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Find an Abundance of Concerts Across the Region
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
12:54PM / Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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Bang On A Can brings all different kinds of music to Mass MoCA every summer.

Concert venues in the Berkshires and southern Vermont will provide a dizzying mélange of classical programs across the full musical spectrum this summer. From early music to avant-garde, from Bach to Beethoven, and light years ahead to the Bang On A Can Festival at Mass MoCA, there’s music in practically every style to stimulate and please all tastes.
 
Last week I highlighted three major venues where classical music rules: Tanglewood (www.bso.org), Manchester Music Festival (www.mmfvt.org) and Tannery Pond (www.tannery-pond-concerts.myshopify.com). For complete concert schedules, information and to purchase tickets, visit their websites.
 
And that’s not all. Our region – deemed a “cultural capital” – is seemingly overflowing with classical music in yet more venues large and small – from village churches to world class “temples” of music. Whether you’re a classical initiate or a casual music lover looking for an unexpected, unique listening experience, you’ll find it in the Berkshires and Southern Vermont.

Here are three more venues; call it the ‘three “M”s - to explore.
 

Marlboro Music

About an hour from North Adams is Marlboro Music, on the campus of tiny Marlboro College, located off Route 9, just west of Brattleboro, Vt.
 
Founded in 1951 as a chamber musician’s retreat in a leafy setting, Marlboro from its beginnings has set the highest standard for chamber music performance. The place is a chamber musician’s dream, where dedication to music’s loftiest heights is the goal, and where young, journeyman performers assiduously practice and rehearse with their older, established performer/mentors, taking as much time as is needed to assure a mature and polished interpretation of the music.
 
Why go? The performers study, rehearse and cogitate upon the composer’s intent until all musical decisions concerning interpretation are resolved by the collective ensemble and are realized in the instrumentalist’s fingers or singer’s voices.
 
What will they be they performing? At this level it hardly matters; just know that it will be transcendently achieved, so go and be surprised.
 
Consequently, each concert program is announced only a few days before the weekend performances. The performers take the stage Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m., July 16 through August 14. Or, if you must know in advance, the program will be announced a few days before the concerts. To find out, call the box office at 215-569-4690 or go online at www.marlboro music.org/concerts.

 

Mohawk Trail Concerts

Mohawk Trail Concerts is a venerable series, located in beautiful Charlemont, over the mountain on scenic Route 2, east of North Adams along the majestic Deerfield River. Violinist and chamber musician Arnold Black established Mohawk Trail Concerts in 1969.
 
In the years since, many luminaries of the chamber music world have performed at the Charlemont Federated Church – the intimate setting and home of this beloved series: Joan Morris and William Bolcom, the Leningrad String Quartet, Arnold Steinhardt, Carol Wincenc, Joel Krosnick, Gilbert Kalish, Robert and Nicholas Mann – the list goes on and on ...
 
Why go? The setting is informal in the acoustically resonant Federated Church, and the repertoire runs the gamut from popular song and a bit of folk to traditional classical and occasionally unfamiliar contemporary classical music – all performed by stellar artists.
 
MTC Summer Festival Season runs from June 17-July 23; concerts are presented on weekends. For specific programs, dates and times, visit the Mohawk Trails Concerts website: www.mohawktrailconcerts.org/2016-summer-festival. For tickets, call 413-625-9511 or go online: www.mowhaktrailconcerts.org.

 

Mass MoCA/Bang On A Can Music Festival

The 15th annual 18-day Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival runs from Monday, July 11, through Sunday, July 31, and features some of today’s leading composers and performers working in experimental music. If you’re new to this ensemble and its coterie of dedicated avant-gardists, suffice it to say that it’s music with an “edge” that will challenge and astonish you.
 
Composers-in-residence and performers will participate in ensembles sitting alongside their teachers. The festival includes daily performances in MoCA’s museum galleries, which are free with paid museum admission. The Festival concludes with a six-hour “blow-out marathon concert,” performed by all of the Festival’s ensembles, including special guests. The Festival also features African and Latin music workshops, electronics and music business seminars, free events within the community, and much more.
 
Along with the BOAC “All-Stars,” this summer’s festival also features the music of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams.
 
Why go? Touted as “A musical utopia for innovative musicians,” Bang On A Can, or ‘Banglewood’ as founders Evan Ziporyn, David Lang and Julia Wolfe like to call it, is not your grandfather’s idea of sedate chamber music. Musically speaking, there may not be “more things in heaven and earth” than exist between Marlboro Music and Bang On A Can. But, have no fear and take the plunge - you might really enjoy it.
 
Mass MoCA is located at 87 Marshall Street, North Adams. Call for tickets at 413- 662-2111 or visit BOAC’s website for a listing of the full schedule of events: www.bangonacan.org/summer_festival.

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