Kalamazoo Bach Festival

C. Lieurance

On Friday night, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival continues with a program called Breaking Barriers with Bach: Baroque To Celtic, featuring music of French, German, and Scottish composers of the Baroque era, with traditional Irish dance tunes interspersed, and finishing up with the premiere of The Butterfly, a work by Kalamazoo composer Carl Witt. In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Carl Witt, Luke Cook, and Joanna Steinhauser (holding young Matilda in her arms) preview the music and talk about the process of bringing the program together.

The concert is at 7:30 pm in the Lecture Hall of the Light Fine Arts Center, Kalamazoo College, on Friday, June 8. 


courtesy of the artist

The Kalamazoo Bach Festival will feature five of Michigan's finest players of global traditions in the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet (with special guest Elden Kelly) on June 6, at Kalamazoo College's Dalton Theatre at 7:30 pm.  In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Dave Sharp and percussionist Carolyn Koebel discuss the connections and community that brought them together, and their shared love of music that invites the musicians to improvise.   ​ 

Members of the group will lead an improvisation workshop on June 6, at 2:45 pm in same venue. The Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet are: Dave Sharp, bass; Igor Houwat, oud; Henrik Karapetyan, violin; and Carolyn Koebel, percussion.

Andrew J. Swan

The Kalamazoo Bach Festival will open its 2018 Bach Fest Week on Saturday, June 2 at 8 pm in Chenery Auditorium with two visceral, all-hands-on-deck works for voices and orchestra: William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and Yevhen Stankovych's Requiem For Those Who Died Of Famine. The Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus and Kalamazoo Philharmonia are the first to perform the Requiem outside Europe.

In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Ludwa talks about some of the big attractions of Belshazzar's Feast, and Koehler explains the circumstances that brought his attention to the Requiem, honoring the victims of Holodomor (an artificially engineered famine orchestrated by the Soviet leadership in Ukraine in 1932-33). Koehler learned about the Requiem when he was put in touch with the director of the Ukranian Genocide Famine Foundation. Koehler was "blown away by the raw power, the immediacy of communication" upon hearing it, and agreed to give the Requiem For Those Who Dies Of Famine its first performances in North America.


Samantha Celera, via flickr

Chris Ludwa, director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus, and Michael Palmer, director of the Kalamazoo Male Chorus, talk about the variety of music that will be performed on Valentine's Day by the two groups.

Rose Ensemble

Jordan Sramek, artistic director of the acclaimed vocal group The Rose Ensemble, talks to Cara Lieurance about the new music that was composed in the wake of Martin Luther's founding of Protestantism in Wittenburg in 1517. The Rose Ensemble partnered with the Renaissance band Piffaro to create a program that spans the 100 years following the Reformation, called Welcome the People: The Musical Legacy of the Reformation.  Highlights include Luther's own hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and a Te Deum by Michael Pratorious, which Sramek calls a "barn burner." The concert, co-presented by the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Society, takes place at 7 pm in Chenery Auditorium on Wednesday, November 15.


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