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The Boss's Picks for Best of the Fest

  • Mar 30, 2010
This is an excerpt of a letter sent to the UO's Deans and Directors from Executive Director John Evans. He does such a good job of summarizing the Festival we've posted it here. For this, our 40th anniversary season, our founder and artistic director Helmuth Rilling leads a stellar line-up of artists, many of whom have had a long association with this “jewel in the crown” of the University of Oregon. Helmuth will conduct two great choral masterworks this season, Verdi’s Requiem and Mendelssohn’s Elijah (in Eugene and Portland) and, for the first time in Bach Festival history, he will teach Bach’s B Minor Mass in our Conductors’ Master Class Program and for the Discovery Series. Thomas QuasthoffThe great German baritone Thomas Quasthoff returns, after a gap of some eight years, as our Artist-in-Residence. He made his American debut at the OBF under Helmuth more than a decade ago; now he’s one of the most revered and beloved artists on the international scene – a singer of rare gifts of communication, who can fill the major concerts halls of the world from Carnegie to the Concertgebouw, from the Royal Albert Hall to the Musikverein. This season he appears three times in Silva Hall, performing Schubert’s glorious song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin and the title-role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and singing everything from Bach to Broadway in our 40th anniversary Festival Gala on July 3. Here is Thomas Quasthoff performing Bach's Cantata No. 73, Mvmts. 3 & 4… Accompanying Quasthoff in his Schubert recital is Bach Festival veteran Jeffrey Kahane, who made his OBF debut 26 years ago, and who will perform Schumann and Chopin in his own recital. Other Festival favorites include:
  • Harvard scholar and pianist Robert Levin, who returns with his wife and duo partner Ya-Fei Chuang to give concerts of music by Brahms and Schumann. They'll be featured in the Festival Gala, and Levin will give the Festival’s keynote Hinkle Distinguished Lecture.
  • Monica Huggett and Portland Baroque will perform Bach’s Four Orchestral Suites in Eugene and Bend.
  • The inimitable Bobby McFerrin returns to star with our 85-singer-strong Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy in the gala and in the SFYCA featured event July 5 –a must-see for anyone interested in high-octane performance, the art of communication, and the ability of today’s artists to break down barriers when it comes to “high art.”
Jamie BernsteinA new special guest this season is Jamie Bernstein, eldest daughter of Leonard, who has assumed her father’s mantle in the cause of music education through performance and the media. Jamie will curate our OBF Kids program for the next four years, launching her series this year with The Bernstein Beat – a family show that she’s given all over the world, from Singapore to Havana. She also presents Bernstein on Broadway, a celebration of her father’s love of the Great White Way, and his immortal works for musical theatre–On The Town, Wonderful Town, Candide and West Side Story. And finally, we’ll be letting our hair down for this anniversary season, in full party mood, with two sensational cabaret acts: the Miami-based Cuban ensemble, Tiempo Libre (recently featured on The Tonight Show and Dancing with the Stars) and, local Oregon heroes (and hot, hot, hot on the European scene) Portland’s own Pink Martini. Here is Tiempo Libre talking about going Bach to Havanna… Follow the Oregon Bach Festival on Twitter for your daily Bach fix. Join other Oregon Bach Festival fans on the Oregon Bach Festival Facebook Fan page. Read All