New York, NY, May 27, 2020 — “In sensitivity to current events”, Bach at Home, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) curated online Festival, will postpone its original June 9 launch date to June 23, continuing through July 14, 2020, with content released each consecutive Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET. The digital Festival reconceives the 2020 OSL Bach Festival that would have taken place in June during the same period but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bach at Home will be comprised of over 30 video performances, as well as original interviews, discussions, essays, and additional archived content that will be available at OSLmusic.org/Bach.
Featured artists include Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, cellist Pieter Wispelwey, harpsichordists Jean Rondeau and Pierre Hantaï, soprano Amanda Forsythe, pianist and speaker Pedja Mužijević, composer and mentor Anna Clyne, and the four emerging composers selected for OSL’s 2020 DeGaetano Composition Institute, now in its second year, which provides participants with creative development support in the creation of a new work: William Gardiner (Brooklyn, NY), Charles Peck (Morton, PA), Jeremy Rapaport-Stein (Boston, MA), and Nicky Sohn (Houston, TX); conductor Ben Gernon, as well as students and faculty from the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL).
James Roe, President and Executive Director of OSL, said, “OSL is often called ‘New York’s hometown band’ and true to our moniker we are thrilled to bring this new festival to our hometown and the wider world in a medium so broadly accessible. Bach’s music transcends boundaries of time and social distancing; it is anchored in history yet speaks clearly to our contemporary circumstance. The phrase ‘abundance of caution’ has become common during the pandemic. Bach at Home is fueled by other kinds of abundance, that of humanity, passion, creativity, hope, and renewal.”
The programming for Bach at Home will be organized by different themes including Goldbergs Transformed, The Brandenburgs, Bach While Away, and Bach Today. Goldbergs Transformed will feature two versions of selected Goldberg Variations, one on harpsichord (for which Bach composed the Goldberg Variations) in a solo performance by Pierre Hantaï, juxtaposed with OSL performing a version for chamber ensemble in an original arrangement by Bernard Labadie. The Brandenburgs will feature performances by OSL of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 as well as a special archival video presentation of Paul Taylor Dance Company performing Brandenburgs, a seminal piece choreographed by Paul Taylor and presented online in this format courtesy of WNET.
Bach While Away will showcase recently captured footage from guest artists and OSL musicians filmed at their homes and in their communities, including a collaboration with dancer Michael Trusnovec performing an original choreography by Doug Varone set to the Sarabande from the 5th Cello Suite recorded by OSL violist David Cerutti; and visionary programmer and pianist Pedja Mužijević’s offering of Bach Family Album, a program juxtaposing the keyboard music of J.S. Bach and his sons, following up on his Bach Dialogues which was presented during the 2019 OSL Bach Festival.
Bach Today will present world premiere works for solo instruments based on Bach and composed by this year’s four participants in the DeGaetano Composition Institute, which will be performed and recorded by OSL musicians; artist talks and conversations conducted online and written perspectives on Bach from participating artists and Bernard Labadie; and a curated selection of existing videos of the solo artists who were to appear as part of the 2020 Bach Festival.
Original essays to be released on the OSL website on a weekly basis will include Bernard Labadie’s writings on Bach, as well as contributions from cellist Pieter Wispelwey, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, soprano Amanda Forsythe, pianist Pedja Mužijević, and DeGaetano Composition Institute artists sharing their favorite works of Bach.
–Pascal Nadon Communications, Long Island City, NY