(Photos | Courtesy of Oregon Bach Festival)
As previously announced, ongoing precautions surrounding COVID-19 have led the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance to convert the 2021 Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) to a series of virtual events. OBF remains resilient during this year of global crisis, and is proud to announce a slate of more than 15 virtual events over three weeks, from June 25 through July 11, 2021.
The Festival offers numerous critically acclaimed musicians in a variety of pre-recorded concerts and original productions. With this robust digital programming schedule, OBF reaffirms to the world that it is a leading musical source, showcasing the splendor of classical music from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
OBF 2021 is headlined by one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles and nine-time Grammy Award-winner, Emerson String Quartet, as well as a selection of Bach’s Cello Suites from “remarkable virtuoso” (The New Yorker) Matt Haimovitz, and two programs from director John Butt and Scotland’s leading baroque ensemble, Dunedin Consort.
The Festival also includes two highly sought-after male vocalists. Praised as “an international star in the operatic repertory” by The New York Times, Lawrence Brownlee offers OBF fans a program of spirituals and bel canto arias, while bartone Tyler Duncan (“a powerful voice”, The New York Times) presents a Beethoven song cycle, titled To the Distant Beloved.
Renowned activist-pianist Lara Downes showcases a two-part concert called Phenomenal Women. The first installment features a new piano concerto (Quiet Streets) from composer Elena Ruehr as an ode to our silenced cities during the time of shelter-in-place, capturing the unexpected beauty and tranquil melancholy of a deserted cityscape. The second part pays homage to the trailblazing female composers of the 20th century.
Grammy-winning organist, Paul Jacobs, returns to OBF with Poulenc’s lush organ concerto, featuring the preeminent Philadelphia Orchestra, and Portland’s acclaimed 45th Parallel Universe will offer two chamber concerts — a history of chorales from Arcturus Wind Quintet and a musical exploration of counterpoint from Pyxis String Quartet.
Additional events include performances from the University of Oregon Chamber Choir and OBF Composers Symposium.
The schedule rounds out with sneak-peeks of the OBF artistic director finalists. With the Festival and University of Oregon making the choice to extend the search for the next OBF artistic director through the 2022 season, OBF hopes to offer audiences some insight into the candidates, before returning to see them live next year. Three special digital events highlight the previously announced artistic director candidates: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Eric Jacobsen and Julian Wachner.
All OBF 2021 concerts will be presented free to the public. Additional program information will be announced as it is available. More information can be found at oregonbachfestival.org.