The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include the story of a 19th century heiress, early violin music, a conversation with a bestselling author, a celebration of the drone, and a whole lot more.
Award-winning author Lauren Groff will discuss writing with Heidi Pitlor, editor of The Best American Short Stories, at The Mount in Lenox, Mass., this evening at 5pm. Groff is the author of five books, including the novel Fates and Furies and the story collection Florida, both of which were finalists for the National Book Awards. Groff has been named a Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellow, one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, and has had five stories in the Best American Short Stories Anthology.
On Saturday at 5pm, Eugene Drucker – a cofounder of the Emerson String Quartet – offers a solo violin recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Paul Hindemith, as part of the Berkshire Bach Society concert series at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington, Mass. Drucker will be performing on his Stradivarius violin, which was made in 1686, the year after Bach was born.
In 1875, the American heiress Jennie Jerome seemed to have it all. She had married an English lord, she was young, rich and beautiful, and she had just given birth to Winston Churchill, who, like all newborn babies, looked just like Winston Churchill. Lady Randy – written by and starring Anne Undeland -- takes the audience on a dizzying ride through the treacherous, kaleidoscopic sexual and political landscape of her marriage. Lady Randy, a WAM Theatre production, is in the second weekend of a 3-weekend run at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox tonight and Saturday night at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.
This weekend it’s the annual DroneFest at Basilica Hudson. An all-encompassing, immersive event, 24-HOUR DRONE features musicians and sound artists experimenting with sustained tones, creating a full twenty-four hours of unbroken sound. The music comes in all shapes and styles, including Indian classical and modern Indian music; electronic sounds; violins and cellos; choral music; accordions; ambient sounds, and other styles. 24-HOUR DRONE starts Saturday at noon and runs straight through for 24 hours until Sunday at noon. It also features 24 Hour Video and 24 Hour Food.
On Sunday at 2pm, Concerts in the Village presents "Songs with Friends," featuring five singers from the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program led by the great Dawn Upshaw. Music to be presented includes a bold variety of vocal chamber music, from early baroque to contemporary. The program, which takes place in Van Buren Hall in Kinderhook, N.Y., features works by Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, Caroline Shaw, and others.
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) will perform the U.S. premieres of Joachim Raff’s Psalm 130: De Profundis and Lera Auerbach’s De Profundis (Violin Concerto No. 3) in a themed program called "De Profundis: Out of the Depths" at the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2. Featuring internationally acclaimed violinist Vadim Repin, soprano Elizabeth de Trejo, and the Bard Chorale under the direction of James Bagwell, the program, conducted by Leon Botstein, also includes an a cappella choral interpretation of De Profundis by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Virgil Thomson, written in 1921 while he was still a student at Harvard.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com