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Bach Opening Surpasses Expectations

  • Jun 30, 2008

"If Bach had composed nothing other than the B Minor Mass this work alone would have secured his place among the foremost composers in western civilization," writes John Farnworth in his review of Saturday's Eugene opening of the B Minor Mass. "Though I have heard it countless times, its sublime beauty and perfection can reduce music lovers to tears." In the OBF concert, Farnworth found many exquisite individual and collective performances, creating an expectation for many more in the nights to come. Read the full review.

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Two Believers, One Cause

  • Jun 30, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2984" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Marquee of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall"][/caption]It was an occasion that "rewards the soul," wrote the Oregonian's David Stabler. The night after the classical music comedian PDQ Bach, aka Peter Schickele, appeared with Chamber Music Northwest, Helmuth Rilling and the OBF forces performed Bach's B Minor Mass in Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Stabler describes Bach's work as "a marvel of emphatic style, strengthened by counterpoint, buttressed by plainsong, flanked by shouts of joy and propelled by mystery." And he called the OBF performance "splendid." Read the full review.

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They Love Bach Back in Portland

  • Jun 29, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2964" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Anticipation - and the ticket line - build before opening night in Portland."][/caption]Roaring up I-5 and into a Portland concert hall for the first time since 1981, the Oregon Bach Festival nearly filled Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, attracting many familiar fans delighted with the return, and gaining many new ones. After the intently focused performance, the audience burst into roaring applause, giving conductor Helmuth Rilling and the OBF a five-minute standing ovation that brought the soloists back onto the stage for bow after bow, reported Bob Keefer of The Register Guard. Read the complete story, front page of...

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OBF on TV News

  • Jun 27, 2008

The Oregon Bach Festival honors UO track coach Bill Bowerman. Read story on KVAL website. On June 25 KVAL (CBS) ran a story on the many events happening concurrently in Eugene: Olympic Trials, Bach Festival, and more. Watch the video. On June 26, KVAL detailed the connection between the Bach Festival and the Olympic Trials. Watch the video. On July 5, KEZI (ABC) caught the SFYCA soloists performing On the House

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Strike up the Bach

  • Jun 26, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2968" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Nicholas McGegan is interviewed as part of the RG coverage."][/caption]As new executive director of the OBF, John Evans has been working feverishly to improve the festival in ways big and small, reports Bob Keefer of the Register-Guard. His and the Festival's efforts have covered everything from the Festival program book and website to a revamp of the chamber music series and concerts in new venues. Read the full coverage at the Register-Guard website, including: An interview with "Four Seasons" harpsichordist and conductor Nicholas McGegan A rundown of free events And the RG staff's picks for best of the Fest

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St. John Focus of Paths of Reconciliation thru July 9

  • Jun 19, 2008

Each year the Discovery Series explores a major choral-orchestral work in detail, through a series of afternoon lecture-performances. Helmuth Rilling shares with the audience his insights into the work, examining both the music and the text to add greater understanding of these great masterworks. Interspersed with Rilling’s commentary are musical excerpts from the featured work, with conductors from the OBF master class leading the various sessions. The result is one of the most popular and meaningful components of each year’s Festival. This year Rilling directs an ongoing exploration and performance of Bach's profound setting of the St. John Passion, BWV 245,...

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Youth Academy Features World Premiere

  • Jun 15, 2008

[caption id="attachment_2933" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Anton Armstrong attracts a crowd at a SFYCA concert."][/caption]One of the most significant additions to the Oregon Bach Festival—more than ten years ago—was the creation of a youth choral program for high school singers. Each year 85 talented singers, selected by audition from all across the country, come to Eugene for twelve days of intensive and inspirational music-making under the direction of acclaimed choral conductor Anton Armstrong. Many of the students have described the experience as “life-changing,” and if you come to their concert you will see why. The July 3 concert in the beautiful Great Hall...