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Free Kahane Performance Highlight of Nov 7 Preview

  • Oct 7, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2918" align="alignright" width="220" caption="A mini-recital by Jeffrey Kahane caps the Nov. 7 annual meeting."][/caption]Current Festival members—and those who would like to be—can peek ahead to next summer at the Friends of the Festival Season Preview and annual meeting, Friday, Nov 7 at 7 pm in Beall Concert Hall. Executive Director John Evans will give a guided tour of OBF 09, and pianist Jeffrey Kahane will entertain with a free performance. Kahane is in Eugene for his Chamber Music@Beall concert that weekend, and is also slated to appear in four concerts as the 2009 OBF resident artist. Evans will reveal details about...

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Bach Festival worth a trip halfway around the globe

  • Jul 29, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2954" align="alignright" width="174" caption="Photo: Gideon Hart"][/caption]This Op-Ed appeared in the July 29, 2008 Register-Guard. A management guru once shared with me the truism that leadership, however fired in its purpose or inspired in its execution, is purposeless unless one has something worth leading and fighting for. With the Oregon Bach Festival I have both: an arts program with an extraordinary legacy and an artistic and management team with great professional skills and personal dedication. Without Helmuth Rilling and the supremely gifted musicians he attracts to Eugene each summer I would not have travelled half way round the world for this job...

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Do you Believe in Magic?

  • Jul 18, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2956" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Four-year participants from the Stangeland Family Choral Academy enjoy the applause after their performance at the OBF patron dinner."][/caption]Do you believe in magic? I do. There is in music that is well performed a special kind of magic. It can move us emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. It can make us laugh or cry. It can provide insight and understanding. It can even help healing. The Oregon Bach Festival is over for another year. There was an eclectic mix of programs with something for everyone. The St. Mathew Passion was magnificent, the 5 Browns were entertaining, Garrison Keillor...

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Festival's Grand Finale Lives up to its name

  • Jul 15, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2970" align="alignright" width="219" caption="The start of the St. Matthew Passion, concluding concert of the 2008 OBF."][/caption]The 2008 Oregon Bach Festival drew to its conclusion over the weekend with a performance of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, the third work in the composer’s triumvirate of monumental choral masterpieces. The other two, the Mass in B Minor and the St. John Passion, had been played earlier in the festival. The St. Matthew was performed on Sunday afternoon in the Hult Center’s almost-sold-out Silva Hall. The score calls for substantial forces: a double chorus and double orchestra, a children’s choir and five major vocal...

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Dave, Lynn Frohnmayer Honored with Saltzman Award

  • Jul 14, 2008

Two distinguished audience members who have been part of the Festival since its beginning have now been honored with its highest award. Helmuth Rilling, OBF artistic director and conductor, presented the Saltzman Award to Dave Frohnmayer, University of Oregon president, and his wife Lynn. Named in honor of Royce Saltzman, founding executive director, the Saltzman Award is not an annual honor but presented only to individuals who have shown exceptionally high levels of leadership and commitment to help the Festival achieve its mission. It is the highest honor the Festival bestows. As UO president, Dave Frohnmayer oversaw the Festival’s leadership transition from...

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Oregon Bach Festival Soars Past Sales Mark

  • Jul 13, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2924" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Alto soloist Ingeborg Danz wins the hearts of the OBF Mens Chorus in the July 9 Schubertiade, one of seven sellouts."][/caption]With a second straight year of sales growth, besting its previous high revenue mark by 12%, and staging night after night of sold out concerts, the Oregon Bach Festival enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in its entire history. As the curtain closed on the St. Matthew Passion on Sunday, July 13, John Evans, OBF President and Executive Director, announced that this year’s season grossed $502,696 in ticket sales, exceeding its previous high mark of...

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Conductor, Violinist add Drama to Seasons

  • Jul 12, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2972" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Nicholas McGegan and Sarah Chang in rehearsal for The Four Seasons"][/caption]If I were asked to name four Baroque violin concertos that have the audience appeal of say, the 19th century concertos of Felix Mendelssohn or P.I. Tchaikovsky, I’d probably say “The Four Seasons,” the set that Antonio Vivaldi published in 1725. And as delivered by violinist Sarah Chang on Thursday at the Hult Center, I’d have a pretty strong argument for choosing those. As James McQuillen writes in his program notes, the pieces are “program music — Baroque tone poems, so to speak.” The 27-year-old celebrity violinist, who...