Bach, guest artists spark Rilling 2013 celebration
The 2013 Oregon Bach Festival, June 24-July 14, celebrates Helmuth Rilling’s 80th birthday and honors his 44th and concluding season as artistic director with a three-week musical party featuring stellar guest artists, a multi-concert salute to composer anniversaries, and three of history’s towering choral masterworks. Click to view the schedule of concerts. The University of Oregon event will produce 31 concerts in Eugene, Portland, Ashland, Bend, Corvallis, and Florence, with more than 50 overall events including lectures, films and gatherings. Among the guest artists are violinists Midori and Chee-Yun, pianist/conductor Jeffrey Kahane, the Chuang/Levin piano duo, L.A-based baroque group Bach’s Circle, the Hohenstaufen Quartet (which includes Rilling’s daughters Rahel and Sara), and soprano Tamara Wilson. [caption id="attachment_9870" align="alignleft" width="249"] Matthew Halls and Helmuth Rilling share the conducting platform July 6[/caption] Matthew Halls, who will succeed Rilling as artistic director immediately following the Festival, is in residence for the entirety, conducting two concerts in Eugene’s 2,430-seat Silva Concert Hall and performing harpsichord on a four-city, all-Bach tour with period-music specialist Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Rilling, who turned 80 on May 29, conducts Beethoven’s monumental Missa Solemnis as the opening concert, Bach’s St John Passion in four lecture-demonstrations and a full concert, and Bach’s B Minor Mass in Portland and Eugene as the Festival finale. He’ll also share the podium with Matthew Halls in a Silva Hall concert as a symbolic hand-off to the Festival’s future. An extraordinary confluence of major composer anniversaries in 2013 inspires a mini-festival of works by Verdi, Richard Wagner, Benjamin Britten, Paul Hindemith, Francis Poulenc, and Witold Lutoslawski. In the chamber music setting of the UO’s Beall Concert Hall, Wilson and Festival vocal soloists share the spotlight in an anniversary soiree, while Ya-Fei Chuang and Robert Levin offer a night of piano transcriptions and fantasies. In the centerpiece, Halls conducts a Silva Hall concert of famous opera arias starring the soprano Wilson. Chee-Yun and Kahane team for a showcase orchestra concert. The violinist performs the Mozart "Turkish" Concerto, while Kahane serves as soloist and conductor of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto. Midori’s appearance is part of a three-day residency in which she also performs a night of unaccompanied Bach and leads a violin master class. Kahane also takes a recital turn, performing Bach, Schumann, Liszt, and music composed by his son Gabe. The Festival’s Portland series, BachFest PDX, numbers four concerts and spans July 7-12, including organist Paul Jacobs, the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, Portland Baroque, and the Mass in B Minor. Tickets are now on sale at all outlets for all concerts.