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Close Encounters Returns in 2023

Experience world-class performers at exclusive, intimate locations to hear chamber music as it was meant to be – up close and personal.

(Visit our EVENTS calendar or scroll down to purchase individual concert tickets. )


Heights Arts announces the return of its Close Encounters chamber music series in 2023. This popular series is known for its world-class performances with Cleveland Orchestra musicians and locally acclaimed ensembles performing up close and personal – in unique settings that create intimacy between audience and musicians. 

Executive Director of Heights Arts, Rachel Bernstein shares more about Close Encounters – “After a hiatus due to the pandemic, I am excited to present our 16th Close Encounters season featuring four performances with outstanding musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra and an additional performance by the critically acclaimed Alla Boara ensemble. The series, planned with our new artistic director, Dane Johansen and our talented Music Community Team, is sure to deliver both the excellence we have shared from prior series performances, and a new twist as we introduce our audience to the incredible talent of local ensembles. Of course, all of these performances will be heard up close and personal – in the beautiful, intimate settings so generously provided by loyal homeowners and venues.”

The series began under the direction of its founding Artistic Director and Cleveland Orchestra violinist Isabel Trautwein, whose dedication and artistry contributed to the enrichment of Heights Arts’ programming. After a hiatus due to the pandemic and Trautwein’s retirement, Heights Arts will reintroduce this beloved series in collaboration with its Music Community Team and new Artistic Director, Cleveland Orchestra cellist, virtuosic soloist, and world class chamber musician Dane Johansen.

Johansen is excited for the challenge and the opportunity to continue presenting great music to Heights Arts’ appreciative audiences. “I approached programming this season by asking all of the featured musicians to suggest ‘bucket list’ works they have always wanted to play. This turned out to be a great way to collaborate and broaden the vision of the series.” Johansen is familiar with the series, having performed in previous programs. He has put together four exciting programs with his TCO colleagues for the upcoming 16th Season. 

True to its mission of celebrating the regions’ artists and sharing their contributions with the community, the Heights Arts Music Community Team has selected the highly acclaimed Alla Boara ensemble for 5th concert of the series. With a mission to present Italian folk music in modern renditions, this accomplished ensemble will bring a new twist to the traditional format of the series.

Close Encounters season 12

Schedule for Close Encounters, Season 16

Close Encounters Concert 1: Omni Quartet | February 26th, 3pm at Dunham Tavern

Performers: Amy Lee, violin; Alicia Koelz, violin; Joanna P. Zakany, viola; Tanya Ell, cello

String Quartet in F, Op. 77 No. 2 (1799) Josef Haydn (1732-1809)
Entracte (2011) Caroline Shaw (b 1982)
String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 44 No. 1 (1838) Felix Mendelssohn (1809 –1847)


Close Encounters Concert 2 | March 26th, 3pm at Herrick Mews Carriage House

Performers: Stephen Tavani, Violin; Yun-Ting Lee, Violin; William Bender, Viola; Dane Johansen, Cello

String Quartet No. 16 in E-Flat Major, K. 428 (1783) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914) Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36 (1945) Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)


Close Encounters Concert 3 | April 30th, 3pm at Shaker Heights Villa

Performers: Afendi Yusuf, Clarinet; Jessica Lee, Violin; Dan Overly, Piano; Tanya Ell, Cello

Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1938) Bela Bartok (1881-1945)
Trio in A minor, Op. 114 for Clarinet, Piano and Cello (1891) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)


Close Encounters Concert 4 | May 21st, 3pm at Apple-Presser Funhouse

Performers: Stephen Tavani, Violin; Yun-Ting Lee, Violin; William Bender, Viola; Dane
Johansen, Cello

String Quartet No. 10 in E Flat Major Op. 74 “Harp” (1809) Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827)
String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108 (1960) Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
String Quartet Op. 56 Voces Intimae (Intimate Voices) (1909) Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) 


Close Encounters Program 5 : Alla Boara | June 25th, 3pm at Dunham Tavern

Performers: Anthony Taddeo, Drums / Percussion; Amanda Powell, Voice; Dan Bruce Guitar; Tommy Lehman, Trumpet / Flugelhorn; Ian Kinnaman, Bass; Kelton Hale, Accordion

Alla Boara’s mission is to bring recognition and new life to Italian Folk Music with more modern arrangements and (when applicable) with visual projections. The program includes storytelling throughout the program to help explain and deepen the connection to the individual compositions.


Says Johansen of season 16, “I can promise that each of these programs will be everything you want and more in an intimate chamber music concert. I hope to see you at one or all of these events and look forward to hearing your reactions to these beautiful and adventuresome works!”


Order early for guaranteed seats!

Season subscriptions, as well as individual concert tickets may be purchased at Heights Arts, 2175 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, via phone at 216-371-3457 or online.

CLICK HERE for Season Tickets , or visit our EVENTS calendar or scroll up to purchase individual concert tickets. )

Directions for concerts at private residences are mailed a week in advance. Advance ticket purchase is necessary as seating is limited, and Close Encounters concerts have a tradition of selling out.

Season 16 Subscription to all five concerts  $255 | $215 Heights Arts members

Individual Concerts $60 | $51 Heights Arts members


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