Close Encounters With Music

Concert Dates Download your Season Brochure

Oct 27 | Dec 14 | Feb 22Mar 21 |  Apr 25 | May 23 | June 13

Thank you for your interest in purchasing tickets for a Close Encounters With Music concert, now in our 28th season.  For concerts at the Mahaiwe, please use the Mahaiwe Ticket Button, which will allow you to choose your seats. CEWM will process all subscriptions and donations. If you would like to purchase a ticket for St. James place or if you have further questions please contact us at cewmusic@aol.com or 800.843.0778.  One of us will be happy to respond as soon as possible. If you would like to make a donation please find our donation button on our home page.

We are pleased to invite all ticket holders to an “Afterglow” reception following each performance October through May.
Contributing Patrons at all levels are invited to a special Gala reception following the June concert.

 

 

 

Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 5 PM
American Premiere of Andre Hajdu’s Masterpiece “Kohelet”

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA


Ecclesiastes, Latin for the Hebrew KOHELET, is no less than an exploration of the meaning of life and mortality, as well as an affirmation of joy and wisdom.  Hajdu’s world view and artistic aesthetic were influenced by Samuel Beckett, whom he befriended in Paris, and his musical schooling was in the modern Hungarian models of Bartók and Kodály. The 1950s French milieu of Milhaud and Messiaen can also be heard in many of his compositions. Overall, Hajdu’s music refuses categorization, much the same as the book attributed to King Solomon, the wisest of men. Star of stage, film and television, Sam Waterston takes on the role of the philosopher king, traversing the proverbs, aphorisms and familiar passages that have entered our collective lexicon.  He is accompanied by a quartet of cellos. KOHELET has received performances in Germany, Holland, France and Israel—and now is heard in the U.S. for the first time.

Sam Waterston, narrator; Yehuda Hanani, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Michael Nicolas, Do Yeon Kim, cello



Saturday December 14, 2019 at 5:30 PM NEW EARLIER TIME!
Great Strings
THE BORROMEO QUARTET

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA

Anton Arensky’s Quartet in A Minor for two cellos, a personal tribute to his beloved friend Tchaikovsky, is considered one of the finest Russian string quartets ever written, with the second movement being a set of variations on a Tchaikovsky theme.  Meanwhile, in conversations across time, melodies ricochet from Beethoven to Arensky (as well as Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky) as Arensky paraphrases a celebratory Russian folksong associated with the coronation of the Tsar—used by Beethoven in his Quartet Op. 59 No. 2, one of the famous works commissioned by Count Razumovsky.  The quartet will be played by the charismatic Borromeo, hailed for its “edge-of-the-seat performances” by the Boston Globe.  The program also features J.S. Bach’s Four Preludes and Fugues from the Well Tempered Clavier, arranged for string quartet. Yehuda Hanani joins in Arensky’s best known work to enhance the remarkably rich, deeper sonorities of Russian liturgical chant.

The Borromeo String Quartet:
Nicolas Kitchen, violin; Kristopher Tong, violin; Mai Motobuchi, viola; Yeesun Kim, cello,
with Yehuda Hanani, cello

PURCHASED THROUGH MAHAIWE Tickets available for online purchase up to 2 hours prior to show time and by calling the Box Office at 413.528.0100 right up until the show. Box office opens at 12:00 pm. Tickets will be held at Will Call starting 10 days before the concert. The Will Call table will open in the lobby of the Mahaiwe at 5 PM on the evening of the concert.



MID-WINTER FIRESIDE CONCERT
Saturday February 22, 2020 at 6 PM
Grand Piano Trios — Schubert and Brahms

Saint James Place,
Great Barrington, MA

Two enduring treasures of the chamber music canon lift us into the realm of the transcendent and channel the Viennese tradition: Schubert’s Trio in B flat Major and Brahms’ in B Major were both written or rewritten towards the end of the composers’ lives. Both display masterful sculpting of heavenly melodies coupled with passion and heady romanticism. Brahms makes use of the piano to create a symphonic sweep, and is in the best of hands with pianist Max Levinson (“Brilliant…He uses his wide spectrum of pianistic mechanics for altogether poetic ends, touching the listener deeply and often”—Los Angeles Times), violinist Peter Zazofsky and cellist Yehuda Hanani (“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength….Rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.”—New York Times). Schubert’s trio, despite having been written in the difficult last year of his life, conveys triumph and strength. As Robert Schumann aptly observed, “One glance at Schubert’s trio and the troubles of our existence vanish, the world takes on fresh luster.”

Max Levinson, piano; Peter Zazofsky, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

This concert is included in a season subscription purchase!

Tickets are not mailed. They are available at Will Call day of event.



Saturday March 21, 2020 at 6 PM
The French Connection Saint —Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Fauré

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA

The greatest period of creativity among French composers coincides with the emergence of Impressionist art. Attempting to define that French “je ne sais quoi” is as elusive as describing a bottle of Château Petrus. But, as exemplified by the music of Fauré (Piano Quartet No. 1), Debussy (the prophetically daring cello Sonate), Saint-Saëns (Rondo Capriccioso) and Lili Boulanger (D’un matin de printemps), tension between elegance, restraint and intense fervor is a hallmark of the French aesthetic. There is passion, powerful emotion and a remarkable level of concentration. The mood is sensuous, pleasure-oriented, delicately colored and shimmering with élan. Refinement is balanced with brilliant instrumental display in what is one of Fauré’s rare virtuoso pieces, in Saint-Saëns’ violin showpiece and Debussy’s 1918 captivating master work for cello. For sheer glamour and artistic vitality, late 19th and early 20th century Paris has not been surpassed and gave rise to lasting new isms and musical portraitists who created some of the best loved classical music of today. It’s the magic that was Paris.

Rachel Lee Priday, violin; Dov Scheindlin, viola; Mikael Darmanie, piano; Yehuda Hanani, cello

PURCHASED THROUGH MAHAIWE Tickets available for online purchase up to 2 hours prior to show time and by calling the Box Office at 413.528.0100 right up until the show. Box office opens at 12:00 pm. Tickets will be held at Will Call starting 10 days before the concert. The Will Call table will open in the lobby of the Mahaiwe at 5 PM on the evening of the concert.



Saturday April 25, 2020 at 6 PM
SKYLARK A Cappella Vocalists: Hidden Symbols, Secret Codes

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA

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 GRAMMYnominated Skylark to find out. Featuring video introductions by author Dan Brown and stunning new music by Gregory W. Brown, musical selections will be drawn from the ancient to the modern, including works by Giuseppe Jannacconi (who wrote in the style of Palestrina), Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer Guillaume du Fay, Benjamin Britten and Sarah Rimkus, whose works have been featured on BBC Radio and performed at Buckingham Palace and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Boston-based Skylark is one of the leading vocal ensembles in the U.S., praised for their “gripping” performances (Times of London) and their “original, imaginative, and engrossing” programming.

Gramophone has called them “passionate…radiant…exquisite…ehereal…thrilling…stunning.”

Skylark Ensemble; Matthew Guard, conductor

PURCHASED THROUGH MAHAIWE Tickets available for online purchase up to 2 hours prior to show time and by calling the Box Office at 413.528.0100 right up until the show. Box office opens at 12:00 pm. Tickets will be held at Will Call starting 10 days before the concert. The Will Call table will open in the lobby of the Mahaiwe at 5 PM on the evening of the concert.



Saturday May 23, 2020 at 6 PM
Beethoven@250! Celebration of an Immortal Genius

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA

The prototype of the romantic artist who overcomes adversity, the composer’s composer, and exemplar of artistic freedom and bold expressive power, Beethoven left an indelible mark that forever altered the landscape of classical music. This program will chart three stations in a glorious history: Sonata No. 2 opus 5 for Cello, where he is still following a historic trajectory as a student of Haydn; the Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor opus 30 from his Middle period as he moves towards his zenith; and the Olympian “Archduke” Trio. Each is a sublime masterpiece representative of his career from young composer-performer to the start of his struggle with deafness and the cruel end of his own performing career. Apart from his dynamic energy and compositional genius, we are also drawn to Beethoven the man, with his musical expression of a utopia where people live together in harmony and his political aspirations for humankind. Ludwig van Beethoven turns 250 in December 2020, but is forever contemporary, relevant and fresh.

Inna Faliks, piano; Irina Muresanu, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello

PURCHASED THROUGH MAHAIWE Tickets available for online purchase up to 2 hours prior to show time and by calling the Box Office at 413.528.0100 right up until the show. Box office opens at 12:00 pm. Tickets will be held at Will Call starting 10 days before the concert. The Will Call table will open in the lobby of the Mahaiwe at 5 PM on the evening of the concert.


 

 


Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 6 PM
Café Music—Jazz, Rap and World Premiere!


Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA

Paul Schoenfield’s runaway classical hit, Café Music for piano trio, sets the tone for this celebration of summer. Combining ingredients of classical music, jazz, klezmer and whimsy, Café Music is irresistible and full of energy—caffeine-fueled music at its most entertaining. Claude Bolling’s classical/jazz musings in the Suite for Cello and Jazz Trio (double bass and percussion) offer up interpolations of boogie-woogie and ragtime with Baroque underpinnings, not to mention sizzling panache. Gershwin, who “made an honest woman of jazz,” is represented with his Three Preludes for Piano. Close Encounters continues its commissioning program with the unveiling of a new work by Tamar Muskal for tabla drums, cello and rap artist, featuring Avirodh Sharma, who has performed at Lincoln Center, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Joyce, Harlem Stage, and Joe’s Pub. Of Muskal’s music, the Chicago Tribune has written: “The ripples and shimmers that filled Muskal’s post-minimalist score were as evanescent as swirling, digitized visuals—dissolving into one another with kaleidoscopic beauty…high-tech music theater at its most inventive and fascinating.”

Tamar Muskal, composer; Michael Chertock, piano; Xiao-Dong Wang, violin; Avirodh Sharma, tabla; Arti Dixson, percussion; James Cammack, double bass; Loire Cotler, Rhythm vocalist, composer and arranger; Yehuda Hanani, cello

PURCHASED THROUGH MAHAIWE Tickets available for online purchase up to 2 hours prior to show time and by calling the Box Office at 413.528.0100 right up until the show. Box office opens at 12:00 pm. Tickets will be held at Will Call starting 10 days before the concert. The Will Call table will open in the lobby of the Mahaiwe at 5 PM on the evening of the concert.


GALA PATRON’S RECEPTION:
(Does not include concert ticket)
Subscribers, donors and patrons attend
Gala Patrons dinner reception
GALA PATRON’S PREFERRED PACKAGE:
Preferred concert seating and a Gala Patrons
dinner reception. 
   
 
 

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Photo Michael Lavin Flower 

About Our Location

Close encounters with music presents six concerts this season at the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. 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 each performance October through May. Contributing Patrons at all levels are invited to a special Gala reception following the June concert.

Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and Lenox are within 2-1/2 hours of scenic driving from Boston and New York City.  Parking is readily available.

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Theater
14 Castle Street
Great Barrington, MA 01230 (map it!)