Eugene Weekly : Oregon Bach Festival : 6.16.11


EWs Guide to the Oregon Bach Festival 2011

Though the thrill of 2010s 40th anniversary celebration may have worn off, Eugeneans who enjoy the Oregon Bach Festival cant help but be excited about a variety of events at this years program.

First off, its CELLO MANIA! See our story but also note that anything that kicks off with Yo-Yo Ma and includes the Portland Cello Project is going to get lovers of the low strings happy ã and thats before counting cello hottie Alban Gerhardt, with the Bach and Britten Cello Suites, in the mix.

And then, if you’re interested in the women, the festival offers a bit of an olive branch to those often neglected by the classical side of things. Not that youll see a lot of, or any, women composers, but both Marin Alsop and Monica Huggett, of the Portland Baroque Orchestra, conduct some big works that paint large canvases for famous women. When Alsop isnt covering Joan of Arc or Huggett conducting an opera about Dido, young British conductor Matthew Halls (see story) puts together a concert honoring St. Cecelia, the muse of music. Returning for more family-friendly fare is the Jamie Bernstein-narrated “We Are Women: A Bernstein Cabaret,” which includes songs from West Side Story, Candide, Peter Pan and more.

Another former Eugene Symphony music director, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, returns to the town with the Caminos del Inka ensemble; like Yo-Yo Ma, that concerts also sold out. But if you dont mind sitting in the preschool chairs, tickets are still available for the Caminos del Inka childrens concert at 11 am on June 25.

This year, the Bach Fest premieres a film series in partnership with the Bijou, and the calendar contains everything from lecture events to the marvelous Discovery Series to an organ concert of Harry Potter-inspired music (true!) and of course the well-known youth choruses, the free On the House performances and much more. This is a year with executive director John Evans stamp all over it, and it ends with a bang on July 10 as the Bach Fest orchestra and choruses perform the monumental Beethovens Ninth Symphony.ã Suzi Steffen


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!