A group of musicians performs on stage, each playing a string instrument, including violins and cellos. They are dressed in formal attire with a red curtain backdrop. The ensemble includes both male and female performers, and they are positioned in a semi-circle. The text "Berkshire High Peaks Festival: Music with Altitude!" is visible at the bottom of the image.
Musicians perform at the Berkshire High Peaks Festival, showcasing their talents in a formal concert setting at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington; submitted photo.

Berkshire High Peaks Festival 2024 Open to the Public July 20 – 31

Performances, talks, master classes, and gifted musicians on the cusp of careers; events are FREE and open to the public at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass  occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would not provide additional relevant information.

Berkshire High Peaks Festival will mount its 15th annual season on the bucolic campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in the heart of Great Barrington. At the core of the festival are over 40 international students of exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishment who gather for intensive study, are coached as part of performing ensembles and enjoy discussions and workshops by prominent composers, renowned pedagogues, and notable figures in the music world as they prepare for professional lives.

To date, over 650 young musicians have been inspired by the High Peaks program, many on full or partial scholarships.

For audiences and listeners, High Peaks offers wall-to-wall performances as participants—strings, pianists, vocalists and wind players—showcase their talent at the Kellogg Music Center, often alongside their mentors.

The ten-day festival, directed by internationally acclaimed cellist Yehuda Hanani, will continue to make its offerings of “Moonlight Sonatas” concerts, lectures and master classes open to the public. Hanani and his renowned colleagues infuse students with love and enthusiasm for their musical vocation, instilling them with an appreciation for past traditions and a spirit of adventure and discovery—as well as connecting them to the Berkshire community and beyond with daily events. Highlights include a faculty concert on Thursday July 25, and a farewell concert on July 30. (See full schedule below)
“We are committed to bringing the very best artists and leading pedagogues to continue this musical tradition, here in the breathtaking environment that inspired generations of writers, artists and musicians,” says Hanani.
This July, in addition to the concerts that are scheduled at the Kellogg Music Center of Simon’s Rock, performances take place at Chesterwood in Stockbridge and in Tannersville. Watch for more details.

High Peaks Schedule—Open to the Public

Sunday, July 21

1:30 PM – Master Class Gila Goldstein (Longy School of Music), piano

Monday, July 22

1:30 PM – Opera Talk – Jay Lesenger (Opera Director / Conductor)
3:30 PM – Master Class Ida Bieler (NYU, North Carolina School of the Arts), violin7:30 PM – Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks Residents Perform)

Tuesday, July 23

1:30 PM – Talk (“All About Rhythm”) – Arti Dixson (Jazz percussionist, author, clinician)
3:30 PM – Master Class – Danielle Talamantes (Metropolitan Opera) and Kerry Wilkerson (George Mason Univ.), vocalists
7:30 PM – Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks Residents Perform)

Wednesday, July 24

1:30 PM – Master Class – Diego Fainguersch (Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Institute of Art at the Teatro Colon), cello

Thursday, July 25

10:30 AM – Master Class Yehuda Hanani (Mannes College), cello
7:30 PM – Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks Faculty Concert)

Friday, July 26

10:30 AM – Master Class Alexander Shtarkman (Peabody Conservatory), piano
4:00 PM – Music from High Peaks in Tannersville, NY

Saturday, July 27

10:30 AM – Master Class Peter Zazofsky (Boston Univ.), violin
7:00 PM – Salon – Performance and reception at private home

Sunday, July 28

2:30 PM – Music from High Peaks – Chesterwood, Stockbridge, MA
7:30 PM – Moonlight Sonatas (High Peaks Residents Perform)

Monday, July 29

10:30 AM — Master Class Anthony Devroye (Avalon Quartet), viola
1:30 PM – Talk – “Meet the Composer” – Seth Grosshandler and Tamar Muskal

Tuesday, July 30

7:30 PM — Moonlight Sonatas — Farewell Concert (High Peaks Residents Perform)

Matching Gift Challenge Opportunity!

We are honored to have a matching gift challenge! 👉 Every donation between now and July 2nd can be matched up to $20,000, thanks to two generous board members!

ALL proceeds will go toward tuition for Berkshire High Peaks students who might otherwise be unable to attend.

These talented young musicians are tomorrow’s superstars. We ask you to help us help them.

How to donate? Write a check to Close Encounters With Music (“High Peaks” in the memo): PO Box 34, Great Barrington MA 01230 or click the button below to pay via PayPal.

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