Eugene Weekly : Oregon Bach Festival : 6.16.11


Oregon Bach Festival 2011:

Superhero, Saint, Believer Marin Alsop conducts Honeggers “Joan of Arc at the Stake”

Appear and Inspire Matthew Halls may be a “frustrated singer,” but he makes musicians smile

A Maestros Life Story Sara Rilling finds purpose writing about her famous father

Get Mellow with the Cello

Young and Wild for Music

OBF 2011 Oregon Bach Festival sked & highlights!


Get Mellow with the Cello

Alban Gerhardt, June 29 and July 1

Or, actually, dont ã amp it up!

Have you suffered through The Witches of Eastwick simply to see Susan Sarandon in raptures over that tall, rich, stringed instrument? Maybe you own Hilary and Jackie not for the agony and the ecstasy but for the music. And if you took a survey of all of your mp3s or CDs ã or even your vinyl ã the Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Dvorak and other cello concerto recordings would reach the stratosphere.

Well, this years Oregon Bach Festival has more than enough to satisfy your cravings. Things kick off June 23 with Yo-Yo Ma playing Osvaldo Golijovs Azul, a piece written for this grand master of the cello. Ma premiered the work on the West Coast in 2009 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the direction of OBF fave Jeffrey Kahane, and Kahane also opens the Bach Fest with Ma this year.

Tickets have been sold out for a couple of weeks, but do not despair. Check Craigslist or eBay, and, of course, the Hult will release returned tickets before the concert (and sell them for the face value).

Also do not despair, for cello music keeps on going in the 2011 OBF. Big faves in Portland and around the internet for things like a well-watched cover of Kanye Wests “All of the Lights”, the Portland Cello Project plays free at 1 pm June 27 in the Hult lobby and around 9 pm, aka “dusk,” in the big party July 4 at Alton Baker Park just before the “Freedom Festival” fireworks display. The concert is “free,” though you need to buy admission to Art & the Vineyard for any kind of decent seats and acoustics. The Bach Festival concert and the fireworks usually snag about 15,000 to 20,000 attendees, so get your art (or vineyard) on early.

If you prefer soloists, and you prefer more J.S. Bach in your Bach Festival, dont miss German cellist Alban Gerhardt, performing two concerts of Bach and Britten cello suites, 7:30 pm June 29 and July 1 at Beall Hall on the UO campus. Bealls shockingly good acoustics and intimate feel should make these concerts some of the best of a packed schedule. Meanwhile, you can also appreciate the cellists in the Brahms and Beethoven concerts and in the Discovery Series, where youll see them in slightly more casual attire. ã Suzi Steffen