Category: Grand Rapids Bach Festival

Recap: 2019 Grand Rapids Bach Festival ends with a grand and glorious finale

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - One can wonder how and why the music of Johann Sebastian Bach is relevant in a world of soundbites, digital samples, mp3 players and downloadable podcasts. What can an early 18 th century composer say to a 21 st century audience? Plenty, and all you have to do is listen. And that’s just what a full house did in the Basilica of St. Adalbert for the final concert of the 2019 Grand Rapids Bach Festival. The 12 th biennial festival ended with a grand and... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Recap: Grand Rapids Bach Festival performs Bach with a bonus – sublime music by Bach, sensational music by Julian Wachner

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - For true lovers of music, a major performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach always is a big deal. But there always are ways of making it an even bigger deal. The Grand Rapids Bach Festival , for its Mass Reimaginings concert led by Artistic Director Julian Wachner on Thursday, March 31, delivered an evening of sublime music by Bach plus and sensational music by Wachner all expertly performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony . Add the exhilaration of ... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Monday, March 25, 2019

Singer goes on stage with Grand Rapids Symphony hours after winning $10,000 Keller Award at Grand Rapids Bach Festival

Singers participating in the 2019 Grand Rapids Bach Festival ’s inaugural Linn Maxwell Keller Distinguished Bach Musician Award were promised a $10,000 cash prize meant to encourage and promote their careers as professional singers. Contestants also were told they may be offered a future appearance with the biennial festival created by Linn Maxwell Keller in 1997. For soprano Nola Richardson , winner of the first Keller Award, that future appearance came less than... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Friday, March 22, 2019

Young singers compete for $10,000 Linn Maxwell Keller Award at 2019 Grand Rapids Bach Festival

Linn Maxwell Keller loved to sing, and she did it well. During a long and successful career, she graced stages from Grand Rapids to the grand opera houses of major European cities. The founder of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival also sang in major Bach Festivals throughout the United States, including the Oregon Bach Festival under Helmuth Rilling. In memory of Keller, who died in 2016, the Grand Rapids Bach Festival established the $10,000 Keller Distinguished Bach Musician Award . The... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Recap: Grand Rapids Bach Festival opens with Julian Wachner and an amazing evening of organ music

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - During his lifetime, Johann Sebastian Bach wasn’t well-known as a composer. But in the region of Germany in which his last name was synonymous with musician, Bach was widely regarded as the greatest organist of his day. In West Michigan, the 2019 Grand Rapids Bach Festival opened with a magnificent solo organ recital by its new Artistic Director Julian Wachner . Some 450 people filled the Basilica of St. Adalbert for an amazing evening of music by Bach... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Grand Rapids Bach Festival opens with eight days celebrating the music of J.S. Bach

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is transformative. It has motivated the work of nearly every great composer to follow in the history of Western Classical music. It continues to inspire those who hear it more than 269 years after Bach’s death. The 12 th biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival , the first under its new Artistic Director Julian Wachner , returns this week with eight days with a week of concerts and activities celebrating the life and work of the composer whose... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Monday, March 18, 2019

Recap: 2017 Grand Rapids Bach Festival ends joyfully with a standing-room only performance

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Hard as it is to believe, Johann Sebastian Bach’s children thought him to be something of an old fuddy duddy. Toward the end of his life, Bach’s four sons who had achieved success as professional musicians sometimes looked askance at their aging father’s work. Music of the middle 18 th century was moving toward simpler melodies, lighter harmonies and simpler forms, paving the way for the Classical era of Haydn and Mozart. Yet Old Bach... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recap: Keyboards were fun and entertaining but also enlightening at the 2017 Grand Rapids Bach Festival's Creative Keyboards concert

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Johann Sebastian Bach spent most of his musical career in the service of God and the church, composing and performing masterpieces such as his St. Matthew and St. John Passions and his immortal B minor Mass. In his youth, Bach got to cut loose and have a little fun. On display at the Grand Rapids Bach Festival’s Creative Keyboards concert on Tuesday, March 9, was music mostly from Bach’s years in Kothën. His life as Kapellmeister to Prince... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Thursday, March 9, 2017

11th Grand Rapids Bach Festival, now under way, transforming community

The Grand Rapids Bach Festival , over its 20 year history, sometimes has had a profound effect on its community. In 2011, the Bach Collegium of Japan, a world-renowned musical ensemble under Masaaki Suzuki, performed Bach’s B minor Mass, arguably Bach’s greatest work. The performance at Calvin College, the first of a two-week tour of Japan, fell just seven days after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck northern Japan, directly affecting the lives of many in the... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, March 7, 2017

We welcome and encourage comments. Please note that your comment will be sent to our team to be approved prior to posting. You may not see your comment post right away.