Headliners: Berkshire Bach Society’s ‘Bach at New Year’s’ at Academy of Music; ‘Marion Dodd and The Hampshire Bookshop,’ exhibit at Book Arts Gallery, Smith College

Last modified: Thursday, February 04, 2016

Bach again

Returning to the Academy of Music in Northampton Jan. 2 for its annual “Bach at New Year’s” concert, the 20-member Berkshire Bach Society will be making use of the stellar collection of soloists it has accumulated over its two dozen seasons in a program that departs from the conventional lineup of Brandenburg concertos.

Violinist Eugene Drucker, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, will be soloist for Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Allan Dean, a professor of trumpet at the Yale School of Music, and Neil Mueller, who teaches trumpet at Central Michigan University, are slated to share the honors in a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets. Baritone Benjamin Luxon will provide the narration for Corelli’s Christmas Concerto; and Gerald Serfass, a member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will take center stage for the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2.

Famed violinist Joseph Silverstein, who died last month, had been scheduled to be the soloist for Brandenburg No. 3; instead, colleagues Eugene Drucker and Joel Pitchon will share the part in his memory. Oboist Meg Owens, violinist Ronald Gorevic and flutist Judith Mendenhall round out the roster of soloists, with Kenneth Cooper directing the ensemble from the harpsichord.

7:30 p.m. $26, $38 general; students free. 584-9032, academyofmusictheatre.com

Ye Olde Book Shop

Founded in 1916 by Smith College alumnae Marion E. Dodd and Mary Byers Smith, the Hampshire Bookshop persisted for 55 years on Crafts Avenue in Northampton (opposite City Hall) where it eventually achieved iconic status, not only as the first woman-owned bookstore in the country, but for its importance as a center of literary activity in the Valley and its overall influence on the business of bookselling. As the Smith Alumnae Quarterly noted in 1941: “Here have come sailors, explorers, publishers, scholars; and through these doors have passed the living presences of the great writers of our time — appearing in the flesh for a few hours, and remaining forever thereafter in the spirit to become part of the very atmosphere of the place. Here is an institution which has had a profound effect on the cultural life of an entire region.”

Commemorating the centennial of the shop’s founding, “Marion Dodd and The Hampshire Bookshop,” the exhibit currently on view in Smith’s Book Arts Gallery, traces the history of the enterprise and the public prominence of Dodd (pictured), a woman known for “her masculine style of dress and demeanor — tailored suit, four-in-hand tie, closely cropped hair, cigarette smoking, direct speech — and her longtime ‘Boston marriage’ with Smith Professor Esther Cloudman Dunn” (publishing historian Barbara Brannon).

The Book Arts Gallery is located on the third floor of Neilson Library, which re-opens following winter break on Jan. 4. January interim hours are Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 8-6; Sat. and Sun., 1-5. smith.edu/libraries

— Dan DeNicola


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