106th Bethlehem Bach Festival schedule
The 106th Bethlehem Bach Festival is May 3, 4, 10, 11, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.
Greg Funfgeld, artistic director, conductors the 100 volunteer singers of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and Bach Festival Orchestra.
Internationally-acclaimed soloists for this year's Festival are Kendra Colton, soprano; Benjamin Butterfield, tenor; Rosa Lamoreaux, soprano; Christòpheren Nomura, bass; William Sharp, baritone; and Daniel Taylor, countertenor.
The Festival Brass Choir, directed by Ron Demkee, plays chorales before both parts of the "The Mass in B Minor" Saturdays, a long-time Bach Festival tradition, on the lawn above Packer Church
Suzuki violin students, directed by Nancy Terlaak Poot, entertain the Festival audience before Friday evening concerts on the lawn above Packer Church.
Here is the Bach Festival schedule:
Fridays May 3, 10
2 p.m., Distinguished Scholar Lecture, Dr. Michael Marissen, professor of music at Swathmore College, Black Box Theatre, Zoellner Arts Center
4 p.m. (new time), Packer Memorial Church, Bach Cantata 71 "Gott ist mein König," Cantata 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele"; Beethoven "Choral Fantasy" for chorus, orchestra, and piano solo, Op.80
5:30 p.m., Asa Packer Room, University Center, buffet dinner, informal talk, Dr. Larry Lipkis, professor of music and composer in residence, Moravian College
8 p.m. (new time), Packer Memorial Church, Bach Cantata 119 "Preise Jerusalem, den Herrn"; Lauridsen "Lux Aeterna"; Bach Cantata 1, "Wie Schön leauchtet der Morgenstern"
Saturdays May 4, 11
10:30 a.m., Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, Rioult Dance, Bach Festival Orchestra, "Views of the Fleeting World," to seven movements of Bach's "Art of Fugue"; " City," to "Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 6 in G Major"; "Celestial Tides" to "Brandenburg Concerto No. 6"
12:30 p.m., Festival picnic lunch, tent adjacent to Zoellner Arts Center
2:30 p.m., Packer Memorial Church, "The Mass in B Minor (Part 1)"
4:30 p.m. "The Mass in B Minor (Part 2)"
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the oldest American Bach Choir, was founded in 1898. The Choir gave the first complete American performances of Bach's "Mass in B Minor" in 1900 and "Christmas Oratorio" in 1901.
Under Funfgeld's direction and conducting since 1983, venues where the Choir has performed have included the Herkulessaal at Munich's Royal Residence and the Thomaskirche, Bach's church in Leipzig (1995), The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall as part of The Choir's Centennial Celebration (1998 - 2000); the BBC Proms in London's Royal Albert Hall (2003), and Severance Hall, Cleveland, for the 75th anniversary of the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival (2007).
In 2011, The Bach Choir represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a 10th anniversary musical observance of 9/11 in New York City, giving concerts in Saint Paul's Chapel and Trinity Church, Wall Street.
In 2013, The Choir gave a performance of Mendelssohn's "Elijah" at the Music Center at Strathmore in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Choir has released seven recordings on the Dorian and Analekta labels including "Songs of Hope" (2011) and "Saint John Passion" (2012) and has been featured on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" and "Prairie Home Companion," Deutsche Radio, the BBC World Service, "CBS Sunday Morning," and the Emmy award-winning "Make a Joyful Noise," a PBS documentary on The Choir. "Mr. Bach Comes to Call," a film based on the "Classical Kids" CD, was co-produced by The Bach Choir and is distributed internationally by The Children's Group.
The J.S. Bach Foundation in Switzerland named The Bach Choir of Bethlehem as the first American recipient of its annual award to a single Bach organization for outstanding work in Bach performance and education introducing the music of Bach to young people.
Ticket information: bach.org, 610-866-4382