Early Modernism Showcased in Chamber Music Concert at Mahaiwe

Alison Larkin

Alison Larkin

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – A trio of Close Encounters with Music (CEWM) stalwarts, including pianist Michael Chertock, violinist Yehonatan Berick, and CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani on cello, will perform works by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Debussy, Messiaen, George Antheil, Fernand Léger and Paul Schoenfield, joined by special guest narrator Alison Larkin, for “Music That Shook the World,” a gala concert at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, June 11, at 6pm.



CEWM Gala Program notes:
The 20th century saw a series of cultural earthquakes that shook the music establishment and scandalized audiences. Now that modernism has receded, we can view them in perspective and see how they entered the mainstream and vitalized our concert experience. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Debussy’s breaking through the German hegemony with Impressionism; granting jazz concert hall respectability; coupling music with film (from “Bad Boy of Music” George Antheil and Fernand Léger’s 1924 Ballet Mécanique); and the advent of Latin American vernacular — all radically transformed our notion of classical music. Amplifying the music, passages from Igor Stravinsky’s and Antheil’s memoirs will be threaded through the program and read by brilliant comedienne Alison Larkin.


As Paris was the nexus of all the art forms and -isms of the early part of the 20th century, the first half of the program includes Claude Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; Olivier Messiaen’s “Louange a l’Éernité de Jésu” from his transcendent Quartet for the End of Time; as well as (Paris adopted son) Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in its piano version.

Perhaps no one composer shook the musical establishment and revolutionized what followed so much as Beethoven. His magnificent final violin sonata, No. 10 in G Major Opus 26, receives a performance along with the effervescent and irreverent Café Music by Paul Schoenfield. Schoenfield’s music attracts listeners with its combination of exuberance and seriousness, originality, lightness and depth, often with sly twists in the spirit of the French musical iconoclasts.


Michael Chertock

Michael Chertock

This program brings to the fore some of the direct predecessors of John Cage, Philip Glass and John Adams. Performers are pianist Michael Chertock, violinist Yehonatan Berick, cellist Yehuda Hanani, and comedienne Alison Larkin.



Tickets, $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony), are available at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413.528.0100.


Patron’s Preferred Package

$150 includes Preferred Patron seat and Patron-only dinner reception. Contact Close Encounters With Music at 800.843.0778 or cewmusic@aol.com.




Yehuda Hanani

Yehuda Hanani

Cellist Yehuda Hanani has performed 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 and many others. He has been a guest at Aspen, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Blue Hill, Bowdoin, Great Lakes, Ottawa Festival and Finland Festival, among many others, and has collaborated with fellow musicians including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Itzhak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, and the American and Tokyo quartets. In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, The Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. A prolific recording artist, his pioneering recording of the Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination. As founder and artistic director of Close Encounters With Music, he has been at the forefront of presenting thematic concerts with commentary in cities across the U.S.  He is professor of cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and artistic director of the Catskill High Peaks Festival. His broadcasts on Northwest Radio WAMC’s “Classical Music According to Yehuda” with Dr. Alan Chartock reach thousands of listeners weekly.



Yehonatan Berick

Yehonatan Berick

Prizewinner at the 1993 Naumburg competition and a recipient of the 1996-97 Prix Opus, violinist Yehonatan Berick is in high demand internationally as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Performances as soloist include Quebec, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ann Arbor, Jerusalem and Haifa symphonies, and the Israel, Cincinnati, Montreal and Manitoba chamber orchestras. He has collaborated with many world renowned artists, and toured as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, the Lortie-Berick-Lysy Piano Trio, and the Huberrman String Quartet among other ensembles.  Festival apprearances include Marlboro, Ravinia, Seattle, Ottawa, Great Lakes, and Music@Menlo. He has been featured in the world’s most important venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’s Musée du Louvre, Milan’s Sala Verdi and London’s Wigmore Hall. On CD, he has recorded for the Albany, Centaur, Equilibrium, Gasparo, Summit, and Helicon labels.  Equally sought after as violin teacher and chamber music mentor, Berick serves as professor of violin at the University of Ottawa and visiting professor at the University of Toronto.  His studies were at the Tel Aviv University Music Academy, followed by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Dorothy Delay and master classes with Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng and Josef Gingold.  Mr. Berick plays on a 1761 violin by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, generously on loan from the University of Ottawa.



Pianist Michael Chertock has fashioned a successful career as an orchestral soloist, collaborating with conductors such as James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel and Andrew Litton. His many orchestral appearances include solo performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, l’Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony and he has won accolades with his solo performances in Great Britain, Germany, Japan and Korea. Mr. Chertock made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops, performing Duke Ellington’s New World A’Comin’. In June 2005 with the Boston Pops Orchestra, he performed the world premiere of a work by Todd Machover, commissioned by the Boston Pops expressly for him.  His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi turned in rave reviews in Gramophone and American Record Guide. In 1994, Chertock released his first CD on the Telarc label, a collection of his original arrangements of music from movies entitled Cinematic Piano. Since then, he has recorded three more discs with Telarc: Palace of the Winds, Christmas at the Movies and Love At the Movies, which have been praised for their lush, original arrangements and exquisite technical facility. He is a regular performer at the Ravinia Festival, Blossom Music Center, Grand Tetons Music Festival and Catskill High Peaks in Rensselaerville. Mr. Chertock serves as chair of the keyboard division at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his master’s degree.



Internationally acclaimed actress, award-winning audio book narrator and comedienne ALISON LARKIN is the bestselling author of “The English American,” a novel that sprang from her hit one woman show, about an adopted English woman who finds her birth parents — and true love — in the United States. A Vogue “most powerful book of the season” and Redbook’s Book Club pick of the month, “The English American” is currently under development for a film adaptation. Her show played to packed houses and high critical acclaim on both sides of the pond.



GALA: “Music That Shook the World!”

Saturday, June 11, 6 PM

Michael Chertock, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin

Yehuda Hanani, cello; Special Guest Narrator, Alison Larkin

Tickets: $50 (Orchestra and Mezzanine) and $30 (Balcony)





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