She's the patron saint of music, and Handel comes out with "both guns blazing" to compose in her honor, says conductor Matthew Halls

Video: St. Cecilia preview

  • Jul 3, 2011
John Evans introduces the conductor Matthew Halls, who talked by phone from his London home about three works in his July 7 concert that honor the patron saint of music. read more

Unforgettably thrilling German Requiem

  • Jun 30, 2011
From the Eugene Register-Guard Thursday June 30 By John Farnworth On Sunday afternoon, Silva Hall witnessed one of the most extraordinary musical events in this reviewer’s substantial and lengthy experience. Maestro Helmuth Rilling, now 78 years of age, showed no sign of diminished vigor and authority in leading the Oregon Bach Festival orchestra and the most spellbinding chorus I have heard in many years in a wondrous performance of Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem. The chorus was actually a blending of two separate choruses: the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, based in Caracas, and the Berwick chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival.... read more
Review: The engaging ensemble numbers of Act II were among the highlights of "Dido and Aeneas" in Portland, observes Catherine Olson of the Register-Guard.

Dido: rich, though not perfect

  • Jun 30, 2011
[caption id="attachment_5741" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Leah Wool, Robin Johannsen, Sumner Thompson"][/caption] From the Eugene Register-Guard Thursday June 30 By Catherine Olson PORTLAND — Oregon Bach Festival and Portland Baroque Orchestra built on a thriving relationship Monday with a performance of “Dido and Aeneas” here. The concert was one of four performances around the state that the Bach Festival is sponsoring this year. Others have been staged in Ashland and Bend. The final performance is tonight in Eugene. Baroque Orchestra Artistic Director Monica Hugget began the Portland concert with Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony, a boisterous dance in a sweep of perfect tuning and deep, energized tones from the... read more
Review: Terry McQuilkin of the Register-Guard was dazzled by the Venezuelan choir's technical prowess and vigor. The choir performs in Portland July 6.

Virtuosic Latin choir packs Beall Hall

  • Jun 29, 2011
From the Eugene Register-Guard Wednesday June 29 By Terry McQuilkin When Schola Cantorum de Venezuela first visited Eugene during the 2006 Oregon Bach Festival, audience members were mesmerized by the ensemble’s virtuosity, urgency and sheer energy. Thus it was no surprise that Beall Hall was completely full Saturday evening, when the chamber-choir contingent of Schola offered a program of contemporary works from the Americas. The 15 works on the program used a variety of texts, and translations were displayed unobtrusively above the stage. But for most of the pieces, the text was just a starting point: Conductor Maria Guinand’s 27 singers served as storytellers,... read more
Details about 30% offer for July 7 St. Cecilia concert.

Saintly concert, royal discount - tix start at $10

  • Jun 28, 2011
In Europe (and particularly in England) St. Cecilia is glorified as the patron saint of music and the inspiration of harmonia mundi—the God-given harmony of the world. On Thursday, July 7, join in the Oregon Bach Festival’s saintly salute with poetic and glorious works for choir, orchestra, and soloists by Henry Purcell, Benjamin Britten, and G.F. Handel, conducted by Matthew Halls. With music so evocative of royal weddings and coronations, you’ll celebrate music’s divine capacity to please the senses. And celebrate even more with a royal deal: order now and save 30% - tickets for low as $10. In Praise of St. Cecilia 7:30... read more
Review: Deft touches by the soloists and a superb vocal ensemble marked the "Dido" concert in Portland, reviewed by James Bash.

Purcell/Britten: outstanding performances

  • Jun 27, 2011
From the Oregon Music News Wednesday June 29 By James Bash [caption id="attachment_5564" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Soloists Leah Wool, Robin Johannsen, Sumner Thompson"][/caption] Ah! Leah Wool’s sumptuous voice made a queen’s lament one of the many highlights of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” on Monday evening (June 27th) at First United Methodist Church in Portland.  Wool was the star in a performance that featured the Portland Baroque Orchestra under violinist Monica Huggett, soloists, and a superb vocal ensemble from the Oregon Bach Festival, which sponsored the concert. Their collaborative effort resulted in an exquisite interpretation of Purcell’s opera, but the near-capacity audience also heard an... read more
Review: Mark Samples reports on a delightful performance with educational insights inspired by traditional music of South America.

Caminos: trek through musical landscapes

  • Jun 27, 2011
[caption id="attachment_5685" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts Piazzolas Fuga y Misterio against projected images of tango dancers"][/caption] From the Eugene Register-Guard Monday June 27 By Mark Samples Using the ancient Incan network of trails as a guide, the Caminos del Inka took its Oregon Bach Festival audience on a musical and educational journey through works by South American composers of Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. Playing to a full house on Friday, the chamber orchestra offered selections of mostly 20th- and 21st-century cutting-edge compositions, many of which incorporate or are inspired by traditional repertoires, instruments or performance styles. Throughout the evening, the music was... read more