Daughter's memoir paints a vivid picture
"Helmuth's passion for the music is certainly one reason that so many people enjoy making music under his direction. Another is that he respects his musicians as individuals, and although he challenges them, he demands only as much as they can give."
—Sara Rilling, from her book My Father Helmuth Rilling
Oregon Bach Festival followers were treated to a special gift during the summer of 2010 with the publication of the English translation of My Father Helmuth Rilling. Written by daughter Sara Rilling and published in German in 2008, it's a personal memoir of her father's family life and lifetime of achievements in Germany and around the world.
The book is now available at the UO Duckstore and by email through the OBF office.
The 62 concise chapters in the 182-page book cover specific music milestones in the conductor' career, such as premieres of the Messa per Rossini and Arvo Pärt's Litany, and the formation of the Stuttgart Bachakademie. There are also tender reminisces of Rilling's boyhood—his father, coincidentally, was named Eugen—and stories of the home life Sara shared with her sister Rahel, mother Martina, and famous father.
[caption id="attachment_1090" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Helmuth and Sara Rilling"][/caption]
My Father Helmuth Rilling was translated into English by Gordon Paine, who worked with the maestro for 25 years in Stuttgart and Eugene. Produced and published for the OBF by the University of Oregon press, the book is illustrated with 16 black and white plates. Its publication was made possible by a generous gift from an original Festival donor and participant, Sue Keene Malott.
Copies of the book are available for $20 US plus shipping. Order by phone, (541) 346-1317, or email Sandy Cummings at the Oregon Bach Festival. The book is stocked in the general books section of the UO Duckstore on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.