Bach Week Festival board member Naida Lodgaard and internationally acclaimed harmonica player Howard Levy dropped by Nichols Hall to discuss the festival’s “Bachtoberfest” fundraiser at the venue.Photo by Nathan J. Silverman

Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

Grammy Award-winning harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy of Evanston will headline the Bach Week Festival’s fall Bachtoberfest fundraiser, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave.

Bachtoberfest will feature instrumental and choral music of Bach, a silent auction, and appetizers, desserts, wines, and beers.

Mr. Levy on harmonica and Bach Week Festival music director Richard Webster on organ will perform Bach’s dramatic organ showpiece, the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565. Mr.Webster has christened it the “Dueling Toccata and Fugue,” because he and Mr. Levy will trade passages while playing it.

Mr. Levy, who pioneered a method for producing a full range of notes from the traditional version of the harmonica, also will be heard in the Overture from Bach’s dance-inspired Orchestral Suite in B Minor, where he will play the solo flute part on harmonica. He will also  play his own arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and two movements from Bach’s Sonata No. 2.

The North Park University Chamber Singers, directed by Julia Davids, will perform Bach’s motet “Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden.”

Award-winning violinist Dawn Gingrich will play the Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor.

Tickets are available at or 800-838-3006. Proceeds will benefit the 42nd annual Bach Week Festival. Slated for spring 2015, the festival will be a  collaboration between Bach Week and North Park’s school of music.


Mr. Levy is also a composer and classically trained pianist.  His “Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra” was commissioned by the Illinois Philharmonic in 2001.  A founding member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Mr. Levy won a 2011 Grammy Award.