Be Inspired with Great Music: OBF 2015

  • Jun 5, 2015

Join us on a journey through the cycle of life with the music of this year’s Oregon Bach Festival, June 25-July 12 in Eugene. Tickets are now on sale.

Artistic Director Matthew Halls leads the celebration that includes great works for choir and orchestra, the first-ever concerts by the new Berwick Academy orchestra for historically informed performance practice (HIPP), legendary Bach conductors Helmuth Rilling and Masaaki Suzuki, refined and sublime chamber music, pop diva Storm Large, showmen Canadian Brass, harmonica wizard Joe Powers, organ recitals, and kid’s concerts. In all, 24 concerts take place in 18 days with many more free events, concerts and talks.

Tickets are on sale online, by phone, and over the counter at the Hult Center Bach’s Office


From the Big Bang to the Hereafter

The Festival begins with a big bang June 25 as Matthew Halls conducts a full-scale performance of The Creation by Joseph Haydn. Its grand and glorious choruses, lively rhythms, and colorful descriptions depict the formation of the earth on an epic scale. The lineup of major choral-orchestral concerts include:

  • July 2: The architecture of sound and the spiritual connections between J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner are traced in a concert led by Matthew Halls.
  • July 7: Masaaki Suzuki conducts Haydn’s majestic Lord Nelson Mass plus Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Mozart's Symphony No. 25.
  • July 9: Helmuth Rilling conducts Bach’s transcendent St. John Passion.
  • July 12: Matthew Halls conducts Mahler’s monumental expression of the life and the worlds beyond in his Symphony No. 2, the Resurrection.


Let There be an Orchestra

The Festival gives birth to its new Berwick Academy orchestra, an ensemble of top-flight young instrumentalists who specialize in historically informed performance practice. Behind the scenes, they train here with leading HIPP experts. On stage, they’ll perform as part of the full-scale orchestra for The Creation, and in three contrasting programs:

  • June 27: Great works by Beethoven, with guest artist soprano Tamara Wilson and violinist Monica Huggett, conducted by Matthew Halls
  • June 30: A recital of baroque gems
  • July 3: Bach orchestral favorites including the Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 and Orchestral Suite No. 3, featuring Huggett and conducted by Masaaki Suzuki.


A Storm is Coming

Portland’s pop diva Storm Large storms the Silva Hall stage Friday June 26 with the irrepressible vocal quartet Hudson Shad and the OBF orchestra for a concert titled Seven Deadly Sins. More pops concerts include


Great Bach Works Explored

The Discovery Series of four hour-long lecture-demonstrations involving OBF musicians and master class conductors moves to a new time, 2:30 pm. The first three dive deep into Bach’s symbolism and techniques in The Christmas Oratorio (June 29, July 1, July 7), while the drama of Jesus’ final days are explored in key movements from the St John Passion (July 8).


Choral and Vocal

OBF vocal soloists perform the ethereal vocal music of Estonian composer Arvo Part in a 9 pm concert June 28, plus a pre-concert lecture. Always a joyous charge of excitement, the 90 high school singers of the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy performs their headline concert July 8.


Diversity of Chamber Music

Virtuosos from Portland’s Chamber Music Northwest are among the headliners in the OBF’s chamber music lineup:

  • July 1: Ida Kavafian performs Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Peter Serkin
  • July 5: A CMNW ensemble performs works by Mozart and a premiere by brilliant young composer and Corvallis native Kenji Bunch.
  • July 6: Pianist Ya-Fei Chuang offers Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Chopin


Organ-ic Offerings

Organist Paul Jacobs, leader of the OBf Organ Institute performs recitals June 29 in Eugene and July 7 in Portland.


Kid’s Concerts

The lineup of family fun includes violinist Cullen Vance and “Let the Wild Rumpus Start” June 27, and “Super Powers” with harmonica man Joe Powers July 11.


Free Stuff

See the OBF’s community events listing for the day-today lineup of concerts, talks, and special events.