Montreal Bach Festival

Posted on November 23rd, 2009 by .

You wouldn’t be crazy for thinking that a classical music festival does not totally fit the “nightlife” mandate. To that I would I say: did you read my post about Star Wars and the symphony?

Ok, so the Star Wars soundtrack might not be the best proof of my interest and expertise in the field of classical music. But any music fan worth their salt has to recognize the incredible complexity, scope and beauty of the genre. Or, at the very least, allow themselves to be swept away by hearing it performed by professionals in a sublime setting. This is what the Montreal Bach Festival offers the city from November 21st to December 5th…

Johann Sebastien Bach needs little introduction, so one won’t be provided here. The festival, now in its 3rd year, is modeled after the popular European Bach Fests and unites Montreal’s classical music scene with some of the most accomplished names in the world. Even more thrilling is that this exploration of Bach’s music will take place in some of the city’s most beautiful spaces…

Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal kicks things off with a performance of Bach’s masterpiece, the St. Matthew Passion, on November 24th & 25th at Place des Arts.

The Dutch conductor, organist and harpsichordist Ton Koopman, founder of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, returns to Montreal with a whole slew of performances. He and his wife, Tini Mathot, will perform The Art of the Fugue (a duo harpsichord recital) on November 29th at Marianopolis and an Organ Advent on November 30th at Église Immaculée Conception. He will also perform with Maestro Nagano and the OSM on December 1st and 2nd.

Els Biesemans, winner of the Bach Prize at last year’s Canadian International Organ Competition, will perform Bach’s Clavier-Übung, Volume III at Église Immaculée Conception on November 28th.

Russian pianist Evgeni Koroliov will make his Montreal debut on December 4, at Marianopolis College. This is apparently a very big deal.

The Montreal Bach Festival wraps up on December 5th with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (though of as “the best period orchestra in the world”) performing at the beautiful and breath-taking Notre Dame Basilica.

If you’d like more information, please visit the Montreal Bach Festival website. There are a lot more shows, workshops and symposiums going on throughout the festival, so please check with the experts. Because I could continue to run through all the names I’ve never actually heard of who are performing songs whose names I don’t know, but all I really know about classical music is that it is a treat to listen to.

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