SIX UNFORGETTABLE EVENINGS.
All events start at 4:30 p.m. and are followed by a wine and cheese reception
in the Meeting House Art Gallery.
TO RESERVE TICKETS, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (413) 229-2785
July 22: The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017
A lecture/demo by Ruben Kier.
Free safe-viewing eclipse glasses will be distributed.
This is a FREE EVENT!
Ruben Kier’s first published photograph was of the 1973 Great African Eclipse, taken on an expedition with Isaac Asimov and Neal Armstrong. He went on to study Astronomy with Carl Sagan at Cornell. Since then, over 40 of his astronomical images and several of his articles have been published in Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines. Most of the photos his book, The 100 Best Astrophotography Targets, were taken at his observatory here in the Berkshires. A veteran of 4 solar eclipses, he will share with us ways to safely enjoy and view the Great American Eclipse of August 22, 2017. During the day, Dr. Kier is Associate Professor and Chairman of Radiology at Quinnipiac University.
A reception follows in the Meeting House Gallery.
AUGUST 26: Gossamer Trio
Carol Wincenc, flute; Nancy Allen, harp; Claire Solomon, cello.
Program to be announced— please check back.
One of the most exciting new ensembles to emerge in today’s music scene, “Gossamer Trio” is the collaboration of three well established, highly esteemed, and much loved artists. New York Philharmonic Principal Players Nancy Allen, harp, and Claire Solomon, cello, join internationally renowned flutist Carol Wincenc to form one of the most dynamic trios that this particular instrumental combination can produce. Merging their individual skills of high artistry and extraordinary technical command, they explore a vast range of repertoire rich in color, texture and imagination.
Each of these artists stand alone at the top of their field, winning first prizes in such competitions as the Naumburg, Israel International Harp Competition, Concert Artists Guild and Pro Musicis. As soloists, they have been featured with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, New York, London, St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Minnesota and Hong Kong, as well as the chamber orchestras of England, St. Paul, Los Angeles and Orpheus.
All have performed, toured, or recorded with some of today’s most esteemed chamber groups, such as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where they have also been seen and heard on “Great Performers of Lincoln Center Live”. They appear regularly in today’s top chamber music festivals including Aspen, Marlboro, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Mostly Mozart, Vail, Portland, Seattle and Music from Menlo.
A reception follows in the Meeting House gallery.
SEPTEMBER 9: Tina Packer with the Calliope Renaissance Band
Tina Packer is the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. She has directed most of Shakespeare s plays, acted in seven, and taught the entire canon at multiple colleges and universities, among them Harvard, MIT, and Columbia. Packer was an Associate Artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, and worked at the Royal Court and Aldwych theatres in London, Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other regional theatres, as well as for BBC and ITV television. Her performance piece “Women of Will” has traveled across America as well as internationally.
The Calliope Renaissance Band was formed in the early 1970’s by four young musicians who wanted to explore the rich instrumental literature written prior to the eighteenth century and which – at the time – was little known to modern concert audiences. The ensemble received national attention in 1976 when it won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.
For the following twenty-five years Calliope toured North America, frequently introducing to audiences for the first time the music and instruments of the 13th through the 17th centuries. The ensemble has performed in many of the nation’s most prestigious concert halls in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Cleveland and other cities. The group has made five recordings and numerous soundtracks for TV and radio. As part of winning the Naumburg Award, Calliope was able to commission two new works for mixed renaissance instruments. With the commission of Peter Schickele’s BESTIARY in 1984, the group was influential in creating a new niche for early musicians, that of playing new music on old instruments as well as some crossover into jazz, folk, and popular music.
Calliope members are Allan Dean, Professor of Trumpet at the Yale University School of Music, where he also coaches brass chamber music and directs the Yale Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble. In addition to Calliope, he performs with Summit Brass, the St. Louis Brass Quintet, and the New York Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble.
Lucy Bardo is a long-time member of Calliope, the New York Consort of Viols and the Berkshire Bach Society. She has performed with many other organizations over the years, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Virtuosi and Musica Viva. She has appeared as viola da gamba soloist for the Bach Passions with many choral organizations including the Washington D.C. Choral Arts Society and the Berkshire Choral Festival. Her recording credits include Nonesuch, Vanguard, Telarc, Musical Heritage, Columbia, Summit, Equilibrium and Lyrachord.
Ben Harms performs medieval and renaissance music with Calliope as well as with the Boston Camerata, Waverly Consort, and other ensembles. He has played timpani with numerous period instrument orchestras, including the Boston Early Music Festival, New York Collegium, Rebel, and Amor Artis. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1968, playing not only percussion but also recorder. As a viola da gambist he performs in the annual presentation of the Brandenburg Concertos by the Berkshire Bach Society. Other performing credits include the Steve Reich Ensemble, Queens Symphony, Columbia Festival Orchestra and New York’s Muisca Viva.
Steven Lundahl specializes in recorders and early brass including sackbuts and Medieval slide trumpet. He has performed throughout North and South America, Europe and Hong Kong with such groups as Calliope, the Boston Camerata, Boston Baroque, Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Tafelmusik, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Project Ars Nova, Waverly Consort and more. He has participated on over 25 recordings on such labels as Telarc, Warner Classics, Angel/EMI, Harmonia Mundi (France and Germany), Erato (France), New Albion Records and others.
Some of the instruments played by CALLIOPE will look and sound familiar to modern concert-goers. Others will not. Among the more unusual ones are the J-shaped krummhorn and the double-reed shawm, a forerunner of the modern oboe. The unique cornetto is fingered like a woodwind but is blown like a trumpet. Renaissance string instruments are represented by the six-stringed viola da gamba family and the vielle, which evolved into the modern violin. The hand drum and tambourine, while looking familiar, are played with an intricate technique involving use of the fingers and other parts of the hand, while the pipe-and-tabor combination features a type of recorder with only three holes played by a player simultaneously hitting a tabor, or drum.
A reception follows in the Meeting House gallery.
It started with a chance meeting in the late 1970s. Jay and Molly were each performing at the Towne Crier, a rural New York club. They hit it off musically and played together from time to time until Molly headed off to Minnesota to work in the house band of a new radio show: Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Meanwhile, back in New York, Jay put together a band with fellow fiddlers Evan Stover and Matt Glaser and guitarist Russ Barenberg. When Fiddle Fever, as the collaboration was called, needed a bassist, Molly signed on. The group recorded two classic LPs, now available on CD as The Best of Fiddle Fever (Flying Fish Records).
In 1984 Ken Burns was introduced, through Fiddle Fever, to Jay’s Ashokan Farewell. Burns was so taken with the evocative and haunting melody, he used it in his next film, and wound up inviting Jay and Molly to provide music for many of his projects. The high point to date of this long relationship was the selection of Ashokan Farewell as the main theme of Burns’ landmark PBS documentary The Civil War. The result: an Emmy nomination for Jay and a Grammy for the soundtrack album. Now considered an American “folk” classic, it is played by fiddlers and classical musicians worldwide.
After signing with Angel Records in 1991, Jay and Molly released American Dreamer, a collection of the songs of Stephen Foster. They followed with Waltzing with You and The Lovers’ Waltz. Harvest Home. In 2002, Jay and Molly produced, arranged and performed on A Song of Home, with flutist Sir James Galway, mandolinist Peter Ostroushko and bassist Steve Rust. and with Relax Your Mind (Angel Records), Jay and Molly, with their band Swingology, took a slightly different direction: American dance music with a focus on country blues and swing.
On radio and television, Jay and Molly have appeared on CBS Good Morning, The Rosie O’Donnel Show, All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, and the BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions.
A reception will follow in the Meeting House Gallery.
SEPTEMBER 23: Xeurong Zhao
Pianist Xeurong Zhao will be performing selections from Ligeti, Debussy, and Beethovan.
Ms. Zhao has performed in prestige venues in the United States including Atlantic Music Festival and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Festival and solo recitals in Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall; “Music & More” festival in New Marlborough, MA; Horvitz Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; The German Consulate; The Polish Consulate; The Goethe Institute and the Steinway Hall.
Born to a musical family in Beijing, China. Ms.Zhao began her piano studies at the age of five and won many top prizes, including Beijing Young Pianist Competition and the Beijing Piano Festival for Young Musicians. After winning a second prize at “the 14th International Chopin Piano Competition”in Rome, she was invited to give several recitals in China. In the same year, a DVD of her live concert from Beijing entitled “Young Talents” by Tiantian Arts Publishing House was released. She was also prize winners of “Five Town International Piano Competition”; A Mannes Concerto Competition; “The Third Seattle International Piano Competition” and received the Best Chopin Performance Prize.
Ms. Zhao earned a Bachelor and Master degree in Music at Mannes College of Music. She also received her Artist Diploma from Yale School Of Music in 2014. Zhao is a current Doctoral(D.M.A) candidate at Boston University School of Fine Arts.
A reception follows in the Meeting House Gallery.
OCTOBER 7: Award-Winning Authors, hosted by Simon Winchester with guest Roy Blount, Jr.
Simon Winchester: Simon Winchester, OBE, is a British author and journalist who resides in The Berkshires. Through his career at The Guardian, Winchester covered numerous significant events, including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal. As an author, Winchester has written or contributed to more than a dozen nonfiction books, has written one novel, and his articles have appeared in several travel publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine, and National Geographic. Pacific, Winchester’s most recent book, was published in October 2016.
Roy Blount, Jr.: Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty-four books, about everything from the first woman president of the United States (back in 1992), to what barnyard animals are thinking. His latest is Save Room for Pie, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
His accomplishments are prolific and varied. He is a panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me, ex-president of the Authors Guild, a member of PEN and the Fellowship of Southern Authors, a New York Public Library Literary Lion, a Boston Public Library Literary Light, a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary, and an original member of the Rock Bottom Remainders. He comes from Decatur, Georgia and divides his time between western Massachusetts and New Orleans. In 2009 he received the Thomas Wolfe Award from the University of North Carolina.
His first book, about hanging out with the Pittsburgh Steelers, About Three Bricks Shy…And the Load Filled Up, was named one of the ten best sports books ever by Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post –and called, by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker, “the best of all books about pro football.”
Norman Mailer said of his second book, Crackers, “Page for page, Roy Blount is as funny as anyone I’ve read in a long time,” and Time placed Blount “in the tradition of the great curmudgeons like H.L. Mencken and W.C. Fields.” Garrison Keillor said in The Paris Review, “Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth and soulful all in one sentence.”
His one-man show at the American Place Theatre was described by The New Yorker as “the most humorous and engaging fifty minutes in town.” In 1988 he expanded that show into Roy Blount’s Happy Hour and a Half. He has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion frequently and on CBS Morning Show, Tonight Show, David Letterman Show, Good Morning America, Today Show, Larry King, Politically Incorrect, and in a series of TV spots for the NBA starring Bill Murray, which he helped Murray create.
Blount’s essays, articles, stories, verses and even drawings have appeared in 171 different periodicals. He’s written screenplays and plays, acted in movies, read and lectured at colleges across the country, and covered the 1992 Democratic and Republican conventions and Presidential election night by commenting, live and instantaneously, from a Barcalounger, on Comedy Central. Via various media he has reported on the Civil Rights Movement, the Ku Klux Klan, Saturday Night Live, Elvis’s funeral, an Olympics and several World Series and Super Bowls, and interviewed Martin Luther King, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Satchell Paige, Joe Dimaggio, Willie Mays, Loretta Lynn, Eudora Welty, Billy Carter, Gilda Radner, Casey Stengel, Jonathan Demme, Rep. Dick Armey, Cool Papa Bell and Sally Rand. He has publicly expressed his misgivings about every president since John F. Kennedy, with the exception, for some reason, of Gerald Ford.
He has jumped out of a plane, graduated (conditionally) from race-car driving school, scuba-dived with sharks, sung on stage with Bruce Springsteen and Stephen King, hit a game-winning Texas Leaguer (and had limes thrown at him) in Venezuela, caught catfish with his bare hands in Illinois; and ridden a camel in Kenya, a dolphin in the Florida Keys, an elephant in L.A. And we have the opportunity to hear what he has to say, right here in New Marlborough.
A reception follows in the Meeting House Gallery.