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07 OBF Records Success

  • Jul 16, 2007

Welcoming new audiences, premiering new artists, recording a new CD, and paving the way for new leadership, the Oregon Bach Festival wrapped up a successful 2007 season with Beethoven and looked ahead to a 2008 season of getting back to Bach. The Festival concluded on Sunday July 15 with the stratospheric strains of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, but before the music even started, the cheers resounded through Silva Hall in standing applause for outgoing cofounder and executive director Royce Saltzman. In a pre-concert ceremony, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer conferred upon Saltzman the official title of Oregon Bach Festival Director Emeritus. New...

Festival brings 'King David' to life

  • Jul 15, 2007

By James Bash For The Register-Guard Published: Sunday, July 15, 2007 The new production of Arthur Honegger's "King David" received a remarkably dynamic and musically fulfilling realization at the Oregon Bach Festival on Thursday evening. This performance marked a unique collaboration between actors of the Willamette Repertory Theatre, members of the Festival Orchestra, soloists and the Festival Choir, who retold the dramatic Old Testament story of the shepherd boy who defeated Goliath and became a celebrated king of ancient Israel. It was like watching opera, only much more text seemed to be spoken rather than sung. Honegger composed the music for "King David" in...

Better with the Russians than with Bach

  • Jul 14, 2007

By Terry McQuilkin Published: Friday, July 13, 2007 Pianist Bernd Glemser, who offered an intriguing and unusual program as a part of the Oregon Bach Festival's "Intimate Evenings'' series, has an affinity for the Russians. At least that is what one would conclude after hearing him play Wednesday evening at the Hult Center. The first half of the generous program was the least conventional. The German pianist selected four pairs of preludes and fugues from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Well Tempered Clavier" and four such pairs from Dimitri Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87, alternating those by Bach with those by Shostakovich. I approached...

Student uses music to aid Colombia

  • Jul 14, 2007

By Bob Keefer The Register-Guard Published: Thursday, July 12, 2007 Music has many uses in the world, from selling products to celebrating the human spirit. For Danaila Hristova, it's also a way to repair some of the violence created by the illegal drug trade. Hristova, 35, is one of a dozen students who have been in Eugene from around the world for the past two weeks to study choral conducting at the Oregon Bach Festival with German conductor Helmuth Rilling, the festival's artistic director. Short, dark haired and energetic, Hristova is practically as international as the festival itself. She is Bulgarian but has spent the past 10...

Music Memories

  • Jul 11, 2007

By Karen McCowan The Register-Guard Published: Saturday, July 7, 2007 By any standard, 1,700 miles is a serious nostalgia trip. But that's how far Hannah Clark traveled to perform at Friday night's Bach Festival Youth Choral Academy concert. The trip was no small expense for the 20-year-old Wheaton College vocal music major. But she wouldn't have missed a chance to sing here again, joining nearly 50 other alumni in a performance marking the choral academy's 10th year. She first came in 2004, from Champaign, Ill., at the urging of her high school choir teacher. After flying to Eugene alone, she was blown away by the...

Orchestral concert walks a familiar line

  • Jul 5, 2007

By Terry McQuilkin For The Register-Guard Published: Wednesday, July 4, 2007 For the first all-orchestral concert of this year's Oregon Bach Festival, audience members in a nearly full Silva Hall heard stellar performances Sunday of masterpieces by J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart. In many ways, this concert illustrated what is inspired about this festival, and at the same time what has come to be workaday. Agreed, the music-making is world class. But if we take this year's festival motto, "Outside the Bachs," to mean not only "composers besides Bach," but also programming that pushes the envelope, it isn't particularly apt. Sure, the '07 festival...

Intimate artistry wins over audience

  • Jul 5, 2007

By James Bash For The Register-Guard Published: Thursday, July 5, 2007 Midori, the great violin virtuoso, came to the Oregon Bach Festival on Tuesday and flat out wowed everyone with an incredibly beautiful and spellbinding interpretation of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Her performance was part of an all-Mendelssohn concert with the Festival Orchestra under the direction of Jeffrey Kahane. The other two works on the program were the "Overture to `A Midsummer Night's Dream,' " and the Symphony No. 5 in D Major "Reformation." When Midori stepped out onto the stage, the orchestra members snapped to attention, and you knew that you were going to hear...