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Oregon Bach Festival focuses on St Matthew, June 29-July 15

Location: Oregon, USA
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, his Goldberg Variations, and the connections they forged form the bedrock of the Oregon Bach Festival’s 42nd season, June 29-July 15. Based in Eugene with a four-concert series in Portland, the University of Oregon also performs in five other Oregon cities with a lineup that includes keyboardist Angela Hewitt, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and pop orchestra Pink Martini.

In his penultimate season as artistic director, Helmuth Rilling will conduct the St. Matthew as the grand finale in Eugene, and also will lead four lecture-concerts that fully explore the monumental work.

Opening weekend performances to be conducted by Rilling June 29 in Eugene and June 30 in Portland will spotlight masterworks by Mendelssohn, the composer who spurred Bach interest with his revival of the St. Matthew Passion in 1829.

More than two hundred years after the St. Matthew Passion, British composer Michael Tippett translated its structure and emotional impact into the modern classic A Child of Our Time. British conductor Matthew Halls, who succeeds Rilling as the Festival’s artistic director after the 2013 season, will conduct. Halls will open the concert with Bach’s celebratory G major Lutheran Mass.

Bach’s Goldberg Variations is the other thread to weave through the fabric of the 2012 Festival, in a year that marks major birth and death anniversaries of Glenn Gould, the enigmatic genius closely associated with the work. Events include a four-city tour by the Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, performing a string orchestra arrangement of the variations; showings of two award-winning films based on Gould’s life; and the acclaimed pianist Hewitt performs the set on piano July 14.
Tickets are on sale March 21. For schedule and information see
2012 Oregon Bach Festival major concert works

St. Matthew Passion
  • July 15 concert, four Discovery Series lecture concerts
Goldberg Variations
  • Portland Baroque Orchestra chamber orchestra arrangement on tour to Astoria, Lincoln City, Corvallis, and Eugene
  • Angela Hewitt solo piano recital
  • Matthew Halls harpsichord recording featured on the Digital Bach website
  • Der geist hilft, Singet dem Herrn, Jesu mein freude conducted by Helmuth Rilling in chamber music concert; Fürchte dich nicht with the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy
Keyboard Concertos
  • Matthew Halls in Beall Concert Hall chamber setting
  • Boris Kleiner as part of Rilling-led chamber orchestra concert
Lutheran Mass in G
  • Conducted by Matthew Halls July 7 (Portland) July 8 (Eugene)

  • Italian Symphony, Violin Concerto in E minor, Die Erste Walpurgisnacht

  • A Child of our Time

  • Pink Martini (Eugene, July 1) with vocalist Storm Large
  • Guy Few, trumpet, and Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon
  • John Scott, organ recitals in Eugene and Portland
  • Debussy chamber music soiree

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