Bits & Bytes: ‘The Art of the String Quartet;’ baby animals; wildflower festival; Olivier Meslay at Berkshire Museum

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By Monday, Apr 10 Life In the Berkshires
Sophie Zhai
Close Encounters with Music will present the Escher String Quartet at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington on Saturday, April 15.

CEWM to present ‘The art of the String Quartet’

Great Barrington — The Escher String Quartet will make their Berkshire debut in a program titled “The Art of the String Quartet,” to be presented by Close Encounters with Music at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 15, at 6 p.m. The program will include Mendelssohn’s Quartet in E minor, opus 80; the Bartók Quartet No. 3; and Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartet in E minor, opus 59, No. 2.

Acclaimed for their keen musical insights and championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the Escher String Quartet gave debuts at the BBC Proms and has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. They are former BBC New Generation Artists, winners of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Tickets are $15–$45. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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‘Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm’

Children enjoy a 'Baby Animals' exhibit at Hancock Shaker Village.

Children enjoy a ‘Baby Animals’ exhibit at Hancock Shaker Village.

Pittsfield — Hancock Shaker Village will present “Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm” Saturday, April 15, through Sunday, May 7.  Now in its 13th year, “Baby Animals” newborn lambs, piglets, calves, goats, bunnies, chicks and ducklings in HSV’s iconic Round Stone Barn and adjacent farm buildings.

Multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and instrument designer Mark Stewart will play songs and pieces from different traditions at 11 a.m. The musical director for Paul Simon and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, he’s the inventor of the WhirlyCopter, a bicycle-powered Pythagorean choir of singing tubes, and has also worked with Sting, Bob Dylan, Philip Glass, Paul McCartney, and James Taylor.

Throughout the festival, “Farm Year: New Works by Susan Merrill” will be on display in the Poultry House Gallery. Merrill is a Stockbridge artist and former art teacher at Berkshire Country Day School who grew up on a farm in rural Maryland and has a deep and abiding respect for farm animals.

All activities are included with museum admission. For more information, contact HSV at (413) 443-0188.

–E.E.

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Bartholomew’s Cobble to host wildflower festival

Carrieanne Petrik-Huff points out the natural features of Bartholomew's Cobble at the Cobble's 2016 wildflower festival. Photo: Eddie Wren

Carrieanne Petrik-Huff points out the natural features of Bartholomew’s Cobble at the Cobble’s 2016 wildflower festival. Photo: Eddie Wren

Ashley Falls — Bartholomew’s Cobble will host its second annual wildflower festival Saturday, April 15, through Sunday, May 7.

Often referred to as “spring ephemerals,” delicate wildflowers take advantage of the small window of time when conditions are just right: plenty of moisture from melting snow, soil that has started to warm as a result of the warmer spring temperatures, and sunlight that can still reach through the defoliated limbs of tall trees. Spring ephemerals such as white and red trilliums, spring beauty, bloodroot, toothwort, wild ginger, blue cohosh and violets, are typical in New England forests, and the Cobble is dense with unique rock outcroppings, small caves, over 800 plant species–including 29 listed by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program­–and 53 species of ferns and fern allies, one of the most diverse and natural assemblages of ferns in the United States.

Volunteer wildflower guides have been trained extensively in the ecology and geology of the property and have crafted their own wildflower tours, which will be given three times daily: at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. The festival will also feature self-guided art projects and a native plant sale.

The cost of a tour is $5 for Trustees of Reservations members and $10 for nonmembers. Reservations are recommended. For more information, contact Carrieanne at (413) 298-3239 x3013 or cpetrikhuff@thetrustees.org.

–E.E.

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Clark Art Institute director Olivier Meslay to speak at Berkshire Museum

Olivier Meslay. Photo courtesy OLLI at BCC

Olivier Meslay. Photo courtesy OLLI at BCC

Pittsfield — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College will launch its 2017 Distinguished Speaker Series with “Landscapes of the Clark,” an illustrated talk by Olivier Meslay, the Felda and Dena Hardymon director of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, on Saturday, April 15, at 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum.

Meslay joined the Clark in August 2016 and leads a staff of nearly one hundred employees. A museum professional and noted scholar, he has held curatorial and leadership positions at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Musée du Louvre. In 2009, the French government honored him as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his contributions to furthering French arts and culture throughout the world.

Tickets are $10 for OLLI at BCC and Berkshire Museum members and $15 for the general public. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call OLLI at BCC at (413) 236-2190.

–E.E.


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