The 42nd annual edition of the Chicago area’s Bach Week Festival will feature all six of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, performed in the course of concerts April 10 at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston and May 1 and 3 at Anderson Chapel at North Park University on Chicago’s North Side. The festival is a collaboration between Bach Week and North Park’s School of Music.
This will be the first Bach Week Festival to present the complete “Brandenburg” Concerto cycle. Two of the concertos will anchor each principal concert program, alongside other Bach compositions.
“In true festival fashion, we always aim for a stimulating range of musical
colors, textures, and ensemble forces in each program,” director Richard Webster says. “Invigorating variety and high-
octane artistry are what make the Bach Week Festival so festive.”
The May 1 concert will have a 20th-century twist: It will include Igor Stravinsky’s Bach-inspired “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto, which shares themes with the “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 3, also part of the evening’s program. This will be the festival’s first pairing of those two works since the early 1990s.
The festival gets underway at 7:30 p.m. on April 10 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave. The evening’s soloists will include singer Douglas Anderson, bass; flutist John Thorne; oboist Judith Kulb; trumpeter Barbara Butler; violinists Renée-Paule Gauthier, Stefan Hersh, Desirée Ruhstrat, and Mathias Tacke; and harpsichordist Jason Moy.
At 10 p.m., after the concert, Mirja Lorenz, recorder, and Joel Spears, theorbo, will perform a Candlelight Concert in the Nichols Hall lobby, where there will be complimentary champagne and chocolate. The new ensemble Black Tulip will also perform works from the early and late Baroque.
The festival will head to Chicago in early May for a two-concert series at North Park University’s Anderson Chapel, 5149 N. Spaulding Ave., at 7:30 p.m. on May 1 and 2:30 p.m. on May 3.
Tickets are available at www.bachweek.org or by calling 800-838-3006.