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Rogovoy Report 6/2/17

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a Picasso exhibit; a film festival; choral music; two virtuosos playing music by Russian composers; and a whole lot more.

Best known for its collections of paintings by Renoir and Winslow Homer, the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., changes course slightly this summer with an exhibition of works by Pablo Picasso, which goes on view on Sunday, June 4, and remains on view through Sunday, August 27. Picasso: Encounters explores Pablo Picasso’s interest in and experimentation with large-scale printmaking throughout his career, challenging the notion of Picasso as an artist alone with his craft. The exhibition begins with Picasso’s seminal Self-Portrait from his Blue Period as a representation of the artist’s mythic isolation. The exhibit boasts another 35 of the artist’s most important graphic achievements, ranging from the Clark’s rare impression of The Frugal Repast to Ecce Homo, after Rembrandt, executed three years before his death in 1973.

In Pittsfield and Great Barrington, Mass., all weekend long, the 12th annual Berkshire International Film Festival will showcase 80 new independent feature, documentary, short, and family films from 23 countries through Sunday, June 4, including live appearances by festival honoree Christopher Plummer, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and Karen Allen, presenting her directorial debut, “A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud”. Among the 23 countries represented this year in the film festival are Germany, Afghanistan, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, Iran, England, India, Iraq, Chile, France, Spain, UK, Israel, Syria, Sweden, Russia, Egypt and Japan.

Extraordinary images of Antarctica by Berkshire-based photographer Shaun O’Boyle go on view in the Berkshire Now gallery space at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield tonight through August 21.

The Cantilena Chamber Choir will be joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks for King David in Words and Music, at Trinity Church in Lenox, Mass., on Saturday, at 7:30pm. Brooks will read from her latest international best-selling novel “The Secret Chord,” about the life of King David, as the choir sings music for chorus and full orchestra based on corresponding texts by and about King David. On the program will be music from the Handel Oratorio “Saul,” the Coronation Anthem “Zadok the Priest,” music by Salamone Rossi, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Honegger and the choral masterpiece “When David Heard,” by Eric Whitacre, the immensely popular composer of contemporary choral music.

NPR radio host and pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz perform a duo program of sonatas by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich at Hudson Hall tonight at 7pm. The Juilliard String Quartet will kick off the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle series in Olin Hall at Bard College in a program of works by Bartok and Beethoven on Saturday at 8pm.

Matt Lorenz, the Northampton, Mass.-based indie-blues singer-songwriter who performs under the name The Suitcase Junket, bring his box of creative tricks to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, at 9pm.  A one-man salvage specialist singing into the hollow of a dumpster guitar, railing on a box of twisted forks and bones, and belting out mountain ballads till the house sings back, the Suitcase Junket should appeal to fans of Tom Waits and White Stripes alike. 

Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com