Close Encounters With Music



Berkshire Record
Close Encounters offers classical to cutting edge
October 19-25, 2012

The Berkshires are home to distinguished cultural events, but none so brilliant, perhaps, as the chamber music series, Close Encounters with Music, that opens its 21st season this Saturday at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.
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Preview Massachusetts
June 2013

Exactly why Close Encounters with Music has subtitled its June 8 evening at Tanglewood “Grieg Revival” remains, in the words of the King of Siam, a puzzlement. Certainly Grieg’s tuneful Peer Gynt Suite, Piano Concerto, three violin sonatas and the most popular of his many songs are so frequently performed that no revival is necessary. But in the case of the main title for the evening, Nordic Lights, the reason is clear. The seeds for the evening, which includes some of Grieg’s most glorious smaller-scaled music as well as spoken excerpts from Henrik Ibsen’s
Peer Gynt and Hans Christian Andersen’s works, both read by Broadway and Western Massachusetts Shakesperian sensation Tina Packer, lie in cellist Yehuda Hanani's frequent trips to
Scandinavia for summer festivals.
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Press Reviews/Comment Archives
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Season 2011-2012

Miami Herald
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS -- a celebration of the uncommon in chamber music!"

" of the most interesting -- and intimate -- concert series around. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC Artistic director and cellist Yehuda Hanani has a knack for creating theme programs that explore various aspects of music with the help of some notable performers."

Berkshire Eagle
"Great music played with great heart."

"Hanani is the supreme master builder of thematic programming."

"The blending of Hanani's personality and Bach's provided an exhilarating conclusion to the evening." 

"It was the sheer humanity of the performance that made it so good and it is humanity that has been lacking from classical music for so long." 

"The Mahaiwe Theatre was thronged...'Orpheus and His Lyre' emerged as an idea of substance, as well as popular appeal....The afternoon never failed to fascinate."

"There's a palpable mystique about these Close Encounters concerts."

Kansas City Star
"Spontaneity, sophistication and gritty music-making....Hanani's congenial manner and entertaining anecdotes succeeded in bringing the audience closer to the music."

Omaha World-Herald
"Audiences at the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC series have come to expect the unexpected.....This series demonstrates the important lesson that great music-making does not require superstars from the classical music world."

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC opened its season with a typically imaginative, ambitious program."

"Though Hanani, Prutsman and Upshaw all performed with that rare combination of mutual understanding and technical finesse which makes for the most satisfying chamber music, Hanani deserves special recognition for his astute program choices."

Arizona Republic
"The program provided stellar performances...played with passion and pathos..."

Rogovoy Report
"It was a brilliant way to kick off a season...demonstrating it to be a chamber music series on a par with anything heard at Tanglewood at the height of the season. For this, we year-rounders are blessed."

WAMC Northeast Radio
"The Close Encounters classical music series is well known for its adventurous, innovative programming. Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani struck gold by presenting a remarkable evening of rarely-heard medieval and Renaissance-era vocal music...The performers were rewarded with a highly enthusiastic ovation by the 400-plus concert-goers."