Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: ‘Music That Shook the World’; ‘Books and Blooms’; GBHS fundraiser; Pittsfield river clean-up; equestrian emergency response training

The 20th century saw a series of cultural earthquakes that shook the music establishment and scandalized audiences.

CEWM to present ‘Music That Shook the World’

Michael Chertock.
Berick13_web (1)
Yehonatan Berick.

Great Barrington – On Saturday, June 11, at 6 p.m., Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) will present its gala event, “Music That Shook the World,” at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

yehuda (1)
Yehuda Hanani.
Alison Larkin.

The 20th century saw a series of cultural earthquakes that shook the music establishment and scandalized audiences. 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 will include Claude Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; Olivier Messiaen’s “Louange a l’Éernité de Jésu” from his “Quartet for the End of Time;” and the piano version of “The Rite of Spring” by Paris’ adopted son, Igor Stravinsky. Beethoven’s final violin sonata, No. 10 in G Major Opus 26, will also receive a performance, as will “Café Music” by Paul Schoenfield. The featured performers will be pianist Michael Chertock, violinist Yehonatan Berick, cellist and CEWM Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani, and author/comedienne Alison Larkin.

Tickets are $50 and $30 and are available, along with more information, from the Berkshire Edge calendar or the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100. Preferred Patron seats and a Patrons-only dinner reception are available for $150 by contacting CEWM at (800) 843-0778 or


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‘Books and Blooms’ gardening event

Cornwall, Conn. – “Books and Blooms,” the Cornwall Library’s annual summer kick-off benefit event, will take place on Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18.

At 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17, Olana Partnership Landscape Curator Mark Prezorski will give a presentation at the Library about Olana’s 250-acre Hudson, N.Y landscape, designed by Frederic Edwin Church. A cocktail reception and garden book sale will follow the talk. Tours of five gardens in Cornwall Village, West Cornwall, Cornwall Bridge and Cornwall Hollow will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. The gardens are diverse and include features such as a “summer painting” with meandering stone paths, blooming peonies and roses surrounded by a hillside with ancient trees and old stone walls, large architectural fragments, native plants that provide three-season color, and a blend of formal informal plantings.

The cost of the talk is $30, and admission to the garden tours is also $30 (the cost to attend both days activites is $50). Reservations are recommended for the talk should be made by Saturday, June 10. For reservations, garden tour maps, and more information, contact the Library at (860) 672-6874.


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GBHS fundraising event

American Eve book coverGreat Barrington — The Great Barrington Historical Society (GBHS) will present its annual fundraising cocktail party, lecture, and tour at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) on Saturday, June 11, at 5:30 p.m. The event will include tours of the Cotswold-style AIER stone mansion, and a literary lecture by author and Hofstra University English professor Paula Uruburu, who will speak about her new book “American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the “It” Girl, and the Crime of the Century.”

While Nesbit, one the most photographed women of her era, is central to the book, Stanford White – Nesbit’s paramour and one of the founders of the renowned architectural firm, McKim, Mead & White – is of particular interest, having designed a number of Gilded Age Berkshire mansions, including Naumkeag. White met his end in a theater at Madison Square Garden (which he had also designed) when he was murdered by Nesbit’s husband. The ensuing trial became known as the “trial of the century”.

Paula Uruburu has been widely published and has appeared on PBS’s “History Detectives” and “American Experience.” She has also worked as a consultant for the History Channel.

Admission to the event is $25. Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting (413) 591-8702 or A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.


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Housatonic River clean-up

Pittsfield — On Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team will welcome volunteers to help with a river cleanup of the west branch of the Housatonic River. Volunteers will meet at Wahconah Park, 105 Wahconah St., to be organized into crews which will then be dispersed north toward Pontoosuc Lake and south toward Linden Street. A few crews will use canoes to paddle and pick up trash (water level permitting).

Work gloves and bags will be provided, as will morning coffee, pastries, and lunch. Old clothes; a hat; sunscreen; old sneakers, waterproof boots, or chest waders; a water bottle (or two); and sunglasses are recommended. A limited number of waterproof hip waders will be available to borrow. Registration is not required, but will be helpful in planning crews and lunch. To register or for more information, call HVA at (413) 394-9796 or email or


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Emergency response training for equestrians

Shawn Godfrey
Shawn Godfrey.

South Egremont — Blue Rider Stables will host an emergency response training session on Friday, June 10, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The program will focus on common rider-related injuries, how to identify them, and the protocol to follow regarding care and treatment, and will be led by Shawn Godfrey of SJG Emergency Response Training and Consulting, LLC. The cost for the program is $20. An RSVP to (413) 528-5299 is requested by Thursday, June 9.



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