The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series will open its 95th anniversary season with a performance by the internationally acclaimed Takács Quartet on Friday at 8 p.m. in the concert hall of the Mahaney Center for the Arts. This concert, which marks the quartet’s 25th appearance at the college, will feature Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 64, No. 3; Debussy’s solitary string quartet; and Beethoven’s monumental opus 130 with the finale ending.
Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet (Edward Dusinberre, violin; Károly Schranz, violin; Geraldine Walther, viola; and András Fejér, cello) plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.
Before settling into the concert hall, patrons may join fellow concertgoers for a meal and a conversation about the arts in our community. Seating is family style, and the buffet menu will include a variety of fall-themed delicacies, wine and dessert. The pre-performance dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby, and tickets are $25.
Tickets for the concert are $25 for the general public. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. For more information, call 443-6433 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.
CAITLIN CANTY AT CMAC
Caitlin Canty will perform at the Compass Music and Arts Center in Brandon on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Her Americana music is at the intersection of folk, blues and country. She will be joined by Charlie Rose on pedal steel guitar and banjo.
Both on the road and on her unreleased new album, Canty teams with some of the finest musicians in the world — including members of Morphine, Booker T, Cold Satellite and Ray LaMontagne’s Pariah Dogs. She has released two full-length albums under her own name, most recently “Golden Hour,” a gently produced and Western-tinged album tracked live in Maine in the winter of 2012.
Tickets are $15. A pre-concert dinner is available for an additional $20. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Dinner is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations or more information. Compass is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Road). For additional information, visit cmacvt.org.
TWO BROTHERS TAVERN
There will be three live musical performances this week at the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury. On Wednesday, the tavern will feature Open Mike Night, beginning at 9 p.m. Hosted by Kai Stanley, the Open Mike Night follows Trivia one Wednesday per month. The stage is open to musicians and performers of all kinds on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s free to enter. There’s no cover charge.
Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents The Aerolites. The Aerolites includes lead guitarist Jeremy Harple, pianist Victor Veve, Dannis Hackney on drums, Peter Bixby on bass guitar, and Micah Sanguedolce on guitar. All together they create a live sound that is unmatched in creativity, depth and soul. There is a $3 cover.
Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, the Adam McMahon Trio takes to the Tavern’s stage for the first time. The trio boasts musical selections ranging from blues to country, classic rock to modern pop. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.
MAIDEN VERMONT AT THT
Central Vermont’s popular women’s barbershop chorus will give a performance, “Get Happy!” at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Saturday, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Under the direction of Lindi Bortney, the group has grown from its inception in 2004 — when a handful of women literally rehearsed in a barbershop — to a professional-grade ensemble of over 40 women.
This year’s guest artist is soprano Mary Bonhag of Northfield, who made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007. She runs Scrag Mountain Music, an innovative concert series with her husband, double bassist and accompanist Evan Premo, who will join her for this event.
The concert will also feature local pianist Cynthia Huard.
Tickets are $17 general, $15 seniors, $10 students, and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, at the THT box office (noon to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday) or at the door.
“STREETCAR” AT THT
“A Streetcar Named Desire” will be broadcast on the big screen at Town Hall Theater on Friday, at 7 p.m. The production is the fastest-selling in the history of London’s Young Vic Theatre. That’s a tribute to its star, Gillian Anderson (from television’s X-Files) and to the new generation that’s discovering Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece.
Given a contemporary staging by director Benedict Andrews, the play is staged in the round on a constantly revolving platform. Blanche DuBois’ world is crumbling, and in this production the ground is literally shifting beneath her feet. Getting raves for his ferocious performance as Stanley is English actor Ben Foster.
Matt Wolf, writing in The New York Times, calls it “the best-acted ‘Streetcar’ ever.”
Tickets are $17 general, $10 for students, and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, and at the door.
INT’L FILM SERIES
The exciting 2014-2015 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2012 French film, “In the House,” directed by François Ozon.
A 16-year-old boy becomes involved with the family of a fellow student and writes about it in essays for his French teacher. Faced with this gifted but unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers enthusiasm for his work, but the boy’s intrusion leads him into a treacherous no-man’s land between the literary and the literal.
The film, in French with English subtitles, will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.
There will be a performance of the Ugandan Suite by the Felipe Salles Group at 8 p.m. on Sunday in the concert hall of Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Featuring seasoned international players — the legendary American saxophonist David Liebman, Brazilian percussionist Rogerio Boccato and Middlebury’s own Ugandan ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist Damascus Kafumbe — the Felipe Salles Group presents their latest work, Ugandan Suite. This five-movement jazz composition integrates Ugandan musical idioms with Western musical forms, reuniting African and diasporic African music. There will be a preconcert lecture at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $12 for the general public. For more information, call 443-3168.
LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN
There will be two live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Friday, Abraxas takes to the stage. Six of Vermont’s finest musicians have banded together to recreate the infectious, intricate rhythms, and the soulful, melodic guitar that define the Santana sound. Santana’s unique music crosses all boundaries and genres leaving everyone satisfied.
Then, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, The Broats will perform. The Broats (Zak Fisher, Tyler Belmont, Stuart Warren and various friends) is a musical collective of Middlebury College students specializing in impromptu music traversing landscapes of rock, country, jazz and electric polka. All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.
There will be a performance by Middlebury College affiliate artist Eric Despard, at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the concert hall of the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Despard shares contemporary classical guitar music inspired by non-Western musical traditions, including Italian composer Carlo Domeniconi’s Turkish delight “Koyunbaba”; Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s “Berceuse”; Norwegian composer Bjorn Skjelbred’s “Moves”; American composer Benjamin Verdery’s “Be Kind All the Time” for prepared electric classical guitar with chopsticks, loop and volume pedals; and Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint.” It’s free. For more information, call 443-3168.