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Oldest Collegiate Bach Festival Celebrates 80 Years of Musical Excellence

World-renowned soloists, Cleveland Orchestra musicians and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory faculty and students will perform some of the world's greatest music at the 80th Annual Bach Festival being held Friday-Sunday, April 13-15.

This acclaimed event features the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. The Festival, established in 1932, is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the United States. 

Dwight Oltman, in his 37th year as Festival music director, welcomes to campus international vocal soloists:  Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Jennifer Lanemezzo-soprano; Lawrence Wilifordtenor; and Isaiah Bell, tenor; Andrew Foster-Williams,bass-baritone; Daniel Lichti, bass-baritone; Jenny Lin, piano; and Raymond Erickson, lecturer.

Also participating in the event are the BW Conservatory of Music students, who join each year with internationally respected soloists and Cleveland's professional musicians to perform one of Bach's major works.

The Festival rotates Bach’s four major works for choir and orchestra, thereby allowing students the opportunity to experience each one during their four-year stay at BW.

Guest Performers Bring Artistic Excellence to the BW Stage
On Friday, April 13, 4 pm, Jenny Lin will perform selections by Bach and Shostakovich.

At 8 pm that day, members of the Opera Cleveland Orchestra, BW Motet Choir and soloist Andrew Foster-Williams (conducted by Dirk Garner and Dwight Oltman), will perform works by Bach and Schutz. 

The 7 pm concert on Saturday, April 14, will feature St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244. Guests include Lawrence Wiliford, Daniel Lichti, Sherezade Panthaki and Jennifer Lane. Joining them will be the Festival Choir directed by Dirk Garner and Festival Orchestra conducted by Dwight Oltman.

Following tradition, each of the three concerts will be preceded with brass chorales held at the Marting Hall Tower, 50 Seminary St., Berea.  John Brndiar will conduct the Festival Brass. Performances will be held on Friday at 3:15 pm and 7:15 pm and on Saturday at 6:15 pm.

Bach Festival Alumni Choir Complements the Festivities
New to the Festival this year will be a special alumni event being held 1:30-3:00 pm on Sunday, April 15. Bach Festival Alumni are invited to sing selections of St. Matthew Passion with members of the current Bach Festival Chorus.

This fun activity provides participants an opportunity to reconnect with alumni and gather with current students.

Festival Offers Free Events
The Bach Festival will offer a free concert on Sunday, April 1 at 10 am at Church of the Covenant at University Circle. It will feature the BW Singers and Orchestra. 

A master class with Jennifer Lane will held Friday, April 15, at 2 pm for BW students. A second master class will be held on Saturday, 1:30-3:30 pm with Jenny Linn.

On Saturday, April 14, 4 pm, there will be a lecture presented by Dr. Raymond Erickson, Professor Emeritus, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College - CUNY.

There also will be a free concert featuring the BW Singers and Orchestra on Sunday, April 15, starting at 11:15 am at the Berea United Methodist Church, 170 Seminary Street.

Posted 2/12

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