CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC PRESENTS:
The French Connection—Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Fauré
SATURDAY, March 21, 6 PM AT THE MAHAIWE
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
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.
Tickets, $52/$28/$15, are available at https://www.mahaiwe.org/CEWM2020-French and by phone, 413-528-0100
For more information about the program and the artists, please visit: https://cewm.org
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic cello playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements around the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Irish National Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Zagreb, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Finland Festival, Great Wall (China), Leicester (England), Ottawa, Prades (France), Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Shlomo Mintz, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Escher, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon and Manhattan quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. In addition to his pioneering recordings of Charles Valentin Alkan (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination), Nikolai Miaskovsky, Leo Ornstein, and Eduard Franck, he is one of the originators of thematic programming with commentary that engages and illuminates contemporary audiences. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory and past faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory, he joins the faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City in 2020.
“The sonatas came bounding to life in vital interpretations rich in imaginative detail and virile strength. Mr. Hanani was rightly rewarded with cheers from the audience.” –The New York Times
“Soulful, fiery performance.” –The New York Times
As a soloist, Mikael Darmanie has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, Russia and the Caribbean. Recent festival appearances have included: The Weil Institute at Carnegie, Trinity Wall Street, Prototype, Bang on a Can Marathon, Close Encounters With Music, Berkshire High Peaks Festival, Cape Cod Symphony Nth Degree, Pianofest in the Hamptons, the Mozarteum, Mainly Mozart, and L’Acadèmie de Musique de Sion, to name a few. As a member of the Warp Trio, he performs throughout the world in genres ranging from jazz to hip-hop, rock, fusion and electronic music.and as a DJ. In his travels he regularly presents masterclasses and workshops in classical music and in various forms of improvisation. Since his debut as a conductor with the Carolina Chamber Symphony in 2008, he has performed throughout the U.S., conducting various piano concerti from the keyboard and symphonic works. Also a composer, his works have been performed in the U. S., Europe and Russia; and he has been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at SUNY Stony Brook under the guidance of Gilbert Kalish.
Violinist Rachel Lee Priday is a passionate and inquisitive explorer in all her musical ventures, in search of contemporary relevance when performing the standard violin repertoire, and in discovering and commissioning new works. Her wide-ranging repertoire and eclectic programming reflect a deep fascination with literary and cultural narratives. She has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras, including the Chicago, Saint Louis, Houston, Seattle, Buffalo and National Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Pops, and the Berlin Staatskapelle, and with orchestras in Graz, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea, where she performed with the KBS Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic and Russian State Symphony Orchestra on tour. Recital appearances have brought her to eminent venues including the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Musée du Louvre, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, and tours of South Africa and the UK. Recent seasons have seen a new violin sonata commissioned from Pulitzer Prize Finalist Christopher Cerrone and the premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s “The Orphic Moment” in an innovative staging that mixed poetry, drama, visuals, and music. Rachel has collaborated with Ballet San Jose, and was lead performer in Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart during a week-long theatrical concert with Ensemble for the Romantic Century at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Her work as soloist with the Asia America New Music Institute promoted new music relationships and cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, combining new music premieres and educational outreach in the US, China, Korea and Vietnam. Ms. Priday began her violin studies at the age of four in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, she moved to New York to study with Dorothy DeLay, and continued at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division with Itzhak Perlman. She holds a B.A. degree in English from Harvard University and an M.M. from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried. As of Fall 2019, she serves as Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Washington School of Music. She has been profiled in The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle Magazine, and The Strad. Praised by the Chicago Tribune for her “irresistible panache,” Rachel Lee Priday enthralls audiences with her riveting stage presence and “rich, mellifluous sound.” She performs on a Nicolo Gagliano violin (Naples, 1760) double-purfled with fleurs-de-lis, named Alejandro.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as an “extraordinary violist” of “immense flair,” Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999. He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. Mr. Scheindlin has recorded extensively for EMI, Teldec, Auvidis, and Mode, and won the Gramophone Award in 2002 for the Arditti Quartet’s recording of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Pulse Shadows. As a member of the Arditti Quartet, he gave nearly 100 world premières, among them new works by Benjamin Britten, Elliott Carter, György Kurtág, Thomas Adès and Wolfgang Rihm. He has also been broadcast on NPR, BBC, CBC, and on German, French, Swiss, Austrian, Dutch and Belgian national radio networks. Dov Scheindlin was raised in New York City, where he studied with Samuel Rhodes and William Lincer at the Juilliard School. He has taught viola and chamber music at Harvard, Wilfrid Laurier University and Tanglewood. He regularly participates in summer festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Tanglewood, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Met Chamber Ensembles. His chamber music partners have included members of the Juilliard, Alban Berg, Tokyo, and Borodin String Quartets, as well as concertmasters of many major symphony orchestras. He plays a viola made by Francesco Bissolotti in 1975.
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—Joan Tower, Judith Zaimont, 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, Roman Rabinovich, Soyeon Kate Lee, Inna Faliks, Max Levinson and Michael Chertock; violinists, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Vadim Gluzman, Julian Rachlin, Peter Zazofsky, Itamar Zorman and Hagai Shaham; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Rivera, Danielle Talamantes and Kelley O’Connor; the Muir, Manhattan, Ariel, Vermeer, Escher, Avalon, Hugo Wolf, Dover string quartets; and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Sam Waterston, 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 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 The Clark in Williamstown, at Tanglewood and in Great Barrington, MA, as well as the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Summer performances have taken place at the New York State Museum, Basilica Hudson, Orpheum Theatre in Tannersville, and in the orchard at Olana. In its 11th year, the Berkshire High Peaks Festival takes place each July at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA, as the educational mission of Close Encounters With Music with fifty international students in residence for an immersive course of study and performance.
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 amplify the concert experience. His charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and re-engagements across the globe. Under Hanani’s leadership, CEWM pushes the traditional boundaries of traditional chamber music through thematic programming that embraces a range of musical idioms, styles, cultural influences, and eras. CEWM, now in its 28th season in the Berkshires, regularly commissions new works (25 to date!) and concert programs often weave music together with theater, dance, and literature. Venues include the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the newly renovated Saint James Place in Great Barrington. To complement the musical offerings, two guest speakers, Jungian analyst Melinda Haas and neurological researcher Concetta Tomaino are featured in the current Conversations With…. series.
Saturday, February 22, 6 PM, Saint James Place
GRAND PIANO TRIOS — Schubert and Brahms
Saturday, March 21, 6 PM, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
THE FRENCH CONNECTION– Saint-Saens, Debussy, Faure
Saturday, April 25, 6 PM, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
SKYLARK Vocal Ensemble
Saturday, May 23, 6 PM, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
BEETHOVEN@250 — Sonatas and “Archduke”Trio
Saturday, June 13, 6 PM, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
GALA: CAFÉ MUSIC– Gershwin, Claude Bolling, Paul Schoenfield and World Premiere by Tamar Muskal with tabla player Avirodh Sharma and rapper Christylez Bacon
Sunday, March 29, 3 PM, The Mount in Lenox, MA
CONCETTA TOMAINO—MUSIC AND MEDICINE!
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is located at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA.
Saint James Place is located at 352 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA.