic director Hanani that audiences have enjoyed for over twenty-eight years, plus an “Afterglow” chat with guest musicians.

CEWM online offerings were launched in July when the decision was made to present an entirely virtual Berkshire High Peaks Festival, with the participation of 46 international string, piano and vocal students, followed by the August 2nd livestreamed concert, “From Bach to Bachianas,” a guitar/cello recital featuring Eliot Fisk and Yehuda Hanani on stage in an empty Mahaiwe theater. Videos of festival presentations and more are available on the Close Encounters With Music YouTube Channel.

These performances will be offered free online. Donations of any amount are appreciated to keep our organization strong until we can all gather safely again in concert halls for live music.

Yehuda Hanani, Artistic Director
"Classical Music
According to Yehuda"

on WAMC Northeast Radio,
RoundTable Discussion
Over 200 podcasts
 Read more

Close Encounters With Music
greatly appreciates
your support.

Dear Close Encounters Family and Friends,

The essence of Close Encounters is the frisson of communal sharing in the transportive magic of music.  We miss you, and miss that warm camaraderie of the "cultural salon" atmosphere that you provide for our concerts. 

Realizing full well the impossibility of duplicating this unique experience, we are sharing with you some videos from past programs to sweeten your confinement, with the promise of a joyous artistic celebration when we resume.   

Stay well in body and spirit, and keep in touch! 

Fondly, Yehuda Hanani, Artistic Director

Composer Tamar Muskal on the coming world premiere of her new groundbreaking piece --
our latest commission -- moved to April 25, 2021.

Artistic director Yehuda Hanani performs the Claude Bolling Suite for
Cello and Jazz Trio at the Berkshire High Peaks Music Festival.
Piano: Michael Chertock; Bass: James Cammack;
Percussion: Arti Dixson
Prayer by Ernest Bloch at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Yehuda Hanani and Brian Suits


The Covid19 Virus is affecting our concert schedule.
Please visit our website for updated information.

Thank you.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC stands at the intersection of music, art, and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite, lively commentary puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich and enlighten your concert experience.

Join our community of friends and patrons as we celebrate our 28th season of bringing together sublime chamber music, distinguished performers, and musical commentary, all in convivial settings. 

Whether it is commissions of major works by famous composers, children’s educational projects, an international summer festival and residency, a weekly radio show on WAMC-FM designed to attract new classical music listeners, collaborations with prominent arts organizations including Jacob’s Pillow, Norman Rockwell Museum, The Mount, Olana, The Frick, The Clark, Hudson Opera House and many more, we look back at past accomplishments with pride and pleasure and forward to the next round of cultural adventures.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC presents six concerts this season at the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington and a seventh at the newly renovated Saint James Place.

Join the growing number of culture enthusiasts who converge from the Berkshires, Hudson Valley, Northwest Connecticut, New York City, and Boston for each Close Encounters event! We are pleased to invite all ticket holders to an “Afterglow” reception following every performance December through May. 

Contributing Benefactors and Endowers are invited to a special Gala reception following the June concert (see Ticket Order Form). 

Close Encounters With Music - PO Box 34  Great Barrington, MA  01230 - Toll-free 800-843-0778 / email:

Close Encounters With Music is a non-profit organization. Your contributions are tax exempt to the amount permitted by law.

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