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Bach Festivals & Cantata Series
Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival

Name:

Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival

Location:

Berea, Ohio, USA

Venues:

Gamble Auditorium, Kulas Musical Arts Building - 96 Front Street, Berea, Ohio 44017
Fynette Kulas Music Hall & Kadel Family Vocal Music Hall, Boesel Musical Arts Center - 49 Seminary Street, Berea, Ohio 44017
Marting Hall Tower - 50 Seminary Street, Berea, Ohio 44017
Berea United Methodist Church - 170 Seminary Street, Berea, Ohio 44017
Church of the Covenant - 11205 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Years:

Since 1932 (Annual Festival)

Months:

Mid May (until 1998)
Mid April (since 1999)

Artistic Director:

Albert Riemenschneider (Festival Chorus - 1933-1947)
Carl G. Schluer (Festival Orchestra - 1933-1943)
George Poinar (1952-1974)
Stuart Raleigh (Choir Director - 1974-2008)
Helmuth Rilling (Interim Director - 1975)
Dwight Oltman (1976-Present)
Elinore Barber (Director of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute - 1969-1998)
Dr. Melvin P. Unger (Director of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute - 1998-Present)

At the helm is Dwight Oltman, Festival Music Director and Conductor, who will lead his 37th Bach celebration this year (2012). Other noted Bach Festival participants are Baldwin-Wallace's Dirk Garner, Director of Choral Activities and Conductor of the Motet and College Choirs; and Melvin Unger, Festival General Manager, Director of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, and Festival Program Annotator and Editor.

Ensembles:
(Current ensembles are marked with bold letters):

Baldwin-Wallace College Choir
Baldwin-Wallace Motet Choir
Baldwin-Wallace Festival Choir
Baldwin-Wallace Children's Choir
Baldwin-Wallace Festival Chorus
Baldwin-Wallace Choir
Baldwin-Wallace Concert Choir
Ohio Boychoir
Festival Chamber Orchestra
Baldwin-Wallace Symphony Orchestra
Baldwin-Wallace Festival Orchestra
Ohio Chamber Orchestra
Baldwin-Wallace Festival Chamber Orchestra
Members of the Opera Cleveland Orchestra
Baldwin-Wallace Festival Brass Choir
Baldwin-Wallace Singers

Website:

Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival
Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival on Facebook

History & Mission:

The Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival is not only the oldest collegiate, but also the second-oldest Bach festival in the nation. The festival was founded in 1932 by Professor Albert Riemenschneider (longtime Director of the College Conservatory) and his wife, Selma. The Baldwin-Wallace Festival Choir and Orchestra presented the first Bach Festival in June 1933. Since that time, Bach Festivals have been annual events at Baldwin-Wallace.

Baldwin-Wallace performing groups are joined by faculty members and local professional musicians in the three-day, multi-event program. Soloists are internationally known artists; the lecturers, distinguished Bach and Baroque scholars. The students consider the unusual opportunity of participating as colleagues with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience.

Beginning with the 43rd Festival in 1975, the Baldwin-Wallace Festival performing groups have been reduced to sizes now known to be more nearly commensurate with those employed in Bach's time. Likewise, from 1975 on, all vocal works have been sung in the language of their origins. These changes have made possible the cultivation of a truly Baroque sound with inherent clarity, drive, and intensity.

With a repertoire list that includes more than 300 compositions by J. S. Bach, as well as selected works from 52 other composers, the Festival rotates Bach's four major choral works on a four year cycle. In this way, Baldwin-Wallace students are exposed to all four of the major Bach choral works during their college years; the B-minor Mass (BWV 232), the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and St. John Passions (BWV 245), and the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248).

Why Bach? Many would say it is the lucidity of Bach's music - the consummate integration of its structural elements - that makes it so great. Bach was unsurpassed in his ability to grasp (intuitively it seems) the latent possibilities of a melodic or harmonic idea, and to work these out in coherent, yet expressive ways. His music functions equally well on both horizontal and vertical planes - as a series of simultaneous melodic strands and as a progression of chords. It brings competing impulses into equilibrium: the logical and the mystical, the sonic and the symbolic. It constantly surprises the listener with its inventiveness. While using as its starting point the harmonic language, compositional techniques, and rhetorical figures of its day, it moves far beyond them. Bach's style is characterized by a richness of chromatic language, a logic of thematic unfolding, and an overlayer of hermeneutical (interpretive) allusions. It is no wonder that succeeding composers held him in such awe. Robert Schumann put it well: "Wir sind alle Stumper gegen ihn" (Next to him we are all plodders).

Recent Festivals:

24th Festival: May 25-26, 1956
35th Festival: May 26-27, 1967
36th Festival: May 24-25, 1968
37th Festival: May 23-24, 1969:
38th Festival: May 22-23, 1970

59th Festival: May 17-18, 1991
60th Festival: May 15-16, 1992
61st Festival: May 21-22, 1993
62nd Festival: May 20-21, 1994
63rd Festival: May 19-20, 1995
64th Festival: May 17-18, 1996
65th Festival: May 16-17, 1997
66th Festival: May 15-16, 1998
67th Festival: Apr 16-17, 1999
68th Festival: Apr 14-15, 2000

39th Festival: May 21-22, 1971
40th Festival: May 19-20, 1972
41st Festival: May 24-25, 1973
42nd Festival: May 24-25, 1974
43rd Festival: May 23-24, 1975
44th Festival: May 21-22, 1976
45th Festival: May 20-21, 1977
46th Festival: May 19-20, 1978
47th Festival: May 18-19, 1979
48th Festival: May 23-24, 1980

69th Festival: Apr 20-21, 2001
70th Festival: Apr 19-20, 2002
71st Festival: Apr 25-26, 2003
72nd Festival: Apr 23-24, 2004
73rd Festival: Apr 22-23, 2005
74th Festival: Apr 21-22, 2006
75th Festival: Apr 20-22, 2007
76th Festival: Apr 13 & 18-20, 2008
77th Festival: Apr 17-19, 2009
78th Festival: Apr 16-17, 2010

49th Festival: May 22-23, 1981
50th Festival: May 19-22, 1982
51st Festival: May 20-21, 1983
52nd Festiva;: May 18-19, 1984
53rd Festival: May 23-26, 1985
54th Festival: May 23-24, 1986
55th Festival: May 22-23, 1987
56th Festival: May 20-21, 1988
57th Festival: May 19-20, 1989
58th Festival: May 18-19, 1990

79th Festival: Apr 15-17, 2011
80th Festibal: Apr 13-15, 2012
81st Festibal: Apr 19-21, 2013
82nd Festibal: Apr 25-27, 2014
83rd Festival: Apr 17-19, 2015

Logo:

31st Festival - 1963

32nd Festival - 1964

    35th Festival - 1967
   

38th Festival - 1970       55th Festival - 1987
     

71st Festival - 2003

72nd Festival - 2004

73th Festival - 2005

74th Festival - 2006

75th Festival - 2007

76th Festival - 2008

77th Festival - 2009

78th Festival - 2010

79th Festival - 2011

 80th Festival - 2012

82nd Festival - 2013

82n Festival - 2014

     
     

Source: Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival Website; Lauren Alger, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory Events Intern (November 2011); George Poinar, Jr. (December 2011); OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Library)

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (October 2009 - September 2014)

George Poinar: Short Biography | Baldwin-Wallace Festival Chorus & Orchestra | Recordings of Vocal Works | Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival

Dwight Oltman: Short Biography | Baldwin-Wallace College Choir | Festival Chamber Orchestra | Ohio Chamber Orchestra | Recordings of Vocal Works | Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival

Stuart Raleigh: Short Biography | Baldwin-Wallace Motet Choir | Recordings of Vocal Works | Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival

Dirk Garner: Short Biography | Baldwin-Wallace Motet Choir | Recordings of Vocal Works | Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series: Main Page: Countries A-I | Page 2: Countries J-Z | Schedule of Concerts of Bach's Vocal Works
Links to Bach Festivals | Links to Bach Organizations & Societies | Discussions of Bach Festivals & Cantata Concerts
Major Bach Events: Year 2015 | Year 2014 | Year 2013 | Year 2012 | Year 2011 | Year 2010 | Year 2009

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Last update: ýSeptember 20, 2014 ý15:43:10