The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, literary readings, performance art, a world-renowned klezmer outfit, and a whole lot more.
Violinist Miranda Cuckson & Nunc bring their experimental contemporary sounds to Chapin Hall at Williams College tonight at 8pm, in a free concert featuring works by living composers including Harold Meltzer; Nina C. Young; Sebastian Hilli; Christopher Bailey; and a world premiere by Williams composer Ileana Perez Velazquez.
Also at Williams, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz will read from his works in the ‘62 Center MainStage on Monday at 4pm. Díaz is the author of the critically acclaimed “Drown”; “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and “This Is How You Lose Her,” a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. An audience Q&A and book signing will follow the free reading.
The Berkshire Chamber Players will perform an all-Mozart program at the Stockbridge Library tonight at 6pm. The ensemble will tackle Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546; A Musical Joke in F, K. 522; and Divertimento in B flat, K. 287.
Brooklyn-based performer and writer Okwui Okpokwasili pulls audiences through an ancestral dream shared between four women surrounding two historic Nigerian incidents in “Poor People’s TV Room” in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, on Saturday at 8pm, in a co-production with Jacob’s Pillow. Created in collaboration with director and visual artist Peter Born, Poor People’s TV Room looks at the intersection of history and women’s bodies, drawing from two incidents in Nigeria — the Women’s War of 1929 and the Boko Haram kidnappings, which sparked the Bring Back Our Girls movement.
Works by Beethoven and Felix Mendelssohn will be showcased in a concert of early 19th-century Romanticism at Van Buren Hall in Kinderhook, N.Y., on Sunday at 3pm, as part of the Concerts in the Village series. The Broad Street Chorale, the Broad Street Orchestra, sopranos Caroline Dunigan and Chloë Schaaf, and tenor Jon Morrell, will join forces under the baton of series director David Smith for Mendelssohn’s seldom heard concert aria Infelice; Beethoven’s spirited Symphony No. 2 in D major; and Mendelssohn’s monumental Symphony-Cantata Lobgesang.
Warhol: Unidentified, featuring 83 photographs by Andy Warhol whose subjects are currently unidentified, goes on view in the CCS Bard Collection Teaching Gallery at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., with an opening reception on Sunday from 1 to 4pm. The exhibit, part of Warhol x 5, a collaboration of five Hudson Valley university art museums that have coordinated to present complimentary exhibitions on Warhol, remains on view through Sunday, May 27.
The world-renowned Merlin and Polina Shepherd Klezmer Duo brings its innovative blend of world music, jazz, classical, Islamic, Russian, Yiddish, and klezmer sounds to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday at 7pm. Merlin Shepherd is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential klezmer clarinetists of our time. Polina Shepherd’s diverse musical background and her extraordinary native talent as a Siberian-born vocalist and pianist have quickly propelled her to the top rung of Yiddish and Russian performers. Together, Merlin and Polina Shepherd, who are now based in the south of England, combine their individual styles to blend traditional and newly composed Yiddish and Russian songs with klezmer and southern Mediterranean music. A few Grammy Award-winning superstars of klezmer are expected to make a surprise appearance at this concert at Club Helsinki. Whoopsie – there goes the surprise!
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com