(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Eliot Fisk demonstrates the versatility and appeal of the classical guitar in a Close Encounters With Music concert on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. The diverse program, titled “Old, New, Borrowed and Blues,” features J.S. Bach, tango, Schubert lieder, American folk music, improvisations and the world premiere of a commissioned work by Grammy Award-nominated composer Robert Beaser.
Fisk is known worldwide for his adventurous repertoire and willingness to take music into unusual venues, such as schools, senior centers and even logging camps and prisons. Described by his mentor, guitar legend Andrés Segovia, as “at the top line of our artistic world,” Fisk has transformed the repertoire of the classical guitar through his ground-breaking transcriptions, including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart and Paganini.
A best-selling recording artist, Eliot Fisk has had numerous works dedicated to him and has collaborated with other musicians — including guitarist Angel Romero, virtuoso clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and jazz guitar great Bill Frisell — in classical, flamenco, jazz and world-music styles. He is founder and director of Boston Guitar Fest, an annual event co-sponsored by Northeastern University and the New England Conservatory, where he is a faculty member.
To premiere the new Beaser work, “Spring Songs,” Fisk will be joined by soprano Jennifer Zetlan, making her Berkshire debut, and acclaimed cellist Yehuda Hanani, founder and artistic director of Close Encounters. Zetlan has performed on the stages of the New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, returning to the Met as Xenia in a new production of Boris Godunov, broadcast worldwide as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s “LIVE! in HD” series.
“Spring Songs” includes two songs in a projected four-song set. Says Fisk of the new work: “The combination of a bass instrument (e.g., cello) and chordal instrument (such as guitar) has deep roots in the baroque era, where such an ensemble was the core of the basso continuo. It will be fascinating to see how Beaser translates this ancient precedent into 21st-century terms.”
The program also includes French folk songs by Matyas Seiber, folk songs by Edward Benjamin Britten and music by Franz Schubert, Isaac Albeniz, Gabriel Fauré, Enrique Granados, Vittorio Monti and others.
Ticket Information for “An Evening with Eliot Fisk: Old, New, Borrowed and Blues”
Tickets, $42 (orchestra and mezzanine) and $32 (balcony), are available at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 413.528.0100, or online at Close Encounters With Music or Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.
Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) stands at the intersection of music, art and the vast richness of Western culture. Commentary from founder and artistic director Yehuda Hanani puts the 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, Kenji Bunch, and John Musto, among others—to create important new works. 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 Latinoamericano. Choreographer David Parsons and actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander and Sigourney Weaver have also appeared as guests. Close Encounters With Music programs have been presented in cities across the U.S. and Canada—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Omaha, Cincinnati, Calgary, Scottsdale, Detroit, at the Frick Collection and Merkin Hall in New York City and at Tanglewood. Close Encounters With Music concerts are broadcast on WMHT-FM, and weekly broadcasts of “Classical Music According to Yehuda” are broadcast and available on podcast on WAMC Northeast Radio.
Yehuda Hanani is 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, Jerusalem Symphony and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among many others. He has collaborated in performances with Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Itzhak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman and many more. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. His pioneering recording of the Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination.
Upcoming Close Encounters with Music Concerts
April 20 Grand Piano Trios I: Schubert & Schoenfield
May 18 Grand Piano II: Mozart, Beethoven and Ravel
June 8 Nordic Lights: Grieg Revival