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25 Years of Thematic Programs

Music

For a quarter of a century, Close Encounters with Music has presented chamber music with commentary to both entertain and inform audiences in the Berkshires and beyond. Under the guidance of founder and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani, the organization has offered more than 200 thematic concerts that put the composers and their time periods in perspective with additional context.

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American Brass Quintet at Hotchkiss

The Hotchkiss Concert Series will present the American Brass Quintet on Friday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center, at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville. The program will feature works by Osvaldo Lacerda, Thomas Stoltzer, Kenneth Fuchs and Eric Ewazen. The concert is free and open to the public. The group features Kevin Cobb (trumpet); Louis Hanzlik (trumpet); Eric Reed (horn); Michael Powell (trombone); and John D. Rojak (bass trombone).

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Crescendo Launches New Season

Music

Since the indefatigable Christine Gevert founded Crescendo at Trinity Lime Rock Church 12 years ago, she has made the group the choral jewel of the Northwest Corner. Equally comfortable with staple European Baroque repertoire, she has led the group into South American Baroque sacred music and even Andean folk music. 

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Four-Day Festival Keeps Acoustic Music Alive

Music: Oldtone Roots Music Festival

Last year, Jim Wright and a team of individuals and sponsors — including those behind the Wassaic Project and The Lantern restaurant and bar in Wassaic, N.Y. — put together the first Oldtone Roots Music Festival.
The festival is devoted to the preservation and performance of traditional American string band music.
This year, Wright’s at it again — but this time around, the festival will be a much bigger deal.

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Plenty of Concerts Before Summer Ends

A very full weekend of music at Music Mountain in Falls Village began Saturday evening, Aug. 20, with a medley of show tunes from the inimitable Michael Berkeley and friends. Berkeley is one of the Northwest Corner’s treasures, bringing the razzle-dazzle of Broadway to our home place.

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Festival Brings Opera to the Berkshires

Music: ‘Madama Butterfly’

Two guys, a lifetime in opera, a love of the Berkshires and — presto! — we have our first regional opera in nearly 20 years. 
All right, so it takes doing the hard work of raising money, too, and finding enough talent to stock a staged production of “Madama Butterfly,” Puccini’s masterpiece. For Jonathon Loy and Brian Garman, co-founders of the Berkshire Opera Festival, that was not such a stretch. 

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Second Fuse Fest Brings Bands, Carnival to Torrington

Ten musical acts. Two stages featuring continuous music. Food. Crafts. Games. Rides. Fuse Fest will bring all this and more to Fuessenich Park in Torrington on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 2 to 10 p.m.

Fuse Fest, now in its second year, was brought to life when musician and producer Tracy Walton approached J. Brett Simmons, superintendent of the Torrington Parks and Recreation Department, with an idea to create a festival that features original music.

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Diverse Jazz Festival Offers Music and More

On Sunday, Aug. 21, the 16th annual Jazz in the Valley music festival returns to Poughkeepsie’s Waryas Park for an afternoon of jazz luminaries, as well as hot new up-and-comers. 
The festival, produced by the locally based nonprofit multidisciplined arts organization TRANSART, will feature two stages packed with performances, a food court and a global marketplace from noon until 6 p.m., with gates opening at 11 a.m.

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An Impressive Tanglewood Debut

Like their Viking ancestors, The Danish String Quartet arrived on new shores and stormed the locals with power and vibrato. However, unlike the Vikings, these Danes brought to the inhabitants high culture, sophisticated renderings of classical chamber music, played with an affection and intimacy that left the Tanglewood faithful fulfilled and buzzing on July 28. 

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Enjoying Music of a Different Era

A nearly full house packed the sanctuary at St. John’s Church in Salisbury on Wednesday, July 20, for the first of four concerts by the New Baroque Soloists. 
Why do we continue to find music of this era, so different from our own, uplifting and seemingly ever fresh? I have no answer. And I was paying attention to the music, which was very good indeed, and uplifting.

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