Faced with the necessary isolation to ensure everyone’s health, with travel difficulties and restrictions, and the closure of our campus, rather than being defeated by Covid-19, we have decided to mount the festival virtually. And we’re very excited about the new possibilities this will open for all of us, beyond surmounting the challenges.

Each of you will be getting 4 private lessons over the course of the festival, participate in master classes by our faculty and guests, enjoy discussions by prominent composers, renowned pedagogues and public relations professionals who will look at the past, present and beyond the Coronavirus universe to chart what might be the course of classical music.  We are working on building up the technology we need to make everyone connected and actively a part of the classes and events. 

Here are some of the added features to High Peaks 2020:

Message from Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes and baritone Kerry Wilkerson, High Peaks Festival voice faculty

Walter Ponce, former chair of the piano department at UCLA and an internationally acclaimed performer, will talk about his recently published book “The Tyranny of Traditions in Piano Teaching,” questioning the received wisdom of piano pedagogy of the past two centuries Eliot Fisk, leading guitarist and heir to Segovia’s mantle, will share his extraordinary musicianship and experience
Doyenne of American composers, Joan Tower (in the midst of composing a new cello concerto!)
will share experience and inspiring thoughts
Atar Arad, viola virtuoso, former member of the Cleveland Quartet, and professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, will present a master class for string players
Famed publicist Aleba Gartner (has raised the profiles of Miller Theater, NY Festival of Song, Bang on a Can, Brooklyn Philharmonic, etc.) and composer Phil Kline will imagine a post-pandemic world for performers High Peaks alumna cellist Lea Plave will speak about and play from her new CD, rediscovering the prominent Dutch composer Henriette Bosmans
A Baroque clinic – examining and experimenting with sound production and phrasing for all strings Opera director Jay Lesenger (Chautauqua, Glimmerglass’ Ghosts of Versailles, etc.) will work with vocalists on interpretation, acting and communication
On the Road with the Kronos Quartet! HP faculty member Jeffrey Zeigler toured with the trailblazing quartet for eight seasons, and continues to collaborate with the most cutting edge of today’s composers Our luthier “in residence” Francis Morris will delve into the mystique of Cremona and teach us how to care and maintain our string instruments

We even have a touch of Hollywood: Renowned make-up artist to the stars and Emmy nominee Garen Tolkin will advise and critique on make-up application, hair styling and concert attire and demeanor for our participants on our virtual concert stage. She has shaped the image of countless actors such as Adrien Brody, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Chu, Carrie Fisher, Faye Dunaway, Eva Mendes, Glenn Close, Harrison Ford, Sharon Stone, Mira Sorvino!

This is in addition to the scheduled master classes by our wonderful faculty(Peter Zazofsky, IrinaMuresanu, Michael Strauss, Alexander Shtarkman, Jeffrey Zeigler, Danielle Talamantes, Kerry Wilkerson, Sae Rom Kwon, Yehuda Hanani, etc.). Annie Brooks will work with everyone to pre-record piano parts.

…and more to come to keep you excited and inspired as we continue to reinvent the modes of teaching and learning.

More welcome news – since we don’t have costs related to room and board, etc. – is that the fee will be down to half this year.  We will be in touch with each of you to arrange payment – or if have already paid the full fee – you will be reimbursed the difference. 

Welcome to a courageous new world!

Yehuda Hanani, Artistic Director
Marcie L. Setlow, President, CEWM


Pianists, string players and vocalists:  We are pleased to announce that the High Peaks Festival is alive and well during this unprecedented and challenging time.  We look forward to returning to the heart of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts next summer and enjoying together one of the world's top tourist destinations and an area renowned for its arts and culture, natural beauty and outdoor adventure. Meantime, in 2020, we will continue to uphold high peaks of artistic achievement at a distance from the gentle hills that normally surround us in our home on the inviting campus of the Berkshire School.  I and our stellar faculty and guest speakers and presenters look forward to welcoming you to an exciting virtual learning experience!

For information contact: Avital Louria at 800-843-0778.

“As an educational institution, our mission is to infuse students over a relatively short period with love and enthusiasm for their chosen vocation and with an appreciation of past traditions and a spirit of adventure and discovery.”

Yehuda Hanani, Artistic Director
Berkshire High Peaks Festival

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Berkshire High Peaks Festival   PO Box 34  Great Barrington, MA  01230 
Toll-free 800-843-0778 / email: cewmusicinfo@aol.com

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