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Verdi, Mendelssohn, B Minor Mass at Oregon Bach Fest

Location: Oregon, USA
Choir type: Professional Choirs
Voicing: Mixed
Singers Thomas Quasthoff and Bobby McFerrin, masterworks by Verdi and Mendelssohn, an in-depth exploration of the B Minor Mass, and a celebration of Leonard Bernstein featuring his daughter Jamie Bernstein are among the headline events for the Oregon Bach Festival's 40th anniversary season, June 25-July 11 in Eugene, Bend, and Portland.


The major stars and events will include:

  • Helmuth Rilling, founding artistic director, leading opening weekend performances of Verdi's Requiem and final concerts of Mendelssohn's Elijah, with both works performed in Eugene and Portland by the OBF Chorus and Orchestra with soloists.
  • Thomas Quasthoff, the bass-baritone who made his American debut at the OBF in 1995, as artist-in-residence for 10 days. He'll lead a master class, perform a solo recital of Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin song cycle with Jeffrey Kahane, and sing the title role in both performances of Elijah.
  • Bobby McFerrin, who sold out 1994 and 2001 OBF concerts, will work with the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, headlining their concert July 5, and jam with Quasthoff at the anniversary concert.
  • Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein, will host a "Bernstein on Broadway" concert and present her acclaimed Bernstein Beat family programs, which reveal the South American and Cuban influences on her father's music in a bilingual presentation.
  • Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, who will perform Bach's Orchestral Suites in Festival concerts in Bend and Eugene.
  • Bach's B Minor Mass explored in four parts as the subject of the Discovery Series of lecture-concerts with Rilling, chorus, orchestra, and master class conductors. In two other Discovery sessions, Kahane and Huggett will delve into Bach's Orchestral Suites from modern and period instrument perspectives.
  • Choral concerts with Anton Armstrong conducting the high school singers of the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, and Craig Hella Johnson conducting the OBF Chorus in a Bach/Brahms program featuring the Liebeslieder Waltzes.
  • Celebration of the 200th anniversaries of Chopin and Schumann in recitals by Kahane and the wife-husband duo of Robert Levin and Ya Fei Chuang.
  • The genre-bending party orchestra Pink Martini and sizzling Cuban band Tiempo Libre, both making their OBF debut.
  • An all-star 40th Anniversary Concert led by Helmuth Rilling and featuring Quasthoff, McFerrin, pianists Kahane, Robert Levin and Ya Fei Chuang, the OBF Chorus and Orchestra, conductor Anton Armstrong, and the high-school singers of the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy.


Tickets go on sale to current Friends of the Festival February 2, 2010, and to the general public March 2. Full details are on the Oregon Bach Festival website.

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