Bach Festival set for Friday launch

More than 350 musicians will converge on Eugene beginning Friday (June 28) for 20 days of concerts and music activities in the 44th running of the Oregon Bach Festival, through July 14.

Entering the Festival, six concerts are sold out or near capacity.

Total attendance of more than 30,000 is expected for the University of Oregon event and will include participants from more than 30 U.S. states and 11 foreign countries.

The slate of nearly 60 events includes concerts, educational programs, family programs, talks, films and gatherings. It has been called “a musical enterprise virtually without equal” by the Los Angeles Times.

This year’s Festival celebrates the 80th birthday of co-founder Helmuth Rilling and marks his concluding season as artistic director.

Main concerts include masterpieces by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms; a program of famous and favorite themes from classic operas; and a concert that features the literal passing of the baton from Riling to his successor Matthew Halls.

Events take place mainly in Eugene’s Hult Center and the UO School of Music and Dance. The festival also produces a four-concert series in Portland and individual concerts in Corvallis and Florence. Pre-season concerts have already taken place in Ashland and Bend.

For schedule, tickets, or information call 541-682-5000 or click

- by George Evano, Oregon Bach Festival