Add your tribute to the Rilling Endowment

  • Jul 26, 2013

This July, Helmuth Rilling retired as the Oregon Bach Festival's Artistic Director. He has dedicated 44 summers of his life to creating something precious and lasting here in Oregon: an internationally acclaimed musical and educational enterprise described as “without equal.” Now it is time to thank him—for the music, for the memories, and for creating a marvelous institution that instills love and appreciation for classical music in new generations of talented musicians. We invite you to join in creating an enduring tribute to this remarkable man who propelled the Oregon Bach Festival to international prominence in the world of classical...

Foundation Grants

  • Jul 25, 2013

The Oregon Bach Festival depends on numerous grants for special projects and, to support general operations, supplemental giving by Friends of the Festival and corporate sponsors. These entities have a strong commitment to OBF. OREGON CULTURAL TRUST In 2013, a generous grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust enabled OBF to present the Portland Baroque Orchestra with Matthew Halls on harpsichord to audiences in Portland, Corvallis, Florence, and Eugene. The Oregon Cultural Trust is a unique institution that provides funding for the arts in Oregon. When you make a gift to the Oregon Bach Festival, please consider making a matching gift to the...


Ovations, Honors Conclude Rilling Era

  • Jul 21, 2013

With a packed house in Silva Hall for Sunday’s performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass, the Oregon Bach Festival and Eugene community concluded an era of artistic leadership—the final concert of conductor Helmuth Rilling’s forty four-year tenure as founding artistic director of the University of Oregon event. In ceremonies following the concert, nearly two thousand audience members in the Hult Center lobby raised a glass in salute as John Evans, OBF president and executive director, announced a new funding initiative in Rilling’s name, focused on education. “From a longtime professional conductor’s master class, to an annual program for advanced high school choral...


Heavenly Bach B Minor Mass well worth the wait

  • Jul 18, 2013

By James Bash From Northwest Reverb [Full Review] [Excerpt] [caption id="attachment_12419" align="alignleft" width="240"] Tobias Berndt, Nicholas Phan, Roxana Constantinescu, Julia Sophie Wagner. Photo: Caitlin Estes[/caption] Singing with great intensity, the members of the Berwick Chorus of the OBF expressed the text and music of the Mass with superb dynamics, achieving super-soft pianissimos and robust fortissimos. One of the hallmarks of this choir is its excellent diction and balance between all parts, and in this performance, the singers excelled in both areas to such a degree that the supertitles were practically unnecessary. Fleet passages, such as when the sopranos sang “Et...


Gallery 2013: Week 3 at OBF

  • Jul 18, 2013

July 8-13, 2013 • Photos by Caitlin Estes

Gallery 2013: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven

  • Jul 18, 2013

July 7-8, 2013 • Photos by Caitlin Estes


Awards Highlight Festival Gala program

  • Jul 17, 2013

In a prelude to the season’s concerts, the Oregon Bach Festival celebrated its 44th season with a program of awards at its successful June 27th gala fundraiser. (Photos: Jon Meyers) John Evans, OBF president and executive director, presented the Silver Baton Award to Jim and Yvonne Wildish of the Wildish Companies, the Eugene–based construction firms. The award recognizes corporations whose cumulative support for the OBF totals more than $100,000.  Jim Wildish acknowledged the role of his brother Tom, a longtime OBF donor and former board chair. “He understood, like Helmuth has done in the world of music, that our job is...


Rilling takes final bow with B Minor Mass

  • Jul 17, 2013

By Marilyn Farwell From The Register-Guard The last night of the Oregon Bach Festival is always special. A large work usually caps the fortnight of intense music making; the musicians are exhausted, nostalgic and yet energized; and the audience is prepared for what is often the highlight of the season. Sunday afternoon’s presentation at the Hult Center of J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass, with Helmuth Rilling at the helm, had all of these elements and more. As the last concert of Rilling’s 44-year tenure as artistic director of the festival, it was not simply a concert but an inspired event,...


Hohenstaufen Quartet is fine finale for Rilling

  • Jul 15, 2013

Terry McQuilkin From The Register-Guard July 15, 2013   It was fitting that the final chamber music concert of the 44th Oregon Bach Festival — Helmuth Rilling’s last as artistic director —featured two members of the Rilling family. The Hohenstaufen Quartet (named after the family’s hilltop retreat) includes Helmuth’s daughters, violinist Rahel and violist Sara Rilling, and a pair of brothers, violinist Gabriel and cellist Dávid Adorján. Only two compositions were on the agenda the quartet brought to the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall on Saturday evening, both of them very much part of the standard repertoire, which wasn’t...


Gallery 2013: Bach: B Minor Mass

  • Jul 15, 2013

Photos by Caitlin Estes


Gallery 2013: Midori Residency

  • Jul 15, 2013

Photos by Kelli Matthews


Gallery 2013: Passing of the Baton

  • Jul 15, 2013

Photos by Jon Christopher Meyers


Passion ends in perfect silence

  • Jul 14, 2013

By Eliot Grasso The Register-Guard July 14, 2013 Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Johannes” Passion of 1724 is a musical narrative of the life and death of Jesus Christ. The Oregon Bach Festival brought these events to life on Wednesday evening at the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall. The oboists and alto Roxana Constantinescu engaged in a complicated rhetorical exchange in which Bach requires the oboes and voices to dramatize a musical metaphor for the text, “From the ropes of my sins to unbind me, my salvation is bound.” The dialogue (in recitative) between Pontius Pilate (Tobias Berndt) and Jesus (Tyler...


Small group Bach pieces should benefit in Beall

  • Jul 12, 2013

Terry McQuilkin From The Register-Guard July 12, 2013 CORVALLIS — Oregon State University’s Austin Auditorium, part of the LaSells Stewart Center, was only about half full Wednesday night when the Portland Baroque Orchestra made its second stop here on a four-city Oregon Bach Festival tour that concludes in Eugene today. Those who were in attendance heard an exquisite program of music by Johann Sebastian Bach played by a crack ensemble of early music specialists. Listeners who have heard the PBO remember that the group offers “historically informed” performances, employing period instruments and endeavoring to use the most reliable scholarship to...

Signs of the Schnitzer

  • Jul 10, 2013



Violinist Midori displays her power and majesty

  • Jul 9, 2013

By John Farnworth From The Register-Guard July 9, 2013 The packed house at the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall on Sunday that came to see world-renowned violinist Midori is likely to remember her performance for a long time to come. Midori’s presence was one of the highlights of this year’s Oregon Bach Festival. The diminutive figure appeared on stage with what appeared to be a violin too large for her. It is, in fact, the Guarnerius del Gesu “ex-Huberman” of 1734, a magnificent instrument that, in the right hands, can sound like a fine, small cello. She set about...

OBF Musician $10 B Minor Mass PDX

  • Jul 9, 2013

Coming up this Friday night July 12 is the final and biggest concert of this year's BachFest PDX concert series, J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass. Friends of Bach Festival Musicians can get $10 tickets. Just say RILLING to save. Bach assembled the B Minor late in his life as the summation of all that he accomplished. Written for choir, orchestra, and vocalists, it demonstrates, in one work, Bach's mastery of majesty, mystery, and glory. It's also the final concert in which Maestro Helmuth Rilling will conduct this signature work as the Oregon Bach Festival's artistic director. Join us for an emotional and powerful night. Order...


Concert bids farewell to Rilling, greets Halls

  • Jul 8, 2013

By John Farnworth From The Register-Guard PUBLISHED: 12:00 A.M., JULY 8 The Hult Center’s Silva Concert Hall on Saturday was the site of a momentous landmark in the history of the Oregon Bach Festival. For the first time in its 44-year chronicle, we watched the “changing of the guard” of the festival’s artistic director. “Rilling and Halls: The Passing of the Baton” was a symbolic transfer of the conducting duties of the festival’s orchestra and choruses from German co-founder Helmuth Rilling (who recently celebrated his 80th birthday) to the 30-something-year-old Englishman, Matthew Halls, one of the skyrocketing younger stars of the...


BachFest PDX builds to B Minor Mass

  • Jul 8, 2013

Exploring Bach’s genius in three musical forms, this week's BachFest PDX concert series builds to his crowning achievement of choral music, the B Minor Mass.  Organ virtuoso Paul Jacobs kicked off the series Sunday night with an all-Bach organ recital that brought the crowd to its feet. Tonight (July 8), the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, the Oregon Bach Festival’s national high school choir, offers a variety of classical music and classic choral works. Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra perform four of Bach's treasured instrumental works in the First Baptist Church on Tuesday. Related to the OBF series, the...


Program for July 6 premiere of "Alleluia"

  • Jul 7, 2013

As the surprise ending to Saturday night's Passing of the Baton concert, Matthew Halls conducted the World Premiere of Alleluia by James MacMillan, commissioned by the OBF for Helmuth Rilling's 80th birthday. Here are the program pages, with MacMillan's inscription from his manuscript, program note, and his bio.

Gallery: 2013 Season

  • Jul 6, 2013

Rare foray into opera proves to be rewarding

  • Jul 6, 2013

By Marilyn Farwell From  The Register-Guard July 4, 2013 The Oregon Bach Festival rarely has dipped its toes into operatic waters. We have heard fantastic opera singers during the festival’s 44-year run, but for the most part they sang in lieder recitals, oratorios, Masses, and of course, in J.S. Bach’s Passions. Once in a while, we have been treated to an offbeat opera in concert, such as that odd duck, “The Uncle From Boston” by Felix Mendelssohn. And in several fortunate instances, we heard Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, an opera in all but name. This year, however, brought a perfect storm...


Gallery 2013: Anniversary Soirée

  • Jul 5, 2013

Photos by Caitlin Estes