Bach at New Year’s 2014 – 2015

Bach in Champagne Glass


“A Blast of Brass!”

Kenneth Cooper and

the Berkshire Bach Ensemble

A festive New Year’s concert of well-known and loved works by Haydn, Mozart and Bach, including Brandenburg #1, Orchestral Suite #3 and Trumpet Concerto featuring three trumpet virtuosi, four horn virtuosi, a timpani virtuoso, and Kenneth Cooper conducting the Berkshire Bach Ensemble.

The “Celebratory Best” for New Year’s!

Haydn:    Symphony No. 31 in D major “Hornsignal” 
Mozart:   Five Contredanses, K. 609 & “The Sleigh Ride”
Haydn:    Trumpet Concerto in E-flat (1790)
Bach:        Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 
Bach:        Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 6pmMahaiwe-Logo-2014-Large orange n blue
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA
Tickets: (413) 528-0100 or
Berkshire’s Celebratory Best for New Year’s Eve!

Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 3pmWMHT Logo w TV & radio
Co-Presentation with WMHT
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
Tickets: (518) 273-0038 or

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 7:30pmNEPR small
Co-Presentation with NEPR
Academy of Music, Northampton, MA
Tickets: (413) 584-9032 x105 or

Berkshire Bach member discounts are available by calling the box office.

Students with ID are invited as Berkshire Bach guests at the Troy and Northampton venues where FAMILY FRIENDLY PRICING is also available.

Berkshire Bach offers one of its most festive New Year’s concerts ever featuring three trumpet virtuosi, Allan Dean, Neil Mueller and Gerald Serfass, augmented by horn virtuosi Ann Ellsworth, Rachel Drehmann, John Gattis and Laura Weiner, and timpani virtuoso Benjamin Harms. Also with an expanded string section this year, the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, led by its renowned director, Kenneth Cooper, will perform a robust and stimulating program of well-known Baroque and Classical favorites at three marvelous New England venues.

On the program is Haydn’s luxurious Symphony No 31 in D, called Hornsignal for its blatant and witty imitations of the Posthorn calls, those octave signals that accompanied mail deliveries by horse and carriage in the 18th century. It is one of the few 18th century symphonies that boast four French Horns. As a sorbet, the Berkshire Bach Ensemble will play five (maybe six) Mozart Contredanses, written for the Viennese court in the last years of his life. This is the ultimate in entertainment music – with some special effects – composed with a mischievous mastery only Mozart could have accomplished.

Also in the 1790s, towards the end of his life, Haydn wrote his famous Trumpet Concerto, which was apparently performed just a few times, then not again until the 1920s. Given Berkshire Bach’s triumvirate of trumpets, Dr. Cooper has decided to let them all play this classic concerto, one movement each, and he has written special cadenzas and ornaments for all three players.

Post-intermission fare consists of two Bach classics in special Berkshire Bach versions: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 (what would New Year’s be without a Brandenburg?) with its spectacular solos for violin, horns, oboes, bassoon, and percussion, and the brilliant Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D with its three-trumpet-and timpani power and its famous Air for strings.

Berkshire Bach is happy to welcome back this year many of its devoted artists including concertmaster, renowned violinist Joel Pitchon, violists Liuh-Wen Ting and Irena Momchilova, cellists Roberta Cooper and Lucy Bardo, flutist Alison Hale, oboists Marsha Heller, Meg Owens and Gerard Reuter, bassoonist Stephen Walt, percussionist Ben Harms, and Berkshire Bach’s ever-present bassist Peter Weitzner, who hasn’t missed a Bach at New Year’s performance since 1993.

The Berkshire Bach Ensemble also welcomes this year several guest artists in the violin section – Tim Cho, Yoon Jung Yang, Caroline Chin, Ari Isaacman-Beck and Ronald Long, Jr.

Family friendly pricing is available again this year, and as always, students with ID are invited as Berkshire Bach guests.

The New Year’s Day concert at the Troy Music Hall is a co-presentation with WMHT, and the First Friday concert at the Academy of Music in Northampton is a co-presentation with NEPR.