Russian Ensemble Opens Close Encounters’ 20th Season

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Going into its 20th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) presents the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 30, 2011, at 2pm. Conducted by Misha Rachlevsky, the ensemble returns for a second successive season with a program featuring Dvorak’s sunny Serenade for Strings Op. 22; Elgar’s Serenade in E minor; Shostakovich’s tragic Chamber Symphony Op. 110; and Bach’s radical Contrapunctus I from The Art of the Fugue. CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani joins as soloist for Luigi Boccherini’s Cello Concerto.

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, led by Misha Rachlevsky, has earned national and international recognition as one of Russia’s leading ensembles. Founded in 1991, the orchestra, comprised of Russia’s finest young string players, has carved an impressive niche in the classical music world. Whether it is the highly acclaimed CDs or its mesmerizing concerts, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin’s warmth and high energy create addictive performances that stay with listeners long after the last note has been played. In addition to an active schedule of presenting concerts and festivals in Moscow, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin tours regularly in North and South America, Europe and the Far East.

Misha Rachlevsky’s lifetime affinity for chamber music and chamber orchestra repertoire began at the College of the Moscow Conservatory and the Gnessin Academy of Music. Born in Moscow, his violin studies began at the age of five and continued through the well-traveled path of the Russian school of string playing. After leaving the Soviet Union in 1973, he lived and worked in different countries on three continents, and in 1976 settled in the United States. He founded the New American Chamber Orchestra (NACO) in 1984, and led it to international prominence, completing nine European tours in four years. In 1989, Rachlevsky accepted an offer from the city of Granada, Spain – a two-year project under which NACO became the resident orchestra of Granada.

Close Encounters With Music Founder and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani

Close Encounters With Music Founder and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani

Yehuda Hanani (cellist and artistic director, Close Encounters With Music), has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, and Israel Philharmonic, among others.  He has been a guest at many international festivals, including the Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Great Wall Festival (China), Finland Festival, Prades (France), Australia Chamber Music Festival, and festivals in England, Spain, Germany, Israel, and Mexico.  In New York City, he has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully Hall, and the Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium, and the Frick Collection.  His pioneering recording of the monumental Alkan cello sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination. Yehuda Hanani’s engaging chamber music with commentary series, Close Encounters With Music, has captivated audiences throughout the United States and his best-selling recording of Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello has become a standard-setter.  The weekly program on NPR affiliate station WAMC Northeast Radio, “Classical Music According to Yehuda,” has gained thousands of fans for its direct broadcast and podcast.  A new addition to his concert activities and educational mission is the founding of the Catskill High Peaks Music Festival.



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 composers and their times in perspective to enrich the concert experience. Since the inception of its Commissioning Project in 2001, CEWM has worked with the most distinguished composers of our time: Paul Schoenfield, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Jorge Martin, John Musto, 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 James Tocco, Adam Neiman, Walter Ponce and Jeffrey Swann; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi, Yehonatan Berick, Vadim Gluzman and Toby Appel; harpsichordist Lionel Party; clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein, Charles Neidich; vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Amy Burton, Jennifer Aylmer, Robert White, Lucille Beer and William Sharp; the Vermeer, Amernet, Muir, Manhattan, Avalon, Hugo Wolf quartets, and Cuarteto Latinamericano; and guitarist Eliot Fisk. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests, weaving narration and dance into the fabric of the programs.



Tickets, $40 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony), are available at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100. Subscriptions are $175 ($150 for seniors) for the series of 6 concerts and one free Subscriber-only concert. Visit Close Encounters With Music (CEWM).




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