Oregon Bach Festival 2013 to celebrate Rilling and more
The 2013 Oregon Bach Festival, June 28-July 14, will celebrate Helmuth Rilling’s 80th birthday and honor his 44th and concluding season as artistic director with a three-week musical party featuring several guest artists, a multi-concert salute to composer anniversaries and three of history’s towering choral masterworks.
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 violinist Midori, pianist/conductor Jeffrey Kahane, the Chuang/Levin piano duo, Los Angeles-based baroque group Bach’s Circle, the Eugene Ballet Company, Portland Cello Project, the Hohenstaufen Quartet (which includes Rilling’s daughters Rahel and Sara), and soprano Tamara Wilson.
Matthew Halls, who will succeed Rilling as artistic director immediately following the 2013 festival, will be in residence throughout, conducting two concerts in Eugene’s 2,430-seat Silva Concert Hall and performing harpsichord on a five-city, all-Bach tour with period-music specialist Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
Rilling, who turns 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 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 will 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 great opera arias starring Wilson.
Midori and Kahane will team for a showcase orchestra concert, with Midori performing Bach’s E Major Violin Concerto, and Kahane serving as soloist and conductor of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto.
Midori’s appearance is part of a three-day residency in which she will also perform a night of unaccompanied Bach and leads a violin master class. Kahane also will take a recital turn, performing Bach, Schumann, Liszt and music composed by his son, Gabe.
The Eugene Ballet and Portland Cello Project will collaborate on “Bach Street Ballet,” a new commission that originates with performances videotaped on the streets of Eugene and Portland and culminates in multimedia live events in the Hult Center and Newmark Theatre.
The Festival’s Portland series, BachFest PDX, numbers five concerts from June 30 to July 13, including the Ballet/Cello Project collaboration, organist Paul Jacobs, the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, Portland Baroque and the Mass in B Minor.
Oregon Bach Festival tickets will go on sale in February.
- by George Evano, Oregon Bach Festival