By Daniel Durchholz Post-Expedition Special
After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Bach Festival and moved the 2021 edition online, the 2022 Bach Society of St. Louis Festival is back on track with live performances of masterpieces from Bach in April and May.
Highlights include performances of the six Brandenburg concertos and the monumental “Mass in B minor”.
The festival also includes a showcase of young artists, Community Spring Sing and a virtual element: the educational program Finding Your Voice for students in grades 3 to 8.
In-person events take place at various locations.
“The St. Louis Bach Festival has been a staple of our season since it resumed five years ago,” Bach Society executive director Melissa Payton said in a statement. “It welcomes new audiences, encourages collaboration and celebrates diversity.”
Payton also said the festival provides the organization “a unique opportunity to bring more creativity and awareness to our programming, while celebrating the life and impact of JS Bach.”
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Showcase of young artists
A free community concert by the 2021-22 Bach Society Young Artist Award winners features a wide selection of music from the opera and oratorio repertoire.
When 3 p.m. April 23 • Or Chapel of the Lutheran Church of the Cross, 11645 Benham Road • How much Free • More information 314-652-2224; bachsociety.org
find your voice
The educational series – accessible to classroom teachers and also available on the organization’s website – examines how Bach’s music serves as the root of various musical styles, highlighting connections to popular culture and exploring various types of voices , skill levels and vocal techniques.
A rare interpretation of six Brandenburg concertos in one afternoon; performed by the Bach Society Orchestra, conducted by first violin Lenora-Marya Anop.
When 3:30 p.m. April • Or Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 South Lindberg Road • How much $25 to $50 • More information 314-652-2224; bachsociety.org
Community Spring Sing: ‘Messiah!’
This features selections from “The Messiah” – by Handel, not Bach, of course – and offers audiences the opportunity to sing along with members of the Bach Society Chorus, accompanied by the Bach Society Orchestra.
When 11:07 May • Or Our Lady of the Snows Church, 442 South Demazenod Drive, Belleville • How much Free • More information 314-652-2224; bachsociety.org
“Mass in B Minor”
Thirty-five years in the making, Bach’s “Mass in B Minor” is his deepest declaration of faith and artistic virtuosity. It will be performed by the Bach Society Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Music Director and Conductor A. Dennis Sparger. Featured soloists include soprano Mary Wilson, countertenor Jay Carter, tenor Gene Stenger and baritone Elijah Blaisdell.
When 3 p.m. May 15 • Or First Presbyterian Church, 100 East Adams Avenue, Kirkwood • How much $25 to $50 • More information 314-652-2224; bachsociety.org