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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 leader John Evans takes the reigns as the Festival looks ahead to its 39th season, June 27-July 13 2008, with a concentration of great works by its guiding light, J.S. Bach. At the gate, the Festival recorded another year of box office growth, reaching nearly $420,000 in sales--an increase of 16% from 2006--and attracting an international audience of more than 30,000. Visitors came from 35 states and six foreign countries to participate in nearly 50 events during the Festival's 17 days. Among the concerts they heard were the sold-out Oregon debut of piano sensations The 5 Browns, and a live concert recording of Haydn's Mass for Theresa, which will be issued next spring as part of a commemorative package to herald the 200th anniversary in 2009 of the great composer's death. In all, 475 musicians from the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America took part in Festival concerts. In addition to enjoying the music, Festival audiences contributed nearly $6 million indirectly to the Festival's economy, through shopping, hotels, meals, sightseeing, and being welcomed as temporary residents of the area. It all added up to a triumph for Festival organizers. "I am very happy with the Festival this year," said Helmuth Rilling of Stuttgart, Germany, the Festival's artistic director. "It was a great artistic success, performed at the highest level. Although in some ways it is sad that Royce is moving on, we can look forward to new leadership with John Evans, and the expectation of great achievements in the future."