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Bits & Bytes: Bach at New Year’s; marionettes at Ventfort Hall; Berkshire Art Association call for art

The 'Bach at New Year's' program celebrates friendship and Auld Lang Syne in the music of five Baroque masters who defined the style and created the rich heritage of Western music enjoyed today.

Emerson String Quartet’s Drucker to return to Bach at New Year’s

Great Barrington — Emerson String Quartet founder and internationally renowned soloist Eugene Drucker will return to lead the Berkshire Bach Society’s annual Bach at New Year’s concert at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Monday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. In addition to directing the performance, Drucker will perform as featured soloist with the Berkshire Bach Ensemble. The program will include works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, Telemann and J.S. Bach.

Allan Dean

The program celebrates friendship and Auld Lang Syne in the music of five Baroque masters who defined the style and created the rich heritage of Western music enjoyed today. Spanning the years 1653-1787, these composers connected through direct friendships and reverence for each other’s music, and are as relevant today as they were during their own times. Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto” will be featured, played by the full Ensemble. Vivaldi, Corelli’s musical successor, will be represented by “Winter” from “The Four Seasons,” with Drucker as violin soloist. Handel, who knew Corelli and revered his music throughout his life, will be evoked by the “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from “Solomon” that opens the concert as well as a 1733 version of “Water Music” featuring longtime Ensemble member Allan Dean on solo trumpet. The innovation of Telemann, who met Handel as he began his university career, will be delineated by his Concerto No. 1 in G Major for Four Violins and performed by Laura Lutzke, Michael Roth, Ronald Gorevic and Emily Smith.

Ronald Gorevic

Bach never met Handel, though he was close friends with Telemann, studied the music of Corelli and Vivaldi, and famously paid homage to each, writing a fugue on a Corelli theme and arranging several Vivaldi works as keyboard concertos. This year’s program features the Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor with soloist Arthur Haas; the Concerto for Violin and Oboe with soloists Drucker on violin and Gerard Reuter on oboe; and “Brandenburg Concertos” Nos. 2 and 4 with trumpeter Sycil Mathai and flute soloists Judith Mendenhall and Alison Hale.

Tickets range from $42–$88. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Ventfort Hall to host ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ marionette show

Carl Sprague. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Lenox — Carl Sprague will return to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum for two marionette performances of the classic fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” Saturday, Dec. 29, and Sunday, Dec. 30, at 3:00 p.m. Audiences will have the opportunity to meet Sprague over holiday refreshments after the performances.

Sprague appears annually at Ventfort Hall and has been a puppeteer since childhood. He inherited a collection of 60 antique Czech marionettes, each about 8 inches tall and assembled by his great-grandfather Julius Hybler with purchased heads and handmade costumes. Sprague has been a set designer for such motion pictures as “The Royal Tenenbaums” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence,” as well as for theater productions by Shakespeare & Company and others.

Admission is $15 for adults, $7 for children ages 4–12 and free for children ages 3 and under. Children must be accompanied by adults. For more information or to make reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206.


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The 2018 Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Show at Lichtenstein Center for the arts in Pittsfield. Photo courtesy Berkshire art Association

Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Show calls for art

Pittsfield — Berkshire County college art majors are invited to apply for the 2018 juried Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Show. Up to $5,000 in prizes will be awarded to college art majors whose work is selected. The fellowship is open to Berkshire County residents enrolled as art majors at any college in the country, as well as to nonresidents majoring in art at a Berkshire County college—Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Williams College and Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

The show will begin Friday, March 22, at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. The awards reception will be held Friday, April 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. during First Fridays Artswalk. The submission deadline is Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Submission is online via Artwork submitted for the jury must be available for the show. Juried work must be properly prepared for hanging, with hangers and wires if appropriate. Drop off dates will be Monday, March 11, through Friday, March 15.

For more information, contact



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